A few weeks ago, Constance Hall was a Perth mum-of-four with a blog. Now she’s started a body love movement, #LikeaQueen, that’s been picked up by media worldwide. She’s not stopping there. She’s planning Queenfest, a series of parties around Australia to meet with the “beautiful followers” of her Facebook page.
“I feel like I want to connect on a deeper level with these people,” she tells The Motherish.
Hall’s first taste of fame was when she went on Big Brother in 2005, the season won by the Logan twins. Back then she was a 21-year-old hairdresser living in Melbourne. She says although the Big Brother experience was “amazing”, the reaction she got from strangers was sometimes “horrible”.
“People want to hate people off Big Brother and I’m not an easy person to hate,” she explains. “So people would come up to me and they’re like, ‘You’re that dickhead off Big Brother,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s really mean,’ and you could see my heartbreak in my face, and they were like, ‘I didn’t mean to say that.'”
Hall moved back to Perth, where she met her future husband, Bill, a carpenter. She was working as a hairdresser and an artist, but those careers were interrupted by the arrival of her kids.
"When I couldn’t really hairdress any more, after having the twins, struggling to exhibit art with all these kids around, I just thought, 'Oh, you know what, I’ll start blogging.' It was more a creative outlet for me than anything."
She sent her writing to websites, but only one ever published any of her work.
"No one was really picking up on it, so I thought, 'Okay, cool, I’m just going to do it on my own.'"
She blogged for years, quietly building up a following. Then she wrote a Facebook post about parent sex, "that 3.5 minutes you get in between changing nappies and making food". It got international media attention and almost 150,000 likes.
Hall thinks women relate to her because her barriers are down. "I’m just trying to be as honest as I can... in a humorous way, so that people don't want to slit their wrists after hearing it. But people are going, 'That’s funny,' and, 'That's true,' and, 'That happens to me too.'
"I've always been really, really open. Like, people that came in to get a haircut from me were like, 'Whoa, I can't believe you just admitted that!'"
Hall followed up "parent sex" with a post about seeing a woman at the park on her phone. It got more than 280,000 likes, and Ashton Kutcher raved about it.
"I love her approach to fellow parents!" he wrote on Facebook.
Next came the "#LikeaQueen" campaign. Hall posted a photo of herself in her underwear, along with a call for other women to take pictures of their "royal bodies". It received coverage internationally, on websites including People magazine in the US and the Independent in the UK.
She says making women feel better about themselves is "such an amazing feeling".
"It really gives me goosebumps."
Here's a video showing Hall talking about her art. Post continues after video...
At the moment, Hall is spending a lot of time dealing with feedback from another recent post, about how she and her husband cheated on each other.
"I’m getting a hundred inboxes a day from women going, 'My husband cheated on me,' 'I cheated on my husband, he won't forgive me,' all this stuff," she says.
"I feel really bad because I can't respond to everyone because I’ve got the four kids. So I’m lying there on my phone for ages and everyone’s going, 'Mum, I’m hungry,' 'Mum, can you do this?' and then there's these beautiful women who have totally opened up to me."
Hall doesn't regret opening up about all sorts of things in her life, including her abortions.
"I really hate the stigma and the shame around abortions. I really hate that women are led to feel really guilty and told that we have to keep it to ourselves. We don’t have to keep anything to ourselves. We’re allowed to be open about our lives if we want."
The next step for Hall is a website of her own, as well as her Queenfest parties.
"I’m just working out the details of it and how we’re going to make it work," she says. "It definitely will work and it will happen. It’s a dream of mine."
Do you relate to Constance Hall's posts?