First Published August 2022
Back in March we brought you Part 1 of our chat with Laois social media star LOUISE CODY. The lip-sync specialist, podcaster, influencer, model, and fitness fanatic is heading for a whopping 20k followers on Instagram, while over on her TikTok, she’s already broken through the 80k followers mark. If you’re not already following Louise, then do yourself a favour and change that today. Her sense of fun is infectious, and her positivity and humour will bring moments of joy to your day no matter what else is going on in your life, or indeed, in the world.
On top of all that, Louise is simply one of the most lovely and soundest people you could ever meet. Who she is on her Instagram and TikTok, is who she is in ‘real life’ too. Louise has earned her social media status by being herself, and just bringing the rest of us along for the ride. If the right opportunities come her way, Louise will become a household name, you can count on that. And she’ll deserve every ounce of success that comes her way.
Part 2 of our chat is coming to you a little bit later than originally intended. But, as luck would have it, it’s also perfect timing to coincide with Louise’s involvement in the Aer Lingus College Football classic between Northwestern Wildcats and Nebraska Cornhuskers that took place in Dublin’s Avia Stadium last weekend. Knowing that she was a long-time fan of the ‘gridiron’ game, it was something I had to ask her about back when we met.
“Well firstly, the Packers are not my team, they’re Sean’s. The [Las Vegas] Raiders are my team. So you didn’t do your research! [Laughs]”
Apologising for my error, I pointed out that I had seen Taz (more on him soon!) in a Packers jersey somewhere…
“At that point I didn’t have a Raiders jersey, but I do now [laughs]. When I was growing up, my older brother listened to an awful lot of rap music, and N.W.A. and Dr. Dre were known for wearing the Raiders merch. And I was obsessed with that merch! I’d be watching the music videos and I’d be going, ‘What is that?! With the little pirate skull on it?!’ [Laughs]. And from there I was just obsessed with it. They’re not the best team…they’re probably not going to win anything. But we’re hopeful, there’s always hope! But they’re my team!”
After her very successful spell as one of the anchors on the Off The Laois podcast, would Louise have any plans or ambitions to take on more projects like that, more on the media side of things and in the public eye?
“In terms of being more in the media, I’m actually currently studying for a professional diploma in digital marketing to move more in that direction. I’m gonna move out of finance completely, I think. As my TikTok and my following grew, I spoke with some people who told me, ‘Oh, you could definitely do this [kind of thing]’, and that planted seeds in my mind about things that I would have never pushed myself to do. It’s never going to be a thing where I stop working, I don’t want to do that. I can’t be idle, to be honest [laughs]. I don’t think I could be a full-time content-creator because I don’t think there’d be enough in my day. But at least in going and doing this course, at least I’ll have some kind of leg to stand on in terms of education behind it. So yeah, in terms of working more in the media, I would absolutely love to do more of that. It’s taken me a long time to find what my strengths are, I’ve kind of just been plodding along, but I think that’s definitely where I need to be.”
As well as everything Louise does on social media, plus her involvement with the OTL podcast at the time of our chat, she also works full-time, seems to know her way around a farm (as her followers will be aware), models for K1 clothing, plays GAA, and is in the gym – by her own admission – “every day!” And on top of all of that, which I did know about before we met, I had just discovered that Louise was studying as well. So apart from her coffee – which her followers will also know she loves with a passion – where, in God’s name, does she get the energy to do so much?
“I got it from my dad! He’s the exact same. When he wakes up in the morning, there’s a pep in his step. I’m literally buzzing when I wake up in the morning. I mean, my eyes mightn’t be fully open, but I’m still like, ‘Yeaaaaaah!’ [Laughs]. I’ve always been like that. And I’ve always compared myself to a puppy, a puppy with the zoomies, constantly. And yes, coffee does help! But I think I’m so used to drinking coffee now at this stage that I don’t even drink it for caffeine, it’s just because I like the taste of it, it’s not even for the kick! [Laughs].”
At the time of our chat, I’d recently seen Louise drink something that was the equivalent of eighteen espressos (three drinks that had six espressos in each). I suggested that this surely helped with the pep in her step as well?
“Yeah, BUT, I kinda look at it like, is there really six espressos in this? Or is it like Uncle Ben’s rice where it says it serves two but it actually serves just one, ya know? [Laughs].
Louise had mentioned earlier in our chat that organisation was a big thing in her life. I wondered if having that particular character trait proved helpful in managing and balancing everything that she does?
“The thing is, I AM so organised, BUT, if you saw my workspace you would think HOW is this person organised?! [Laughs]. Because I’m like chaos! There’s mess everywhere. But in my head, everything has to be structured. Even on my days off, I hate sitting around. I can’t relax, I have to be doing something.”
Louise has that kind of vibe or aura about her that’s almost old-school Hollywood, in the sense that if you see her in a photo or a video with others, there’s never any doubt who the ‘star’ is. And it’s not because of any particular way that Louise acts, it’s just down to her presence. Charisma, I guess, is another way of describing it. However, there’s always an exception that proves every rule, isn’t there. And for Louise, it’s anytime she’s with a certain gorgeous German shepherd called Taz, the Cody family pet!
“Then he’s the star! [laughs]. Taz is three, he’s a long-haired German shepherd, and he’s a big fella, 60kg. He’s a big boy! I actually have a video of me trying to lift him, and I couldn’t. And I can lift a lot of weight in terms of deadlifting and squatting, but I cannot lift that dog! And Sean, my brother, is 6′ 5”, so when you see the size of Taz beside him, you’re like, daaammmn! [laughs]. Originally when I started posting on TikTok, I thought Taz was going to make me famous, I was posting with him all the time but it just wasn’t going anywhere. Now it’s better that I have him just occasionally showing up. And I have people going, ‘Oh, we’re here for the dog!’ [Laughs]. We had a dog before Taz, and we had him for fifteen years, but he had a stroke on Christmas Eve and he had to be put to sleep. It was the worst Christmas ever. It took us, I think it was a year and a half to two years, to convince mam and dad to get another dog. We were constantly looking. We got Taz and he’s been an absolute character from day-one. Now, he was a nightmare – an absolute nightmare! – to train, and there were so many times where mam lost her head and was like, ‘Jesus, if we were to do it all again, we wouldn’t do it at all!’ [laughs]. But she loves him! And as he’s grown and matured, he’s gotten bigger, definitely, and more majestic looking. And he’s gotten so much more personality. The way he looks at me at times, he’s nearly human, rolling his eyes at me [laughs]. I started his Instagram page because when we got him, my page became totally Taz. And I definitely have a lot of people that follow me that don’t like dogs, so I started his own page, one dedicated to him, rather than have my page being taken over by him. So that’s where his own Instagram page came from!”
I point out to Louise that if she has people following her who don’t like dogs, then she doesn’t need…
“…those people in my life, I know! [Laughs]. I don’t trust them! They’re there, but I don’t trust them [laughs].”
Everything that Louise posts on her TikTok is so obviously for fun, and with the intention of putting a smile on peoples’ faces. And in doing that, Louise is clearly just enjoying herself, and comes across as the loveliest of people, very genuine, very funny, very sweet, and exceptionally talented. Given all of that, it’s almost crazy to think of any abuse coming her way for any reason at all. But sadly, come her way, it does. Why, I wondered, does Louise think some people have to be such – to be frank about it – assholes? And also, how does she look after herself in this regard, as far as her spirit and her mental health goes, so that none of that stuff gets in on her?
“When it started, I would have to take social media breaks. Like, for a week, or even two weeks. It was really getting to me. And I actually suffer quite a bit with anxiety. So I could feel myself building up to like a panic attack, and that’s where I’d be like, right, ok, stop. And I’d come off the app. And I’d nearly be afraid to post then after that. It was David Cuddy who gave me some really good advice. He said, ‘Don’t read the comments, even the good ones. Because the good ones set you up to think you’re only going to get good comments, but then when you get a bad one – even if it is just one – it knocks ya.’ Now, even with my TikTok, because I have started giving 100% me, when I do get trolls it’s a lot more hurtful because it actually is me [that people are seeing], it’s not like a persona that I hide behind. It’s the people that I spend time with in my close circle, that I sit down and watch telly with, that are actually IN my life, their opinions matter to me. These other people – trolls – are never going to be that close to me that I should be worried about what they think about me. Honestly, that mindset, and David Cuddy‘s advice, has saved me a lot of headaches and over-thinking because it was hard at the start. I don’t know if you’ve noticed on a few of my recent videos, I’ll go on a roll of sending nearly sneery comments back, really funny, dry humour [laughs]. And that does quite well, everybody liking my comments [laughs].”
Going back to psychology, which Louise has studied, I wanted to know what made her want to go in that direction? And, has it helped her to understand everybody she meets, and of course, herself?!
“I’m the best at giving anyone advice! It’s when it comes to taking advice…! [Laughs]. My whole childhood growing up, all I wanted to be was a guard like my dad. I wanted to follow in his footsteps. As I got older, that job – being a Guard – it changed. It became an awful lot more dangerous. He never told me not to do it, it was more like well, proceed with caution and maybe think about something else as well. So, I absolutely loved animals – and I know you’re thinking now, where is this goin’?! [laughs] – but I was a typical teenager, didn’t know what I wanted to do! But I loved animals! Decided I wanted to be a vet, but didn’t get the points to be one. So I went to UCD to do science. But that was so generalised, it wasn’t honed in on one subject, and that was too much for me. I was doing an elective in psychology and I really liked it. I ended up dropping out of UCD, and going back to do psychology. At the start I wanted to do forensics, kind of have some involvement with the law, ya know, follow in dad’s footsteps in some way. But as I got more into it, I realised you’d have to be a clinical psychologist, which is ten years of study, before you could branch off into forensics. And I wasn’t willing to do that. Then I wanted to do sports psychology because I loved sports! I don’t know why I really liked psychology. I know this is really hard to believe now, but I was painfully shy in secondary school. Psychology really intrigued me, and it made me learn a lot about myself. That forced me to push myself into situations that I would have stood back from before. And, it also made me an awful lot better with understanding people, their behaviours. Now, I never ended up actually pursuing psychology [laughs]. I was working in Kildare Village in my final year, travelling up there working trying to pay for my final year. I finished the course, but then I saw a job for the bank, and it was Monday to Friday – something I didn’t even know existed because I worked in retail for so long! – and I got in there. I’ve always been good with maths, that was my strong point in school. But I realised it was going to be a fairly mundane job, with no real challenge to it, so I pursued finance up in Dublin and that’s where I have been since.”
Why had Louise been so shy in secondary school?
“I was bullied in primary school and I think from that, I was always very self-conscious, very quiet and afraid of what people thought of me. The bullying got to me and I probably never really dealt with it. So I always probably felt like I had to be liked by everyone. But in doing that, I didn’t put myself in situations where I could possibly be disliked, or really be myself. I remember meeting girls on nights out at home when I was in college, and they’d be like, ‘I honestly thought you were stuck-up in school’, but that was because I was so quiet. That’s a common misconception I’ve come across with a lot of people who thought that about me. Because I was so quiet. And everytime I say that to anyone, they’re always, ‘You?! Quiet? No way!’ [Laughs]. It’s taken an awful lot to get me where I am now.”
We couldn’t possibly chat to Louise without getting onto the subject of half-zips! Because with Louise, it’s fair to say that they’re a bit of a thing!
“I don’t even know how to explain this [sighs and laughs]. I would literally live in sports gear. When I started posting on TikTok, I was always wearing sports gear or baggy clothes, and I continued to do that because I felt my content was being seen for what it was rather than me being sexualised. Because there’s a lot of women on that platform who go that route. And also, sports gear is me, like. This is the first time I’ve worn jeans in ages, because I’ve never been to this hotel before [laughs], and I was like, ‘Can I wear a half-zip and leggings? Maybe not!’ [Laughs]. I just love sports gear and half-zips just happened to be on a video that did very well. Then I created the any-half-zips hashtag. And to be honest, I created it as a way of tracking my views. So I put it on all my videos. If a brand or anyone came to work with me, and I had to produce my views, if you click in on #anyhalfzips, there’s like thirteen million views. And then I started hash-tagging my own user-name as well, Classy Cody, so that that was drawing in views as well. I did a Q+A when I hit 11k on Instagram, and one of the 2 Johnnies, Johnny B, messaged me on it and he was like, ‘How many half-zips DO ya have?!’ [Laughs].”
To bring our chat to a close, it was time to hit Louise with some quick-fire questions. So, to begin with, who is someone that Louise would really look up to?
“My dad. Always my number-one. Redmond is his name, but everyone calls him ‘Red’. He’s my hero. My absolute hero. There’s no way to describe what he means to me. I look at the way he treats my mum, Marcella, and I think that’s the kind of man I want in my life! He’s a role-model in every way, in terms of his work-ethic, how he treats my mum, how he treats us…he’d go to the ends of the earth for us.”
What’s the best advice that Louise has ever been given?
“Aw Jesus! That I’ve taken? [Laughs]. Honestly, to date, I have to say David Cuddy‘s advice regarding social media and how to deal with it. When I reached twenty-thousand followers on TikTok, he reached out to me by himself – off his own bat, I hadn’t even anything to do with the podcast (both Louise and David were hosts on the OTL podcast) we didn’t know each other – and he was like, ‘If you need advice with anything, I’d be happy to help because no-one helped me.’ Because it’s very easy to get screwed over, even by brands. You can just be – for some of them – someone to make money off of. I was blown away by his kindness. Best thing to walk into my life. As much as people don’t like him at times [laughs]. It’s not easy to have an opinion anymore on social media, with cancel culture. He can be very brash! [Laughs].”
What advice would Louise give to her younger self?
“Don’t take life too seriously. I wasted too much time caring about what people thought of me, and trying to maintain relationships and friendships with people who didn’t deserve to be in my life. I think once I realised my own value, rather than trying to keep people, that was the biggest thing for me. Not to waste time on meaningless sh*t [laughs].”
Does Louise believe in having regrets? In the sense that you’ll often hear some people state quite categorically that they simply don’t, because either “everything happens for a reason”, or “everything that’s happened has helped to make me who I am”, and so forth.
“Well, I definitely have regrets. How many times have I woke up on a Sunday morning and I’m like, ‘Regrrrrrettts!!!’ [laughs]. I definitely do regret things, but at the same time, they’ve brought me to where I am. My mam has always said – to the point where my brother has said he’s getting it tattooed on him! – she says it this often, ‘What’s for ya, won’t pass ya’. She always says that to us, no matter what’s goin’ on, whether it’s good or bad, what’s for ya won’t pass ya! Any regrets that I have, [I believe] they happened for a reason. Everything happens for a reason.”
What annoys Louise most about herself? And, what annoys her most about other people?
“About myself? Hmmm. Probably my overthinking, to be honest. It comes hand-in-hand with being anxious. There’s certain times where I will just wind myself up. And then I’ll come down, and I’ll be like, ‘Why?! Why did I do that?! There was absolutely no reason!’ It could be something like, ‘Oh, when am I gonna have kids? But what if I can’t have kids?!’ And that becomes this vicious cycle where I just think of everything. Any over-thinker listening to that will understand. That’s the most annoying thing about myself for me, that I would wind myself up. That’s why I don’t let myself be idle. If I’m idle, I over-think. That’s one of my toxic traits, and I don’t like it [laughs].”
And in other people?
“Lack of respect. That’s a massive thing for me. It’s a very good question. I would be the kind of person to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I would try to see the good in everyone. And it’s when someone would take advantage of that, I would see that as disrespect. A lot of people would see me as being quite nice, but with me being like that, you can leave yourself open to being walked over, which has happened. Then I’m there kicking myself. But I get really angry about the disrespect. That’s a massive pet-peeve for me, that lack of consideration, of respect, for other human beings.”
And finally, to end things on an upbeat note, in more ways than one, I wondered if there was a song, or perhaps songs, that always make Louise feel better when she hears them?
“[Laughs] Yeah, I put it up today (on her stories), N.E.R.D., ‘Lemon’. It’s my good-mood song, it literally just gets me groovin’ straight off the bat! There’s no history to it as to why, it’s just a vibey song, it’s my go-to song. I have so many gym playlists and it’s on every single one of them. As much as I would rotate songs, that song is one every single one of those playlists. That, and ‘Last Christmas’, at Christmas, that’s my favourite Christmas song! [Laughs]. That goes into rotation in December!”
~ You can follow LOUISE on Instagram and on TikTok by searching CLASSY CODY.