Sipa France
Mariale Marrero Pixelformula/SIPA/AP

Bilingual Beauty

The Internet Cure for Shyness

I started my YouTube channel in 2010 in Venezuela because I followed a lot of English beauty channels, but they weren't using products I could find and didn't speak my language. I was also terrified of public speaking and was in college about to do my [biology] thesis, so I hoped it would help me with that. I didn't expect anyone to find my first video. Somehow people found it and started following me.

Finding a Creative Outlet

My life in Venezuela was rough. My dad had cancer for 13 years, and it was very hard because he was the only one who worked in the family. It was hard moneywise, and I knew my future was in my hands. He died just before I moved to the U.S. [to start a new life with husband Luis Valera], and I focused on filming as a way to escape. My followers didn't even know he'd died, because I was so keen on staying positive. People watch me to get away from their problems, not to hear about mine.

A Bridge to America

It was a hard decision to move to the United States because my entire family lives in Venezuela, but I didn't feel like I had a future there. My husband and I decided to move to Pittsburgh so he could do his master's degree and I could focus on my channels. Now we're in L.A. We've felt very welcomed by this country, and I'm so thankful.

Breaking New Ground

I started my English-language channel to practice my English, but it's just grown. Now a lot of people want to work with me because I'm Latina. I'm paving the way for anybody who wants to jump from one language to the other. I feel lucky for all the support, but it's definitely harder when you're the first!

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