Clawdeena's doll-related videos and incredible make up transformations continue to defy boundaries on the internet by telling stories that matter.
How has the last year changed you, both as a creator and as a person?
This past year has ushered some intense change. From getting dumped by my ex-boyfriend of 7 years, to my father passing away. These unforeseen events have instilled in me that just when you think you’ve found your footing, life will throw you on another path. I’ve always known I have some talents, but by walking “through the woods” this year so to speak, I’ve stepped into my greatness. What’s changed is there isn’t some subconscious uncertainty of who I am, I know I’m resilient and I’ve learned how to set boundaries. It’s allowed me to create content in a way that pours directly from my soul without influence of others judgement and I believe that shows in my content.
What has been the biggest moment of your life so far?
I don’t know that it’s the “biggest” but a major paradigm in my life happened this year. Growing up with two disabled parents meant they were constantly in and out of the hospital for months on end. I remember a “zen garden” at the hospital I’d visit as a kid that just seemed to soothe me. This year, after a depressive episode I thought “what did I love as a kid” and decided to google “Japanese Gardens near me." I went completely alone to the gardens and it was electrifying. I felt like I was plugging myself into a circuit. Learning I could enjoy my own company without anyone else and show myself this type of self love changed my life. It’s not that I don’t like hanging with others, it’s just I found I don’t NEED others to embrace an experience.
What’s one thing you hope never changes?
Everyone needs some sort of certainty right? One thing I hope never changes is my compassion towards others. It can be trying at times, especially after opening my notifications to so many insults and judgements. But I view empathy as my greatest strength and I truly believe everyone deserves to feel loved.
What does it mean to be a creator in today's world?
I love this question! I think creator is an umbrella term and in today's world there’s a million styles of hats it could fit. In a business sense, being a creator is to gather your life experiences as though they’re tools in a sculpting kit and cultivating a platform for public consumption. Much like cooking, anyone can “create” but I think there’s more complexity and nuance than people may realize.
You’re a certified crisis counselor and a mental health advocate. Tell us why taking care of a person's mental health is so important. What is one piece of advice you could give someone that is struggling with their mental health?
In short, the reason it’s important to care for your mental health is because it will substantially improve your quality of life. Like a superficial cut on your knee, there are certain things your mind will heal on its own. Then, like developing a deadly tumor, there are certain things your mind needs your attention for. You may not constantly feel a tumor in your body, but it’s there and it’s affecting you. Traumas and repressed emotions that go unaddressed show up for everyone differently, but I’d bet for the majority it’s showing up in a way that leaves you thinking “huh…now why do I keep doing that? Logically it makes no sense..but I just keep falling in the same trap!” If you’re struggling with your mental health, I know how exhausting it feels. Like you’re trying to swim to shore but the undertow is pulling you further and further. I want you to feel peace from constantly trying to keep from drowning, and I’m proud of you for staying afloat in spite of the waves. My advice to you is to take a moment and ask yourself “what am I feeling?” and press pause on those thoughts that say “others have it so much worse, It’s all my fault I’m here, I’m always so alone” and try telling yourself “it makes complete sense I’d feel this way. My mind is trying to tell me something with these emotions and I wanna know why.” You deserve to feel peace, and if you’ve made it this far there are some wonderful resources to support you on your journey of healing and self investment. I’d start by googling different styles of therapy like “CBT, DBT, or Trauma Informed”.
You are known for your creative and unique makeup looks. Take us through the BTS process of creating these and what you hope your followers gain from watching your TikTok videos.
To be honest I grew up incredibly insecure. I never felt “ugly” but never “hot” either. On the flip. I’ve always been fascinated by fashion dolls. Particularly Monster High, or Bratz. They’re cartoon enough that I know they aren’t an attainable look, but just human enough to personify. As I’m doing my makeup I mentally embody what I imagine a fashion doll is like, confident, poised, graceful, powerful. Like a doll, when I post a video I’m doing it for entertainment purposes. I just hope my followers gain a second of bliss when they stumble across the content that takes me 7+ hours to create.
What advice would you have for someone that might not have the confidence to express themselves to others?
Finding confidence can be so hard! It can be for a myriad of reasons, from constantly being put down to growing up around people that don’t accept you for who you are. It’s been my experience that if you struggle with “showing your glow” it’s a learned way of protecting yourself. For some of us in order to stay safe in the environment we’re in, we’re taught to dim our shine to avoid getting picked on or even abused. Take a minute to process whether you’re still in an environment that it’s unsafe to shine, if the answer is yes - that’s ok. You know your situation best and you know the boundaries of how bright to shine. If the answer is no, try starting with listing out your strengths. Are you organized, passionate, energetic, composed? Whatever affirmation you identify with, explore that. Instead of trying to force yourself to be this grand, extroverted, superstar of a human being, learn to master the skills you’re already gifted with. From there you can elaborate and grow into your excellence.
This feature is part of our Trailblazers to Follow 2021 campaign, which is honoring artists, actors, and internet personalities that are changing the game. You can visit our Trailblazers portal for more interviews.