Wednesday, June 13, 2012

YouTube Videos + High School Drama = One Hot Mess

"It's not okay what happened to you, but it's not okay for it to wreck you."

Hey everyone! So I was recently told some really inspiring and happy news about something that involved a very tough time for me during the majority of my high school experience - and it regarded my makeup videos. I'm going to jump right into this story and get down to the nitty gritty stuff, so here we go! :)

It all started when I was 15. I developed a passion for makeup that was more than the average girl my age - and it seemed to come out of nowhere. I had always enjoyed the occasional lip gloss or blush, but it's like all of a sudden, I started to collect makeup, learn more and more about it, how to apply it better, and I wanted to share my passion with the world - and that's where YouTube came into play.

The username was (and still is) MakeupByLaurenAnne. I wanted it to be short, sweet, and to the point - something with makeup in it, and who was doing it. My first name is Lauren, middle name Anne. So it was perfect. (I was also at an age when I still didn't want my last name and face out on the crazy world called the internet)

February 22, 2009. That was when I first started my makeup account. For a good while, I didn't show my face in any part of the videos. I would set up a pretty, purple throw/blanket on my bedroom floor, prop my camera facing downward on my little $15 tripod, and press record. In my early videos, all you saw were my hands and arms as I showed the viewers the product I was talking about while you heard my voice. It's funny, because looking back, my voice sounds weird because it's behind the camera instead of in front of it. Oh well, it worked - for the most part. I always had those people who wouldn't stop pressuring me to show my face. I would get insulted and put down for not doing so - but I was not doing it until I was ready to. And I didn't. Until it came time...

July 21, 2009. That was the date that I decided it was time to show my face and start making videos that way. I'd like to make very clear that I did not do this due to any peer pressure or what people were saying - I simply grew up a little, wanted more views, and wanted to do what my favorite beauty gurus were doing, too. I even had the advantage of talking to my favorite makeup guru, emilynoel83, through private messages and she was so sweet, genuine, and helpful - it really helped me make that big, next step.

It got a good amount of views, for the amount of subscribers and viewers I had at the time, anyway. I was both very excited and extremely nervous. You just never know what people will say about you or how they will react to something drastically different.

Of course, I got a mixed review in the comments section. The majority of people, of course being my fans and supporters, supported me, told me I was beautiful, and were very happy and pleased with my presence in the video. And then there were the bullies that have nothing better to do with their lives than try to make others miserable. I was called ugly, fat, stupid, everything in the book - and to this day, still am. I'm not going to sit here and lie and say it never affected me, because it did. People on the internet can be as cruel as they want to be because they're faceless and have no reason not to be - so they can go all out and sometimes made me so upset, I would cry. I'm not ashamed to say this because let's face it - many, many, MANY people are affected by bullies - physical people and over the internet, alike - everyday.

Faceless defenders aside, there were also the ones who had a face and weren't afraid to show it, as well as their strong-minded opinions. See, I started making videos years before makeup videos, on my original account, LaurieGirlie101. I joined YouTube under this username on August 24, 2006, originally just to favorite videos and then it became much more. It's funny how one decision can literally change your whole life. I made random videos - of concerts I would go to, putting songs up for people to listen to, videos of my rabbit, you name it. That's also where I started makeup videos until I got a separate account dedicated to them.

Anyways, back to the bullies. The reason I explained my first YouTube channel is because I was on YouTube years before people I knew got word of it. But that's because they didn't see my face. Literally, I started showing my face on YouTube during the middle of the summer before sophomore year of high school, and on the first day (no joke) I was told by someone that they had seen my makeup videos. Honestly, when I was first told, I actually thought she was complimenting me and enjoyed them. But suddenly, it took a turn for the worst because she was one of the biggest bullies I had to deal with the next three years of my life. I guess she quickly spread the word and as all people who have been in high school know, word gets out quick and everything is taken the wrong way and spread around the wrong way. Everyone would tease me, mock me, say things I said in videos mockingly literally right behind me, laugh at me, and keep spreading the word. I was surrounded by fear and misery every day I had to go into that school because I would wonder who would stare at me as I walked down the hallway today knowing what they had heard or seeing my videos and how they would react about it, whether to my face or behind my back.

I realized a lot that first year and experienced lots of mixed emotions. I lost ones who I thought were my true best friends of several years. I learned who my true enemies were. I felt sad, angry, humiliated, threatened, and everything else you could possibly feel when you're faced with the issue of bullies and you feel like you need to deal with them alone. Even though I've moved on and I'm at a much better place in my life right now, having to recall all these emotions and memories still tears me apart sometimes - like now.

I had three main bullies. The first one was the one who came up to me that first day of sophomore year and I tend to believe she's what really started the fire. I will never know for sure, but I actually want to think she was just looking up makeup videos and came across mine and found that reason enough to start rumors and create misery for someone else, because that's what she did best and was known for by innocent people like me. The second girl (of course, they were all females) actually became more of a threat to me than the first one over time. She didn't do much that first year, but the last couple years she was a true threat. She even got my cell phone number through my ex-best friend who was friends with her (just shows I was obviously around the wrong crowd) and texted me several times pretending to be a guy, saying explicit and disgusting things, basically how "he" became aroused by my videos and wanted to do things with me. She remained a threat until the end. Lastly, I got a new bully senior year. It's as if a new main one developed each year since word got out. Mind you, my videos are innocent. I make sure to never swear in them, don't act vulgar in any way, and all I wanted to do was share my love and passion for makeup with the world as so many others are successful as doing as well. This last girl I never saw coming because I had actually been friends with her since middle school - not really good friends, but a friend I would talk to while in school and such. Her boyfriend ended up messaging me through my YouTube channel one day pretending to be her saying how she tried some makeup tips I gave in one of my videos and "her" boyfriend ended up breaking up with "her" because of it and saying nasty things. See, bullies don't think enough before carrying out their actions because I easily went onto her boyfriend's profile and saw his picture along with his name and age and everything, so clearly, I knew it had to be either him defending her or her through his YouTube channel, thinking I would be intimidated and wouldn't know who it was. I remained civil with her the remained of senior year, but never talked to her about anything personal again because she didn't deserve it.

Along with these three main bullies came their friends. That was fun. (sarcasm) The first bully brought along two of her friends for the ride. They actually ended up making a YouTube video mocking me and saying my full name and everything. They all participated in it. I believe this was either sophomore or junior year. This made me and my parents have enough. I had found this video through someone on Facebook and ended up watching only a bit of it before work one night and cried as I had to face a tough shift at work that night. Again, no shame in admitting this because I'm letting it all out there because I know there are so many people affected by bullies everyday and although it will never stop, there are ways to deal with it. My parents and I went to the assistant principle one day after school about it. Of course I was scared because I always thought bringing my parents into it would make it worse - a common worry of all who are bullied and threatened. But we did it and the next day, me and the three girls were called down to "talk" about it. The assistant principle apparently knew how one of the friends participating had bullying issues herself as well, and brought that up during the meeting. Honestly, I think that day did help with the friends. They never really bothered me after the fact. They also had to delete the video there in the office and if they were to post any again, they would get in trouble for it. However, it never really made an impression on the main bully. She continued to mock me, but I handled it as best as I could. I'd also like to include that actually, one of the friends of that main bully ended up genuinely apologizing to me about it during senior year, as we were placed in the same, small class, and inevitably had to work together. She actually ended up having her own problems with that main bully and ended up not being friends with her anymore. Isn't it ironic how karma can really come in handy, as well as change a person? Ever since, we've actually been sort-of friends. Not too close, but I've come to find out that she actually had her own problems with that person and it's almost like she brainwashed her. She's actually a pretty decent person, minus bully #1.

I actually forgot to mention another bully who appeared towards the middle-end of this 3-year run. She had such an ugly personality and it really showed. She was a little more threat than the first one, but less than the second one. (I hope you're able to keep track of who I'm talking about - I can't mention names, of course) When I had my first boyfriend, I went to one of his classrooms after school once where he had to make up an exam and I just sat near him and did some homework. Of course, she was in that room for some after school studying or something and wouldn't stop staring at me, giving dirty looks, and probably thinking my boyfriend at the time and I looked funny together. To make myself clear, I hated ever having to be around any of these people, but I had to attend school. No way was I going to let them make me transfer or live in fear of them - or rather, no way was my mom going to let that happen. It often took a lot of effort to even go to school, let alone hold my head up high and continue to get good grades, but she was always there to help me along the way, whether that include her or not.

I would like to make very clear that I continued to attend high school as I should, maintain my grades, participate in after school activities, get a job, and attend senior prom and graduation throughout all of this torture. I wasn't going to let them grasp my life in their hands. It was my life, no matter how they would impact it and it was my choice to bow down to them and please them in their bullying ways or to prevail and take charge of my life and enjoy it to the best of my ability. I had a really great senior prom (two, actually, as me and my second and current boyfriend went to different high schools) and walked across that graduation stage, in front of any and all bullies staring at me with whatever face and looked directly at my parents in the crowd wearing a huge smile on my face because that night was about not only them and everyone else, but it was also about me because I had made that milestone and graduated from high school as well. I must say, even though I still live in the same town because I commute to a community college, I never see them anymore as they have all gone their separate ways. It's even been a month of summer, when everyone comes home, and I haven't come across them in the grocery store or anything. I'm sure I will someday, and yes, it may affect me somewhat and make my heart skip a beat, but really, I feel a lot better. Looking back, if I had the strength I do now, I would have gone about things so differently and really stood up for myself. But we all know that when we're faced with difficult situations, looking back, we'd all like to make different decisions. But I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. But honestly, I'm still just so glad high school is over and I will never want to go back because of the experience I had. I just hope someday my children never have to experience the degree of bullying that I did. However, I am also fortunate that it never got physical and it was purely just talk.

So if you refer back to the beginning of this post, I said how I recently found out some happy news regarding something on this topic. My best friend actually ended up telling me she was talking to the boyfriend of this popular girl that she is friends with and he told her that his girlfriend and her friend actually really, genuinely enjoyed my videos. This honestly made me feel really happy while looking back at how miserable I was made to feel about something so innocent back in high school because remember, I never knew they enjoyed them. I assumed that everyone who got word of my videos enjoyed making fun of them, because that's all I experienced from anyone. I just honestly wish they would have told me during high school because that one positive comment about them would have made all the negative ones feel a lot less painful, honestly. But even my dad said that they probably didn't want to get involved and go against the crowd since they were popular. But oh well, finding this out actually made me really happy. :)

So now, I shall end this blog post of a positive note, which I've actually already started to do. First of all, just know that every trial must end sometime, someday. I'd also like to state that since graduating high school, I have been through much worse, real life problems, such as hurting my back at my job and having to face workman's compensation and getting terminated - that's a whole different blog post, but just know that everything must end sometime, both good and bad, and one day you will see how strong you became from that terrible incident. It isn't endless, though it may seem so at the time. You will also see how compared to what is to come in your lifetime, what you went through years ago is nothing compared to the real world. That's not to scare you, rather to show you that what we think is the worst possible thing at the time, really isn't, and again, every trial we must get through to get to the next positive stage in life. Another positive aspect of bullying and what happened to you, is it will make you wiser. People can't become wiser with age unless they experience things that change them forever, both positive and negative. Traumatic things, although they are terrible and in some cases, can haunt you forever, they do happen for a reason and it's amazing to see how if just one thing didn't happen in your life, that awesome thing that did happen after it, wouldn't have existed. Just remember that everything happens for a reason and oh, "just keep swimming!" ;)

Remember to have a positive day! :)


P.S. This song has really helped me through a lot of tough situations, especially this one, and it's so true!
Fighter by Christina Aguilera


  1. This is so inspirational wow! I cannot believe how cruel girls can be >.< I was bullied all throughout elementary and middle school because I was smarter than the average kid, and I remember how horrible and terrible it felt. I absolutely hated going to school and after I graduated 8th grade it was such a relief! I remember I was reluctant to tell anyone what high school I was going to because of the fear I had that they would go to my same high school and continue bullying, making fun, and starting rumors about me. It's true that it does make you a different person. People ask me all the time why I smile so much or why I'm nice to people even if they're a little mean, and it's because of that. I don't ever want to make anyone feel the way that I felt from 2nd to 8th grade. Sometimes I think I've forgotten what it feels like to yell at someone or say something mean.

    And you truly are the strongest person I know! You're such an inspirational and excellent role model <3

    Love you doll face!

    1. Wow, thanks for sharing! That sounds terrible, especially since you were so young! You should be praised for being so smart, you're very fortunate for that! But alas, it's difficult for immature people to realize what a great attribute that is! They were just jealous, I hope you realize that! ;)

      And thank you very much once again! This comment was so lovely and I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. <3

      Love you too dear!!