I'm Obsessed with Christy Carlson Romano's Vlogs
TLDR: Christy Carlson Romano recently posed several vlogs where she candidly talks about her relationships with fame, her co-stars, and her self image. Girlfriend has either done a lot of therapy or really intense journaling -- she reflects on her life with poise, humor, and just a hint of resentment (where most of us would be rolling in it like little piggies in the mud, let's be real).
Highly recommend, especially if you were like me and loved the Big Sisters of Disney:
The Longer Version
I've had a lot of weird jobs: children's party performer, luxury car reviewer, baby shower caterer ... but my first ever job was Big Sister. The gig started early, at the age of two when my brother came home from the hospital, where I assumed my parents picked him out from a baby cabbage patch. I took my job very seriously. In fact, at one point, I probably credited myself with teaching him how to walk and talk - that's how many hours I was clocking. But, like, he'd grow up in a few years, I thought, then I'd be off the hook.
Then my other brother was born, and theeeeen, when I was at the ripe old age of seven, my little sister was born. My quick stint as a Big Sister, as it turns out, would turn into a lifetime career.
Maybe that's one of the reasons I glommed onto Disney shows like Lizzie McGuire and Even Stevens. Lizzie and Ren were two gals (just like me!), trying to navigate school and boys and butterfly clips (me me me!), while also dealing with *~*LiTtLe BrOtHeRs*~* (meeeeeeee). Their parents said the same things MY parents said, like, "Watch out for your little brother," or "As a big sister you have to set a good example." I didn't know anything about hair stylists or makeup or writers and executive producers, so the fictional characters Ren and Lizzie were real to me. Even Stevens and Lizzie McGuire might as well have been hard-hitting documentaries.
The thing about being the Big Sister is that you don't have one yourself. This absence was perpetuated by the fact that I never had any older camp pals or cousins to look up to. Not having any older kids in my life might be one of the reasons I unironically watched Spongebob Squarepants well into my late teens and was deeply shocked when friends admitted to smoking pot; there was no one showing me how to grow up. I mean, I guess except for Lizzie and Ren.
Those shows ended, but my fascination with the Cool Big Sister didn't. While I auditioned to be Lost Boy #17 in my high school production of Peter Pan, Christy Carlson Romano debuted as Belle in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. I remember this so clearly, because a naive part of me believed that we were on similar paths.
Meanwhile, Hilary Duff had that blip of a music career. Her lyrics said, "Let the rain fall down," but her eyeliner said, "Screw Lizzie McGuire. I'm an only child now." Kind of felt like my Cool Big Sister started hanging out with a new crowd and she wasn't going to be giving me rides home from school anymore.
In the coming years, my focus shifted to my other "family members," Lindsay and Britney. They were struggling and it felt like the only thing I could do was worry in the checkout line at Giant while trying to make it look like wasn't actually with my mom, just near her. (Teenagers are horrible.) I didn't wonder about Christy, because I didn't worry about her. She was smart and looked good with braces and could sing - she'd be fine!
But then, in 2019, I saw her YouTube channel.The video that YouTube suggested was "Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable Make THE NACO!!!" Please remember that I used to work for a website where pretty much my only job was to make videos that got views. This video ticked so many "we want to go viral" boxes: nostalgia, cartoons, celebrities we didn't realize we miss. Honestly, it was a good idea: the video has over 2 million views and jumpstarted the YouTube channel so that it could start earning ad revenue.
Plus, people obviously loved it.
I just didn't believe that Christy loved it.
Which says more about me than it does about her, as my former therapist would say. If anything, the video proved that Christy Carlson Romano would make a fabulous HGTV host. Because she's talented! I couldn't quite put my finger on why it didn't sit well with me. Maybe because I knew from experience how contrived those kinds of videos can be. Maybe because I still yearn for an Older Sister to be an example for me - what the heck do I do next with my hecking life? Because I don't have any former co-stars to make fictional food with!
I lost track of the channel until ... yesterday. When this video popped up:
"You've got two ears so you can listen twice as much as you speak with your one mouth," Christy shares as she walks a hiking trail in Austin, Texas, where she now lives with her husband and two daughters. Ummm, okay, WISDOM.
The video is ten minutes of authenticity. It's not a traditional "HEY WHAT'S UP YOU GUYS" kind of vlog - it's someone who has lived many lives and many ups and downs sharing her experiences to help other people examine their own. Guh! I love it so freaking much. I watched all five of the vlogs she's posted recently and was selfishly thrilled to hear that she's questioned her relevancy and had financial problems. Me too, Christy!!! ME TOO!!!!!
Usually, when we see celebrities being interviewed, they have a publicist off camera, within earshot - someone who can make sure they stick to the script, hype up their latest project, and not accidentally shit-talk a production company. Because MONEY.
The same goes for their social media accounts (that is, until Britney finally got her's back). There's a ~team~ involved. There are rules.
Not to be dramatic, but Christy Carlson Romano said, "Fuck the rules!" with these vlogs. No, literally. She said the f-word, guys. She's so cool.
Ironically, Christy showing who she is outside of her Disney stardom makes me feel like she's my Older Sister more than ever. Like, I want to wear fake eyelashes the next time I'm on a hike. And I'll remember that she blew all her Disney money on an old car but is still a successful business lady and mom the next time I'm worrying about my internet bill. It just helps. IT JUST FREAKING HELPS!
Thank you, Christy! If you ever want a Crying is Cool shirt, let me know 💖