Mental health is becoming something that is no longer overlooked and ignored, thanks to young innovators like Lucy Massam. Lucy began making YouTube videos during her junior year of high school. From her first video titled “Finally doing this…” with about 3k views, to her advice videos about mental health with over 100k views, Lucy’s presence is taking the YouTube and Instagram world by storm. Her journey to beginning her YouTube career was certainly a unique one, and I got the chance to sit down with Lucy and hear all about it.
Lucy expressed to me a very deep and sincere passion for creativity, especially photography. Her creative exploration began in high school when she took photography classes throughout the years and discovered her love for documenting moments of her life on film. Despite having photography as an outlet for self-expression, Lucy began to struggle with identity and mental health around her Junior year. She didn’t feel like she was “doing anything that was giving [her] purpose”, and with this realization, she decided she needed to find something to inspire her.
YouTube at this time was becoming increasingly popular, just as it currently still is. People were starting to become famous by posting their daily vlogs and advice videos on YouTube. Lucy loved YouTube as a source of creative content, and she watched other YouTubers all the time. She knew she wanted to start a channel of her own but was worried about what some of her high school peers would think. When I asked Lucy if there was one specific moment that made her take the first step, she told about the moment she heard this quote: “How would you live your life if there wasn’t an audience?” Just by speaking face to face with Lucy as she explained the meaning of this quote to me, I could tell that she really took it to heart. If Lucy could live her life without an audience, she would be making YouTube videos, so that’s exactly what she did.
Overcoming the Fear of Failure
Lucy’s personality is full of life and energy. She comes off as a person with unwavering self-confidence and determination. Considering the level of vulnerability and authenticity she allows her viewers to see, you would never think that thoughts of doubt and insecurity could possibly be nagging her in the back of her head. Lucy opened up to me about the struggles she faced when she began her channel, and how difficult it was to overcome them. When she posted her first video, she didn’t tell anyone about it except for a few of her closest friends. She continued posting videos for 3 months before she built up the courage to start publicly promoting her channel. There’s no reason to sugar coat it – people in high school can be very judgmental. It’s part of the shared experience of adolescence to deal with the burden of other people’s opinions and how they can influence the way you live your life. Lucy really began to feel the weight of this burden in those first 3 months of her YouTube journey. She was constantly wondering how people would react to her videos, especially in the context of high school, and constantly fearing that her channel would fail. Despite these difficulties, Lucy was able to take a mature and positive outlook on the struggles she faced; “Letting other people’s judgements impact my ability to create and pursue my passion was going to get me nowhere.” Lucy came to terms with the fact that not everyone is going to love her videos. She realized that there’s content online that she doesn’t enjoy either, so she could live with the fact that some people out there may feel the same way about her content. Lucy’s advice to other YouTubers is to be “secure enough with your content, your identity, and your life to not let it impact you – you don’t need that negative energy in your life.”
Finding her Niche
Lucy’s channel has a very raw and sincere quality that makes it unique, which is why many fans are attracted to her content. Throughout her YouTube journey, Lucy has noticed that people come back to her channel specifically for her videos about mental health, not for makeup or fashion. A large population of her audience is made up teenage girls just like herself, because she talks about things that they can relate to. Lucy openly and honestly discusses issues that she has dealt with first hand that also pertain to her audience, such as self-love, friendships, confidence, and anxiety. She realized that what’s most special about her channel is the relatable factor, and because of that, she always prioritizes honesty and authenticity; “I don’t like putting up a front and pretending everything’s perfect, because everyone goes through stuff and it’s important to talk about it.” Mental health is the thing that allows her to balance what she wants and what her audience wants. She explained to me that It is important to be equally considerate of yourself and your audience. Talking about real-life issues in a straight-up way brings Lucy energy and excitement, because knows she is bringing valuable and meaningful content to the lives of her viewers. At the same time, she knows her viewers are just as enthusiastic about this type of content, because they get to see a truly personal side of her. In this way, she has created “synergy” between her own preference’s and her audience’s expectations, allowing her to achieve great personal success and a trusting relationship with her fans.
Lucy’s Advice for Aspiring Influencers
My conversation with Lucy was really insightful. Being only 18 years old, Lucy has had the courage, perseverance, and maturity to prioritize her own desires and goals over the opinions of other people. Lucy broadcasts a very personal side of her life to her fans on the internet, and she does so in an incredibly confident and inspiring way. Through the very nature of her videos alone, she encourages her fans to be unapologetic in executing their passions, and to disregard any external negativity. She says, “If you are not being 100% yourself and giving your unique insight, then you’re going to fail,” and “You will get nowhere by trying to replicate what other people are doing.” It’s clear that Lucy values realness and trustworthiness above all, which is an amazing quality to have as a person, influencer, and role model for tens of thousands of fans across the world. Through Lucy’s videos, she inspires teens everywhere to indulge in their passion and live their lives just as energetically and confidently as she does.