Tatyana Joseph is internet best friend and big sister to millions. An influencer who not only promotes but radiates positivity, this 21-year-old creator started social media to help her acting career and ended up finding something even bigger. We talked to Tatyana about how she created a positivity-driven audience and how becoming a role model has shaped her own positive mindset.
“I started with social media because I truly had a passion for acting, and once I realized that, essentially with the acting auditions I was going for, they were also looking for a follower count.” Tatyana noticed early in her acting career that it wasn’t just the acting that made a difference at an audition, and she wasn’t going to let social media low her down. She dove headfirst into posting and ended up creating an internet presence and a connection with her followers. She liked those interactions, the little ways she could impact people with a comment, and realized she could use it do some good.
Spreading positivity and helping people wasn’t spur of the moment. It’s something Tatyana has always wanted to do. She just wasn’t sure how. “I don’t want to sound corny, but genuinely since I was younger I’ve always just found that I’m a really good people person and what I do best is being a really good friend and person to other people, and I was just like, ‘Dang, that’s not really something you can do as a job.'” But the comments and feedback she was getting on her posts, which were originally hair and beauty videos, were more than “Thank you for the tutorial!” comments. Commenters said things like “You’re inspiring me.” and “You got me out of bed this morning.” The kind and positive things Tatyana said in her videos were every day for her things she would say to friends or family. She started to extend that love to her followers.
Talking to Tatyana it’s immediately obvious that she’s a fan of her fans. She doesn’t consider her role work. Interacting with her fans is genuine and real. The work part only comes in when it’s time to edit a video or answer an email. Tatyana shared that she isn’t trying to play a character on social media or putting on a persona just for her fans, so she doesn’t feel that added pressure of continuing to be a social media version of herself. “I started off being myself and just randomly throwing myself into it and giving it all I’ve got,” she said. “It just kind of worked, and I won’t say I share everything, but I share so much with them to the point they feel genuinely intertwined in my life.”
Social media isn’t a perfect place, and Tatyana knows that. She said, “It’s very easy for things to turn toxic…to allow the fans to be disrespectful, to say whatever they want in the comments about whatever is going on.” She has been actively teaching her audience her expectations from the start. She isn’t going to encourage negativity from her audience, and she actively interacts with her fans to create an ongoing back-and-forth about the kinds of things she is posting and the kind of things she expects from them in return.
Part of this actually came from interacting directly with people that created fan pages, testing content with them, and interacting with them directly. Those core fans are an essential base for positivity in Tatyana’s following. She doesn’t engage with drama. Don’t post about it. Don’t talk about it. “As soon as you react to it, you’re giving them what they wanted.” Tatyana has a hand in her fan culture, and that’s a big part of how she keeps a positive space online. She’s not trying to change her fans—”those kids are the reason I’m able to do what I do”—just guide the conversation.
Even when her main content was sharing hairstyles “literally only putting products in my hair and saying sweet things,” Tatyana knew she was filling a role (or several) that has been lacking. Tatyana shared that not only are there fewer influencers that look like her building their platforms but there is also less encouragement to take on those roles. As she spread positivity and her hair care routine, questioning whether she should “get a real job” were definitely lingering in the background.
But Tatyana persisted, a big theme in the message she wants to get across to her fans. Positivity isn’t about turning your life into hers. It’s about recognizing the ways that we can all be positive and love ourselves. Good vibes. Good advice. “I get little girls commenting stuff like ‘I hope to be as pretty as you one day,’ and it’s as simple as ‘You are beautiful how you are. Please stop saying that.'”
Those little “tidbits” are the basis for Tatyana really sharing everything she knows with her fans and encouraging them to spread love and positivity as well. “I have always made sure to celebrate everyone’s wins.” This applies to Tatyana’s friends and family, but also to influencers and creators like her that are working to build something just like her. For Tatyana, positivity and loving other people aren’t only self-interested activities.
“Listen, I always knew I was going to make a change of some sort…I always knew I was going to do something. I would have never thought social media would even allow me to be this open and have this much of a take on the world if that makes sense.” Tatyana, like all of us, is used to seeing negativity trending. She focuses on flipping that norm. You can have positive spaces on social media that are productive and encouraging.
Tatyana’s work has made her more open with her positivity, and more proud of it. “There’s nothing little in this world…everything that you put out there, someone is seeing it and registering it, especially the young eyes that are on these apps lately. They are seeing so much BS. I just want to be able to be like, ‘Hey, by the way, you don’t need a BBL, and who cares that you didn’t get asked to prom? Neither did I.'” Tatyana knows that these things have a massive impact, especially on the self-esteem of young girls. “I’ll never not weigh what my words say on social media now because of [that impact].”
Acting classes, auditions, and small projects are the heart of Tatyana’s goals right now. Social media has become her passion and the center of her career, and now she’s working on returning more to what started it all. Tatyana shared that she’s up for it all. She wants to step into whatever characters come her way and test her skills, but she’s not really into horror (despite ending up in multiple horror projects in the past)—”I don’t even watch horror!” The genre just doesn’t mesh with the positive headspace she’s trying to maintain. She hopes to find herself in stories similar to Bridgerton, Stranger Things, Wednesday, and The Greatest Showman. She likes fantasy, big storylines, complex characters, “wizards and big lizards,” and superpowers.
You can keep up with Tatyana on Instagram and TikTok where she’s sure to be your fan as much as you are hers.