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Lithium How to live for the loneliness: an interview with YouTuber Emilia Fart

Jan. 21, 2019
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Emilia Fart’s YouTube content is dedicated to honesty, coping, and according to her, being as obnoxious as possible. Feather boas, outlandish makeup, and well-edited videos have gained her a fanbase of 572,000 subscribers and counting. Her most popular video has four million views and, of course, features outfits of epic proportions. To go along with this month’s theme of “Behind Closed Doors,” Lithium writer Cassie Bristow asked Emilia about being open, baths, falling asleep to Paris Hilton, and Froot Loops. 

Lithium Magazine: The theme of Lithium this January is “Behind Closed Doors,” which seems to connect with your connect. In your most popular video, “Showing What I Looked Like When I Was Normal,” you conclude by talking about how you never showed certain parts of yourself. How did you learn to be open and comfortable with yourself?

Emilia Fart: When I was a teenager, I tried to be hot so that dudes would [like] me because I thought that’s what would make me matter. [But] then once I got out of high school, I thought, “Oh, what if instead of starving myself I brainwashed myself into believing that other parts of me gave me value?” You know, the classic coming-of-age brainwashing story. [But] I would still hide in my bedroom. I didn’t love being around people, and I was bitter. Then my dad died, which at first left me feeling [awful], but later peaceful [after I felt all the emotions I needed to feel]. Then came YouTube, and [that’s what] helped me stop hiding. It was YouTube that made me comfortable letting it out and talking about all of it. 

Lithium: Have your videos affected how people who knew you before YouTube see you? 

Emilia Fart: Honestly, no. No one cares. Like, they’re sweet and supportive, but they truly don’t care at all. 

Lithium: Has social media ever negatively affected your mental health? 

Emilia: Not really… I constantly make sure I’m not getting wrapped up in the numbers and how people think of me and my relevancy. I want to grow as much as I possibly can, but my goal [is to spread] a message that I believe in to as many possible. That’s why I’m doing this. And when I ground myself in that, I feel chill with social media. 

Lithium: I’m dying to know—what’s your favorite makeup look? 

Emilia: It really depends on how obnoxious I’m feeling. If I’m feeling extra obnoxious, I go for the glitter. I’m actually vibing right now with putting glitter past my eyebrows and halfway up my forehead. But if I’m thinking of video makeup looks… I used to put food on my face as makeup, and one time I [divided] Froot Loops into their specific colors and crushed them up and made them into a powder, which I rather artfully placed on my face. I looked so good. 

Lithium: What’s your favorite video you’ve made? 

Emilia: Probably “Showing What I Looked Like When I Was Normal.” After filming that one, specifically after filming the speech I have at the end, I had this feeling I don’t think I’d ever felt before… I felt like I was flying. I guess it was because I really just liked what I said! (Laughs) I [just] had a strong physical feeling after I filmed it. On a more selfish level, I also film my birthday and I’ve been doing that for three years, which I enjoy because it’s just a real portrait of a day and I always end up crying in a bed. I like those. 

Lithium: In that vein, what’s your favorite video series to film? You do the bathtub Q&As, the birthday videos that you mentioned, and more rambling videos...

Emilia: The easiest ones are the “Confession” videos. I don’t have to think as much when I make those. If I want to talk like we’re all just pals, I’ll do a sitting-in-a-bathtub-with-40-nuggets video, but my favorite series overall is probably the [videos] I make when I’m having a breakdown in my kitchen. If the video starts in my kitchen and I pop into the frame from the bottom, I’m having a breakdown and it’s about to get fucked. Those ones are always fun because I’m in such a strange mood. 

Lithium: Out of curiosity, do you use your bathtub to take baths and not just for the Q&As? Do you like taking baths? 

Emilia: Oh, 1,000 percent. I like doing nighttime baths—so like, it’s right before you go to bed, you’ve just brushed your teeth, what bath bomb are you using? You’ve got the orange-pink Himalayan bath salt, you’ve got the lavender bath oil, you’ve got the honeycomb bubble bath. You pick your scent, you pick your vibe. What tea are you going to drink? Is it going to be peppermint again? 

I’m hyping up baths so hard right now, but they’re so good. 

Lithium: What do you consider your “label” on YouTube? Do you see yourself as less of a content creator and more of a comedian or an advocate, or do you just reject the idea of labels altogether? 

Emilia: If I had to pick a label, I guess I would pick artist, but I don’t think I’m fancy or smart enough to call myself that. (Laughs) As dumb as my videos are, I take them super seriously, and I’m kind of obsessive [about] it. It’s actually a running joke in my family. 

Lithium: What’s been the most challenging video for you to make?

Emilia: Probably the one where I talk about being molested. It was early on when I was doing YouTube, and I’m still not completely comfortable with the topic, but for whatever reason I just filmed it and it was so gross to edit. And there’s this evil demon voice that comes out whenever I talk about it, and it wasn’t like my voice got lower or creepier or anything—it was just that negative inner voice we all have. It took me two months after filming to bring myself to edit it. I’m glad I did it, because...on some level I needed to. But on a less gnarly level, I [made a video] in the summer with my friend Jonas where we stayed out the whole night until the sun rose, and it was just fucking annoying to edit. It was just five hours of footage of us screaming [in] Chinatown.  

Lithium: What are some books or TV shows that have inspired you? 

Emilia Fart: For sure The Simple Life. I watched the first two seasons as an impressionable pre-teen and my world was forever changed. That was my first entry into the world of “iconic.” Like, the floor was trembling beneath my feet, the world was changing, and this was the moment that changed everything. Also, Pippi Longstocking was who I wanted to be when I was a kid.

Lithium: Have you watched W Magazine’s ASMR Interview with Paris Hilton?

Emilia: I’ve fallen asleep to that video twice. When she says “that’s hot” and emphasizes the T, it’s so good. 

Lithium: So good! Anyway, you talk a lot on your channel about being comfortable spending time with yourself. Do you have any advice on being comfortable with that? What are your favorite places to spend time with yourself?

Emilia: I’ve always been a lonely bitch, but living for the loneliness. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more comfortable with solitary adventures in public. Obviously, my apartment is a place I love to spend time alone [in], but there’s also a park nearby and I love to go there and just have a sweet old time. Climb a tree! Also, going to the movies alone. There’s just something about taking yourself out on a date that’s very sweet and precious. It kinda resets my brain. Being alone does something very special to your soul—for me it helps my work in the end, so I have to do it.