Adelia Killian’s marketing instincts kicked in early.
At the age of 10, Killian, whose birth name was Lauren, knew that her middle name, Adelia, fit her better. At the age of 18, she officially changed her name to Adelia.
“Adelia always felt more ‘me,’” she says. “In school, I was never the only Lauren and I always loved how unique Adelia is. I quickly attached my identity to it.”
On Instagram, Killian posts about plus-sized fashion and her personal life – with the streets of Cincinnati and her bright, airy apartment as the backdrop – to more than 15,600 followers. Her TikTok audience of almost 200,000 followers receives similar content, including videos about “romanticizing” the Midwest, how to dress trendy at any size and content for expectant mothers.
“I love variety,” Killian says. “I never want to pigeonhole myself into just one area of content.”
Before Killian’s career moved to TikTok and Instagram, she started a blog called “She Laughs” in January 2018 while attending Miami University in Oxford. The blog, which Killian still runs, is about lifestyle, health, beauty and fashion.
At Miami, she was on the pre-med track and majored in philosophy and French, but after about a year of running her blog, Killian decided to go a different route. She got a corporate job in influencer marketing after graduating in 2019, one that she says particularly prepared her to become an influencer.
“If you’re not going viral, if you’re not developing a brand or platform early, then it might not happen,” Killian says.
When Killian rebooted her TikTok in May 2021, she had planned videos and a strategy of building her brand. Just a month later, her TikTok about wearing whatever you want at any size went viral.
“I feel like everyone’s story these days sounds like this, but basically, I blew up on TikTok one time and then everything changed,” Killian says.
Being online does come with its downsides, though – especially as a plus-size content creator. Though Killian has received negative and bullying comments about her body, she says that she is able to deal with it because of an eating disorder when she was young.
“I recovered at a very young age, so with that I had zero tolerance with body shaming,” Killian says. “I was going through puberty already fed up with diet culture, with fat shaming and anything of the sort. When I first launched my website and my brand, I wanted it to be less about lifestyle and a lot more about positivity, about growth and about confidence. I wanted to be the ‘inspo-Pinterest-girly’ for bigger people.”
Though Killian feels confident with her body and her image, there are some things she wishes she would have been clearer about when she first gained a following on TikTok.
“For me, as a creator, I wish I was much more comfortable and open about fatphobia and other struggles of being in a bigger body,” she says. “I wish I was more open in the beginning or more ready to take down the bullshit, if you will.”
Killian and her husband, Connor, recently announced that they’re expecting their first child, just a few months after she was laid off from her corporate job and decided to make content full-time in July 2022. This was a change she had considered since March of this year.
“For me, I first considered going full-time back in March this year when I had one month of blog income that surpassed the income I had with my day job,” she wrote on her blog, She Laughs, in September 2022. “I quickly ignored that thought in my head because while I was reaching some smaller goals with my business, those ‘good months’ as I call them were still too sporadic. At the time, the idea of holding onto predictable income seemed like the smart thing to do.”
The decision was made for her when she was laid off.
“I knew this was the sign I needed to go full-time,” she wrote. “I had hoped to have a more stable financial picture, but the past few months of planning and strategizing campaigns and other projects has me significantly more hopeful for our future.”
Now, as an expecting mother, Killian is clear about how that might change her content and platform.
“I want to share cute little family moments here or there, but I’m against family vlogging,” she says.
Family vlogging, in which social media influencers film and share details about their partner and children, increasingly has been seen as controversial, Killian notes.
The influencer knows that “small details can cause massive problems,” such as a picture of her child wearing a school insignia, a street sign in the background or even sharing her child’s favorite color. “A person could go up to my child and pretend they know me and know them because they know these little details,” Killian says.
The privacy and safety of her child is of utmost importance to Killian.
Killian says her child will get to decide whether or not they want to be in videos when they’re 14 years old. Until then, she says she will continue to share the types of content that has gotten her to where she is now.
Killian says she wants two things to come across to TikTok users who find her while casually scrolling.
“One, I want people to understand that insecurity is a waste of time. Two, I want people to leave with a nugget of wisdom around personal style and fashion,” Killian says. “I want to instill confidence. And I want to encourage people to look at themselves and appreciate themselves for who they are.”
Learn more about Adelia Killian on Instagram and TikTok by searching for @adelialaughs. Info: adelialaughs.com.
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