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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN DE MODE OCT-NOV-DEC 2022 (Vol V, Issue XXVIII) COVER STORY | Article Published on: 27th DEC 2022 |

The British reality star, COCO LODGE, who made a name for herself on season 8 of Love Island was seen on the FRONT COVER of DE MODE OCT-NOV-DEC 2022 GLOBAL ISSUE.

Love Island is a British dating game show. It is a revival of the earlier celebrity series of the same name, which aired for two series in 2005 and 2006, and was hosted by Caroline Flack until her suspension in 2019; Laura Whitmore presented the series from 2020 to 2022. The series is the originator of the international Love Island franchise, with twenty-two versions of it having been produced so far worldwide.

DE MODE OCT-NOV-DEC 2022 GLOBAL ISSUE FRONT COVER | Photo: Irena Eastington @happy_in_style, Makeup: Anisha Williams @aclvisualsmua, Hair: Isa @isa_creative

My journey on love island was an incredible experience, it was a rollercoaster and a mix of ups and downs with both positive and negative implications for my life. I found love island to be one of the hardest things I have experienced so far in my life but also one of the most rewarding and fun times that not many people will get to experience in their life and for that, I am so grateful and feel so blessed. Throwing yourself into the face of the public is hard to do and although it’s beautiful I now have a platform where I can share stuff and causes that I am passionate about with a following which was the whole reason I wanted to go on the show, I consider myself to be very hardworking and ambitious and the idea of having a platform to get start-up businesses and have new opportunities excites me.

Photo: Irena Eastington @happy_in_style | Makeup: Anisha Williams @aclvisualsmua | Hair: Isa @isa_creative

However, I also have had to deal with the bad side of now being in the public eye, especially with social media trolls and negative press which has felt hard at times especially when they have been so brutal about my appearance, which sometimes makes you question yourself. Coming out I’m working on social media projects, mostly on TikTok and just engaging the audience I now have with funny content showing my 100% genuine self which was robbed from me on the show due to the editing. I like to keep things real and my audience appreciates that I don’t just show myself at my best and I’m loving creating content that is authentic to me for my audiences. I have plans to be on another tv show as I enjoy reality tv and I’d love the opportunity to go on another show and meet new people and show my full personality.

Photo: Irena Eastington @happy_in_style | Makeup: Anisha Williams @aclvisualsmua | Hair: Isa @isa_creative

Since coming out of the Love Island villa to so much hate and negativity I have made it a goal of mine to get so successful just to prove all the haters wrong. I find throughout the whole experience in a backhanded way it’s made me love myself more than I did prior to the show because I’ve had to build myself up since coming out from the show and learn that regardless of anyone's opinion I have to love myself and all my features and imperfections that I put in a spotlight for people to crucify, I chose this decision and I’ve just had to own it both the good and the bad.

Photo: Irena Eastington @happy_in_style | Makeup: Anisha Williams @aclvisualsmua | Hair: Isa @isa_creative

Q: Tell us about your experience at Love Island Season 8.

A: My experience on Love Island Season 8 can only be described as a rollercoaster, there were days when I struggled after being dumped by Andrew Le Page and I just wanted to go home or would cry to the producer BTS but there were also days when I had the best time of my life and wish I could relive those moments and I’ll hold them close to me forever.

Q: What made you get into Love Island?

A: I was actually scouted via Instagram for Love Island and decided to do it as a business opportunity because you can earn good money coming off a big show like that but I was also open to finding the one being a bit older than a lot of them in there in my late 20’s I was hoping to find both love and new exciting opportunities off the back end of the show.

Q: On Day 31, Andrew chose to couple up with you. How that made you feel?

A: I was so happy when Andrew decided to couple up with me, during casa amor we had a good connection and I really enjoyed that short period of time getting to know him, I could definitely see it going somewhere however coming off the show I can see how perfect him and Tasha are together and am so happy we didn’t work out in the end.

Q: You coupled up with Davide Sanclimenti and then Andrew Le Page but it didn't work out. What went wrong?

A: I coupled up with Andrew but never Davide we did kiss tho, though I think it’s hard going in at the end of week 4 people have developed such strong connections by then, 1 day in there is like a month so I think I drew a short straw in terms of being able to properly explore a connection.

Q: Do you have a least favourite challenge that you did on the show?

A: My least favourite challenge I took part in on the show was the beer challenge it took hours to film, and was a lot of waiting around however producers filled us with snacks whilst waiting which was the best part.

Q: What was most challenging in the entire show?

A: The most challenging part of the show for me was having to get over my feelings for someone whilst in a villa with them and seeing them cuddled up to someone else. But you’d be surprised when having to deal with it and not escape it you get over things so quickly.

Q: Do you intend to watch your season?

A: I have already watched all my episodes backed I really enjoyed watching it, it was interesting to see which parts they used to portray characters how they wanted to portray them.

Q: Don’t judge a book by its cover.

A: I agree don’t judge a book by its cover, I came across as very sassy and strong on that show when really I was crying with producers daily really struggling to make not only romantic connections but friends in a tense environment that essentially is survival of the fittest.

Q: What do you look for in a partner?

A: In a partner, I am looking for somebody who can make me laugh, and show me vulnerability and loyalty. Something that has been lacking in my previous relationships.

Q Tell us about your sweetest memory in Surrey.

A: My sweetest memory in Surrey is camping out on my trampoline with my friends at around the age of 11, no social media just loving life and living in the moment with no worries.

Q: You're addicted to fitness. How often do you hit the gym?

A: I love fitness, I do F45 classes at the Black wall branch 5x a week as well as 3 heavy lifting sessions a week. I also go on daily runs and walks with my dog milo to keep me fit and active.

Q: We came to know you are a brilliant graphic designer. What's up with it now?

A: I love graphic designing it allows me to be creative and I find whenever I’m working on a new project for a client I pick up new skills that I didn’t have before. I am still graphic designing but for a few special clients of mine, coming off the show I’ve been busy with doing paid advertising for various brands and lots of press events so finding a balance has been difficult.

Q: Do you dance? Like any special dance form.

A: I don’t dance, and I’ve 0 rhythms or coordination however I do participate in pole fitness classes and twerk dance lessons I find it fun and it makes me feel confident and sexy in my own skin.

Q: What are your plans for a solid comeback?

A: I plan to do another show as a comeback and to prove to anybody who trolled me for my appearance or for anything that happened on the show who I really am.

Q: Where can we see you in the next 5 years?

A: In the next 5 years, I hope to have a few different businesses including a wellness app, and I also hope to be settled down and foster children which is my true passion in life.

Q: People want to know more about your business, and the clothing brand you own. How did you manage it when you were on the show? What should potential future clients know?

A: I used to own a clothing brand called Montani Active, however, this has now closed, once stock run out I had to close it due to funds before the show being low. I loved doing it 20% off proceedings were donated to Beat an Eating Disorders support charity.

Q: How do you feel about being on the front cover of DE MODE?

A: I am so excited to be on the cover of DE MODE I can’t believe it I never thought a tiny 5ft2 would be a cover girl! Thank you everyone at DE MODE for this incredible experience.

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