‘Owning Your Own Content Is Empowering’: Love Island’s India Reynolds On Why She’s Decided To Start An OnlyFans

'I know there is a stigma, but mine is all about changing people’s perceptions of OnlyFans,' India tells Grazia's Georgia Aspinall.

India Reynolds

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

If you’re a Love Island fan like us, you’ll best remember India Reynolds as the fun-loving, laidback ‘bombshell’ that stole Ovie Soko’s heart – and all of ours – as a late arrival to the villa in 2019. Breezing through the drama with ease, the model and vegan chef has since turned her notoriety as an Islander into serious business success.

Amassing over 1million followers on Instagram, India now has a successful vegan recipes account, a lingerie line with Pour Moi and soon, a sustainable clothing brand of her own. But before that, she’s launching her next business venture: she’s creating an OnlyFans. And she’s given Grazia the exclusive lowdown on what it’s all about.

It might sound like just another social media platform, but these days starting an OnlyFans can mean big money, particularly when you have millions of fans already. As I write this, a quick Google search shows that India has never even remotely hinted at starting an account on the platform, and yet when you look at what everyone in the UK is googling on Google Trends, ‘India Reynolds OnlyFans’ has been a breakout search term on more than one occasion. The people, it seems, have been patiently waiting.

The subscription-based platform will see India post exclusive content, from photoshoots to behind-the-scenes videos for a subscription price of $12.99 (£9.45) per month. But unlike the content OnlyFans has become known for, none of it will be explicit.

India Reynolds
©Anna Fowler

Instead, India will be using her OnlyFans to the create content she’s truly passionate about that doesn’t necessarily fit into her usual social media platforms - and to engage with fans in a more thoughtful way. Most excitingly, she’ll also be hosting a documentary about building her sustainable fashion brand on there.

‘I've always loved fashion but during lockdown I starting learning more about sustainable fashion,’ she tells me over Zoom from her plush home in Reading. ‘I’m vegan and have been for four years now and at first that was for the animals but now it’s become more environmental. I think the more I’ve learned about sustainable fashion, the more important I think it is. I’m hoping that maybe we can inspire more people to shop sustainably.

‘It’s really early phases but I just thought it would be important to document what happens,’ India continues. ‘So that if any other women are thinking of starting their own business, there may be like mistakes that I make that they can try and avoid. It might help other people, to show all the different ways to do things and get businesses off the ground.’

As well her documentary, India says she’ll be posting content every day – from clothing hauls to exclusive pictures. ‘We have a lot of video content, which is really exciting because I’ve never really done that before so it’s very new to me but I’m really enjoying it,’ she explains. ‘Then day to day I’ll be posting live too.’

India Reynolds
©Anna Fowler

Of course, while her content might not be explicit, there’s no doubt that India choosing to start an OnlyFans will be controversial to some. After all, the word ‘OnlyFans’ may as well be synonymous with sex work these days. Just this month, fitness model Sommer Ray opened up about how starting an OnlyFans as an extension of her Instagram profile would be a great business opportunity for her – given her 26m followers - but the stigma of it has put her off. Is India worried about that too?

‘I feel like I always had a different opinion of OnlyFans because I know so many people that have beauty and fitness pages on there,’ India says. ‘I know from some of them that there is a stigma, but mine is all about changing people’s perceptions of it. I can’t speak for other users but I know what I’m going to be using it for, and it’s such a growing platform that it would almost be strange not to have one at this point.

‘I saw Dr. Alex has started one talking about mental health,’ India continues. ‘As a platform OnlyFans has got 100 million users, it shouldn’t be defined just by what some people are doing. Everyone’s on there for different reasons.’

India’s right - a growing number of influencers have begun using OnlyFans as an extension of their personal brand and nothing more – from chefs to artists to singers. There’s even a ‘Creative Fund’ on the platform now designed to bring more musicians onto the platform. A celebrity judging panel made up of rapper Stefflon Don, DJ Joe Goddard, designer Henry Holland, actor Suki Waterhouse and OnlyFans founder Tim Stokely are set to grant four people £20,000 each to further their music career.

OnlyFans shouldn’t be defined by what just some people are doing.

The platform also now has a charity fundraising feature, where you can donate your earnings on the site to charities of your choice.

When you remove the stigma – which in an ideal world wouldn’t matter anyway since, let’s be clear, sex work is real work – OnlyFans is a business opportunity anyone with a platform would be remiss to avoid. When your career is about creating content for social media, being reliant on sponsorships and advertisements isn’t exactly a stable income. Being paid simply for posting however, that’s something that seems silly to avoid.

‘OnlyFans makes it so much easier for influencers to create really good content because the best content it does cost money,’ India explains.

More than that, India explains that on OnlyFans, you’re more in control of what you can create. From a policy standpoint, she’s right – Instagram is a lot stricter about censoring content – but even from a culture perspective, influencing on Instagram has become tantamount to advertising and thus, remaining brand-safe. On OnlyFans however, you can post what you like without the leering eyes of brands judging your every move and analysing your engagement. In a sense, it’s freer. It’s also much harder for anyone to steal your content due to the rigorous copyright policy that sees watermarks automatically added to posts.

India Reynolds
©Anna Fowler

‘If you are looking for a way to monetise content, it’s a really good way to do that,’ India explains. ‘Say you’re posting recipes on Instagram and you have a few followers, then you can use OnlyFans as you would a recipe book. So you would post some recipes on Instagram and then the other 50 on OnlyFans because if that’s your job, providing content for social media, then you should using these opportunities to be earning money from it.’

When you think about it that way, the stigma of it all seems irrelevant. Particularly since, if the so-called stigma matters to brands, perhaps they shouldn’t matter to you. OnlyFans has fast been touted as a great platform for sex workers to be able to produce, direct and publish content according to their own boundaries. They can set their own price, and most importantly, avoid the exploitative practices that many have fallen foul to entering the sex industry through more traditional avenues. Ultimately, OnlyFans seems to be a great option for any type of content creator.

‘As a feminist, everyone knows feminism is about equality, being in control and choice,' says India. 'There are lots of women on there that are taking control of their contents and obviously earning money for themselves. I don’t think there’s anything degrading about owning your own content and monetizing that, it’s quite empowering.’

So, whether your favourite influencer's OnlyFans includes explicit content or not, it seems to be the platform we’ll be finding all of our social media gurus on in future.

Read More:

Love Island's India Reynolds: 'Going Vegan Changed My Life'

Quite Rightly, Love Island’s India Reynolds Refuses To Feel Shamed For Topless Modelling

'I Started An OnlyFans In Lockdown And It's Not The Money Maker I Expected'

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