TW: Bullying/blackmail, death, transphobia
Our next informative article is up and ready for you to read! This one’s about an internet star who is an important role model in many ways: Nikkie de Jager also known as NikkieTutorials.
She began her career as every YouTube star: with uploading videos on this big platform. Over time she gained more and more followers. Since she reached international fame, she uses her platform to create awareness on important topics.
Check out which topics are discussed in particular by Nikkie and her guests by reading the full article here!
Nikkie de Jager | *02-03-1994 | The Netherlands | YouTuber, Make-Up Artist
13,8 million YouTube subscribers and over 14 million Instagram followers. Most of us cannot even imagine what that must feel like, but makeup artist Nikkie de Jager is actually living this life. Known as NikkieTutorials, she is famous around the entire globe, inspiring her ‘glow babies’ with the brightest and most elaborate makeup looks. Over the past years, she has used her huge platform for instruction videos about makeup, but also about a lot of different issues people might be dealing with: from everyday topics like insecurity to self-acceptance in terms of gender.
De Jager started her online journey when she was only 14 years old. Back then, she was in a really dark place and got bullied a lot. Makeup and her online tutorials were her escape from this cruel world at school. Over the years she gained more followers and it took her a while to realise she really needed a manager because could not do it all by herself anymore. However, she still edits her own videos. In 2015, she – inspired by her bullies and the negative comments she got – created the video called The Power Of Makeup. In this video, she left half of her face without make-up and showed the other half ‘full on glam’. She tells her audience she feels like loving makeup is becoming almost a crime, because people assume you are either doing it because you think you’re ugly or you want a boy’s attention. Her goal with this clip was not only to show her audience what you can do with makeup, but also that makeup can be really fun and that makeup is actually a form of self-expression. The Power Of Makeup was De Jager’s big breakthrough. Since then, she has collaborated with celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga and Megan Trainor. These collaborations gave her the opportunity to not only do the makeup of huge names, but to interview them as well, discussing topics that are important to De Jager and her audience.
For a long time, it looked like the YouTuber was living her absolute best life, but it wasn’t all as glamorous as it seemed to be. Her little brother got cancer and died after a long battle. In the YouTube documentary ‘NikkieTutorials: Layers Of Me’ we see how De Jager drowns herself in her work during and after her brother’s sickness. Although she does talk about her brother’s death, she doesn’t want her channel to become too personal. The content should be about her art, not about her as a person. However, she starts sharing a bit more about herself during the years. The true shift came about a year ago, in January 2020. After getting blackmailed, De Jager makes a video around the revelation of her biggest secret: she is a transgender woman. The video is a very emotional one, in which De Jager wants to take back the power to tell her own story, although she of course preferred to tell it on her own terms. But there is also a very hopeful message in this clip: she wants to inspire little Nikkies that are trapped and feel misunderstood by setting an example and assuring them it will get better.
The video got a lot of attention: online, but in the offline media landscape as well. Although some of her fears did come true – for example people misgendering her on purpose or just calling her ‘the transgender’ instead of using her name – she also gained a lot of freedom and took back her own power after the period of blackmailing. In a video she filmed with Dutch tv personality Ellie Lust, she admits she always had to plan every little thing she said in fear of a slip of the tongue. But now the secret is out, De Jager has become an even bigger role model to a lot of people. Her videos are still about makeup, but she also uses her platform to talk about being a transgender woman and providing advice to feminize your face by makeup. She also speaks about boundaries, assuring her glow babies that forcing someone to come out is never okay and that it is completely fine if you are not yet ready to come out. As her audience keeps growing, NikkieTutorials will hopefully keep inspiring more and more people with her advice, honesty and of course her amazing looks.
Author: Maaike van Leendert
Image: Jamie McCarthy