How This Teenage YouTuber Overcame Her Struggles (and Won Nearly a Million Fans)
I’m a 14-year-old beauty and lifestyle YouTuber with close to a million fans. At first glance, it probably seems like my life is easy. But let me tell you: It's not.
In third grade, I hit peak anxiety/ADD/OCD. I couldn't read and I was miserable. After school, I would run into my house and arrange every pillow, bedspread, and towel until perfectly aligned, crying if I couldn't get it right. This would go on for an hour, at least. I felt like a demon was inside of me. I wasn’t myself. I constantly felt out of place. My anxiety was taking over my body and my happiness.
I know now that my parents spent tireless hours reading about dyslexia, talking to experts, and generally consoling me. This all led to testing, tutors, and more testing, an experience that caused me even more anxiety.
During the summer between third and fourth grade, I went to a special camp (“camp” was just the word my parents used to put a “fun” spin on it) for kids with ADD and dyslexia. Looking back, the program really changed my life. The teachers were skilled specialists on learning differences, and they realized part of my problem was that I was legally blind in one eye.
I was stubborn and didn’t want to wear glasses at first. They made me dizzy and gave me headaches. But within a few months, I was used to my glasses and even started loving them. I still had dyslexia (that never goes away), but I was doing better.
My parents decided to homeschool me starting in fourth grade—something else I didn’t want to do. Even though my private school gave me so much anxiety, I didn’t want to leave my friends. Once again, my parents were right. Within a few more months of homeschooling, I started to notice I was more relaxed. I didn't fuss with the pillows and bedspread as much. By winter break, I forgot about those pillows.
Then I discovered YouTube. Since I had trouble reading, I watched YouTube videos instead of picking up books and magazines. Watching YouTube videos quickly turned into making my own.
Fast-forward to ninth grade, and I now have 800,000 followers on YouTube. I found my voice and can be open, honest, and authentic with people in a way that I never could before. I have learned to never give up and to turn a challenge into an opportunity. This year, I even started my own beauty brand and am pursuing my dreams every day.
Frilliance was born from overcoming another challenge; I started breaking out with acne and pimples, full-on teen skin. Looking for answers, I decided to research makeup ingredients to see if that could be the problem and I found that many products use ingredients that can actually cause acne and pimples or make them worse. So I made the products I wanted myself.
Reading, writing, and learning (and sometimes even zits!) are still a struggle for me, but I find creative ways to use technology to help (like Siri and dictation software). There are still—and always will be—bumps in the road, but now I can handle them. And if I can do it, you can, too.
By Fiona Frills, 14