Bella Poarch is one of the most recognisable faces on video-sharing platform TikTok, her head bobbing "M to the B" video became the most 'liked' on the platform, and more followed, frequently seen with her toy Alpaca and engaging in “kawaii” culture, a nod to Japan’s pop-culture obsession with 'cuteness'.
(Picture: Bella Poarch)
Now with 45m followers and over 825m likes on the platform its safe to say life has changed a lot in the last six months for the former US Navy veteran.
But behind the cute public persona Bella Poarch, like so many of us, has been battling her own demons a situation that she has eluded to recently when she was asked why she had so many tattoos.
Responding in a TikTok the reason was as tragic as it was unexpected.
“I had a rough childhood,” explained Poarch. “My scars from abuse made me insecure. And so I had to cover up my scars with tattoos.”
Now the TikTok star has posted a statement on all her social media platforms further explaining what she describes as a daily "war" against mental health, a war that has been helped massively with her success on TikTok.
"Before any of this ever happened to me, I was in a really dark place," wrote Poarch.
"I would wake up going to war with my depression, PTSD, and anxiety. My two biggest weapons to fight it were singing songs on my ukulele or playing videos games."
Describing a situation which was growing "hopeless" for the 19-year old Bella took up the suggestion from a friend to download TikTok.
"Overnight my life changed," explained Poarch.
"I'm still fighting the same war but the arsenal of things that help me fight are different now."
"I get to work with my favourite fashion brands, video games/companies. I get to go to the studio and work with songwriters and producers who have made the music for all my favourite artists. For the first time in my life, I wake up looking forward going to war (sic)."
She also took a disarming tone with her critics, which she has gained during her rise with hate going her way for her use of "kaiwai" culture and the audience it attracts to her tattoo's one of which depicted the Rising Sun Flag, used by the Japanese during WWII and seen as highly offensive in many countries, particularly South Korea and China. She subsequently apologised and got the problematic tattoo covered up.
"I know some people don't think I deserve to be here. I don't either," wrote Poarch.
"But I want to say thank you to my fans supporting me. You are all fighting the war with me."
Bella Poarch's life indeed has changed since becoming a TikTok star, she now boasts her own merch line and brand deals including most recently for DreamWorks Animation's The Croods: A New Age, which saw her take the place of one of the movie's characters.
She has also been teasing a new venture with internet star James Charles, known for his beauty and make-up videos on YouTube.
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