In Conversation: Dixie D’Amelio and Bethany Mota Part 1

By Dixie D'Amelio



Dixie D'Amelio:

I’ve followed you forever. I've watched you forever. You literally got me through middle school, high school, everything and now to finally be talking with you is so cool. You're my favorite creator, and just watching you made me really realize the direction I wanted to go into with all of this. When I started watching you in middle school and high school, you had an Aeropostale line out, which I was obsessed with. At the time, there weren't a lot of influencers or people with the social media presence doing things like that. So I made my mom go into the store and I bought your perfume and she's like, "Wait, so what does she do? What do you mean? She makes money from this? I don't get it." And getting to know you helped make this whole process easier for my parents to understand, so that was really cool.


Dixie D'Amelio:

What do you think when you see that today?


Bethany Mota:

Aside from the initial feelings of cringe when rewatching it, I'm also reminded of how young I was because I think I was 13 in that first video. Also, growing up I was always very much, and still am very much introverted. I don't have a lot of friends and I never really did growing up. I always kept my circle really small. Also, I just wasn't very outgoing and so, YouTube was my Hannah Montana moment of - this is my double life. And so, I think that's what was so intriguing about it. I feel like that's why a lot of people are so intrigued to get into social media now, whether it's YouTube or TikTok, because you have a chance to maybe show a side of yourself that you aren't really comfortable showing to people at school or people in your family. So it's kind of more of an escape initially. And then, it turned into a job over time but I definitely didn't... Because like you said, also at that time, no one was really like doing the clothing lines and things like that, so there was definitely no intention of being famous or making money from this. It was just like, “I am shy and I want to pretend that I'm not.”



Dixie D'Amelio:

You were homeschooled, correct? Right?


Bethany Mota:

I was. Yeah.


Dixie D'Amelio:

And so, you would go on location to schools... Which I feel like I never put two and two together that you were homeschooled and I was taking all of my advice for what to pack for lunch and everything and I was like-


Bethany Mota:

But I'm homeschooled.


Dixie D'Amelio:

Yeah! And now I'm like, "Wait a minute–"


Bethany Mota:

Granted, I did do my research. I had gone to public school for a few years. I don't know if that gives me any credibility, but I did.


Dixie D'Amelio:

I listened to it and it worked, so I think it was fine.


Bethany Mota:

Not going to lie, I think in some ways, I was a little out of touch as far as some of the things regarding public school but I was like, "I went for three years. I know what I'm talking about." And yeah, I one-hundred percent would just reach out to anybody or friends of mine that knew people that worked at the school and I'd be like, "Can I go over after hours and just film my little videos?" And they were so confused. But yeah,I did what I had to do!



Dixie D'Amelio:

You've had the chance to grow up online and have your followers watch you grow up. Have you noticed that your followers have changed through it all? Do you feel like your followers have grown up with you?


Bethany Mota:

For sure. I started YouTube when I was basically a little girl. And then, we all go through that stage where we're like, "Okay, I'm growing up. I'm trying things out. I'm experiencing life stuff." And I think that was a hiccup moment for me, where I didn't know how to translate that into my content. I was like, "Is it weird if I just hold a wine glass now?" I held off for so long, like well past 21, and I still didn't do it because it didn't match with the branding and all of this stuff. I understand that because I know that being brand-friendly to an extent is important when it is a business. However, I feel like it just started to naturally transition for me where I was like, "I don't want to feel like I'm lying to people and that they're not seeing the real me, because that's ultimately what my brand is - it’s myself." So now, I just give myself full freedom to show whatever I want and do whatever I want. Also, I think I realized I'm really not that different from when I was 13. I mean, maybe I have wine now. That's really the only difference, everything else is still the same. And so, I think once I took that pressure off and realized like, "Girl, there's nothing you're really hiding.” It's really not that big of a deal.



Dixie D'Amelio:

I feel like the same thing happened with Charli, because everyone still thinks of her as this 15 year old girl. And then she got her first tattoo and they're like, "Ahh, she's changing!” And like, yeah, she's not a child. She's growing up. So it is funny to see these creators grow up and now they're out of their shell, but I feel like it's not that different. You're not hiding that much, it's just small parts of your life in maturity.


Bethany Mota:

Yeah.


Dixie D'Amelio:

Is it so weird when someone comes up and notices you? Do you ever just, like, walk out in the world and forget that you could get noticed?


Bethany Mota:

Sometimes, yeah. Especially if I don't go out for a long time, because there are some times that I will just literally be in my house for a long time because I can do everything from home. And so, I do go out once and then it happens. I'm like, "Oh, what?" Or I'll get confused and think that they are trying to get my attention for something completely different. And so, sometimes it does catch me off guard, which I'm sure you could relate to as well.


Dixie D'Amelio:

It's mostly the staring which is like, "Oh my gosh, everyone's looking at me. I'm so scared. What is wrong?" I never really think about it and I'm just doing my thing. And then I see someone staring at me or taking a video, and then I fix my posture and try not to look disgusting when I'm out in public.


Dixie D’Amelio:

I know you've taken some mental health breaks, and I feel like a lot of us have recently. Do you think it's important for creators when they're feeling overworked or just tired of it?


Bethany Mota:

For sure. Yeah. I think the first time I ever took a break, I think it might have been around 2015. But back then, mental health wasn't as talked about, at least for influencers online. That it was almost something more looked down upon. Like if you didn't post, you would just get essentially bullied for it, and people didn't really have the consideration. Which I understand because no one had been talking about it yet. So as an audience member, we probably don't understand the process that creators are experiencing. Now I love that it's so much more talked about, so much more accepted and encouraged, because I think that it's a crucial part of being a creator online. We're not really promoting a product, we're promoting ourselves, we're branding ourselves - so that separation is really hard sometimes. If you get hate comments, it's really hard to not take it personally. Because it's not like we created a product and they're hating on the product, it's like they're hating on us. There's a lot that comes with it. And so, I think that taking breaks is definitely needed.



Dixie D'Amelio:

Did you ever think, “Maybe I shouldn't do this anymore?” When it got to that point?


Bethany Mota:

Definitely. I think I had a few moments during breaks where I didn't know if I would actually ever want to get back into it. However, I feel like what worked for me was just working on myself, and redefining what my self value was, and separating it from any amount of numbers or likes or comments. I think for me, it was learning to not be affected by the negative comments but also learning to not be affected by the positive ones and inflating my ego. Because obviously, with every influencer and creator, we all have to have some level of ego to feel like our lives are important enough to be publicized. So I think it was kind of just getting my ego in check and not letting any outside opinions, whether good or bad, affect how I feel about myself. That is, I believe, what solely allowed me to actually step back in and continue doing it for years to come.


Dixie D'Amelio:

What are you working on now? Do you think you'll ever stop having a presence online?


Bethany Mota:

Right now, I mean, I just am really enjoying doing things in my own way and creating things. Some things I create and I don't put them out, some things I create and I do put them out. I really love only putting things out that I'm really happy with at this point, and not feeling pressure from any outside source. So that's continuing to make YouTube videos and creating in other ways, and I definitely don't see myself leaving. I feel like this is where I got my start, and it's always been a part of my life, and I really can't imagine not being online. So I will always be here.


Dixie D'Amelio:

Yeah. I feel like everyone always asks, "Oh, when are you going to stop?" I'm like, "Well, does your mom stop?" Everyone's on social media at this point, so I feel like it's not stopping. It'll probably just grow up with you.


For more of this interview, check out Part Two.


Follow Bethany:

YouTube


Follow me: ltx.bio/dixiedamelio

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