“I have always been a confident person. I was brought up to believe in myself, to stray away from the norm and embrace my differences.”
22-year-old, Olamide (also known as Holamiday on TikTok) creates videos to help those suffering from social anxiety face their fears. She encourages people to embrace and challenge themselves and to ignore society’s judgemental behaviours. In other words, she does the things many of us are too afraid to do, to prove that it’s never that bad.
From a makeup artist showing off her different techniques, transitions and designs, to a now preacher of self-acceptance and love, Olamide has created a safe space for women all over the world to talk freely about their anxieties. With now over 230k followers, people can’t get enough of Olamide’s incredible and infectious attitude towards life.
Ever since Olamide was young, she always took her own path in life and never cared for others’ opinions. During an interview with The New Feminist, Olamide talked about her days in school where she saw everyone around her trying to fit in, and when asked why she didn’t care, she said: “I’m happy with what I’m doing, that’s all that matters”. Olamide has always strived to find happiness in her life and simply blocked any negativity that came her way. Doing these TikTok challenges has solidified her feelings that she can be confident and independent in her life.
Olamide’s goal in her videos is to try and show women how to be confident, independent, empowered and that “you don’t need to be constricted to what people want you to do with social standards or your family. If you believe in yourself, you should go for it”. Society has created such a hard and dangerous place for women to enjoy life on their own, however, Olamide wants to encourage and show women all over the world that, as long as you’re safe and aware of your surroundings, you should take chances and not feel scared to do what you want.
While Olamide has a strong mentality, a lot of her viewers do not share the same strength. A study on anxiety in the UK shows that 1 in 6 people have a common mental health disorder such as depression and anxiety. As well as 5.9% of adults have an experience with anxiety each week. It’s also been studied that women tend to have more risk of anxiety from 19% of women to 12% of men experiencing a common mental disorder.
When asked what advice she could give others who are less confident, she replied that “it always starts from a mentality”. Having the mentality that she does, ie. not caring about other’s opinions or how people think of her can create an empowering mindset that helps get you through anxiety-ridden situations. She explained that if you enjoy it, and you’re not harming others around you, then “you should just do what you want”. She added: “If you’re really anxious about doing something, take baby steps. Just work your way up until you become more comfortable with the situation.”
In order to support and show her viewers that “no one actually cares”, Olamide encouraged her followers to give her challenges that faced anxieties that people sometimes have a hard time overcoming. It started on April 26th, when Olamide was taking selfies, she felt a little self-conscious. She then wondered why she felt like this and decided to film a rant video that started this series. After asking a stranger to film her video, Olamide challenged her viewers to express their anxieties so she could do them and show everyone that it’s not that scary, that no one really cares what you do. #HolaDares took off from there.
Olamide’s viewers commented on her videos with different challenges, such as going to the cinema in pyjamas, dancing like Chris Brown in public, or eating out alone. She even gives herself challenges like asking strangers to take her picture in public or buying feminine products at the store. She has slowly shown the world that doing things that scare you is really not that scary. When asked what the scariest challenge she has done was, she answered that going to the club alone was the most nerve-racking. “People tend to go to clubs with people they know and that kind of creates the atmosphere. I had to create my own atmosphere.”
During her videos, Olamide shows that the people around her are not watching or talking about her. She even goes to luxury stores like Chanel in her pyjamas and says: “I got amazing service… as you can see no one actually cares, no one looks”.
The pandemic has brought a rise in anxiety, especially in teens. The Mental Health Foundation has research that shows that mental health is worsening since the pandemic started, however, Olamide is working hard to show that anxiety is something we can fight against. “I love entertaining people and doing wild Tik Tok challenges, but the most important thing for me is practical value”, Olamide comments. “How can people watch these videos, take away something, and apply it to their lives?”
So, if you’re needing a sign to do that thing that you’re scared to do, this is your sign. You’ll never know where life is going to take you until you take chances. Olamide encourages everyone to take the leap of faith, she said: “I didn’t know that by doing that video and putting myself out there that I would be here with people feeling so inspired”.
Olamide is planning on creating vlogs on her youtube channel to show people a lengthier portion of her day. She wants her viewers to follow her around as she does daily activities to motivate and encourage more confidence and independence.
To watch more of her series, follow Olamide at her TikTok.