The popular Danish Youtuber Julia Sofia Aastrup (21) has become known for her humorous and honest videos, where she shares her everyday life and how she experiences being a young woman in 2019.
“I love the complexity of being a woman! That I can be strong and badass, but at the same time embrace my softer sides to the fullest – I think it’s so liberating. For me there’s a great power in it.” She finds it startling how many of the traits, which are traditionally associated with being a woman, such as being warm, caring, and motherly, are often translated as being weak. “But it’s precisely these qualities that make the world go round, which bind us all together. So, I look at them as strengths!”
Julia Sofia highlights both her mother and her grandmother as women who have inspired her - not only to take the space that she deserves, but also to be confident in herself. “They have taught me that what you’ll be remembered for when you leave a room is not the few extra kilos you may have or the pimples on your forehead that day, but the feeling you leave behind. It is your energy, your presence, and how you make people feel, that make an impression on people.” Like anyone, Julia Sofia doesn’t only have good days where she feels like a boss. However, she does have a few little tricks up her sleeve for those days she doesn't quite feel on top of her game. “If I’m having a bad day, I remind myself that it’s ok to not always be super-motivated and happy. I think that's healthy – to just let yourself have one of those days. And for me, it works well to just be alone and recharge the batteries a little. I put on comfortable clothes, watch a movie and spend some quality time with myself. I try to just be kind to myself and, most importantly, I don't have the slightest bad conscience for it!”
Julia Sofia has shared her everyday life openly and honestly with her followers for many years. One thing she temporarily kept a little more private was her love life. It was when she attended a Pride parade last year that she decided to share this with her followers as well. Although she didn’t really have any queer role models when growing up in the small town of Greve in Denmark, it was at the Pride parade where she realized that maybe some of her followers were in the same situation as her. The fact that she could now become the role model that she wished she had was a big reason why she chose to take a step out. “Being among queer people of all ages who expressed themselves so freely gave me an overwhelming feeling that this was something I had to talk about.” The reason she was a little reluctant about doing this is that she didn’t want to place herself, or anyone else, in a single category. “Putting each other in a box, and giving labels, does nothing good at all. It restricts us and prevents us from learning more about ourselves and expanding our horizons. And there are plenty of indications that society has a long way to go before labels are history. When Julia Sofia recently hosted a TV show, the host introduced her as a lesbian. “It was a little unexpected. Yes, I've had girlfriends, but I find it interesting how people feel a need to place you in a particular category in that way.
Since she was only eight years old, Julia Sofia, has loved to express her femininity and personality through makeup and clothing. “My mother encouraged me to play with it for myself, and not necessarily to look nice for others. I see it as an outlet for my creativity, and a harmless way to express myself. You can always remove the makeup and clothing!” The Youtuber explains further that her mood sets the tone for what she wears and how she does her make up. “When I feel bright and happy, I prefer to be completely natural. Other days, I feel fearless and badass and want to paint my lips red – and if I feel more melancholy and dramatic, maybe I will go with darker makeup. I love experimenting with it!”
Something else Julia Sofia is passionate about is cheering up girls and women. And for her, this includes cheering on herself. She has even written a book about it. The idea for the book came from the Guldbaggen, an award ceremony for influencers in Denmark. “When the nominations were published, I noticed that many of the nominees were very modest. They said, "I'm nominated, but you don't have to vote for me, vote for who you want. I just wanted to mention that I'm nominated." And I thought, of course, I want people to vote for me! We are sometimes so afraid of being seen as self-indulgent or arrogant that we dare not be proud of ourselves and what we do. So, this is why I would like to boost the importance of being your own biggest fan and patting yourself on the back. It's the least you can do for yourself! The best advice Julia Sofia can give to other girls also touches on this. “Respect yourself by always following your gut feeling. It’s so important that we do not let anyone tread on us. Not in friendships, relationships, at school or at work. We must learn to know our own boundaries and to respect them. You are worth it!