LOVE Island's Molly-Mae Hague has insisted that she still would have had the same success even if she hadn't appeared on the hit reality show.
The reality star, 22, shot to fame on ITV2’s Love Island in 2019 when she and boyfriend Tommy Fury, also 22, finished second.
Nearly three years on from her appearance on the series, Molly has seen her career as an influencer reach new heights, launched her own fake-tan brand and has also become the creative director of Pretty Little Thing.
However, the YouTuber believes that she didn't need Love Island to be successful, claiming that she would have hit a million followers through "hard work".
"There was a side of me that thought, I can actually do this without going on this show," Molly-Mae said on The Diary of a CEO podcast.
"I know I’ll be fine either way. My following was growing rapidly.
"I think I was about 170,000 followers at that point and that was all organic growth.
"There was no TV shows or anything. I’d say now if I hadn’t gone on the show I’d like to say I’d still be hitting a million followers because I had that really good work ethic with my Instagram."
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However, Molly-Mae has given Love Island some credit, saying that the show helped to skyrocket her career.
"But the show just sort of… it just elevated me," she continued.
"When you come off that show you’re all on a level playing field and it’s totally up to you where you go with it, and I just knew that I wanted to go to levels that no-one had ever gone to.
"And that’s why I never really speak about it, because I just feel like I don’t owe… that’s not the reason why I am where I am now.
"Yeah it gave me a platform, yeah it elevated me, but the things I’ve done now are not because of Love Island. They’re because of me and what I decided to do with my work ethic."
The businesswoman is thought to be worth around £2million, with the PLT deal being worth seven figures.
Despite this, Molly has now been branded "tone deaf" by some after comments on The Diary Of A CEO podcast last month in which she hit out at past criticism.
She said: “You’re given one life and it’s down to you what you do with it. You can literally go in any direction.
"When I’ve spoken about that in the past I have been slammed a little bit, with people saying 'it’s easy for you to say that because you’ve not grown up in poverty, so for you to sit there and say we all have the same 24 hours in a day is not correct.'
"But, technically, what I’m saying is correct. We do," the TV personality continued.
"So I understand that we all have different backgrounds and we’re all raised in different ways and we do have different financial situations, but I do think if you want something enough, you can achieve it.
"It just depends to what lengths you want to go to get where you want to be in the future. And I’ll go to any lengths.
"I’ve worked my absolute a**e off to get where I am now," she concluded.
In light of Molly's comments resurfacing online, many have taken to social media to air their grievances with her grafting sentiments, pointing out that she went on one of the UK's biggest reality shows and had endorsement deals waiting for her.
One tweeted: “She literally just went on a TV dating show and got brand deals, I’m not sure she 'worked here a**e off'".
"So funny that people have gassed her up so much that she feels comfortable to be able to say this," another remarked. "She’s always been well off and for her to say this is so tone deaf."
A third shared: "Ngl I like Molly Mae but if you’ve never been in poverty you’ll never know how hard getting out of poverty is, it’s an endless cycle.
"Yes life is what you make of it but it also helps when you don’t need to stress about what you or your family are having for dinner."
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