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Haters Back Off - Cancelled - My Thoughts

Credit: ColleenB123 on Twitter

A month ago I sat down on this same couch and wrote my Season Two review of Netflix Original Series Haters Back Off. I loved it. Getting to dive deeper into the mindsets of the characters, watching shocking storylines unfold and, Colleen Ballinger's (Executive Producer, writer, creator and star) cliffhanger cameo were all parts of why I enjoyed the season. The humour was so unique, much like Miranda Sings. There were countless times throughout both seasons where while watching, I wondered how the team behind the show came up with such perfect storm situations for Miranda to endure. It isn't much of a mystery, though - Colleen has been playing online sensation Miranda Sings for nearly a decade. Miranda has become a huge part of her life. This wasn't just a two-season stint for Colleen and her brother, Chris (also Executive Producer and writer). This was years in the making.

I've been following Colleen/Miranda for five years, starting during a pivotal point in my life - 11th grade. I couldn't wait to get home from school, log onto YouTube and watch people who I considered to be like friends share tales of their day with me (and thousands of others). I never felt like I fit in in high school... for starters, while those around me aspired to become doctors, lawyers, teachers & scientists, I hoped to get into the media industry. Creativity and humour are a big part of who I am; I literally sang and joked my way through presentations in school, while in the back of my mind a little voice told me everyone was judging my actions. Once I began watching more YouTube - the first person I watched consistently being Colleen/Miranda - I realized that it was not only okay, but great to embrace my silly personality. These people I watched were being themselves, and encouraged others to follow suit. In a world of sameness, difference became beautiful. Colleen was someone I related to SO much, because it's evident she follows the same life motto. For that, i'll always have admiration.

Fast forward to 2015. Colleen excitedly announces her upcoming Netflix series. I was entering my second year of the university media program I had aspired to get into for years. We're constantly reminded by our professors that female representation is seriously lacking in the media industry; especially in off-camera roles. I felt more invigorated than ever, knowing I could play a part in creating change for future generations. Colleen would do it first, though; executive producing, writing, creating AND starring in her own show. She made her dreams a reality by working her tush off, and I felt lucky having a front row ticket to seeing that unfold. In October 2016, Season One aired. I watched in awe as this powerful, hilarious, brilliant woman I had looked up to for years took over the world. If she could do it, I could too. Now, a year later, my fourth year thesis team is in post-production for our web series. The upcoming series, titled The Book of Girl, stars three female best friends navigating their way through high school and proudly boasts a female-driven crew. This is something we've been working on for a year, and to witness it come to life before my eyes is extraordinary. I can't imagine how Colleen and her team felt as they shared their creativity with the world on a much larger scale... but if i'm experiencing half of that, I feel So. Damn. Lucky.

I'd be lying if I said Colleen's hard work and dedication haven't rubbed off on me, or played any role in my love of the project i've been working on. Yes, the show was written incredibly well, and lead actors Colleen, Erik, Angela, Steve and Francesca performed flawlessly. But, above all, i'm grateful that Haters Back Off impacted my life and future in such a significant way. Two seasons of a show on Netflix is amazing in itself; what's even more incredible is that Colleen's reign over the online world will continue, with or without that platform. Since finding her channels in December 2012, she's rose from 50,000 to over 5 million subscribers on her main channel, and from 100,000 to over 8 million subscribers as Miranda Sings . She's amassed a following of young people like I was in 11th grade, who want so desperately to stop worrying about what others think and just be who they are. That mindset will never go out of style.

If you've made it to the end of this little blurb, thank you for taking the time to listen to my thoughts on a show and woman who have done so much for me, a now 21-year old aspiring media professional. To any girls like I was who are wondering whether or not their dreams are achievable - my plea to you is to keep going, and never give up. You are capable.

Colleen, all of us fans are thinking about you and your cast and crew. Thank you for dedicating two years of your life to Haters Back Off, and for making a strong impression on mine. I can't wait to see what you do next. (For those of you who aren't familiar with Colleen's videos as herself, i'd start with this one).

Talia


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