The Unwind is Yahoo Life's well-being series in which experts, influencers and celebrities share their approaches to wellness and mental health, from self-care rituals to setting healthy boundaries to the mantras that keep them afloat.
Whether she is spilling the tea on her latest breakup or explaining the prevalence of "sharting" in her romantic life, Kennedy "Ken" Eurich has managed to turn oversharing into a full-blown career.
"I've just always been an open book, like my entire life, like a little bit too much," the 22-year-old tells Yahoo Life of her seemingly instant rise to internet stardom.
Through disclosing some of the most intimate and admittedly cringiest moments of her life, Eurich has amassed a following of over 1 million on TikTok, has her own boot collaboration with Steve Madden and has been dubbed the "next Emma Chamberlain" by fellow influencers — a surreal reality for the Pennsylvania native who used to work on a farm before social media fame.
'I live my life somehow and I've managed to make this a career," says Eurich, whose meteoric rise has been exacerbated by the open nature of her content. One of the videos that catapulted her to TikTok stardom included a humorous retelling of a hookup gone wrong in which Eurich pooped — yes, pooped — her pants while at a guy's house. But recapping the moment for the world to see was a no-brainer, she says.
But her openness extends beyond fecal matter(s). Eurich has been quite candid about her struggle with anxiety on her page, chronicling her experience with being diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and starting medication on TikTok.
Followers have praised Eurich for her willingness to share the ups and downs of starting Lexapro; "normalizing anxiety medication is so important," reads a sample comment. But it's not all positive feedback and affirmations. As her follower count grows, the content creator increasingly feels like she has a target on her back and no shortage of viewers ready to "kick her when she is down."
"People like to hate-watch people, you know? People are watching me and I feel like sometimes [they're] waiting for me to slip up," she says. "I know that whatever I say, if I'm being vulnerable about something like mental health or whatever it is, I know that can and will be used against me. Like, if someone sees that I might be feeling a little weaker and struggling with mental health, sometimes I feel like that brings on the hate comments even more. People who don't like me are like, let's kick her while she's down."
Eurich says having her own space has helped her well-being immensely.
"My apartment is my safe place.This is where I feel like no one can harm me. It's very relieving," she says.
Her pets, Lil Ma, Baby and Minx, are also huge factors in her mental wellness.
"My animals especially are my number one thing I think that helps when it comes to my mental health, more than any medication or talking to people," she shares. "I feel like my pets are something that truly help me. Getting a dog recently gets me out of the house. ... I think that's something that a lot of people with mental health probably struggle with, is getting up every day, getting moving. Taking care of somebody else has really changed my life."
When she first started her account, Eurich was living with her parents and gearing up to attend community college. Now she is bringing in more money than her mom and dad, which was initially difficult for everyone to reckon with when she still lived at home.
"It became this weird, almost fight for independence. Like, I felt like I was so independent, I was making my own money but I was still a child. I'm still a child. So it kind of put this weird ... stress on my family dynamic when I was living at home because no one really knew what to do. Like, overnight, I was making more money than my parents, they were like, 'How do we tell you no? Or 'How do we control you?'" Eurich explains.
Her success has also led to bouts of alienation from her audience as her current life looks much different from the content that resonated with so many early on. Eurich has been vocal about struggling to come across as suitably relatable.
"I started social media for myself, and it doesn't feel like even though there's parts of my life that have changed like crazy, because of social media, I still sit in my room every single day, wake up, drink my coffee," she says. "It's not like I'm a movie star, you know, going out to red carpets."
Still, Eurich acknowledges the privilege of having a following who holds her accountable and keeps her focused on why she really started posting.
"Having an audience that is so invested in the relatability of me has helped me because you don't realize it [but] sometimes with success, you're so excited for yourself that you're like, 'Oh, look what I bought,' and 'I can do this now,' and 'I can do that.' And sometimes it can rub your followers the wrong way because they're like, 'Wait a minute, I can't relate to any of this anymore.' It definitely keeps you in line," she says.
She notes that this summer served as a major reality check as she received considerable backlash for the frequency at which she was purchasing and posting designer handbags.
"There's a fine line. You can talk about your successes, and you can celebrate yourself, but you have to remember who got you there and what they want to see. Because that's really honestly what's most important with a job like this. If you don't have people loving you and supporting you and liking you, what are you doing?" she says.
Ultimately, Eurich sees herself stepping back from social media at some point — in part because of the impact it has on her mental health.
"The main thing with social media is dealing with other people's opinions.," she says. "Having to worry so much about what other people think of me just isn't good for my mental health, especially [as] someone who struggles with anxiety. I'm constantly overthinking everything as is. So having other people kind of chime in on my life and overthink for me is something that I'm like, 'OK, I can't do this forever.' I would love to go into starting my own business; that's kind of something that I'm working on right now. [And] slowly back down from this social media presence that I have. I think social media is a great thing, and it's done so many amazing things for me, but it's almost like, 'You know what? I've seen what I needed to see. It's been real.'"
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