Tiffany Stanley was a household name in her native Ireland as a pageant girl, but was willing to leave behind everything she’s ever known for a new life in Hollywood.
The sought-after model has since appeared on the pages of Esquire, GQ and Maxim, as well as caught the attention of Sports Illustrated with her barely-there swimsuits, but the former beauty queen insisted her road to success as a coveted pinup has been anything but easy.
Fox News spoke with Stanley about her journey to Hollywood, dealing with harassment and how she handles all those DMs from athletes.
Fox News: How did you end up competing for Miss Universe Ireland in 2010?
Tiffany Stanley: As a little girl, all I wanted to be was a model. I was very glamorous, I loved hair and makeup. But the first modeling agency I went to rejected me because they said I was too short and too curvy. Back in those days, it [was] all about being super thin.
I thought I never would have a chance at this, so I entered pageants. I went on to Miss Universe Ireland… It was good for my confidence because I didn’t think I was able to do it. I just wasn’t what the industry wanted at the time. And from there I just got booked a lot. I was in a corporate job, I had just finished college. So after the finals, everything started taking off. I gave up the corporate job and went on the modeling path full-time after that.
Fox News: Women in Hollywood have been coming forward with stories of being assaulted. Are you ever worried about having to deal with sexual harassment on the job?
Stanley: Yes. Unfortunately, it is true. You can be on a shoot and a certain photographer – you can just sense the energy changing. You can feel a certain sexual tension in the air. Not with every photographer, but there are some. I’m not going to lie, in LA, there are some photographers that do take advantage of girls. Some of my friends, they’ve been in situations where the photographer tries to get them to drink straight alcohol and encourage them to do more risqué shots than they were comfortable with.
I would just advise any young girls getting into this business to be very aware of it and not to drink on shoots because you don’t want the situation to get out of control. You really have to be confident, be direct and be all about business. Set your time for the shoot, leave on time and even bring a friend. There are ways to avoid it. You can definitely still work in the industry and just avoid those situations if you think ahead.
Fox News: Why did you leave behind Ireland for Hollywood in 2014?
Stanley: I grew up in a tiny village and the nearest shop is like a five mile drive. It was just an isolated farm town. So for me to come from a village lifestyle to LA was a culture shock. But I remember just being at home one day and booking my ticket to LA. I just remember being so nervous because I didn’t have any friends. Not one. I didn’t know anyone. But I remember sitting on the plane thinking, “You’ve got to try this.” It was a mixture of nerves, being scared and overwhelmed. I’ve never even been in a city that size.
Fox News: Can we expect a collaboration with Sports Illustrated?
Stanley: Yes, I hope so! We’re hopefully working towards that. That’s one of my main goals. I’ve been featured on Maxim covers, GQ as well. So I’ve been busy already, but Sport’s Illustrated is on the top of my list.
Fox News: What was it like shooting your Maxim cover just last year?
Stanley: The photoshoot took about two hours. We changed bikinis maybe three-four times… It became a six-page spread with the cover shot. That was a really great opportunity. It’s very hard to land the cover of a magazine these days because there’s so much competition. I was so excited to see my picture on the cover because I’m a huge fan of Maxim.
I’ve been on Maxim Australia, but to see my first cover out for Maxim Africa was a real defining moment for me. Especially when I was told years ago that I would never make it as a model. So to then get featured in Sport’s Illustrated, GQ and Maxim, when I was told in my home country that I wouldn’t make it because I was too short, it was wonderful. If you work hard and put effort in what you do and focus on a goal, you can achieve anything. For me, it was a special moment.
Fox News: It’s been reported a lot of celebrities, especially athletes, like to send you DMs on Instagram.
Stanley: God, they’re so many that come through on Instagram and Snapchat. Guys will just be like, “Hey, you wanna come see me in Chicago” or wherever their team is based. In my head I’m like, “I’ve never met you. I’m not just going to hop on a plane somewhere.” There’s thousands of messages that come in every day and it’s hard to even open them. I can’t read all of them, but all sorts of stuff come in.
I also get a lot of inappropriate photos, but not from celebrities or people that you would know. Obviously they wouldn’t do that. But a lot of fans try to get my attention by sending very, very inappropriate pictures. I sometimes respond to nice people who are sweet… but I generally don’t have time because there’s literally thousands of different messages. It’s hard to keep up with it all.