Megan Barton-Hanson has always been a Grazia favourite. When it comes to ex Love Islanders, her sassy show persona has yet to be matched and she’s surely got few competitors when it comes to best late addition to the villa.
On leaving the show, she proved herself to be thoughtful and intelligent when it came to discussing body image and sexism, the reaction to the surgery she readily admits to, and her former career in stripping and sex work.
Now, she’s launching her third ‘Megan Loves’ edit for Ann Summers, as Director of their Pleasure Positivity Project, and has plenty of ideas about (and products for) keeping everyone happy whether they’re isolating alone and single, or with and without their partner.
I’m quite enjoying being single, just loving myself right now.
Megan has been spending lockdown with her parents, after splitting from Chelcee Grimes. There had been speculation that the pair split, and confirming her single status, Megan tells Grazia: ‘I moved back into my parents' for lockdown – I live alone and I thought I can’t deal with living by myself for all that time. It was fun at first, my meals were being cooked for me, my washing was being done, I love it. But the novelty is well and truly wearing off now.’
Asked if she has been Zoom dating while on lockdown, she adds: ‘A few people, nothing serious. I’m quite enjoying being single, just loving myself right now. Just spending quality time doing things for me, even getting sassy on the old Instagram pictures. But yeah, a few FaceTime dates, but nothing serious.’
Megan hit headlines earlier this year when she was viciously trolled for reopening her OnlyFans site – the controversial website allows influencers and celebrities to charge for pictures and content from their fans. But Megan says using the site has helped her through lockdown.
‘It’s really good,’ she says. ‘I’d been doing these talks with feminists and I was thinking, I’m a bit of a fraud. I am sitting here saying, “Do what you want with your body, it’s your choice, it’s empowering” – so why have I come off Only Fans then? Before I went into Love Island I shut everything down because I didn’t want the extra agg of people going through my photos and having their opinions. And then I thought, “No, I’m bored I’m at home now, I love getting glammed up and having a little photo shoot, why not?”'
‘So I did it and it’s keeping me sane. It’s giving me something to do. I think that’s the biggest thing, I need a purpose daily. So I log on there, reply to messages, upload content, have different themed days. It’s fun.’
If you have seen any of the pictures Megan has been posting (she previews them on her Instagram), knowing that she’s isolating at home with her parents, you might be wondering who exactly is taking the pictures… But Megan says she has finally learned the art of the selfie. She has installed a quite professional set-up in her bedroom.
‘I always say I’m the worst influencer because I’m so bad at taking my own selfies,’ she laughs. ‘So this lockdown, the first thing I did when I started OnlyFans, was I bought a ring light. It was £50 but it’s huge, it’s so good, it’s like being in an actual studio. It makes you look flawless. So, I’d recommend, if anyone wants to do a sneaky photo shoot for their partner they’re not in lockdown with, get one.’
One of the reasons many people have turned to OnlyFans is the downturn in work influencers and celebrities have found since being unable to go out in public following the coronavirus lockdown. But Megan says in many ways she’s been embracing a slower pace of life.
‘It’s great in a way because my life is so full-on, going to all these different events and you get invited to things you’d never want to turn down and never dreamed you’d be invited to,’ she tells us. ‘So in a way, it’s nice to have time to connect with people I didn’t have a chance to before – my family obviously, my brother’s here so we’ve spent some really quality time together. Friends, I’ve been Facetiming that I haven’t spoke to in months… so it’s great really. We are lucky we can promote products online because my work hasn’t stopped that much. Even though the events have gone, there’s still a lot online where we can promote, so we’re quite fortunate really.’
Like everyone though, she admits the forced time at home can be difficult. ‘It’s definitely ups and downs – at the beginning there was a novelty, I was playing lots of board games, I was spending time hanging out with my family. But there are definitely days where, like with the new announcement, it’s all up in the air and no one really knew what Boris was saying, it’s like, “Oh God”.
‘But I think for me, setting goals for the day, goals for the week even, helps me. It’s not about competing with other people who are doing workouts religiously every single day – but as long as you’ve got one thing you want to accomplish that day, that’s what gets me through and keeps me sane.'
Has she succumbed to any lockdown clichés? 'Yeah banana bread of course… I’m cooking everything. That’s why I’ve started running, because I’m eating so much!’
When it comes to life after lockdown will the Celebs Go Dating star be looking to reignite her love life? ‘All my girlfriends in relationships are telling me how sick they are of their other halves! I think everyone’s going to run off and be with their friends,’ she says. ‘I think it’s going to be really difficult, especially with all the new rules in place. I just want to go on holiday so bad, or just spend time with my friends I haven’t seen in ages. You know what I’m thinking about? A beer garden – I don’t want to go anywhere fancy, just a big group of friends, sun shining and a beer, I’ll be happy.
‘It’s hard not seeing your friends and obviously being single, I was like, Oh God I wish I was in lockdown with someone I was in love with. I’ve never missed my friends so much, I can’t wait to be with them after this.’
She offered this advice for if you’re in lockdown without your partner…
A FaceTime date would be cute – cooking together. It’s not about what fancy restaurant you’re in; it’s about quality time. Playing games together online is great to get the romance back and keep things interesting. It’s hard, especially if you’re talking to someone, when nothing new is changing so it’s great to play games and do things you wouldn’t do in real life.
If you’re a couple in lockdown together…
Set aside a day of the week where you have a date night – whether you cook together, get a little bit dressed up… And try new things – you might as well, we’re usually so caught up in work and normal life; this is a great time to try new things with your partner and some of the toys in the range are great for that. I recommend the Whisper Quiet Vibrator, (£50), the We Vibe Moxie Remote Control Panty Vibe, (£120) and the 7 Speed Curved Bullet Vibrator (£13).
If you’re single…
It’s about loving yourself. Every day I wake up and try and do some form of exercise, it might not be massive, but just do a little something. And do things for you – do your hair, paint your nails, whatever makes you feel good. If you are in lockdown by yourself it’s a great chance to take that time out, have a relaxing bath and just take time to really love yourself.