Interview: Talking ASMR with Lily Whispers
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“My close friends and family were accepting, however, my school totally freaked out. I withdrew for a semester, took the summer to re-think my channel and what I wanted to do. People thought it was sexual and weird and I was ostracized at school because of it for some time.” You might at this point be wondering what Lily has done to warrant this response. Lily’s channel, Lily Whispers ASMR has over 170,000 subscribers with over 37 million views. She makes ASMR videos. ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, and YouTube is awash by a growing community of artists and watchers. These videos feature a variety of sounds that are intended to be relaxing and to cause tingles in the brain. Lily describes it as “a wave of relaxation, ‘tingles’ we call it, although I like to describe it as a warm shiver.” As for dropping out? “No one really knew that I dropped out. My parents were concerned so I went on mild antidepressants during this time and stayed on them until March 2016.” Lily had to take online summer courses to catch up. “I was very sad during this period of time. I felt like the whole school was now watching my videos so during the summer of 2014, you will notice that I did not really upload any roleplays or anything. I didn't want people thinking I was weirder than I already felt and I think that roleplays tend to stray on the stranger side of ASMR, even though they're my favourite types of videos to watch. “ Lily’s first video was uploaded on 14th July 2013 and is a make-up counter roleplay, featuring a wide variety of sounds. Rubbing, opening containers, all the sounds associated with cosmetics. This video drew inspiration from an earlier video watched by Lily: “I got suggested a video from AppreciateASMR's Lana Del Ray makeup video,” she begins, “once I put on headphones I was intrigued and fell asleep! I found it both entertaining and relaxing. “I had dabbled in YouTube before and thought hey - I could give back to the community too!” She says she began making videos because she “wanted to find a corner of the internet that I could always escape to and call home.”
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