‘I Have No Idea What To Expect’: Vogue Williams On Motherhood, Spencer, And Dealing With The Trolls
The newlywed gets candid with editor Vicki Notaro.
Vogue Williams is something of a stalwart on the Irish scene. Modelling for over a decade, the same can’t be said for many of her former peers. She also has a long-standing association with STELLAR, being one of the interns working here on the inimitable reality show Fade Street, and a cover girl many times over. Since her divorce from Brian McFadden, she’s diversified into DJing, TV presenting, documentary-making and now fashion and beauty, and she’s about to take on her biggest project yet at the age of 32 – motherhood.
Yep, Vogue is about to pop; her son is on the way in the coming weeks with her brand new husband, Made In Chelsea star Spencer Matthews. She won’t talk publicly about their big day, only to say that they will have a larger wedding celebration in the future. This ceremony was for the legalities ahead of their baby’s birth, and only for immediate family. Still, that hasn’t stopped Spencer gushing about his wife on social media, and declaring her to now be Vogue Matthews.
When we meet for our cover shoot, Vogue is the happiest I’ve ever seen her. It’s a Wednesday, and she’s only back from their secret Scottish ceremony, wearing some of the blingiest rings I’ve ever seen. Her engagement ring alone would take your eye out, designed by Spencer and absolutely stunning. She’s more than seven months pregnant but barely even looks it – from behind, you wouldn’t be able to tell. Radiant and glowing, all the things people say about pregnant women are epitomised in the newlywed.
“I’m just really excited,” she says of the impending new arrival. “You don’t really think about the scary giving birth part, it’s just something I have to do, so there’s no point in whinging about it. Spencer is going to be with me in the delivery room, but up at my face,” she laughs.
I ask her about meeting Spencer, as their relationship has been something of a whirlwind – and her husband used to have quite a reputation as a player, one that would make Love Island’s Adam look tame.
Do you know what, I was at a stage of enjoying being single when we first met, and I wanted to be single for a long while, I had come out of a relationship that really wasn’t great. At the start we were just such good pals, together all the time on the set of The Jump with fellow contestant Jake [Quickenden]. Jake veered off, but Spencer and I hung out all the time. Neither of us thought it was going to go the way it went, but we fell into it.
“We’re very similar, his mom is always saying that, we just get on so well. We don’t have big fights about anything, I lose my shit from time to time, but he never would, ever. It’s such a nice vibe to be around, he’s never in a bad mood, I can only think of literally one time since I’ve known him. Anyone who is around him wants to be around him, always. I wish I was as positive as him!”
So how did they decide to make the big leap into parenthood? “We were talking about it last summer, the doctor had told me that because I was on the Pill for so long, it might take a lot longer to conceive but we just got really lucky. I would love four children, both of us would, but I look at my age, and if you want four, and you want a little break in between, I’d want to really get cracking!”
The couple know they’re expecting a little boy, but I ask if she knows what to expect beyond that? “Oh he’s safe in my stomach now, it’s once he comes out that it’s trouble!” she laughs.
No, I don’t have any idea what to expect, our mothers are both great and I know we’re really going to rely on them at the start because we literally don’t know much. But I’m going to do a bump class here in London, which is like an antenatal class, and we have a baby First Aid one scheduled as well. I’m doing as much as I think you can do, but you can’t teach this. It will be all about figuring it out for ourselves.
Vogue has caught a lot of flack for training while pregnant, from people that simply don’t realise that if you were active before, you can certainly still be active during your pregnancy. “I think as soon as I got pregnant, people think you’re incapable of doing anything. But I’m not unwell, I’m just pregnant! The training I do is as much for my mind as my body, so it wasn’t a question of giving it up. But as the pregnancy has gone on, I have changed it. I can’t run and jump, and I’ve listened to my doctors and my body.
“I’m still training about five days a week, and if I feel up to it I’ll do it, if I don’t, I won’t. In the third trimester though, you do get really tired. You’re living on less sleep the closer you get, almost as if you’re preparing for the sleepless nights!”
She’s also preparing herself for mam shaming when the little guy arrives. “I plan on trying to breastfeed, and that means you need to eat more! I know it’s not easy, I want to breastfeed, so hopefully it will all work out.
Shaming happens every day online, it happens all the time. I can be skinny shamed and fat shamed in the same day! I speak out about it because it bothers me so much that people are like that. I’m not sitting at home crying, but I don’t want anyone to have to deal with that shit. The internet used to be fun, it was nice, now it’s a way for people to be abusive towards one another. I have a documentary coming out in September called Trial by Social Media, and the psychology behind it all.
Yep, you read that right. Vogue would absolutely be forgiven for resting before giving birth, but she’s incredibly busy, with three new documentaries on the horizon as well as her work on Getaways, RTE’s travel show that she filmed while pregnant.
“One of the documentaries is called My Sponsored Life, all about bloggers. It was really interesting, it’s not easy at all to be an influencer! I do a little bit with ambassador roles, but it can be hard. It’s the new kind of fame, look at Kim K, still doing sponsored shoots, that’s the way the world has gone. The last doc is called Is Monogamy Dead? I spent time with a polyamorous couple, who are married 10 years but both have other partners. I also met a young Irish couple who aren’t monogamous, and have relationships with other people; it’s on the rise!”
And TV work isn’t all that Vogue has coming up. She’s just collaborated on a jewellery range with the designer Katie Mullally which is landing at the end of the summer. “I wanted it to be quite Irish, so lots of Claddagh, Irish coins, a map of Ireland, Celtic crosses. It’s gorgeous, I’m really happy about it.”
Anything else? Oh yes, perhaps the biggest task Vogue has ever undertaken professionally. She’s entering the already quite crowded false tan market with her new products under the name Bare
By Vogue Williams. It’s the first beauty product she’s turned her hand to, and she’s been working hard on it for months. She was wearing it the day of the shoot, and no kidding, every single person there asked her was it a real tan from her travels.
“It’s just amazing, I’m really chuffed with it and every time I put it on I’m like ‘yaass’!” she laughs.
I was about to shoot for another tan brand in an ambassador role when a guy I’ve known for years came to me and said have you ever thought about doing your own one? So I’ve been trying different formulas and working out what I like. I’ve always loved the colour, but I’ve been adding in ingredients to make it perfect. It’s been a long process, but I’m so happy with the results. There’ll be a light to medium, and a medium to dark. My sister Amber is so crap at tan, and she loves it, so that was the clincher for me. And I really wanted it to look real, like you’ve been away. We’ve shimmers and everything coming, all the bits and bobs.
“I just want people to try it because I know how good it is. There are lots of tans out there, not all of them are great, but everyone has one that works for them. This one is just fantastic quality.”
So is she going to have a moment to take a breath before adding ‘mam’ to her list of roles? “It’s busy, I know, the tan, the shows, the jewellery, and the baby! I’m going to take everything as it comes, definitely take some time off after he’s born and just be in the moment. I’m having the baby in the UK, but we go back and forth all the time, and I’ve really been nesting and decorating both of our apartments. I would never say that Spencer and I are famous, we’re well known but we sort of stick to ourselves. If I’m home I’m in Howth with my family and there’s a very chill vibe. In London I’m at home, or we come up to my aunt in Oxford to hang out. If we’re out and photographed, it’s at an event that we’re working at.”
And Vogue uses her profile for good. “When I spoke out about Repeal, I got abusive comments every single day. But I feel like I have a platform and a following, and I’m not just there to stand in a nice outfit, you know? If something is important, I will speak out, and I was absolutely delighted when
the referendum passed, crying and everything. People thought I was vocal but if anything, being pregnant brought it all home for me.”
And that’s why we love Vogue. She’s smart, she works hard, is true to herself, never courts controversy and handles the crap that comes her way with aplomb. If that doesn’t make her a dream cover girl, I don’t know what does.
This interview initially appeared in the August issue of STELLAR magazine. The September issue, featuring Pippa O’Connor, is out now.
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