Many of us spend uncountable hours of our lives on social media. We interact with people from every corner of the globe and internalize the things we see. It is both a privilege and a burden of our generation to have such unprecedented access to every aspect, both positive and negative, of people’s thoughts and experiences. Given this, it becomes our responsibility to control the narratives we allow in our lives, to protect our mental health.
Hannah Meloche, rising YouTube star knows all too well both the positives and negatives of existing online. With every post, she chooses to be as honest and vulnerable with her millions of followers in an effort to remind them that behind every screen is a real person. As a young teenager, Hannah consumed the overwhelmingly positive content of YouTube stars and thought, “...If they can do it, so can I.” And do it, she did. She amassed a following of nearly two million subscribers and shares with them all aspects of her life. Despite being a star on YouTube, she is incredibly down to earth and a self-described normal girl. She lives her life guided by principles of positivity and sustainability, inspiring millions of people to do the same. Her professional ventures, including Starlite Village, and collaborations with Tarte Cosmetics and Sugar Rush, both reaffirm and strengthen her image as a positive light on social media. Along with her many endeavors, she manages to find time to create regular content, be a full-time student, and balance her social life. In this exclusive interview, Hannah speaks about her inspirations, goals, and maintaining a healthy relationship with social media.
Jhanvi Mahajan: You began creating videos at the age of thirteen, what inspired you to begin creating content for YouTube?
Hannah Meloche: Bethany Mota was my everything at the age of twelve. I wanted to learn how to make videos just like hers that were bright, fun, and inspiring!
JM: What did your life look like before you entered the entertainment industry?
HM: I was a normal middle-schooler and as my channel grew throughout high school I still considered myself normal, and still do!
JM: Do you feel you have a social responsibility with your platform?
HM: Absolutely, you never know how much of an impact you have on people whether you know it or not. I try my best to be a good influence while also showing the real and not so glamorous parts of my life.
JM: You recently partnered with Tarte Cosmetics and Sugar Rush to create a multi-purpose palette that supports your love for sustainability. What was it like to have the opportunity to create your own makeup palette?
HM: It was an incredible experience to work with such a profound company! They have such an inclusive and supportive team. They helped me create a palette I’m in love with and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
JM: You launched your own company, Starlite Village, in May of 2019. How did you develop the idea to start your jewelry line?
HM: In September of 2018, I launched a few jewelry sets that I designed, and my followers loved them. The process of working with the design team, modeling, marketing, and seeing my followers wearing my jewelry was so inspiring. From there, I knew I wanted to expand on this idea to form a positive and sustainable company for my viewers and me!
JM: What do you want viewers to take away with them after they watch your videos?
HM: I want them to be able to relate to me, it’s hard growing up with all this social pressure, and society’s unrealistic standards. Especially during these times where it’s hard to go out and make friends I want my channel to be a friendly safe place people can come. I want them to leave feeling inspired to go make the most out of their day!
JM: What is your biggest accomplishment thus far?
HM: I would say balancing being a student and full-time influencer. Being a student comes with a lot of responsibility and so does being a social media influencer. Both require dedication and hard work, I’m happy I’ve been able to balance both!
JM: What are the positive and negative aspects of maintaining such a huge social platform?
HM: Connecting with other people going through the same thing you are is always such a reassuring feeling. I love having friends wherever I go and sharing my experiences that may inspire others! I would say the negative is the hate on the internet. People can leave comments to intentionally hurt you and stumbling across stuff like that can seriously affect your mental health.
JM: Have you ever experienced any notable challenges throughout your career?
HM: Definitely! It’s hard enough to not care what people think about you in real life, but online opens up so many more opinions. I’m already trying to figure out who I am aside from social media so sometimes it’s hard to go through things with people watching or wondering what you’re going through when you may not even know yourself.
JM: How do you deal with negative or hateful comments?
HM: I try to remember that they’re probably going through something and that they don’t truly know me so I shouldn’t take the hate to heart. Constructive criticism is always good, but mean people that make fun of you or mock you can be hard to shake off. It always pays off to be the bigger person and not fight fire with fire.
JM: Do you have any new or upcoming projects that you’re particularly excited about?
HM: I do! It’s a series coming to my channel in a couple of months that I'm extremely pumped to work on.
JM: What would you say your personal style is like?
HM: Personal style, as in clothes, would be comfy and dressing for the weather. I live in Michigan, so we have all four seasons here! I try to dress as comfy and weather appropriate as I can while still adding some accessories and making it cute. I love thrifting and pairing neutrals with a pop of color somewhere.
JM: Who is your ultimate style icon?
HM: I would have to say, Zendaya. She always keeps it classy but adds something unique like a cool blazer or pop of color.
JM: What does an average day for Hannah Meloche typically look like?
HM: Right now I get up, and try to get some sort of a workout in before I get going on school work. I’m an all online student, so it’s all about time management and attending Zoom calls. After I’m done with school I normally will do something with my roommates, film, go take photos, or just hang out until dinner. To end the night, I’ll FaceTime my boyfriend since we’re doing long distance right now and probably fall asleep watching the show Friends!