Danielle Zavala quit her job as a preschool teacher to become a BBW model on OnlyFans and Curvage.
She spends around 20 hours a week creating content and has more time for therapy and hobbies.
Zavala spoke to Insider's Grace Dean about why she doesn't regret leaving her job last summer.
This as-told-to article is based on a conversation with Danielle Zavala, a 36-year-old big-beautiful-women model in the New Orleans area who creates content under the name Devi Thikk. It has been edited for length and clarity.
I spent five years working as a preschool teacher.
But in summer 2021 I quit my job become an OnlyFans model, and I really don't have any regrets.
I will always miss being a preschool teacher, but I feel like there's a time for everything in life. I was ready to move on and I'm enjoying this new phase of my life.
At the school, I worked around 40 hours a week. Now, as a BBW model, I only spend around 20 hours making content and promoting myself. I have a lot more free time, which has given me an opportunity to learn about myself and my interests.
I'm starting to learn the guitar and I learned how to play Magic the Gathering. I can also watch my boyfriend's band perform without worrying about having to be somewhere early the next morning.
I have also had time for therapy and taking care of my mental health, which was impossible during school. Back then I would set up therapist appointments, but it was hard to keep them because they might need me to cover for someone. This has been really life-changing.
My income isn't completely steady, but overall it's reliable. From month to month, I at least have a minimum idea of how much I'll earn. And even that minimum is more than when I was working at the school.
(Insider viewed documentation verifying that Zavala earned about 50% more in October 2022 from OnlyFans, Curvage, ManyVids, Instagram Reels, and Cash App tips than she did in four weeks over April and May 2021 at her school.)
There was a time when my boyfriend was out of work for a little while and I was able to make enough to keep us going.
I also like change and being spontaneous, which I couldn't do when I was at the school.
I went to California to visit my family and I hadn't seen them since the pandemic started. I bought a one-way ticket to see them, which of course I couldn't have done when I was working at the school. I ended up staying for a month and I could work while I was there. I've also been able to go visit my sister in Texas a couple of times.
All my friends know what I do and have been supportive the entire time.
At first my relatives concerned I was making a bad decision because I have made some impulsive decisions in the past, but I reassured them that I'm older and in a different phase of life where I'm able to set boundaries. I told them I knew what I was getting myself into and am mature enough to handle myself. I think they were still concerned, especially my mom, but they were supportive. Now they see that I am handling myself well so they seem even more supportive and comfortable with it than before.
Even though I spend the same amount of time creating content each week as I did when I started out on the site, my income has increased because I'm more known in the community and I manage my time better now. I know what I'm doing.
And I'm more confident. At the beginning I was insecure about taking pictures and I would have to reshoot things over and over or do a hundred poses before I found what I liked. I've learned how to model better now.
I upload content on three main platforms: OnlyFans, Curvage, and ManyVids. I also have made some income through Instagram Reels, and I'm probably going to start using that more. Sometimes, I get tips through sites like Cash App.
I do everything myself, though a couple of times I've had friends help me film.
On OnlyFans I upload about maybe four or five videos a month and then I try to update a lewd picture or a short video clip most days. My content includes belly play, eating, butt jiggling, dancing, and softcore masturbation.
I charge $14.99 per month. Everything is available to all my subscribers; I don't currently upload pay-per-view videos.
Even though this is my job, I feel like in general my lifestyle is very wholesome. I don't drink; I don't do any drugs; I don't smoke; I have a good, healthy relationship. Just because you're an OnlyFans model doesn't mean you're completely wild. It's just a job.
I'm not sure yet what I want to do next exactly, but I imagine myself being a model and content creator for at least another year or two.
Did you quit your job during the pandemic? Got a story? Contact this reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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