Her Independence of Spirit: Michelle Khare

Without a doubt from seeing her on her YouTube channel, you can definitely notice Michelle Khare has no problem kicking butt – whether that’s through facing her fears, overcoming past traumas, taking on new challenges or playing a fierce superhero. It’s also her real life content sharing her personality and aspects of her life that’s exudes a certain likability about her that resonates with her online audience. 

Michelle started her social media career at Buzzfeed, the popular American internet media company which was her first job out of university. On the reasoning behind her decision to take up the position, she explains “I’m a very type A person, I didn’t go to school for film, I was a technology major and did science fairs growing up. I was really into school, and thought “I have to study really hard and become a doctor, lawyer, one of those really set things”. But, what I’ve always wanted to do was to perform and I did theatre and singing growing up but it was always “Oh, but that can only be an extra-curricular”. I saw Buzzfeed as an opportunity to have a 9 to 5 job, while being able to learn everything about the digital sphere such as what makes a video work online.”

She stayed there for two years before she venturing out on her own with her own channel in 2016. Despite having the username Michelle Khare since middle school, the channel remained dormant. Having left a big media company where there were heavy restrictions on content creators with their own channels due to potential conflicts of interests, Michelle struggled with this newfound relationship with freedom which had her solely rely on her own vision “I caught myself falling into rules a lot when I started, and then I was like to myself “I just need to do things I’m excited about, even if they’re not perfect – they will be fine.”  

Since then, Michelle has amassed over 30 million views and gained over 600,000 subscribers who have fallen in love with her upbeat, positive and ambitious personality. With her creating videos that display her inner strength (such as her candid vlog of her sharing her journey of recovery from being robbed at knifepoint) to her physical strength (with her MK ULTRA series which sees her take on the training regimes of superheros and perform an exhilirating fight scene displaying her newly learnt skills)

In 2015, Michelle was robbed at knifepoint outside of her apartment whilst she was returning home. The attack left her with trauma and altered her life and mindset.

“It absolutely changed my entire perspective of being a woman, my concept of safety and it was a harsh wake up call to who I was as a person. Being on a cycling team and training a lot, I naturally had this idea of “If someone tried to hurt me, I’m strong and capable of holding my own” and I think that that was absolutely a very wrong approach. When my assault happened, it doesn’t matter how strong you are physically or how much weight you can lift in a gym if you don’t know the process of how to get your brain to operate your body [in that situation].

What happened to me was when I was attacked I froze entirely, I didn’t move. I realised all I needed was one self defence class to be able to go through a mental checklist of “breathe, put your hands here, use them like this” and the moves don’t require much strength – it’s like “kick them in the nuts”. And knowing that or practicing that even once would have made me so much safer. And I think especially at that point I realised I need to learn how to defend myself in a high stressful situation.

From that experience, I encourage everyone no matter how strong you think you are to take one self defence class because it’s very important to train your brain on how to deal with those high stress situations.

On where she is now she says “Like any assault survivor, I still struggle. I still worry about going home alone at night. But at the same time I think, “Wow, if that hadn’t happened, I am appreciative that it’s been a driving force to do a lot of these cool things”

This drive led her to go on to do more challenges as a form of therapy. It’s the drive that allowed her to run a marathon after only ten weeks of training and perform fight scenes like infamous superheroes such as Spiderman, Batman, Daredevil and Rey from Star Wars.

On maintaining that fearless spirit she recites one of her favourite quotes “everything you want is on the other side of fear” which is what she aims to put in all the content that she makes.

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Alongside the fearlessness that’s present when pushing her boundaries, it’s also present when it comes to ambition.

The 25 year old content creator touched on her ultimate career aspiration of representing her community in becoming the next Marvel superhero lead “We absolutely have not seen a mixed-race, East Asian female in a lead superhero role and I think that would be really f*cking awesome to showcase. I would also love to see a Polynesian female, I would love to see everyone represented – looking cool and looking strong. But also at the same time, while I am aware my place is a minority I don’t want my casting to be a diversity throwaway. I want to earn my way, and I am aware of opportunities I’ve missed because of the way I look but that really just encourages me to do it on my own [on my YouTube channel] than wait for somebody to cast me.”

On what defines her independence of spirit she says “For me, I didn’t see people I related to on TV or in the media when I was younger and I had this idea that my life had to be defined by a profession that is understood to be lucrative and stable and that is the way life is.  Views, followers, all that stuff is one thing but if I can inspire one young girl to try out for their sports team, to go out for the school play or even try Math Olympia –  something that scares them then I feel like I’ve done my job.” 

You can check out Michelle Khare’s YouTube channel here

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