Bethany Mota is 18 years old, has a fashion brand and over 6 million subscribers on YouTube.
While bullying started her journey on YouTube, Bethany has found a way to be accepted by her peers which is quite ironic. Instead of the star being picked on, she is picking fashion for the masses.
Here are some excerpts from a story of Bethany speaking at a middle school:
In eighth grade, Mota said she was severely harassed, causing her to quit the things she loved — dancing, acting and singing. She became a reclusive, anxiety-ridden young girl who barely ate and spent most of her time in bed, she said.
Until she logged on to YouTube, a website for video-sharing, and began to watch other girls make videos about their “makeup hauls” — what they picked up from MAC, Sephora and their local drug stores.
As Mota began to make videos herself, she pulled herself out of the fog. She said she began to ignore what others said.
“It really made me upset, and then I just realized it’s nothing to take personally. That person might be having a terrible day and they just want to make someone else feel bad,” Mota said.
This is the story you probably learn about Bethany when you read about her. But when you watch Bethany’s story through any of her 391 Youtube videos, you learn about a different story–one that narrates another reality of growing into the young women we are. Even as we overcome growing pains of our changing bodies or dealing with bullies in school, we also must combat a materialistic world that still defines beauty as a good sense of style on the outside.
Bethany Mota is a successful, inspiring young woman. She also caused me to raise questions we should all ask ourselves from time to time, no matter how old we are: Do I look up to someone for their integrity, or for their outward appearance? What is my internal sense of style–how do I treat my family, friends, strangers, myself?
These are questions that sometimes easy to forget, but they are just as noticeable as the outfits we put together every day. Our personal character deserves praise, and sometimes makeovers, just like our clothes and accessories.