Olivia Ponton Learned an Important Lesson About Having a Large Following, and It’s Good Advice for Anyone

The influencer, who has 10.9 million fans across IG and TikTok, has faced her fair share of criticism and come out tougher.
Olivia Ponton

Olivia Ponton.

Olivia Ponton has been on social media for several years—as a classic 21-year-old Gen-Z influencer she grew up in the age of the internet and has found a passion and career through it. Her TikTok numbers began to skyrocket during the pandemic, when she consistently shared makeup, fashion and modeling content, in addition to openly speaking about being a teenager and the struggles that come with it.

The Florida native, who identifies as pansexual, has also candidly shared her journey as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and has become an inspiration for younger generations to be confident in their identity.

The two-time SI Swimsuit model, who has starred in major campaigns for Victoria’s Secret and Aerie this year, learned quite early on how to block the haters—literally, but also figuratively, and realized how important and beneficial therapy is for her.

“I was listening and listening and people were saying things about how I was too much this or too much that and then I just got to a point where I was like ‘I’d rather like myself than have you like me,” she shared during the “Be You Women’s Empowerment Series” panel presented by Maybelline at the University of Central Florida—and noted that that was a breakthrough moment.

With 7.8 million followers on TikTok, and 3.1 million on Instagram, she’s come across a bulk of criticism, and still does today, but she’s picked up some tips, tricks and affirmations to not let trolls get to her. But, that’s not to say Ponton is totally immune and hasn’t had her fair share of bad days.

“You learn how to turn it off,” Ponton added during the Sept. 28 event hosted by Big 12 and SI Swimsuit. “Like you know when you have a toxic ex boyfriend and he’s saying really mean things to you and you just get to a point where you’re like ‘I’m literally not listening to you anymore, you’re done.’ I got to that point.”

Fellow SI Swimsuit model Camille Kostek, who was also speaking on the panel agreed, and echoed Ponton’s statements about how “shifting perspective” can be so valuable.

“It gets old. You get tired of it,” the 2019 cover star said. “I think that was a great comparison—a toxic ex, because you just get to a point where you decide you’re above that. Theres so many external forces in the workplace, in school, on social media, from peers or even people you don’t know that are trying to tell you who you are and who you need to be. Why would you want to [also] be hard on yourself?”

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Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.