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I was lucky enough to attend high school in Tampa, FL with the Buzzfeed star Kelsey Darragh. She has been blazing the trail as a Youtube sensation since her Youtube video “Shit Girlfriends Say” went viral. She is the creator of many popular videos, podcasts, has almost a half a million Instagram followers, her own merchandise line, and is the face of Buzzfeed.

She is also a f****** fantastic person.

Kelsey has remained the same outspoken and inspirational person that I remember from high school. She is three years older than I am and I remember sitting in TV production class and watching her on the morning show. I wanted to be just like her! I ended up following in her footsteps and anchored the morning show just as she did. It’s been incredible to watch her success unfold.

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Kelsey is an activist for women’s rights, LGBTQ, and mental health issues. She never holds anything back when discussing any issue and has created a space on the internet for people to relate and come together in a safe environment. She puts everything out onto the internet in the hope of helping others.

I had the chance to catch up with her and ask her how she remains so down to earth through it all.

*She didn’t hold back, so neither did I.*

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Q+A:

Q: How did you end up working for Buzzfeed? What’s your story?
Kelsey: “I tried doing the whole “4 years of college” nonsense but it just wasn’t for me. I’ve always known I wanted to make videos since I was a kid so I felt like I was wasting my time (and money) by trying to conform to the idea of traditional education systems. When YouTube became a thing, it was like a hallelujah moment for me. I started posting my own videos, making web series, and working freelance in the digital space in 2010. By the time I had applied to work at BuzzFeed, I had a whole digital body of work to show off. It was a perfect match!”
What’s the best part of working for Buzzfeed? 

“The people. Everyone who works here is incredibly smart and they’re all hustlers. We’re all used to wearing many hats – producer, writer, editor – everyone here is like a superhuman! I knew I wanted to work for BuzzFeed because they were so inclusive and their content was so progressive.”

What’s one thing you miss most from Florida besides family?
Ugh. The publix subs.”
How is it dating a mega DJ? 
“hahaha – I guess it’s like dating a regular person?? I have ZERO connections to the music so it was pretty fun to see what comes along with dating someone in that industry. It’s nice because the music world and entertainment are similar in ways. Long days, creative talks – it’s nice to be dating someone who knows what that’s like.”
What do you do to get through your “down days?”
“I like to meditate. My anxiety and depression manifests itself in thinking too much about what I have on my plate or that I haven’t done enough. Meditation helps me think of what I’m doing right now, totally in the present. One foot in front of the other!”
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How do you stay so real in a world that wants everything to be perceived as perfect?
“Oh Jesus, I definitely give in to those days when I’m totally bullshitting my way through with social media posts. I’ll use facetune if I’m breaking out and trying to be cute on insta. Then some days I’m just doing superzooms of my breakouts hoping someone else can relate. It’s a balance for sure lol.”
What’s something you would tell your teenage self? 
“CALM THE FUCK DOWN. I was such a dramatic teen. I felt like high school was the ONLY THING THAT WAS EVER GOING TO MATTER EVER!! That all these people were going to be my friends for life and this was my reputation for forever. The DAY I left for college (that I eventually dropped out of – see answer 1) , it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I wish I would’ve smoked less weed and paid more attention in class. I cared too much about boys. Was too afraid to come out as Bi. Played it too safe trying to look cool when I wish I would’ve just been a kid for a little longer.”
Who is your spirit animal?
“I’ll always relate to Amy Schumer. We both have made mistakes in comedy being too trope-y or stereotypical but I think as the comedy scene has changed, we’ve both grown into smarter comedians. We’ve both become sort of accidental activists. She’s all about female empowerment and I’m living for that shit. Look at me comparing myself to Amy like I know her LOL”
What’s your favorite project that you have ever worked on for Buzzfeed?
“I made a very personal video titled “My Pill Journey” for mental health month. It was a complete left turn from the usual comedy videos I made but was absolutely necessary for me to talk about. For years I had struggled so much and by putting my story out there was a sort of therapy.”
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What is something that you hope your fans learn from following you? 
“My audience is 80% female and I love that. I hope they learn to believe in themselves a little more…love themselves a little harder.”
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned in your rise to fame? 
“I would NOT call what I have fame at all. I think I’m really lucky in that any one cares what I’m doing! I think the hardest part about being watched by so many people is not comparing myself to other people. A quote I heard before that I love is “good for her, not for me.” Someone else’s success does not mean your failure!”
What is something about you that your fans don’t know about you? 
“I put so much about myself on the internet I don’t know if I have any secrets left inside of me. Lets see….oh! I really love love loooove the taste of spicy food but my white irish ass can’t handle even tiny bits of pepper so when I do eat spicy food I look like a masochist and everyone around me gets really worried because my body goes into shock and the adrenaline starts pumping and I sweat and cry and hiccup and look like I’ve  been through a war. But I love the taste of spice!” 
What’s the best advice you have ever received? 
“Put one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be walking out the door!” 
You can follow Kelsey on all  social media: @kelseydarragh
I hope you enjoyed peaking behind the curtain of an internet stars life! She really is something special.
Make it a great day!
XO, JB
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