Michelle Phan Reveals Why She Quit YouTube And It's Pretty Dark

2 June 2017, 13:28 | Updated: 6 November 2017, 09:40

We the Unicorns

By Josh Lee

"Money can bring out the worst in people, and I was no exception"

Michelle Phan has returned to YouTube with a moving and important message, following a 10-month absence.

Michelle is one of the most well-known beauty YouTubers, with over 8 million subscribers and 1.1 billion views. At the beginning of 2016 Michelle was the cover star for both Forbes magazine and Nylon magazine. But at the end of July 2016, she suddenly stopped posting new videos.

In April she spoke to Racked Magazine about going M.I.A on YouTube: "I peaced out because I think I was going through depression. I don’t know because I didn’t go to a hospital or anything or get diagnosed, but I was taking a few quizzes online and I felt really sad every day.” Phan said.

“You would think, This achievement is great. You should be happy. But I wasn’t. I was waking up feeling so broken. I didn’t know why.” she added.

Michelle Phan returned to YouTube yesterday with a new video entitled, 'Why I Left'

Michelle Phan's beauty channel has over 8 million subscribers. Michelle Phan's beauty channel has over 8 million subscribers.

In the illustration-based video, Michelle explains how her dreams of following in her beautician mother's footsteps led to her career as a beauty YouTuber. But as her career blossomed, she discovered that success has a dark side.

"The taste of success was like a drug, and I couldn't get enough," she admits in the video. "I figured the more productive I am, the more successful I'll become because money buys happiness.But I grew to understand how happiness comes at a cost because I had to honour what I signed on the dotted line."

As her platform grew, Michelle started to feel more and more trapped by her fame: "Money can bring out the worst in people, and I was no exception. My insecurities got the worst of me. I became imprisoned by my humanity and was never satisfied with how I looked. The life I led online was picture-perfect, but in reality I was carefully curating the image of a life I wanted - not had."

giphy Michelle Phan has been taking time out to reconnect with herself

Eventually, Michelle decided to up sticks and go on hiatus. She travelled to Switzerland to "find meaningful time to heal, learn and grow" offline.

Michelle reveals that she still doesn't know what the future holds for her. But the final words she speaks in her video suggests she will return to creating content.

Back then, I was just someone who was just showing you how to look more beautifu. Now, I want to show you how to feel more beautiful.

The YouTube community has showered Michelle with love after her return to the platform.

Zoe Sugg congratulated Michelle on Twitter, writing "This was very powerful and eye opening! Money & success isn't always a cure for problems!"

Dan TDM described the video as "great," while Dodie tweeted "Such a heartbreaking journey; but I am so proud of for finding herself!"


Whether a high-flying creator or a casual viewer, the internet can become an all-consuming place

Whoever you are, whatever reasons you have for being online, it's crucial to not let the internet put pressure on your mental health. Taking care of your mind is priority number one when it comes to internet use, and if you're struggling for any reason, talk to someone.




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