Dubai-based influencer Remy Baghdady breaks down social media role

She takes us behind the scenes of what it’s like to be a popular content creator.

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Enid Grace Parker

Published: Tue 25 Jan 2022, 5:49 PM

Last updated: Wed 26 Jan 2022, 10:56 AM

When we come across people with picture-perfect lives (and bodies) on Instagram, we feel a mix of appreciation and envy. Some of us can be quick to judge this seemingly ridiculous level of ‘perfection’, while secretly ‘stalking’ attractive Insta posts. But what is life from a popular content creator’s point of view, what drives them and inspires them? How does it feel to be in the spotlight and what boundaries do they lay down for sharing?

We presented these and other burning questions about the raging business of being an ‘influencer’ to one of the region’s most popular social media stars, Remy Baghdady, who with over 100K followers has come a long way since her initial blogging days in Lebanon.

When her early posts on fitness, health and skincare began gaining traction online, Remy said she was inspired to expand her Insta content by branching out into fashion, beauty hacks, everyday life, and more.

She told City Times, “My journey via social media started when I would simply upload content of myself working out, participating in marathons across the Middle East and sharing some of my experiences with alternative medicine and home remedies. The more I shared, the more requests I started receiving and slowly my Instagram family grew; I continue to share with them everything I do in my day-to-day life, from fashion to fitness and now even family.”

The married mom of two who has lived in Dubai for the last four years, is all praise for the UAE as a constant source of inspiration for her work.

Excerpts from our interview with Remy:

The UAE is a country full of ‘Instagrammable’ sights and a great mix of the traditional and the modern - whether it’s natural and scenic beauty, cultural sites, or modern landscapes, nightlife, fashion and more. What are some of your favourite places to visit, and things to do in the UAE, that inspire your posts?

I love taking pictures around the UAE. The country is full of beautifully scenic locations, in addition to the fact that the country is built to perfection at every corner (in my humble opinion). Being a mom of two boys, I tend to take my kids to the beach a lot, the different zoos across the country, Dubai creek, The Palm Dubai and La Mer for some mother and son cycling action and obviously the malls and spacious parks.

So sometimes, a lot of my pictures happen during such days, and a lot of other times I tend to get my inspiration for a picture off of the streets of Dubai. The city is glamorous at every spot.

We notice from your Instagram that fashion plays an important part in your life. What does fashion mean to you and who are some of your favourite designers?

I am someone who has always had a love for fashion, since a young age I would wake up really early just to put my outfit together to ensure it’s styled as fashionably as possible. My favourite fashion hack is to mix luxury and street wear for a look that’s elegant, powerful and striking. I also love playing with colours. Among my favourite designers are Dolce & Gabbana, Giuseppe Zanotti, Zimmermann.

Describe an outfit you feel most comfortable and stylish in - for daily wear.

My sports wear! I absolutely enjoy styling my sports wear and taking on the day feeling empowered and comfortable.

What are your thoughts on the local fashion scene in UAE?

I’ve had the absolute pleasure of working with a number of local fashion designers based in the UAE and I very much fell in love with their designs and creativity. I truly believe that Dubai’s fashion scene is as strong and as competitive as that of other fashion cities around the world.

If you had to give fashion advice to someone, what would it be?

My only piece of advice would be not to follow every trend there is, dress as you see fit and style your own outfits based on your personal preference and what suits you best. Not all trends are worth the hype.

Like many bloggers and social media influencers, you also do endorsements and paid partnerships with brands. Does this job come with a feeling of responsibility as well? How do you decide which brands to endorse - are they ones you personally use?

Being a social media influencer/content creator comes with a lot of responsibility. Not only am I obligated to maintain a certain standard of authenticity, but I also have a social responsibility towards my Instagram family to remain genuine, true and above all humble. When it comes to brand collaborations, I tend to pick and choose depending on what I truly believe in.

There have been instances where I had to turn down collaborations or paid partnerships as they did not necessarily sit within what I would normally opt for.

I always aim to keep my collaborations within my genera, and to ensure it’s something that will benefit me and the ones who trust me online. Additionally, I have a managing agency that handles all my B2B and we are aligned in terms of collaborations and goals.

Social media demands that we look as perfect as possible on our profiles and in what we share. Do you feel that these sometimes unrealistic standards of perfection put unnecessary pressure on people? How do you personally deal with a day when you’re not feeling or looking great?

Whoever has been with me since the beginning knows that I share the pretty moments and the natural moments. I tend to enjoy glamming up and I share that bit of my life via social media but I also share my workout routine while deep into my workout without a drop of makeup on my face; and even during both of my pregnancies I embraced the changes my body and face were going through and shared my entire experience via social media, mainly on IG story.

Perfection doesn’t exist, and I don’t wish to portray perfection, I like sharing the highs and lows and motivate my Instagram family to strive to be the best versions of themselves. Empowerment to everyone.

You often blog about your family and kids, and share pictures of your family life and special occasions. Why is sharing this personal journey important to you?

My family is my priority in every aspect of my life, and since starting my Instagram page I’ve always shared my journey depending on where life is taking me. My Instagram family is also constantly requesting that I share bits and pieces of my life with my kids with them. With that said, I do respect my kids’ privacy which is why I try my best to share the happy and playful moments and their achievements; most of the time as a family portrait, including my husband and myself.

My content isn’t only about family, it’s the family lifestyle, from home recipes to kids’ learning and development, and even bits from date nights. It helps inspire others just as I get inspired by similar content from other creators. We all strive to build the best homes for our families and being able to share each other’s experiences is a blessing.

You share fitness routines as well - how important is fitness to you and how much time in a day do you spend on it? Are you a fan of gyms or do you prefer outdoor training?

When it comes to running, I prefer the outdoors always! Especially when I am training for a spartan race or an upcoming marathon! I do also enjoy going to the gym for my high intensity training. I often do 50 minutes to an hour of gym, 6 days a week.

As a social media influencer with over 100,000 followers, what are some of the rules you have in place for yourself with regards to what you post? Is it tough to strike a balance between privacy and creating content as a famous blogger?

I definitely do my best to maintain some sort of privacy for myself and my family, but I also enjoy sharing the moments that might benefit or inspire others - home recipes, sports, learning and education, fashion, style and even some cute ideas for date night here and there!

I also have my own set of rules to keep me goal-oriented and focused. I evaluate a captured picture and what sort of message it is sending before I post it.

Another thing I do is plan my day ahead to ensure I take care of my motherly and wifely duties, and also have time to take care of business!

What are your thoughts on the concept of over-sharing? How much is too much?

I don’t believe everything should be shared. There are certain things we go through in our personal lives that don’t necessarily need to be aired for everyone to see. Respecting others’ privacy also means knowing your boundaries.

I believe in a saying in Arabic that translates to “your freedom ends when others’ freedom begins.” In a way, my freedom and what I share shouldn’t be a burden to others in any way.

The pandemic has affected lives throughout the world including UAE. What are some of the personal lessons you have learned during this time that you would like to share?

During the pandemic, I learnt to appreciate family life even more. Without my husband and kids around, I don’t think I would’ve managed to maintain high spirits. Additionally, I learnt to be more grateful for all the blessings we have been given in our lives, especially when both myself and my infant got hospitalised due to Covid.

I remember feeling desperate and helpless and couldn’t help but reflect on everything positive in our lives that I wanted us to go back to - being thankful and humble and remembering we are all humans and all in this life together, so let’s make the best of it and help each other out.

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