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Vanessa Vanderstraaten: “I Hate It When People Hashtag Their Names.”

This spunky actress-host shares her tech habits, her favourite sticker apps and why she thinks she’s the best navigator in the world

By Samantha Francis

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(Photo: Daniel Ho)

We’ve seen Vanessa Vanderstraaten strut down Orchard Road as the host for Samsung Fashion Steps Out 2016, show off her acting chops in telemovie “The Love Machine” and on Instagram with her cute photo stickers.

We speak to the multi-talented and tech-savvy 27-year-old and get the lowdown on who she’s been stalking, as well as some of her pet peeves.

Hi Vanessa! We’ve seen you on “The Love Machine” on Channel 5. Tell us, if you could build a love machine, what would it be like?

It would look like Joan Rivers and it would slap you if you’re whining about love troubles.

As I grow older, I realise the expectations many of us place on our partners border on unrealistic and naïve. Perhaps a dose of good ol’ tough love, a la Joan Rivers bon mot style, might do the trick and cause us to rethink our perspectives.


Vanessa starred with Keegan Kang in the telemovie “The Love Machine”.


Please tell us about your favourite photo apps.

My list of ‘idiot-proof’ apps include Phonto, which I use to superimpose text on photographs; Reflection, for mirror images; and Collage to put more than one image together. Sticker app PicToon is quite fun to use and will jazz up pictures!


Vanessa loves using PicToon, a sticker app.


How has life as a public figure changed for you, especially with the rise of social media?

It hasn’t changed that much although, admittedly, I do self-censor a fair bit. It’s a good lesson in “If you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say it”.

I’d say my social media accounts are 70% work, 30% personal.

What are some things you like about today’s digital world?

It’s no secret that the Internet brings people around the world closer together, and allows us to interact with people from all walks of life. I have people from the USA, Netherlands and France following me on Instagram and they often leave lovely messages of encouragement — this wouldn’t have been possible if not for the digital age.

And the same goes for me — I’m currently stalking American model / actors Nico Tortorella and Nathan Owens on Instagram.


What’s one skill you have that most people Don’t know about?

I am, without question, the best navigator in the history of the world (Christopher Columbus be damned!). Before I got my driver’s license in October last year, my job was basically to be the vehicle commander when my boyfriend drives. We’ve driven in Perth, Los Angeles and San Francisco.



Vanessa shows us her best angles in a selfie.


What’s one social media faux pas that you can’t stand?

I hate it when people hashtag their names! It’s so narcissistic.


What do you have lined up in the near future?

I have a telemovie coming out in late April called “Baby Bumps”. It’s a quirky comedy about a woman who struggles to find herself after enduring a series of losses.


Follow Vanessa Vanderstraaten on Instagram at @vanessavands


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of Weekender, Issue 150, April 15 – April 28, 2016, with the headline ‘Vanessa Vanderstraaten: “I hate it when people hashtag their names.”’.