Why TV Personality, Diandra Barnwell, Chose To Transition From E! To An Influencer In Health And Fitness
You might recognize Diandra Barnwell from “So Cosmo” on E! where she worked as the brand coordinator for Cosmopolitan magazine. Diandra is now switching paths to influencer and health expert. From learning how to deal with negativity to remaining how to be authentic and empowered, learn how Diandra has made her transition from TV to influencer in under a year and what she has planned for 2018.
Being on ‘So Cosmo’, were you afraid to show parts of your life on TV and how you would be portrayed?
I was excited more than anything! I told my producers from the very beginning that I was an open book and happy to give them whatever they wanted. It was important to me to peel back that layer superficiality and superiority that is often associated with the industry. I wanted to show viewers that life is not always photo shoots and fancy clothes, real life happens behind the scenes and afterhours. It’s hard work, there are tears, you mess up, fall in love, disagree with people, laugh, and so much more! I’m human, and I’m proud of the life I’ve built…flaws and all.
How have you dealt with any negativity or insecurities that arose from being an influencer and on TV?
My personal network has made all the difference. My family and friends have kept me grounded, supported me, and made me feel safe through the entire process. As much fun as filming and being on TV is, it brings every issue, every insecurity, and any negativity to the surface. So, it was and still is imperative to keep people in my corner that I know will keep me humbled, focused, and who know the real me! As long as my family and closest friends are happy with me and proud of what I’m doing, then I’m happy! That kind of love really puts things into perspective, and even on days when I’m feeling down, I know that I’ve got the best people in my corner—my secret weapon! I also keep my eye on the prize. I’ve worked very hard to be where I am, and the plan is to only accelerate from here, so I focus on the objective!
Now that you’re going into the health and wellness industry, what are some challenges you’ve faced and how do you make sure you stay on course with your goal?
Many people don’t know this, but health and fitness have always been a huge part of my life. I was a competitive gymnast at 4, a trained dancer by 8, and from there I went on to do both cheer and dance in high-school, where I competed at both state and national levels, respectively. So, pursuing health and fitness has been part of a very natural trajectory. The challenge has been remaining patient and consistent in an industry that is constantly changing and evolving. With so many trends in both fitness and health popping up everyday, it’s so tempting to veer off track and follow the latest craze. So, for me staying on course with my goals has been about finding the happy medium between keeping up with the latest trends, but also sticking to my core knowledge of nutrition that I’ve been developing for years.
So you’ve just became a Blueprint Juice brand ambassador, how has that new accomplishment geared you up for the new year and what you have in store?
I cannot tell you how excited I am about my Blueprint partnership! I’ve been drinking Blueprint for years as a true consumer and fan, so this partnership is a dream come true for me! This ambassadorship has really set the tone for my goals and aspirations in the New Year, as far as partnering with brands and companies that I truly believe in and that are in line with my personal brand. As an influencer it is so easy to partner with brands and sign deals for the sake of a paycheck or social media likes, but for me it’s so important to remain authentic and share my knowledge from experiences I’ve actually done the groundwork for. I have a lot coming up as far as partnerships and ambassadorships go, and you better believe that each and everyone is for a brand I actually co-sign for. 2018 and every year is about the tried and true grind!
Oprah Winfrey just received the Cecil B. de Mille award, as a woman, do you feel like we are finally moving ahead and getting the recognition we deserve?
What an incredible moment in history it was to witness one of the most brilliant minds of our time receive such a significant award. Oprah is the ultimate BOSS, and I was overwhelmed with gratitude and pride watching her accept the Cecil B. De Mille award, not only as a woman of color, but also as a human! I do feel that as women we are making gains and moving mountains in the fight for equality, and nothing makes me more proud. However, I also feel that there is so much more work that has to be done, and it has to start with US. It’s one thing to cheer on your fellow woman, but it is another thing to take action and empower each other by any means. For me, its supporting my young mentees and using my knowledge and the lessons I’ve learned along the way to guide them. Or, it’s taking time out of my schedule to answer a question or to simply listen to a young woman looking for advice. It is more than just verbally supporting a cause; it’s about taking actual actions to set up a foundation for our younger generations. Even a small action or gesture can make all the difference!
How do you make sure you stay authentic in certain industries that seem to be very saturated?
Authenticity has been one of my main objectives while building my own brand. I always think back to my 12 year old self: bright eyed, and hungry to create a life that girls from Albuquerque only see on TV. I didn’t know how I was going to make it happen, but I knew that when I did I would do so in my own way. Fast-forward 16 years later, and I can honestly say that not much has changed from that mentality. As an influencer and brand ambassador in extremely saturated industries, it can be challenging to set yourself apart from the rest—there is always someone with a bigger following, more credibility, and a wider network. The key for me has been aligning myself with brands and causes that I believe in, instead of signing onto something for the sake of a paycheck. While this method may take me a little longer, it makes me happy to know that I’ve done the fieldwork and I’m giving advice based off of real life experience and passion. My followers and supporters will only ever get the real deal from me, and that is something I’m extremely proud of, and I know 12-year-old Diandra would be too!