jordan bone’s video about disability is the best thing we’ve seen
We catch up with the make-up artist to find out what beauty means to her.
Growing up, Jordan Bone always wanted to be a singer, but at 15 years of age, the British beauty was in a car crash that left her paralyzed from the chest down. While the rest of her friends were relishing in their coming-of-age independence, chasing boys and just generally getting up to things that all young girls do, Jordan had to rely on full time assistance. No longer able to pick up a lip-gloss, Jordan had to learn how to apply her make-up all over again, despite not being able to move her fingers. Seeing this as a challenge to overcome - a way of regaining a sense of hope out of the shadows of depression and disillusionment - Jordan worked tirelessly to perfect each look. In 2010, she discovered the power of YouTube as a means of spreading positivity to people all around the world. After numerous comments about her make-up, she decided to turn her attention to beauty tutorials, garnering over 100,000 subscribers along the way. Last month, she posted a videoaddressing the negative comments she'd been receiving about her disability. The video went viral, and racked up over 4,000,000 shares. Talking about her hopes and dreams for a more diverse future, we caught up with Jordan and found out all about her beautiful struggle.
Aside from the obvious physical problems, how did the car crash change your life?
It changed my life completely. Everything was different. At 15, I was becoming so much more independent and suddenly I became reliant on everyone for everything. It was hard, and still is at times. It changed my life in the fact that it's hard to be spontaneous, as I have to have assistance with whatever I do. When I was around 17/18 I became depressed as I'd lost a lot of friends. My independence and my life wasn't what I'd hoped it would be. Having an injury like this can mentally affect you.
Where did your interest in beauty come from?
I'd always been interested in beauty because I'd always loved fashion and I felt the two married together. I remember going to Selfridges on my 14th birthday and having a makeover at the Stila concession, which I absolutely loved. I just loved the feeling that make-up gave me. Wearing make-up wasn't due to insecurities; it was always part of me.
How did you learn to apply your own make-up, after the crash?
When I first got into my wheelchair in hospital I would ask my mum to put on some mascara for me, but I wouldn't feel myself, so one day I decided I would start practising myself. I blew off the dust from my make-up bag, which hadn't been used in months, and sat at the nurses' station trying my hardest to apply mascara. At first I didn't have the strength so would end up poking myself in the eye with my mascara wand. I was so frustrated as I wanted to still be me and make-up was a part of me. I realised there was so much that I couldn't do for myself so I strived to be able to do my own make-up. I kept practising and finally managed to gain the strength to apply my make-up in my own way, which I'm very proud of, considering I cannot move my fingers.
When did you get into vlogging?
Back in 2010 when I discovered meditation and became more of a positive person, I wanted to share my positivity so decided to start my own YouTube channel. I didn't see YouTube as a possible job but a platform to spread positivity. To be honest back then I didn't even notice how many people viewed the videos as in some ways they were nice for me to watch back to remind myself to stay positive.
What made you want to start making make-up tutorials?
I was receiving comments about my makeup in my positivity videos so I thought, "Why not show people how I do it?" When I look back at my older videos I cringe because I think my artistry has improved hugely since then, which I'm thankful for. If I didn't have the courage to teach others, I probably wouldn't have improved myself. It is such an amazing feeling to be able to teach others when I used to struggle so much and also because I'm self-taught.
What does vlogging mean to you, on an emotional level?
It means so much to me. To be able to connect with so many people and make a positive difference inspires me to keep going and keep striving for my channel to grow. It makes me happy because vlogging is something I can do and I love it!
What are your views on the transformative powers of make-up?
Wearing make-up is a form of expression, it's fun, it can transform someone's mood and it washes off at the end of the day so I don't understand why some people may see it as a negative thing. I think it is such an empowering tool as it can make someone feel so much more confident.
What prompted you to make the video My Beautiful Struggle?
I kept receiving comments like, "What is wrong with her hands?", "Why is she holding her brush like that?" and "I can't finish the video because of her attempt at grabbing her hair" so initially I wrote a blog post all about it. However, I was still receiving comments so I thought perhaps if I film about my struggle I could banish these comments but at the same time inspire others to believe in themselves, and let them know they can achieve anything. I filmed and edited the video in one afternoon and thought I probably wouldn't use the footage because I wasn't sure if it was good enough but I was so surprised. I think because everything I said came from my heart it worked.
Where do you get your confidence from?
I wouldn't say I'm very confident. I just believe in myself. As I've grown with my struggles I know if I want to be successful, I need to put myself out there and push myself.
What advice would you give to young girls with disabilities looking to follow in your footsteps?
To any young girl, disabled or not, if you believe, you will achieve. Never give up, life may be hard at times but remember you deserve an amazing life so focus on the positive, don't feed the negative because then more negative things will happen.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
I'd love for my channel to grow so I could inspire more people all over the world. I want to work with more brands because I think there needs to be diversity in the industry and the more people see people such as myself I think it will break down barriers and inspire others to believe in their own dreams, whatever they may be.
Text Tish Weinstock