YouTube star Claire Marshall: 'Mum raised me to be strong, independent'

That she had been adopted from South Korea when she was barely one and brought up by an American woman did not faze YouTube star Claire Marshall while growing up.

Her unconventional upbringing was what made her the strong, independent woman she is today.

Speaking to The New Paper over the phone from Los Angeles on Wednesday, the Korean-American beauty and lifestyle vlogger, who is in town for It's A Girl Thing, said: "My mum is probably the reason I'm here today.

"She's one of the most important people in my life and she has taught me everything that I know.

"She has raised me to be strong and independent. She has taught me not to take any crap from anybody and to do what I want to do and be passionate about it."

In one of her YouTube videos titled MARY, which was uploaded last June, Marshall talked about her single mother Mary, who is now in her early 70s.

Mary was diagnosed with early stage dementia in 2011 and has been suffering from memory loss since.

The 32-year-old said: "Unfortunately, my mum has Alzheimer's disease, so she doesn't understand what my job is.


"She doesn't know what I do, but she has always been very supportive, as long as I'm passionate and happy about it."

Marshall was always aware that she was adopted and it was not an issue at school, except once when she was about seven and her mother was chaperoning her class on a school trip.

"One of my classmates asked me, 'Your mum doesn't look like you, why is that?' And I was, like, 'Haven't you ever heard of adoption?'

"I always understood that she wasn't my real mum, but it was a matter of fact that that's my mum," she said.

Marshall, whose YouTube username is ohhaiclaire, has been posting make-up reviews and vlogs since 2011. She has nearly 900,000 subscribers.

Before going into YouTube full-time, she was a freelance make-up artist who had moved from New York to Los Angeles in 2012.

She said: "It was hard to find consistent work, especially because I was new to the place.

"(Of course) I still worked (as a make-up artist), until I was able to pay my rent with the money I earned from YouTube.

"I started my channel because I've been watching YouTube videos for so long, and I felt pretty confident in my make-up knowledge to share that information."

Marshall said she has probably faced more flak over her tattoos - which cover her left arm, collarbone and lower back - than her ethnicity, but the criticism "doesn't really bother" her.

She said: "It's funny because I didn't realise until recently that tattoos are illegal in Korea and it's something that intrigues me greatly...

"I think back in the day, being Asian and having tattoos actually helped me stand out from everyone else that's on YouTube.

"Nowadays, I feel like there's so much diversity on the Internet, which is amazing."

"It's funny because I didn't realise until recently that tattoos are illegal in Korea and it's something that intrigues me greatly.

- Claire Marshall

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