Anna Reeve has only been in the Bay for a few weeks, but already locals say hello to her.

"I was in Mexicali Fresh and the man behind the counter said 'Hi Anna'.

"Then I went in a Mount store, and a woman said hello. Then she said 'Oops that is embarrassing, I just realised I only know you online.'" It's not surprising Reeve (nee Fitzpatrick) is stopped in the street.

Now 31, she has been one of New Zealand's most well-known models since she was 14, when she was spotted having lunch in a restaurant in Parnell. Reeve is also recognisable from our screens on New Zealand's first dedicated fashion show The Seen, which aired on ALT TV for three years. She also worked in public relations until she had her twins Oscar and Hunter - now 31/2. She is one of New Zealand's most followed instamums, and, an engaging writer, she's had her own blog for a year.


Her down-to-earth honesty about the ups and downs of life have attracted a loyal fan base, of particularly women who seem to connect to Reeve's warmth about sharing her experiences of fertility struggles, IVF, a difficult pregnancy in which she suffered from Hyperemesis gravidarum, causing her to uncontrollably vomit up to 30 times a day, and being a busy mum of twins who even have their own Instagram account - Reeve Nuggets.

When she wrote about her tummy tuck six months ago it 'broke the internet'.

"My blog server went down because there was so much traffic. It's something that I know many mums might be considering, or just want to know about."

Reeve's authenticity about everyday draws followers and brands to her.

While she has an agent who handles the commercial side of what she puts online, and her social media following "helps provide for her family", she only aligns herself with brands she believes in.

Self worth comes from within and how you feel about yourself. How you look, it doesn't define you.


"I wouldn't promote a breakfast cereal with 100 grams of sugar, because I would never eat something like that full of crap...I never thought of myself as mummy blogger...I have good numbers, and awesome people I engage with, but I don't like to say I am a top influencer. I don't think of my social media as a proper job but it definitely takes work.

It's just sharing my day to day life with people but then when I do have to create content and work with brands I definitely take it as seriously as a job, as I have to create content those brands are happy with, as well as content that my followers find interesting. "

Her honesty is reflected in posts just after she moved to the Bay when she admitted to feeling out of sorts.

"I definitely felt a bit lonely. I was a bit teary in the second week here, being in a new town. There was crappy weather, I couldn't get the kids out, they were losing mind, so I was losing my mind! I didn't post for four days. I would rather not post that force a fake smile and stage a photo that wasn't true. Same with the kids - I might grab a photo of them in a cute outfit, but I would never stage it, I just take things in situ."

She and the family are settling in to a city that they are no stranger too. Her husband - radio host and former MTV DJ Jay Reeve - grew up here, his parents are here, and Jay was a teacher at Tauranga Boys' College before his media career.

The twins have settled into a local kindy and started swimming lessons, and the family is renting a friend's Mount house a short stroll from the beach. It is a quieter life than Auckland, but the Reeves are busy focusing on their businesses - not just on social media but a wine business, Master of Ceremonies, and a beer line cleaning business, Cellar Control.

Ninety-nine per cent of my modelling I did bald. That was the look they wanted ... New Zealand has always been a bit edgier fashion wise.


Already Anna is getting stuck into the Bay scene, speaking yesterday at the annual Ladies Charity Lunch. She is Global Alopecia Ambassador, having had the autoimmune disease Alopecia Universallis - which attacks hair follicles causing total body hair loss - since she was 7 years old.

Bullied at school for her "terrible, puffy wigs", ironically it was her unique bald look - with no eyebrows or lashes, that catapulted her into the modelling limelight.

Wearing her wig when the model spotter from 62 Models approached her, Reeve thought they would'nt be interested when she told them she had no hair. In fact it was this trait that became her trademark.

"I took off my wig, and they went 'wow'."

After years of hiding her condition, she ended up modelling predominantly wigless in photo shoots and runway shows for New Zealand's top designers.

"Ninety-nine per cent of my modelling I did bald. That was the look they wanted ... New Zealand has always been a bit edgier fashion wise. It was the time of that edgier look, with magazines like Pulp and Pavement, so for my look it was the perfect storm."

Having her bald head admired was a big change at first for the "meek, timid" teenager who was taunted at school for her "terrible wigs".

"Kids are really mean. It did hurt. I'm glad I didn't have social media then as at least when you left school each day you leave it at school. I would hate to experience it today when bullies today can still taunt and reach you at home.

"It's funny how a title changes people's opinions. Suddenly I went from Anna the bald girl people teased, to Anna the model people wanted to know - it's a silly world we live in." Modelling helped her learn that "beautiful doesn't fit in a certain box" and it's a life lesson she tries to share with others.

"Self worth comes from within and how you feel about yourself. How you look, it doesn't define you."

She is totally comfortable still with being bald or wearing wigs. "I don't mind people seeing me without a wig at all. But sometimes I wear my wig just to make day-to-day life easier when I just want to get on with my day and don't want to be this bald girl walking through a supermarket getting sympathy looks because people think I have cancer. Plus wigs are a necessity - it's cold in winter and my head would fry in summer."

Her 'hair' - she has about three wigs - gets a lot of admiration. The wigs are made in Dunedin by a New Zealand company Freedom Wigs, run by a family with an alopecia sufferer.

"They make a 3D scan of your head to make a silicon mould, they use real virgin hair - up to 15 ponytails donated by young women or men - which is then hand threaded on. "They stay on by pushing out the air which creates a vacuum. I can go upside down, I've bungy jumped in them, and they won't come off unless you put your thumb in it."

At $2700 upwards, they are not cheap, and only last two to three years. But they're a big step from the "puffy wigs" she wore growing up which could easily fly off. When she met husband Jay, he knew about her condition.

The couple have been together eight years, and married five. With their media life not the nine-to-five, Jay has got to be a hands on dad to the twins to help Anna.

"Which is great because as any mum with twins - or just any mum knows, life is chaos at times."