“I’m not the type of girls to wear heels on a night out and have a pair of flats in my bag” said Annaliese Dayes after cherry picking her favourite shoes from the pairs selected for her cover shoot. “I’m committed – all in or all out” she continued. Whilst she was talking about her lack of enthusiasm towards comfortable back-up shoes, it didn’t take long for it to become clear to me that this statement perfectly sums up the way in which Annaliese lives her life; fearlessly go-getting everything she has ever wanted with an optimistic attitude and a laugh so exuberant and lively that, when speaking to her, you somehow manage to forget that it’s 8 o’clock in the morning.
Annaliese Dayes pretty much has her fingers in all the pies. She has Radio host for Heart on her CV, is a TV presenter, a model, and (as of quite recently) a DJ. None of this was just handed to Annaliese, however. She didn’t have connections in the industry nor any knowledge of whether she would make it, yet she started making things happen for herself when she was as young as 12 years old, driven solely by excessive obnoxiousness. “I was a gymnast for ten years which is very showy-offy, and I’m an only child. It was kind of inevitable” said Annaliese on her self-admitted “super obnoxious” ways. “I went to a photobooth, you know the little passport ones in Safeways?” explained Annaliese before scoffing and laughing about how a simple mention of Safeways shows her age. “I took my own photos in the photobooth and sent them away to the agency myself. I Actually got a response, and then made my parents drive me over there”. It is stunning to hear about a girl as young as 12 years old exhibiting such a high level of courage and confidence, yet Annaliese fully understands that this is the result of being an only child. “My parents built me up to believe that the sun shines out of my arse!” she laughed as she nonchalantly sat back in her seat and sighs “Yeah. I’m only just coming to terms with the fact that the world doesn’t revolve around me”.
When talking about her starting point in the industry, Annaliese knows that her first shot at a modelling career was a result of nothing other than luck. “You know how things happen by accident, and they trigger other things?” she asked. “So ten years ago when I applied for BNTM, I was told I hadn’t made it. And I was like OK, I was devastated, but was like it’s fine, the universe has other plans for me, it’s all good. And then three days before the show was going to start filming, they called me because some girl had lied about her age! If it wasn’t for this girl lying about her age, I wouldn’t have gone onto BNTM, which then lead to ANTM, which then led to providing me with the platform to talk about fashion and beauty”. Knowing Annaliese’s strong character and determination to make it within the industry, one would have to be blind to think that if she wasn’t given this opportunity with BNTM, she wouldn’t have made anything of her career. Yet it is extraordinarily inspiring that a home-grown talent such as Annaliese’s, nurtured solely by parents who raised her to believe that she “could do anything [she] set her mind to”, was able to not only bounce back from experiencing rejection, but bounce back with the self-belief of someone who knows their worth, and won’t lie to get herself ahead.
“By no means has it ever been easy” said Annaliese on experiencing rejection. “I can take rejection like no other. I think it’s because I’ve been rejected so much that I don’t take it personally any more. My parents were really good at instilling in me that I could do whatever I wanted to do”. This ability to take rejection and keep pushing means that, for Annaliese, her career is constantly changing and adapting whilst her skill set is forever growing. After discussing our current music obsessions (we both agreed Ariana Grande is major right now) Annaliese suddenly jumped in her chair – “OH and I’m a DJ now!” she excitedly exclaimed. “I’ve avoided DJing for my entire career mainly because I am that girl who struggles to work out what she is going to play on her iPod for herself” (aren’t we all?) but she pushed herself out of her comfort zone, and now? “I’ve now done six gigs, two of which were in Wales so I’m officially calling myself an international DJ” she said with a smirk. When I asked why she doesn’t seem to stop, she replied simply “I feel like it’s good to get out of your comfort zone”. By this point in the day she was in her second look of the shoot and was dancing around the room, snacking on various items of food and pulling faces at herself in the mirror. Annaliese’s lively and energetic character is contagious, and so are her words. She knows who she is, what she wants, and how to get it. She isn’t afraid to be loud or outspoken or have all the attention on her. She is a risk taker; one who simply understands that “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’re always going to get what you’ve always got. You’ve got to do something different to get something different”. Should Annaliese add ‘inspirational thinker’ to her ever-growing CV? I think so.