Between winning this summer’s ITV dating show, Love Island, and recently being announced as the latest contestant to join the upcoming series of Dancing On Ice, Ekin-Su has not had a chance to sit still. Here, the actress tells Suzanne Baum how she has managed to stay grounded, despite her feet barely touching the floor.

At the launch of her new collection with clothing brand Oh Polly, Ekin-Su seems relatively relaxed, despite the fact her life since leaving the villa has been a whirlwind of interviews, fashion shoots, business trips and collaborations. As exhausting and exhilarating as it sounds, it seems the 28-year-old is taking it all in her stride – even in her five inch heels!

Here, she tells Women’s Fitness how a combination of gym workouts, daytime naps and inner confidence helps her cope with life in the limelight.

Related: Janette Manrara: ‘I’m just a girl who likes to dance!’

ekin-su oh polly

‘I absolutely love everything the brand [Oh Polly] stands for – never mind the fact the clothes are incredible!’ (Photo by Owen DeValk. The Ekin-Su x Oh Polly collection is available at

You must get asked to work with brands all the time. What is it about Oh Polly that appealed to you?

Ekin-Su: ‘I absolutely love everything the brand stands for – never mind the fact the clothes are incredible! A large portion of its donations go towards their charity in Cambodia, The Brannerson Foundation, and I love the fact that Oh Polly helps to support a number of children in one of the poorest regions in the world.

‘I have also seen what it’s like to work behind the scenes at the brand: the staff are treated so nicely and everyone is so humble. I cannot stand people with egos and nobody has an ego here.’

Talking about egos, you don’t seem to have one despite becoming one of the most famous women on the planet since leaving Love Island. What has life in the public eye been like since you left the villa?

Ekin-Su: ‘I know fame can change people, but I’m not like that at all – I absolutely love meeting my fans and being asked for selfies, as I appreciate everything in life.

‘I think my upbringing really helped me to remain as the same person I’ve always been, because I was never given anything on a plate. I learnt about hard work after university, as I went straight into the world of finance and my parents always encouraged me to have a strong work ethic. Also, I think I see the way my mother’s work as a counsellor helps people through hard times and that I admire so much.’

Your passion for fitness was evident throughout your time on Love Island. How do you manage to keep fit these days with such a busy work schedule?

Ekin-Su: ‘Yes, I have always loved exercise and especially now, as fitness helps my mental health and keeps it in check. For me, working out is not solely to lose a pound here or there – it is about keeping my mind focused. It’s also a time when I am not talking or scrolling on my phone.

‘I love to lift weights as it makes me feel strong. I love the gym, but appreciate not everyone has access to one. So, I always encourage people who are starting out with fitness to just get their body moving – you could even just go for a walk! The benefits of fitness are huge. My mother always tries to encourage her clients to do some form of fitness, as it can prove so powerful in helping your brain to stop over thinking.

‘My fitness routine is all over the place these days as my work is so manic, so you’ll probably find me in the gym at 2am as it is the only time I have free. I try and have a nap in the day if I can, which may sound strange but I need it to help energise me. Power naps are great!

Related: Anti-ageing fitness: benefits of exercising as you age

ekin-su chats to suzanne baum

Ekin-Su chats to Suzanne Baum about the benefits of keeping active.

When it comes to your own mental health, has it been difficult being thrusted into the spotlight?

Ekin-Su: ‘I swear by confidence and being a confident woman has helped me so much to cope with life outside the villa. I’m not talking about an arrogant type of confidence, but one I have learnt to grow through various stages of my life. Being bullied at school made me grow in confidence after such a knock-back. I had to learn to stand up for myself.’

And finally, with a platform of over three million followers on Instagram, do you feel pressured to veto your content in anyway?

Ekin-Su: ‘Everything I do on my Instagram is real and authentic. I have to be honest as I know young girls look up to me. I may have used the odd filter years ago, but now I like to keep everything filter-free and show the real me, without anything altered to make my face look different.

‘My plan is to keep everything natural and embrace what I have, as sending that message to my young fans is so important. I want them to be able to look in the mirror and think they are beautiful on the inside and out. My goal is to get people to embrace what they have and not necessarily feel the need to have lip fillers and other work done to them.’

Ekin-Su is the face of Oh Polly. For more details of her latest collection, visit

Words: Suzanne Baum | Images: Owen DeValk (for The Ekin-Su x Oh Polly collection)