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Mental health awareness, though. *mouth pop*

How do I even begin to describe Emilia Fart? Other than being the weirdest, most flamboyant, most unconventional, most nonconforming up-and-coming YouTuber on the platform, she is also the most sincere, most fearless and most entertaining.

While “Emilia” is her real first name, obviously “Fart” is not her real last name, although I would not put it past her to have it legally changed at some point in the future. The name might not be real, but everything else about her is.

Fart dances and twerks in public to her heart’s content, cruises down streets on tiny rolling cars with her best friend and floats on inflatable pizza slices in questionably clean ponds. From her green hair that she dyes on the floor of public restrooms to her outlandish outfits that make her look like “an obese, deranged Judge Judy,” Fart is unabashedly and unapologetically herself.

But she has not always been the “mischievous queen” that she is today. Actually, she has, but because of the restrictions of identity and self-expression that society continually enforces despite the expanding progressive population, Fart was forced to try to fit in with everyone else for much of her life.

Her most popular video, “Showing what I looked like when I was normal,” has accumulated over 3 million views, and for good reason. Fart takes a break from her usual absurdist lifestyle and sits down with her loyal audience for a comparatively serious narration of her youth through photographs of herself at various ages.

Plenty of other YouTubers have tried to open up to their subscribers, but none are ever as refreshingly honest as Fart. She knows her past is not glamorous, but she owns up to it by not even attempting to sugarcoat anything.

Much of her journey is surprisingly relatable, from realizing her lesbianism in hindsight to being nothing but “sad and malnourished” at 16 years old.

One of her most profound quotes can be found in this video, further demonstrating her emotional intelligence and adding to the many reasons why this video in particular resonates with so many people.

“The feeling of being held back by invisible rules of how a girl should be … there are much worse things in this world, but that doesn’t negate the fact that the feeling of those rules stifled who I am. But I am grateful for it, because if I had never been stifled, I wouldn’t be aware of how good it feels now to be free.”

However, this single video does not even scratch the surface of the secrets and trauma Fart has shared in similar videos. She has the occasional lapse of courage — after all, she is only human — but she always manages to muster the strength to reveal even the most painful of her stories.

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Fart does not just divulge this information for her own personal benefit, but she openly weeps in her bathtub and indoor hammock to inspire people to be honest with themselves, no matter how dark the memory or how afraid you are to revisit it. And once you have faced that clandestine part of yourself, you must find a way to move forward and learn from it, whether that is through therapy or other mental health resources. Fart’s advocacy for mental health awareness, her unflinching vulnerability and her bravery are all commendable.

Not all of Fart’s life lessons originate from a place of despair. When Fart started gaining weight, she was embarrassed of her large stomach being exposed when wind would press the fabric of her shirt against her body. But over time, she began telling herself every day that “tummies are cool,” and now she and her audience believe that there is such a thing as “tummy pride.” Fart empowers her audience to feel confident in their skin while she eats Pixy Stix off of a painting of a tiger. Let it be said that this wild tiger has truly earned her stripes.

Fart is deliberately and delightfully over the top, not just for the sake of views, but because she was “born an insufferable attention whore.” This is just who she is, and screw anybody who thinks she should revert back to that sad, quiet brown-haired girl who played by the rules.

Fart leads by example, encouraging anyone who will listen to embrace their ugly, silly, so-called inappropriate side and, as Courtney Garcia of her blog Screen Therapy puts it, “investigate our most embarrassing hangups about sexuality, intimacy, dignity, identity, family, grief, therapy, mental health, and pretty much any other subject we get embarrassed over.”

And if that means parading around a suburban mall with a cheeseburger or calling people and telling them secrets just to immediately hang up, then so be it.

Other than being an inspiration and role model for over 450,000 subscribers, including myself, Fart is also a comedy icon. While “risking her life” at 2 a.m. because she desperately wanted an ice cream cone, her histrionics are nothing short of hilarious. She worries about the other “sketchy” people that she sees walking, asking the camera in a panicked whisper, “What are they doing outside? It’s bedtime!”

Once she finally gets the sweet vanilla cone, her mood drastically changes and she now realizes that while she was scared of the other pedestrians, with her bizarre appearance and old-fashioned candlestick, she is actually “a children’s nightmare come to life.”

The cops even cruise by and she has to avert eye contact and walk as straight as possible “to show that I am not drunk, and in fact, am just weird.”

Her whacky facial expressions, kooky movements and elaborate self-deprecation always stir a laugh. Just when you think she cannot possibly humiliate herself any more, she ups the ante.

I never thought I would see myself in “a terrifying, goblin, pigeon lady,” but here I am, and I know many of Fart’s loving subscribers do as well. Fart has wormed her iconic self into my heart, and I hope she does the same for you, because if everyone was as candid, free-spirited and self-assured as Fart, the world would be a better place.

Here are the links to Emilia Fart’s YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

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Caitlyn Conville

Bergen Community College

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