When Griffin Arnlund was just 15 years old, she decided to start a YouTube Channel. Like many teens, Griffin was interested in fashion and beauty, and she took to social media to share her tips, tricks and commentary on what was going on in her life. But, unlike most teens, Griffin’s following skyrocketed almost instantly. Suddenly, Griffin had a major fanbase, and she used her platform to stand up up for anti-bullying initiatives — something she dealt with IRL. We caught up with the teen entrepreneur at BeautyCon to talk all things social media, future goals, and why her recent partnership with e.l.f. cosmetics makes perfect sense.
Teen Vogue: How did you get into social media and what is your favorite form?
Griffin Arnlund: My very first social media account was Instagram, and it continues to be my largest platform. It is so impossible to pick a favorite. Instagram is incredible because, not only do you have the image to communicate a feeling, but there are filters and captions, too. It is, in my opinion the most indicative of what’s going on in my life. I can look back at any post and remember what I was going through at the time. YouTube is amazing because your personality has a chance to come through and your community gets to know you on such a personal level.
TV: What is your advice to girls who want to start social media channels?
GA: I love social media, so I say go for it. My advice is to be yourself, post consistently and have fun! I would encourage everyone to keep their social media posts and comments positive. There are so many young girls reading comments and posts, and they’re learning how to talk to one another. On average, people Google "Am I pretty?" 8,100 times a month. We have a chance to be a positive influence to so many people. If you are blessed enough to have an audience, use it for good.
TV: Why is the anti-bullying initiative so important to you? What do you think of what Kylie Jenner is doing for the cause?
GA: It’s important to me, because I lived through a traumatic bullying experience. I went through 10th grade in a complete fog. I remember very little of the entire year, only that I felt so much shame and hopelessness. I withdrew from school that year and, ultimately, finished my education online. As I went through my recovery, I learned so much about how to advocate for myself and how to ask for help. I feel an incredible responsibility to get that information into others hands before they need it. Advocating for others is so rewarding and, at the same time, helps you process your own experiences. I have so much respect and admiration for Kylie Jenner. The size of her social media reach is just mind blowing. It brings me to tears thinking of how many lives she’ll touch and ultimately save. The #IamMore campaign has had such a big impact on so many already, myself included.
TV: What’s your favorite kind of YouTube video to film?
GA: This is constantly changing! When I started YouTube, I primarily uploaded lifestyle videos, but as I’ve matured and beauty and fashion have become a bigger part of my life, they also become a big part of what I want to create. Incorporating my real life interests into my videos is what keep things interesting for me as well as my viewers.
TV: Who are your beauty inspirations?
GA: I find Selena Gomez so inspirational. We’ve all watched her grow from a Disney star into a fashion icon. I am in love with the cover photo from her Revival album. Cara Delevingne is another. I love how her personality always shines through. Whether it's on a runway or at an editorial shoot, she makes everything her own, and I love that about her.
TV: What are your can’t-live-without beauty products?
GA: For days when I need to be camera ready, e.l.f. HD Mattifying Cream Foundation and their HD Powder are a must. My skin looks so even, and it’s long lasting. I also love the e.l.f. Studio Eyebrow Kit.
TV: What’s your favorite part of BeautyCon?
GA: Hands down, the best part of BeautyCon is putting a face to the names I see so often online. The e.l.f. event on Saturday morning is especially exciting. I’m a long-time fan of their cosmetics, so spending time in their flagship store is a bit of a dream come true. The fact that I get to meet fans and spend time with them in this setting is totally surreal.
TV: What are your ultimate goals in life?
GA: I’ve wanted to be an actress for as long as I can remember, long before YouTube was even on my radar. Although not intentional, social media has helped prepare me in ways my traditional acting classes couldn’t.
TV: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from having such a large following/being a social media presence?
GA: Just like everything in life, there is always a lesson. If I had to pick the biggest, it's probably to be really thoughtful about what you say and how you say it. Having a large platform is such a gift, and using it responsibly and for good is so important.
TV: Tell us about your e.l.f. play beautifully Instagram challenge.
GA: This challenge was so much fun. My Instagram and Twitter followers all voted for a “Fall Smokey Eye” look which I filmed and uploaded to YouTube. The really amazing part is how interactive this challenge is. My online community and e.l.f. fans have all jumped onboard, and we’ve had a blast!
[By Emily Gaynor] [Read More] [From Teenvouge.com] [Image From josephcaptures.com]