ELYSE KNOWLES

Press BLOG

Daily Telegraph

Her appearance on a reality renovation show last year brought her into Australian living rooms several nights a week for months and pushed her social media following to nearly one million.

But the 25-year-old beauty, who became known for her refreshingly loud laugh and straight talking on the last season of The Block, admits she is a little terrified of all the attention.

“I have parents come up to me and say, ‘Thank you so much for being a responsible role model for my daughter or my cousin,’ and that makes me think, holy moly, there are so many people watching me every step of the way and they are taking it on and it is affecting their life,” Knowles tells BW Magazine.

Elyse Knowles is more than just a model. Picture: Hannah Scott-Stevenson @_hannahscottstevenson_ Seafolly

“I am very aware that I need to set a good example for these young girls and boys.

“When I was growing up I had my role models and to think I am that to other people is a big thing.”

Rather than dismiss her new-found obligation, Knowles takes the responsibility seriously and says her best approach is to consciously show all aspects of her life on social media — the high-fashion model, the quirky larrikin and the easygoing tomboy.

“I need to show I can get dressed up for work or be chilled on the weekend in a beanie and trackies,” she says.

“I need to show it’s not all glamour and that I still do activities like the boys do and get my hands dirty.

“For me it is about having a broad life, working hard, being yourself, having dreams and doing your best to reach them.”

Child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg says the term “role model” is often thrust upon young celebrities when they are the same age as the kids looking up to them — and this can put a monumental amount of stress on young A-listers.

“The difficulty with being a celebrity or in the public eye is that you become the focus of attention with the eyes of the world are upon you and the pressures are huge,” Carr-Gregg says.

“It puts pressure on their social life, on their relationship with family and it creates enormous tension around their career because if they slip up, which we all do, quite unfairly there are enormous ramifications.”

Carr-Gregg says it’s important for Knowles to recognise her new-found celebrity as a gift.

“I think that if Elyse uses her celebrity to talk about the fact people come in all different shapes and sizes and what’s important is healthy eating, a good diet, exercise and mindful meditation, she could use her celebrity to be a really good role model for wellbeing,” he says.

Elyse Knowles said she has always wanted to model for Seafolly.

Elyse Knowles uses social media to be a role model.

And that’s exactly what Knowles, who boasts 886,000 Instagram followers, does.

Her social media pages paint the picture of a healthy, smart and well-rounded young woman who is aware of her impact on those watching her.

“I second-guess myself a lot, even with Instagram stories,” Knowles says.

“You need to think about what you are putting out there to the world because the world will see it immediately and you can’t take that away. You have to think about it, be smart and be down to earth and fun at the same time.”

She attempts to promote one simple message to her followers, many of whom are impressionable young teens: Let yourself shine and don’t compare yourself to anyone.

“Sometimes girls get in these moods when they are down, then they get on social media and see a girl who has posted their best picture out of the, no doubt, hundreds of pictures they have taken and they compare themselves to them,” she says.

“I do it myself.

“But girls in particular need to switch off and have time to themselves and do some of the activities they love and surround themselves with people they love. That is the best way to be. Everyone is different in completely different ways. Let your own personality shine and don’t let anyone stamp on your parade. Be you, girl, and shine.”

Adhering to her own advice helped Knowles go from a Target catalogue beauty to fully fledged model. This month the striking blonde achieved a lifelong goal when she landed the “gig of a lifetime” and was named the face of Seafolly following in the footsteps of Miranda Kerr, Shanina Shaik, Jess Hart and Gigi Hadid.

“I have wanted to work for Seafolly since I was a little girl,” she says.

“It is the most iconic swimwear brand in Australia and around the globe. They have the biggest names as the face of Seafolly, and now it is my turn.

“I have shivers talking about it."

Short and sweet with Elyse Knowles

You wouldn’t think the body beautiful Melburnian would have had to do much prep for the shoot, which took place on Bondi Beach in April but, ever the professional, Knowles trained hard to get her body in tip-top shape.

“There are 50 people on that shoot doing their job and you just want to do your job 100 per cent — and I do that when I am the happiest and when I am healthy and strong,” she says.

“I trained so hard for this shoot. I would say ‘Seafolly’ in my head just to get me through sessions. It made me train even harder because I knew I wanted it so badly.”

It is that hunger for success and tenacity that saw Knowles and her partner of five years, Josh Barker, take out the top gong in last year’s season of The Block.

The stint on the popular Channel 9 show has opened numerous doors for Knowles, so it comes as a surprise she was hesitant about appearing on the hit series.

“If anyone had said to me, ‘You’re going to appear on a renovation show,’ I would have said, ‘Yeah, right, no way’,” she laughs. “It was a scary thing to be putting everything on the line like that, especially when I knew nothing about interior design and not much about building.

“I had been modelling since I was 10 years old and I had big dreams and I didn’t want a TV show to portray me in the wrong way. I had worked so damn hard for what I had and I didn’t want things to get in my way.

Josh Barker and Elyse Knowles on the set of the 2017 series of The Block. Picture: Channel 9

“But Josh said, ‘They can see the real you and that you are fun, energetic, down to earth and easy- going.’ You can’t 100 per cent show that on social media.”

In the end, The Block was a game- changer opening Knowles up to a new market and giving her prime time exposure.

Since being on the show, the pair flipped their own home, which they purchased in 2014 for $600,000 and sold for $1.63 million. Their talent in this industry has been compared with Jennifer Hawkins and Jake Wall, who have become one of the country’s top residential developers.

“Jen and Jake do an amazing job with their builds,” Knowles says.

“I hope we can get to where they are one day.”

And while the two will continue to focus on flipping houses, modelling is in Knowles’ blood and will remain her focus.

“Modelling will always be a part of me, but renovating is going to be a part of us,” she says.

“We have created a team now and it is our main motivation. It has been a big year and I am holding on because I think it is going to get even bigger.

“We are just embracing where we are and grabbing every opportunity and giving it a red-hot go.”

You wouldn’t think the body beautiful Melburnian would have had to do much prep for the shoot, which took place on Bondi Beach in April but, ever the professional, Knowles trained hard to get her body in tip-top shape.

“There are 50 people on that shoot doing their job and you just want to do your job 100 per cent — and I do that when I am the happiest and when I am healthy and strong,” she says.

“I trained so hard for this shoot. I would say ‘Seafolly’ in my head just to get me through sessions. It made me train even harder because I knew I wanted it so badly.”

It is that hunger for success and tenacity that saw Knowles and her partner of five years, Josh Barker, take out the top gong in last year’s season of The Block.

The stint on the popular Channel 9 show has opened numerous doors for Knowles, so it comes as a surprise she was hesitant about appearing on the hit series.

“If anyone had said to me, ‘You’re going to appear on a renovation show,’ I would have said, ‘Yeah, right, no way’,” she laughs. “It was a scary thing to be putting everything on the line like that, especially when I knew nothing about interior design and not much about building.

“I had been modelling since I was 10 years old and I had big dreams and I didn’t want a TV show to portray me in the wrong way. I had worked so damn hard for what I had and I didn’t want things to get in my way.

ELYSE KNOWLES 2.jpeg

“But Josh said, ‘They can see the real you and that you are fun, energetic, down to earth and easy- going.’ You can’t 100 per cent show that on social media.”

In the end, The Block was a game- changer opening Knowles up to a new market and giving her prime time exposure.

Since being on the show, the pair flipped their own home, which they purchased in 2014 for $600,000 and sold for $1.63 million. Their talent in this industry has been compared with Jennifer Hawkins and Jake Wall, who have become one of the country’s top residential developers.

“Jen and Jake do an amazing job with their builds,” Knowles says.

“I hope we can get to where they are one day.”

And while the two will continue to focus on flipping houses, modelling is in Knowles’ blood and will remain her focus.

“Modelling will always be a part of me, but renovating is going to be a part of us,” she says.

“We have created a team now and it is our main motivation. It has been a big year and I am holding on because I think it is going to get even bigger.

“We are just embracing where we are and grabbing every opportunity and giving it a red-hot go.” 

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ELYSE KNOWLES 1.jpeg