#GramGen is a series profiling the most radical characters in youth culture, who continue to shape trend behavior and spark controversy through their avant fashion sense and candid social media personalities.
Meet Meredith Mickelson, the model aiming to make Instagram a more positive space for everyone -- beginning with her own page. Just last week, Meredith instructed fans in an IG caption to, "give a compliment to the person above u in the comments - spread love," sparking a frenzy of strangers sending positive comments to each other on the model's post. The comment space quickly filled with thousands of followers telling each other things like, "You're so gorgeous," or "Well this is easy, you are seriously so pretty."
With a whopping 1.3 million Instagram followers, Meredith's life goal of inspiring others seems to be well within reach.
We caught up with the Atlanta native to talk more about her everyday style, how she deals with hate, and what her life would be like without Instagram.
How old are you?
Where are you from and where are you currently living?
I was raised in Atlanta Georgia, and I spend my time currently living in New York and LA.
How long have you been modeling?
I got scouted when I was 14, but I didn't take it serious until I was 16 -- at 16 moved out to LA.
You have over one million followers on Instagram. What’s the best part about having such a large audience of people to connect to?
It's crazy! It doesn't feel real. My goal in life is to inspire others, so if I can reach any person in the million to follow their dreams and to put a smile on their face it makes me feel incredible. I also want to use my Instagram following to send a positive message constantly because the world is a little warped, and I think that many people forget the important things and that beauty comes from within.
What’s the worst part?
The worst part is for sure that everyone gets their own individual opinion. Many times it's negative, but having it for so long I learned how to deal with the hate & instead of letting it get to me, I take it and turn it into something positive.
Who are some of the coolest people you have connected with through Instagram and your social media presence?
I honestly met all my best friends through social media which is crazy. Before I moved out to LA, that's how I connected with everyone. I always would FaceTime my friends lucky and Neels, and then when I got in town I was DMing so many of my other friends like bryant & many many more and quickly ended up connecting with everyone.
On your feed, you seem to stick to basics in colors for your clothing: lots of denim, black and white. Is this typical of your everyday style?
Honestly, I love to switch it up so when I can I do, but yes my go-to outfits are probably very simple, like I love a good hoodie, and I have this one pair of Levi jeans, I call them my lucky jeans and those are the only jeans I wear.
What are some of your favorite brands of the moment?
I love Off-White and Vetements, and a go-to clothing store would for sure be Are You Am I -- so simple, yet so elegant.
You post a variety of photos on your Instagram, from BTS of photoshoots to bed selfies. Do you put a lot of thought into keeping your feed cohesive, or do you post whatever you feel like posting that day?
Honestly, I don't really prepare for any of my photos, I just use it to capture the life I'm living. If I'm on a shoot and I love an outfit, I'll take that photo or if I'm doing something and I think it could turn out cool, I'll ask my friend to take the photo. Instagram just shows my every day life.
Do you ever get a lot of hate on your posts? If so, how do you deal with it?
Of course I get a lot of hate on my posts. Mainly it will come from people being judgmental of how I look or who I'm in a relationship with, so at the end of the day I will never let any of it get to me.
I have realized not everyone's going to like you but as long as you are giving love and have self-love, I honestly don't think about anyone's negative opinions on the matter.
You have to remember everything you have accomplished and how hard you work and know you are being the best you. The negativity that is said on my page says more about the person saying it than me. I'll never handle any situation with hate -- just love.
Give us an insight into your DM — what are some typical (whether it be weird or cool) messages you receive?
I honestly stopped checking my DM's, but when I do they're WILD. It can go from an amazing girl telling me that I inspired her, and that makes my whole day, and then the next one can be someone asking for my phone number telling me he thinks we're in a relationship. It's so wild. Very entertaining.
Do you think your life would be different without Instagram?
Of course my life would be different without Instagram. I honestly don't even know if I would know everything about modeling that I found out at such a young age that got me into it. I wouldn't know anything about my best friends now or how to reach them. Honestly, Instagram has opened up my mind to so many possibilities, and if it weren't for this platform, I would not be where I am today and would not have the amazing people in my life that I have, for sure.
For more #GramGen, meet Reilly, the pop artist taking over IG with designer parodies.