Dear Famous YouTuber Andrea Russett:
For the past year I simply could not wrap my head around why, in God’s name, my smart, discerning thirteen-year-old thinks you are the bomb, claiming if she ever gets to meet you she will die happy. I wanted to understand, I really did, if only to provide insight into the inner workings of my daughter, whose burgeoning teenagerhoodness leaves me feeling unmoored on a regular basis.
What was I missing? Was I that out of touch? You don’t sing, you don’t act. You are a young woman who has become famous posting random topics on YouTube. Sure, you seem nice enough. Yes, you are beautiful, but my teen has never been one to be highly impressed by looks alone.
Whenever I questioned her infatuation, my daughter would offer a generic, slightly annoyed response. “She inspires me. She cares. She speaks her mind. She is a great role model.”
As the two of us sat together the other night discussing fame and teen YouTubers, I tried once again to understand. What has this Andrea Russett done to earn your complete adoration?
What followed took my breath away:
My girl looked at me with those big green eyes and said,
“Mom. She has given me the courage to be myself. If I am being put down or feeling insecure, I remember her encouraging words to be strong, be confident, to be happy with and proud of who you are. She is not afraid to stand up for what is right. I have gotten a lot of my self-confidence from watching her.”
Oh. Wow. Speechless. How can I possibly argue with that?
So, thank you, Andrea Russett. You have now earned yourself a middle-aged mom fan as well.
May you continue to live with such courageous, compassionate values. We parents need more of you in our village.
You have never met my daughter, but you have shown her how to stay strong, love, and stay true to herself. A mom cannot ask for a better gift than that.