Why this Instagram star abandoned by male followers
INSTAGRAM star Hannah Polites has been abandoned by many of her male followers after having a baby.
But the 26-year-old Gold Coaster, who made a name for herself when her fitness posts went viral, has instead picked up new followers among fellow mums after giving birth to daughter Evaliah in August last year.
"I definitely have lost a lot of male followers and people that maybe aren't interested in babies but I've gained a lot of mummy followers since my page has changed a lot," she said
"I think my followers have grown with me: the girls who were 20 are now 26 and they want to see more about babies and marriage.
"They want to know me, and Evaliah is a part of me, but I try not to share too many pictures of her because that's not why people followed me in the first place."
The Southport mum copped criticism last year for exercising while pregnant with Evaliah - and the baby backlash hasn't stopped.
"I sometimes get comments from people on Instagram saying I should be looking after my baby but I think if Evaliah isn't in the photo they just assume I'm not with her," she said.
"She does everything with me: in the morning she comes to gym or pilates and sits with the other babies and dances to music.
"She comes to cafes and restaurants (and) she loves the beach.
"Every time I take her to Bali or Hawaii she heads straight for the water."
Ms Polites has also faced down criticism for breastfeeding her daughter in public, but the former St Stephen's College student said she doesn't let it bother her.
"I also get a lot of comments about breast feeding in public, but it's a normal part of life," she said.
"I've had so many people come up to me and say thank you for sharing that photo (of breastfeeding)."
Ms Polites, who has 1.5 million followers and is paid to travel the world, said she never set out to become a globetrotting Instagram star.
"I never set out to become a big Instagram page, but it went viral and I just went along with it," she said.
"Someone actually showed me how to use Instagram and I thought it was just a photo editing app so I put three of the same photos up with different filters, I definitely didn't take it seriously to begin with.
"I was working for Lorna Jane and started taking photos in my activewear and a lot of fitness pages started to share my photos ... a few went viral.
"There were people wanting to know more about my life and what I did for exercise so there was demand for me to start a blog-style account."
Ms Polites is set to marry her partner Garth Small at a destination wedding next year after saying 'yes' in February.
"The wedding is overseas next September with about 120 guests ... it will be elegant and formal, it's not a beachy wedding," she said.
"I met Garth when we were both working at the Gold Coast University Hospital.
"He's a paediatrician and I was a midwife, and he later told me that he saw me from across the hall and said 'I have to ask that girl out' even though he only had two weeks left of work before going overseas for a year.
"So he bit the bullet and asked me out, I said yes and he ended up putting off his trip so we went overseas together two months later.
"I was planning to go back to work at the hospital this month but now I have a couple of trips coming up through Instagram to Fashion Week in Perth (and) potentially Bali so I've put that on hold.
"I'll definitely go back though, I love being a midwife I'll never give that up."