There are few vloggers who can genuinely claim they’ve had overnight success but Em Ford is one of them. If you don’t recognise her name outright, you’re bound to have seen her inspiration You Look Disgusting video which went viral around the world.
Based on the comments she received on her acne prone skin, the video has been seen 15 million times in just over three months and Em has gained praise around the world from charities, celebrities, news organisations and old and new fans.
When we caught up with the beauty blogger turned YouTube star recently, we spoke to her about what it’s like to gain mass success so quickly and why she thinks she stands out from the crowd.
We The Unicorns: For those people who don’t know you, tell us about when you first started YouTube?
Em: I started my YouTube channel in june 2014, initially I didn’t’post that many videos… Maybe about five or six across the whole year. However, in January that I started giving YouTube a real go.
WTU: And what did that mean for you?
Em: I had acne- I still do- and in the beginning of 2015, I started posting acne beauty tutorials and promoted them on social media. I’d show pictures of me both with and without make-up and I received over 100,000 comments on my face in about a three month period! From this, I made a film about the comments I received on my face and it went viral in less than 24 hours.
WTU: With millions upon millions of views! Were you ever reluctant to bare all?
Em: When I first started my channel, I found that I was doing what everybody else was doing. The moment I started being true to myself and opening up about the fact I don’t have good skin, I think a lot of people identified with it. There are a few other beauty vloggers who have done acne tutorials and in America there’s Cassandra Bankson and in Ireland there’s Melanie Murphy but I found there wasn’t that many vlogs out there for pale skin. I’m not the palest girl in the world but I wanted to learn about make-up and share my journey.
WTU: Of course, with the positives came the negatives and that obviously inspired your infamous video.
Em: Absolutely. There seems to be this concenus in society that you’re allowed to comment on someone’s face and looks. If you’re online, it can feel like you’re saying these things to the screen and not a real person so people think it doesn’t matter what you’re aaying. But that’s so untrue and I think everybody can relate to that in a certain way. Everyone has had some type of horrible comment said to them or someone they care about and I think that’s why the video went to crazy.
WTU: You’ve had your channel for less than 2 years but you’ve essentially become an overnight success. What would you say to people who want to emulate that and become the next big thing?
Em: Rather than concentrating on fame, people should concentrate on things they love and things they’re passionate about doing. For me, I’m passionate about filmmaking. I fell into beauty vlogging by accident which makes my situation even crazier. I’ve been a filmmaker for six years and beauty blogging was my hobby, albeit one that I put a lot of hours into. Passion comes across and it’s important to have fun with your channel and not especially focus on where you want to be next year. Don’t focus on the numbers because if you constantly compare yourself to others then you’ll never be happy with the content you’re putting out. Don’t compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter twenty.
WTU: Thanks, Em. Wise words.