Demi Jones is aware of precisely who she’d title as her function mannequin.
“I know this might sound super cliché, but it has to be my mum,” says the previous Love Islander. “She’s the main woman in my life that’s just taught me everything. And I think subconsciously through being around her and the way she’s dealt with things in life – she’s always been so strong, so optimistic, got through everything with a smile on her face – I think I’ve reciprocated that.”
Luckily, the 23-year-old will get to see a lot of her mum, Karen, as she’s nonetheless dwelling at residence together with her in Portsmouth. “When I came out of Love Island, I was only two weeks out when we were struck with the pandemic – so I’ve been home and there hasn’t been a reason for me to leave yet,” she says with amusing. “So as much as I’m a busy bee and I’m working all the time, I try to [be home] at the weekend and see her and we have dinner together and stuff.”
It’s not simply the pandemic that Jones has needed to cope with since collaborating within the hit ITV actuality present in early 2020. Just just a few months after the collection ended and the world went into lockdown, she was recognized with thyroid most cancers within the May, following surgical procedure to take away a golf-ball-sized tumour.
She had additional surgical procedure to take away the remainder of her thyroid (that means she now wants treatment to exchange the hormones the gland often produces, which play a significant function in regulating the metabolism) and was fortunately advised she was cancer-free late final 12 months.
So how is she doing now?
“I’m actually doing really well,” she says over the telephone, as bubbly and pleasant as ever. “Obviously, I was given the all-clear just before Christmas, so that was the best Christmas present ever and felt like the biggest weight off my shoulders, such a relief. But it’s definitely been like a dark cloud throughout the whole of lockdown really.”
She’d discovered the lump earlier than occurring Love Island, however didn’t understand it was cancerous at that time, so 2020 was a heck of a rollercoaster. “My life changed with the show, then I came out and it was lockdown, and obviously all my appointments were delayed, so it has been a real journey to be fair. But I’m just so glad I was able to get into treatment last year, and I’ve been given the all-clear. I’m so fortunate it was a very treatable cancer.”
She’s glad to be bringing some focus again to different areas of her life – and was thrilled to affix the judging panel for The Pour Moi Uplifting Women Awards, which launched final month on International Women’s Day. The lingerie and swimwear retailer has set out 5 classes – Charity Champion, Activist Achiever, Extraordinary Entrepreneur, Innovator In Business and the Pour Moi Loves Award, for girls who’ve confronted and overcome important challenges and adversity – and ladies can nominate themselves or a buddy, colleague or liked one, and so on, that’s impressed them.
Alongside fellow judges, together with photographer Amanda Akokhia and incapacity campaigner Sandie Roberts, Jones will get to assist decide the winners forward of an award ceremony in May.
“It’s designed to celebrate women, for things they’ve overcome, things they’ve achieved. There’s a £5,000 prize for each category winner, and £2,000-worth of Pour Moi vouchers,” says Jones.
She loves that it’s “giving people the opportunity to recognise that they or someone they love has done really well or overcome something, and to show that little bit of appreciation” – a welcome aid from the body-image pressures that include collaborating in Love Island and being an Instagram influencer.
“I definitely feel under pressure,” Jones admits. “Right now, I’m actually not having fun with my physique, however I believe that’s as a result of I went via such a drastic change earlier than Love Island. Obviously, I misplaced weight and toned up for the present [she recently revealed she’d lost three stone before appearing on the programme] and I managed to take care of that. Then clearly being recognized with most cancers, I’ve gone up like two gown sizes, so for me, particularly if I’m posting on Instagram on a regular basis, there’s a number of stress to maintain up with these different influencers and at all times really feel like I’ve acquired to look good.
“So I am a bit stressed at the moment and thinking, ‘Oh summer’s coming up’ – but I need to not put that pressure on myself and remember I’ve been through quite a traumatic experience and that’s taken a toll on my body. And also with the hormone tablets, I am sort of fighting a losing battle at the moment. But I’m trying to stay really positive – and I do love my body and the fact that I’m confident. But I don’t know, I am finding it hard too. Does that make sense?”
Being sincere about these things means quite a bit to her – as a result of it’s one thing that impacts so many ladies and younger women. “I hope people can remember that I’m real, I’m not just this person that posts on Insta and looks perfect all the time. And honestly, I’m a woman – your weight naturally fluctuates anyway, let alone if you’ve been through something like cancer.”
While she might have had the all-clear earlier than Christmas, restoration is an ongoing course of – emotionally in addition to bodily.
“I think for a while I was in denial that I even had it,” Jones shares. “With all the other women I’ve spoken to that have been through cancer, you definitely differentiate your life in two sections – life before cancer, and life after cancer is very different.”
She’s nonetheless attending to grips with the hormone tablets, which she’ll be taking every day for the remainder of her life. “I’m very up and down with my emotions, it takes the tiniest thing to make me cry. But it’s something I’m trying to get used to and get my head around. It’s going to take a little while. Yeah, mentally it is difficult.”
The complete expertise has given her a brand new outlook on a lot of issues.
“I do know this sounds actually tacky, however I believe it’s positively given me like a brand new perspective. It has given me a distinct outlook on how I view myself, and the way I view issues that come my manner in life. Things which are actually trivial however used to have such a big effect are actually not vital anymore. It’s nearly being with household, and your well being is crucial factor.
“I do take my personal happiness a bit more seriously now,” Jones displays. “If I’m not happy about something or having a bad day, I know I’ve got the right to switch off from the world. I’ve got the right to put myself first.”
The Pour Moi Uplifting Women Awards launched to have fun and platform wonderful ladies within the UK. To nominate your self or others, go to pourmoi.co.uk (nominations shut April 24 and the awards happen May 19).