Peniel Tovar is a 20 year old hispanic female YouTuber under the name CurlyPenny. She began her channel in June 2013 and has gained over 100,000 subscribers along with over 8,000,000 views. Penny likes to promote self acceptance while standing up against the beauty standards that women are held to. She makes videos mostly on natural curly hair care, hair product reviews and hair tutorials, but she also likes to show her humorous side with a few skit videos and rants. Although she is not a fan of makeup, she likes to share her fashion sense and outfits on her Instagram (@itscurlypenny) along with a good dose of memes. At the moment, she is pursuing a bachelors degree in nursing and planning her wedding for July 5, 2016. She loves to sing, skate and just have fun.
How were you inspired to begin your channel?
PT: My fiancé is the one who inspired me. I never in a million years thought I would ever make a YouTube channel. He would always see how I would watch other curly hair gurus and one day he told me, “you know, you know a lot about hair, you could do that too.” And I kind of just stared at him like he was crazy. He has experience in videography and photography so he helped me set up everything. We thought of my name together, we made my banner, we made the channel together and he helped me with my first few videos and taught me how to edit. If it wasn’t for him I never would’ve made one in the first place.
Where did you start?
PT: We started by thinking of a name and then we made the channel and banner. Then we just set up everything in my room on my bed and recorded my first video, and to this day my first video is one of my most viewed with over 300,000 views, pretty crazy.
What inspires you and keeps you moving forward?
PT: For my channel? I am a person that loves to present and teach, I love public speaking. YouTube gives me a platform to perform and teach which I love. My video ideas come from my subbies, situations I experience and random thoughts I have. As for life, I just like to have fun. As long as I am having fun I am happy.
Why are you passionate about it?
PT: I like to promote true, raw, natural self acceptance. YouTube gives me an outlet to reach out to people. We live in a shallow world that shames people for their lack of sex appeal. I am passionate about loving people for their hearts, not for their looks. I am passionate about it because it makes me angry to see how people are so incredibly shallow. Life is so short and you’re worried about somebody else’s body hair? Let them live and enjoy their life. We’re all flawed humans that poop and have bad breath in the morning. Stop trying so hard to be perfect, it’s more fun to accept who you are and accept others.
What’s your favorite aspect of the beauty, cosmetics and fashion industry?
PT: I am against most things in the beauty, cosmetics and fashion industry. They are the very people who are setting up standards that I am trying to tear down. However, I have noticed that companies are now more open to letting colored women, thicker women, and textured haired women be in their ads which is nice to see.
What makes your brand unique from other beauty, cosmetic and fashion channels?
PT: I don’t take myself seriously. I am tired of girls being told that they need to be sexy and serious. That’s why I purposely make ugly faces in my videos. I’m not scared to look “ugly”. I don’t try to be sexy, I don’t want to be sexy. I want to be a good person.
How do you organize/plan out your content?
PT: I have a list and each time I have an idea for a video I write it on that list. Whenever I feel ready to make a video I look at the list and choose what I should film. I get ideas from my subbies, situations that happen around me and my thoughts. My video making isn’t very organized, I mostly improv. My videos always end up being 1 or 2 hours and I just edit it down to a 5 minute video. One time I tried writing a script but I ended up not even reading it, they throw me off. I do better thinking at the top of my head.
What is your goal for your channel?
PT: I don’t know honestly. I mean, it’d be cool to become popular like those big YouTubers, but in the end I just want to be genuine and encourage people to love themselves.
PT: I don’t really have big dreams, I’m a simple person. I want to become a registered nurse and work in a hospital. I’m going to get married this July and I want kids in the future. I guess my biggest dream in life is to just have fun where ever I go. I never want to become a sour, old, boring person. I like to go out spontaneously and have fun. If I have spontaneous moments of fun all my life then I’ll die happy.
Who are your typical followers?
PT: Most of my followers love hair so we all share that passion. But everyone is unique. I’ve talked to people who are also going through nursing school which is neat.
How would you describe them?
PT: My audience is very mature, sweet, encouraging and understanding. They’re very kind people. I am glad I have such a nice community that supports me.
Do you have any tips for others trying to break into the beauty, cosmetics and fashion industry?
PT: Don’t try to blend in. The more you try to blend in the less you stand out. However, don’t try so hard to stand out, people can smell fake from a mile away. In the end it’s better and easier to just be you. Work hard, stay humble and be genuine.
What are your favorite beauty products or your go-to skincare regimen?
PT: I love hair products by Shea moisture. When it comes to my skin I just use raw honey to wash and coconut oil to moisturize.
What products are you currently using on a daily basis?
PT: I don’t use anything daily. I wash my hair twice a week with Shea moisture coconut water shampoo and I like to condition with devacurl decadence one condition. I just use coconut oil on my body and face and I fight breakouts with raw honey facials. Pretty much it.
What’s your personal style?
PT: I choose to wear mostly gender-neutral clothing. Society says I should be oozing with feminine sex appeal so I do the opposite. I wear saggy skinny jeans with snapbacks and on fancy occasions I whip out a suit and tie. For casual dress, I love graphic button down shirts with blazers, skinny dress pants, dress shoes and big watches. I like modesty, decency, respect and professionalism.
How does your personal style influence your branding?
PT: My image and style go hand in hand. I want to help women find their true value in their heart. In the end, what I want to promote is that you should never feel pressured to be sexy and you should never feel inadequate because of your physical appearance. You don’t need to be sexy to be happy. You don’t need to be sexy to feel accepted. You don’t need to be sexy to feel loved. You alone are enough, you are worthy of love no matter how you look.
What’s your favorite brand and why?
PT: For hair, I love Shea moisture and DevaCurl. For clothing, I love H&M, express, Rue 21 and forever 21.
What are your go-to outfit combinations?
PT: I usually go for my black skinnies, black dress boots, graphic button down shirt and a blazer on top. But my favorite outfit is my black joggers, all white high tops, tropical button down, bomber jacket and a snap back. Oh, and I always wear my crystal earrings, crystal necklace and a watch with every single outfit.
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