Saturday Aug 13, 2022
Saturday Aug 13, 2022

Journey of an Influencer

2021 Dec 17, 8:10, Kathmandu

Elena Gurung had a keen interest in drama ever since she was a little girl. She would often perform caricatures of people around her. “I was very good at picking up people’s actions and mannerisms. I loved doing caricatures of them”, she says. Vines were gaining a lot of popularity and fandom around the world when she first uploaded her comedy videos on social media platforms. However, it was not well known in Nepal. 

Despite a lack of knowledge about vines in Nepal, Gurung decided to go for it with the support of her elder sister. She was met with a huge amount of positive response, and a lot of encouragement to keep making more content. “I had not expected that amount of positive feedback when I uploaded the video. I was deeply motivated to create more content since then”, she says, 

However, support from her family only came from her elder sister. At the very beginning of her journey as a content creator, her parents showed no support. “I do not blame them for their lack of support at the beginning. Making videos for a living was something unimaginable at that time, especially for our parents. Whenever I would make videos on my phone, they would only see it as me wasting my time on my phone”, she says.

Gurung explains that being a social media influencer is a long and slow process and cannot be achieved overnight. “It isn’t the same these days, but it was especially a slow and long journey for me as I started getting brand deals and offers only after I crossed over 25 thousand followers on Instagram”, she says. However, deals and offers from brands were nowhere precious for Gurung as was meeting and working with people she grew up watching on television. “To have an opportunity to work with the idols I grew up admiring is something I am deeply grateful about”, she says. “It is a huge deal to get this opportunity and I am very grateful for it”, she adds. 

Usually people want to become social media influencers to earn fame and fortune. However, Gurung had none of these in mind when she started her journey. “The only reason I started was because I loved making videos. And I wanted to make people laugh with my videos”, she says. “To make people happy even if it is just for a short time was and still is my main objective to make these videos”, she adds.  

After a few years of her working as a content creator, Gurung went through an appendix surgery after which she gained a lot of weight. She, who was already insecure about showing her body in her videos, became more aware about the comments regarding her weight in her videos. “I was very conscious about showing just my head in my vines and videos from the very beginning. I was afraid I would be judged if people saw my body”, she says. “After gaining weight post surgery, I was body shamed and received a lot of hate comments on a particular video called ‘Nepali people be like’. This felt like my worst fear coming true”, she says.

Gurung struggled a lot after this incident. She was more aware of her weight, especially in her videos. “I was still too young to understand that no matter what I did, there will always be people who will dislike me and my content”, she says. “As I grew older, I realized that my body should not be of anyone’s concern, especially if it is healthy weight gain. This realization helped me become more confident in my own body”, she adds.

Gurung speaks openly about how she struggled with body image issues during her teenage years on her social media platform as often as she can. She has become an inspiration to many young girls to accept themselves for who they are. Similarly, she is also the voice of many women who struggled in the same ways she did when she was younger. “We have been taught from a very young age what a ‘beautiful body’ looks like. I felt judged and stared at all the time, and I could not concentrate on anything else”, she says. “Maybe I would not struggle so much if I had someone to guide me and teach me that beauty standards mean nothing. It is extremely important for me to speak about body dysmorphia so another little girl does not feel as lost as I was”, she says. 

Gurung is a firm believer of being unapologetically yourself and living life to the fullest no matter what. “Though as human beings, it is our nature to please people, I believe that it is impossible and just a waste of time”, she says. According to her, one should not waste precious time trying to please somebody instead of working for themselves and enjoying life. “People do not realize that time does not come back once it passes. Hence, it is important to utilize it by doing something you won’t regret later in life”, she adds. 

Facebook: Elena Tika Gurung

Instagram: @elenadon_

Youtube: Elena Don


social media influencer Elena Gurung journey content creator weight gain body dysmorphia body positivity body shaming Instagram
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