Emilia Fart ordered Uber Eats to her bathtub, and 91,000 people watched. On her YouTube channel, which has amassed a following of nearly one million, she can also be found making salmon tartare in the stacks of a public library, preparing guacamole in a graveyard, and going on a first date for the first time in nine years. Known just as well for her soul-baring confessionals as her penchant for shaving parmesan over a bowl of arugula resting on a toilet seat, Emilia Fart's content occupies a niche that belongs solely to her. She marries spectacle with heart, absurdity with relatability, all wrapped up in turquoise hair, orange eyeshadow, and a neck scarf. Below, we talked to the YouTube creator about how she got her start, which videos mean the most to her, and how she defines the core intention behind her channel.
Refinery29: How did you get your start on YouTube, and how did you grow your following?
Emilia Fart: I watched YouTube for a long time and always wanted to do something in the realm of entertaining. But I just came up with all these reasons why I wasn't the type of person who could ever do that. And then you know, with the process of grief and — whatever, stuff happens — I started going to therapy, where I was able to finally admit maybe I want to try YouTube because I like watching it. And then once I started, I was like, Oh my god, I like this so much. It just felt so right.
At the beginning I would just relentlessly go into big creators' comment sections like right when they would post a video, and leave a really long really weird comment. At the very end of the comment, I'd be like, "Come to my channel, where I crush Nerds and use them as makeup." So just that got my first 15,000 subscribers. Then I got into the YouTube algorithm at that point.
How did you develop your very signature look and Emilia Fart persona, and how do you maintain authenticity online?
Well, that's just what I wear and what I think looks cool and also works well with my insecurities, so it's a perfect storm of that. And the persona, again, it’s just whatever I feel like saying or doing, so it's not like a thought-through thing. It actually kind of happened naturally. I wanted my Instagram name to be @emiliafarts because I thought it was cool to announce that I farted rather than hide it, and then it just became my online name. I think you just have to follow your gut and try not to let too many outside forces influence you, which is hard because there are so many.
Which is your favorite of your videos, and why?
It used to be “Showing what I looked like when I was normal,” because at the time it was kind of a thesis statement of where I was, and I had such an elated feeling afterwards. Now I really like my birthday videos, which I film as a selfish little memory of coziness for me. And then I also like doing these weird cooking in weird places videos right now, so I like "How to make an arugula salad in a public bathroom" — that one was fun. The way I come up with videos is I evaluate how I’m feeling and think of what will make me feel good, so that day I knew I needed to do some mischievous bullshit. I have always secretly been really into cooking, so I thought it would be funny to pair my passion and specific opinions about high quality food with the low-brow element of being beside a public toilet. I always want to make something that helps me feel good and also is something I haven’t seen before.
What video of yours was the hardest to film?
The hardest was probably the one where I talked about sexual abuse that happened when I was a kid. That was the hardest to film, and to watch myself back talking about it was kind of gnarly. It’s called "Talking about being molested while eating a scorpion on a hammock," I think.
Have you ever regretted sharing something on your channel?
The closest thing to regretting would be when I filmed a date. The date went really well, and then it fizzled soon after. So the closest thing would be that, because I didn't want to have people keep asking about it afterwards, so I talked about why it ended, and then the girl saw it and she was bummed by the way that I handled it. But also I refuse to let myself regret anything, because it all serves a purpose. Also, regret is an annoying emotion to have, so I refuse.
Is there any part of your life that you wouldn't share online?
I'm being a little more thoughtful now. Before, I would just share everything and it felt really right. But I think I've become a bit more sensitive. I think partially that date thing made me realize that if I want to date in a real way, I shouldn't talk about it.
How do you decide to do sponsored content or work with brands, like your recent parternship with adamandeve.com?
This is probably stupid to say, but it’s true — there's not a lot of logic that goes into my decision-making process. It’s usually like, if I get an email from someone wanting to do a sponsorship, I won’t even fully read the email. I just get an immediate gut feeling that's a yes or a no. And its usually a no, and then I just go by that. I also think I'm harder to sponsor for a multitude of reasons.
Do you identify as an influencer or a creator?
I describe myself as a creator. I associate the word influencer with a lot of ego attached to it.
What's your favorite social platform for sharing content?
I like YouTube the best just because I just vibe with it most. The form is longer, and you put more attention and thought into creating a narrative. But I like Instagram too. It's obviously not narrative-based, but just a performance art weird moment. I'm considering venturing into TikTok. I've fallen into TikTok holes far too often. So either I need to never go on it again, or I need to start making them. It's a weird black hole of children wanting to be seen and then the random old person here and there. It’s amazing — horrible, but amazing.
Why do you do what you do?
I've questioned that a fair amount. Because at a certain point I was asking myself — why am I doing this? Am I doing this for fame? Am I doing this just to be seen? To prove something to my family? Is it just shallow and ego-driven? Because if that is why I'm doing this, that’s not satiating to a soul, so I don't know if I should do it. But beyond the ego of social media, which arguably can be a hollow environment, I do have a core intention that I want to try to do good in a weird way. That might seem a little bit silly considering my content seems absurd, but I do have a master plan that I want to try to help [people] with how annoying I am in some way.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
In the year 2020, what does the word “influencer" even mean? In our new series Ask An Influencer, we're talking to TikTok stars, YouTube creators, sponcon models, and more about the questions followers really want answers to — the ones that don't get answered in the comments section.