I recently had an assignment in college (I’m studying journalism) to interview someone who has an interesting lifestyle or career, which led me to interview the lovely Melanie Murphy, who has an amazing channel on YouTube. I thought I’d share what I wrote with you as Melanie gave such interesting and inspiring answers!
Visit Melanie’s channel here – PS: Prepare plenty of tea and biscuits, you won’t be able to stop watching her videos!
‘Hey guys and dolls’, Melanie Murphy chirps, her voice happy and enthusiastic. This is how the YouTube sensation, who has received over 11 million views since she started her channel in March 2013, starts the majority of her videos. It’s hard not to smile along with her as she talks about makeup, skincare, health, as well as countless other things.
The 25 year-old has sky rocketed to success in the last year thanks to her YouTube channel. ‘I can’t describe what it’s like to go from being a relatively shy girl with a very ordinary life, to collaborating with Buzzfeed, Channel 4, RTE, TV3 and YouTube megastars like Michelle Phan. Every single day I get a new opportunity’.
Melanie’s video on how to cover acne and scars has been viewed over 6.5 million times since it was published last year, taking her channel from a hobby to a full-time career.
It would be easy to think that this bubbly young woman has always been full of confidence, but it was her lack of confidence that encouraged her to start a YouTube channel.
‘As a teenager I was fairly shy and self-conscious… I became depressed, overweight and developed anxiety issues. By nineteen I felt like I’d been sucked into a black hole that I’d never escape from. Then I found YouTube!’
‘I started to watch people who were really confident and positive, and they gave me back that drive I was missing to make a change in my life.’
‘I always wanted to be ‘the confident girl’ and I never was. So I thought, I’ll fake it until I make it.’
After completing a post Leaving Certificate course, Melanie studied Education and Training in DCU, graduating with a first. ‘Since graduating, I’ve been working full-time online and am totally self-employed now, doing something that I love. Living a dream that I never had, because there was no YouTube a few years ago!’
What makes Melanie stand out from other YouTubers is her openness to discussing topics that others would avoid or pretend don’t exist. Acne, scarring, eating disorders and confidence issues are just some of the things she discusses freely with her viewers.
‘I’m so open about my flaws, and being a regular human being, something that many YouTubers hide away. I want to be as ‘myself’ as possible on my channel, but I work hard to present it in a nice way that’ll make people smile.’
‘I’m just a normal girl with a camera and a big dream! I realized that anybody can build a platform for themselves and with that comes huge opportunities.’
‘I really feel that I’ve been successful because I believed I could be. That self-belief is everything, it makes you do what needs to be done to make your dreams become reality.’
Melanie’s initial struggles with public speaking and confidence have since diminished. ‘When I talk to the camera I imagine one girl, in her room tidying up or getting ready, listening in and glancing every few seconds at the screen … Picturing it like that makes it easier.’
With over 140,000 subscribers, it’s inevitable that not all comments left on Melanie’s videos are positive or constructive. She says, ‘In all honesty I just don’t care about the negativity and the haters. If people don’t get it or don’t like it, so what? Really, so what? I don’t like or get football but that doesn’t mean a footballer should lack confidence around me… I’ve built a pretty unbreakable skin.’
Being a self-employed YouTuber means that Melanie’s days are non-stop. Checking e-mails, keeping up to date on social media, recording, editing and uploading footage, Skype calls to her Canadian-based network or companies looking to collaborate with her are all just part of Melanie’s daily routine.
‘My phone is on the go all day every day, as is my laptop… My office is also my area for relaxation, so cabin fever is unavoidable. But don’t get me wrong, it’s literally the best job in the entire world.’
‘It sounds pretty cliché, but my favourite part about it is making friends and making people feel happier. Some people have told me that my videos helped them at points in life where they’ve felt suicidal… That by watching me be so happy and fulfilled after going through so much, they feel hope. That, to me, is beyond anything I could ever hope to hear from another person.’
With such huge success within a year, things are bound to only go upwards for Melanie. ‘I do vision boards and practice ‘the law of attraction’, it sounds a bit corny but that’s my secret.’
‘We’re so lucky to be living in Ireland and have access to education, the internet. Nothing is off limits, only we can limit ourselves.’