Pixielocks is Using Her Platform to Destigmatise Mental Health
Jillian, aka Pixielocks, is YouTube’s most colourful influencer! Her personal style and designs show off every colour of the rainbow. But, this influencer isn’t all rainbows and sparkles. She uses her online platform to talk about mental health in an effort to create a safe space for others and destigmatize mental health. Whether online or offline, Pixielocks is about fashion, community and being unapologetically herself!
Please introduce yourself.
Hi! My name is Jillian Vessey but most people call me Pixie! I’m a fashion blogger-turned-designer with a passion for super happy kawaii fashion made with an ethical and sustainable focus.
You started off as a Lolita and now your style could be described as a walking rainbow! Tell us about your fashion journey.
I started uploading to my YouTube channel when I was just 16 years old! At that time I was very interested in Lolita fashion and found myself enjoying being a part of a community that lived and breathed cuteness like I did. Over the years, I decided to branch out to other sort of loosey-goosey kawaii styles that encouraged more wacky experimentation. To this day I don’t really fit into a J-fashion substyle, but I’m soooo happy with where my personal style has evolved to!
You are also studying fashion design. Has this always been a passion of yours?
Yes, fashion design has always been a major interest of mine! I started sewing little silly pillows and simple dresses at age 9 with my first sewing machine, and at age 12 I discovered the world of cosplay. That year I attended my first anime convention, in a VERY slapped-together, duct-tape-laden Rin Kagamine cosplay. I’ve loved sewing ever since then. I think the fact my introduction to sewing more regularly was through cosplay may have encouraged my cartoony, technicolour fashion designs today!
Being from a small province in Canada, it must have been difficult to find people with similar interests.
I think my town being SO small actually helped, because everyone knew me already, my outfits were never really a surprise! However, finding people actually interested in the same things I liked helped a lot, of course. Tumblr was my first platform where I really sunk into the kawaii-sphere, and that definitely amplified my existing desire to look weird.
You’ve created an amazing community because of YouTube. What’s the best part about being part of an online community?
I’m SO LUCKY to have wound up with such a sweet group of folks. I honestly couldn’t ever express how much I love our community. I’ve grown a bit more shy lately, and have been struggling to keep up with multiple platforms, so sometimes I feel a bit detached from all the other J-fashion fun going on on Facebook and TikTok, but my confetti pals make my heart so full!!!
You share a lot about your mental health on YouTube. Why do you think it’s important to do so on this platform?
Mental health activism is so incredibly important to me. I have struggled my whole life and the main thing that finally brought me comfort after years and years of confusion, was seeing people like me for the first time. When you have a chronic disorder that is a part of your everyday life, it is exhausting to try to cover that up and mask yourself as neurotypical.
I try to make a continuous effort to normalize mental health conditions, and not just my own! I’ve made so many friends with Autism, Bipolar disorder, DID, C-PTSD, and they have all opened my mind to other people’s lived experiences. I just think everyone should learn a little bit about everything, you never know when you will cross paths with someone with a different brain than you.
Being so open about your mental health and your personal life in general must have its occasional downsides.
Ohhhhhhh yes. I knew the stigma was bad before I came out about my disorder, but wow is it ever bad! My primary diagnosis right now is Borderline Personality Disorder, which is arguably one of the most villainized mental health conditions alongside DID and Schizophrenia. Although the occasional pointed comments about my BPD are harsh, being visible is more important to me. When I discover that a creator or celebrity I love has the same disorder(s) as me, I feel such a sweet solidarity. I can only hope other people may feel at my channel too.
As well as creating a colourful online space for yourself and your community, you’ve also created the perfect rainbow house! Can you tell us about the creation process?
When I found out I was allowed to paint my rental, I just about did a loop-de-loop in the sky. I knew I wanted a pastel rainbow, so we went and picked out paint swatches and I mapped out the wall patterns in my sketchbook (and eventually The Sims, lol). Lots of painters tape for stripes, and lots of friends and family to help out! I honestly am almost excited for the day we move on to a new rainbow house and I get to film the de-rainbowfying of the home… sad but satisfying. Sadisfying.
Where do you feel most at home, online or offline?
That is a very interesting question. I think real life has to be more like home to me, but when internet pals become real life pals or events like the meet-up in New York, those moments when the internet becomes real life are the most special!
Any last words?
Thank you so much for reading, shop small and shop second-hand!!! <3