It's easy to dismiss the rise of YouTube star Haley Dasovich as a by-product of her brother Wil's online popularity. But she herself is honest and open about it, now finding herself living the day-to-day bustle of vlogging life. "A year and a half ago, in January of 2016, I came here like I do every year. I came here to visit family and to be with him. I didn’t even understand what he was doing," she admits. The plot was as simple as being a YouTube subscriber of Wil at first, even without the existence of her own channel or any videos up on it for that matter. Today. Haley creates her own content and boasts over 270,000 subscribers on the site.
At the beginning, Haley had no clue about her brother's career. "All I knew is that he was making his own videos. So, when I got here, he was like, 'Okay, I’m going to have you takeover my vlog.' He basically told me to do everything, what to say, where to go and he just filmed me, it was like we made our own mini movie." With barely any knowledge of Tagalog, Haley shyly addressed the camera and heeded Wil's advice. She remembers cluelessly asking him, "So, this is what you do?"
It was this exact video that introduced Haley to Wil's world of online vlogging. Now, with heaps of her own content tucked away, she's fully kitted out to produce more on the fly. "Because of that video (collab), people started subscribing to me on my YouTube account! So, I had 8,000 subscribers even before I had anything up on my YouTube," she recalls in disbelief. "Then my brother said, ‘Okay, you have so many subscribers, you need to upload something.’ So, that’s when I started uploading."
At the time Haley began her vlogging adventures ,she was still working a full-time day job. That said, she conducted her vlogging trips only in her spare time. She began posting random daily scenes from her holiday travels and from there Haley grew an audience. Her most popular video to date, just might catch you off guard. "It's the video called, ‘Why I don’t wear a bra.’"
"It wasn’t so much centered on the fact that I didn’t wear a bra, but it was interesting to me that I had come to the Philippines, after growing up obviously in a very liberal area in California, where people had such an opinion about women not wearing bras. It’s a little conservative here, obviously," she opens up. Free-spirited and young, Haley loves to travel and feel comfortable while doing so. She's all for women empowerment and seeks to bash criticism versus those who choose to go braless. From what we understand, she isn't against bra-wearing per se but rather against the negative impressions people express against those who'd rather not wear one. In short, they should let you be in setting those "girls" free, she says.
"I got a lot of hate showing my skin in the very beginning. I got a lot of trolls and a lot of really bad comments." Haley's belief is that a more reserved portion of society in the Philippines sometimes tends to over-sexualize the reality and freedom of choice in not wearing a bra. And as a result, she commits to advocating that men and women stand to support one another for this liberty. "I created a video that was all about females needing to support each other and also men needing to support their own sisters and wives…to be independent and to have an opinion and to have a stance on things that are completely over-sexualized. One small example is why people care so much about women not wearing bras."
With Wil currently in an open battle for his life against cancer but sharing it as well online, Haley does her part in supporting and encouraging him in more ways than one. "[Supporting Wil] is by staying positive and just spending time with him, and living life normally and treating him like a normal person like we’ve always done. It’s really just about maintaining positivity and keeping up with your relationship. There’s so much support online through his videos, his subscribers, his family and his friends and that is enough to get him through his current condition.”
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Photos from: TeamAsia, and Instagram.com/haleydasovich