Google for Creators

A creator who started posting at 12 now has over 700,000 fans

Google for Creators recently launched The Conversation, a new YouTube series spotlighting the experiences of women of color creators. This month, we’re featuring 21-year-old creative director, model and social media influencer Hannah Mussette, who began creating and posting content at age 12. Learn more about Hannah below and check out the full interview.

Social media influencer Hannah Mussette grew up on the internet, creating and posting content starting at age 12. Now, at 21, Hannah has a successful brand and over half a million followers. But the road to get there wasn’t easy. Like many others, she found that middle school wasn’t always a welcoming, inclusive environment. “I had very bad social anxiety,” Hannah recalls. “I was getting made fun of in school. I didn’t have any friends. My only outlet was to turn to the internet.”

Hannah began creating and sharing videos as a way to express her bubbly personality — showing what she had in her backpack or just goofing around with her sister. “I felt the internet wouldn’t judge me,” she shares. “I felt more comfortable being myself online, which I couldn’t do in [my] environment.”

Hannah began posting makeup tutorials in high school, taking note of what other women of color were doing online. At 16, she decided to go public with a deeply personal issue — her hair. “I used a relaxer, which is the devil,” she says. “My father said, ‘Do something with your hair. It looks fried.’ I said, ‘OK, I got you.’” Hannah took matters, and scissors, into her own hands. 30 minutes later, she emerged from the bathroom with her hair cut short. She documented the process in a YouTube video called My BIG Chop!, which quickly went viral. “I was watching the views go up,” Hannah says. “It was 20,000. Then, it was 50,000. Then, it was a million before I knew it. I was like, ‘Wow!’ And I knew that was my niche.”

Hannah’s YouTube homepage featuring her “Nighttime skincare and shower routine,” among other haircare and skincare videos.

Hannah shares haircare, skincare and modeling tips, as well as her thoughts on sexuality and self-care, in her YouTube videos.

Since it was first posted in 2016, Hannah’s haircut video has attracted more than 1.5 million views. Her YouTube channel now has 433,000 subscribers, who watch Hannah’s take on natural haircare and skincare, beauty, style, relationships and more. And her Instagram profile has 240,000 followers.

Today, Hannah is a professional model, content creator and social media influencer, with sponsorship and affiliate deals from multiple beauty brands. She is also co-founder and creative director of Jumu, a company that sells natural hair products.

Hannah shares some of what she’s learned from growing up in the social media spotlight.

Hannah smiles as she shows off her brown curly hair, which she wears in an afro. She has on a tank top, gold necklaces, hoop earrings and rings on her fingers.

Creating and sharing content helped Hannah overcome anxiety and find herself. It also jump-started her career in modeling and business.

Evolving with her content

Hannah’s content evolved as she grew into a young woman. “My content has changed dramatically,” she says. “Between the [ages] of 14 to 17, it was usually hair videos or school vlogs. I would take my camera to school and film with my friends.” Today, Hannah still shares beauty and styling tips, but she also vlogs on self-care and sexuality. She even opened up about her adoption story. “Now we're talking about grown-up stuff,” she says. “We're having girl talks.”

Taking on social issues

Hannah also promotes Black-owned businesses and posts about women’s rights and social justice issues. She doesn’t intend to stir up controversy, but she doesn’t shy away from it either. “I’m trying to educate,” she says. “People will either agree with me or they won’t. That’s the joy of social media. For every negative comment, there are 30 more from people wanting to know more, and thanking me for posting and speaking up.” Still, living in the social media spotlight can be challenging. “Social media can be a little bit scary,” Hannah admits. “I’m showing my personality, but some people will throw that back in your face. I try not to listen to [the negative] comments.”

Being a role model

Hannah wishes she could tell her 12-year-old self that everything would turn out OK. Now, she wants to inspire other girls and women of color to feel good about themselves. “My biggest inspiration is little girls, Black girls,” Hannah says. “Because when I first started [posting] the hair videos, the initial comments were, ‘Oh, I'm 10, or I’m 12, and my mom won't let me cut my hair, but I want to. I want to be like you one day.’ I want to be that person for little girls… that person that they can look up to.”

Hannah stands on a sidewalk in Manhattan, New York, with trees and a metal fence behind her. She wears a red, oversized blazer with a lacy black top, red lipstick and her hair in braids.

Hannah looks ahead to a bright future, which includes inspiring other girls and women of color.