Uldouz Wallace: My Story
The devil in my eyes, crazy Viners and the downside of being a woman; my crazy journey so far...
I was born in Tehran, Iran and moved to Sweden when I was 5 years old. Growing up in Sweden wasn't the easiest; I remember going to school and all the kids were blonde except for me. I didn't have a problem with it but apparently, other kids did.
Would You Bully This Face?
One day a kid pointed at me in front of the whole class, “look she's got the devil in her hair and eyes!” I was terrified, and ran home to my mom crying and yelling for her to take the devil out of my hair and eyes. Come to find out that the devil they were referring to was my dark hair and eyes. I look back at it now and think - good times! I’m still glad that I was raised in Sweden, I mean I love Sweden and Swedish people, that’s my hometown and I love the Swedish dry sense of humor. But I could’ve done without the brunette devil bullying…
Marketing Maven or Starving Artist?
I’ve always loved art and painting; I enjoy being creative in every way but my mother wanted me to go to school and become a dentist or a doctor, since my mom is a dentist in Stockholm, Sweden. My mother always used to say that if you want to be an artist, you will always be broke. In order to make her happy I decided to get a degree in marketing and advertising, I wanted to be like Heather Locklear (Amanda from the TV show Melrose Place) and have my own creative advertising agency and make funny commercials, that way I could still be artsy and creative. Looking back at it now, I think I just wanted to be an actress on the show Melrose Place. :)
I finished my degree in marketing and advertising and realized that most of the advertising jobs are mostly sales jobs. So I started my own business doing online marketing and social media marketing for companies and was very successful but realized that my heart wasn't fully in it; the more I thought about it I realized that I was only doing things to make other people happy and not myself, so I decided to say screw it, let me make myself happy and I think that it was the best decision I ever made.
Instead of growing other companies and then being left with nothing, I decided to grow my own following - that way I can market other brands through my own. Slowly I started reaching out and collaborating with various YouTube stars, Viners, Instagram celebs, artists, actors - the list goes on and on. It wasn't easy, there were a lot of sleepless nights trying to come up with various sketch ideas, reaching out to different social media personalities, and not all the talent I approached were nice or open to collaboration from a new person.
Being an attractive woman has its benefits and in the entertainment field, it’s practically a requirement to look good, because obviously, sex sells. What’s unfortunate, though, is that we live in a society that doesn’t appreciate that a woman can be attractive and also be intelligent or even funny, yeah how crazy is that?! (sarcastic voice) What I noticed in my experience is that people seem to think that women can only be attractive and nothing else; it’s either they're hot or they're not hot at all but then they have talent or intelligence. These rules obviously don't apply to men. For me, I noticed that I’ve had to spend much more time proving myself over and over to people – plus the pay rate was lower since I'm a woman, even though I had more of a following on social media than many of my male colleagues.
For a while I was extremely frustrated when I would write a sketch, shoot it, direct it, and edit it; even though I might have a guy appear even for a split second, people would automatically think that he did all the work and I was just some hot girl in my own sketches.
After this happened a few times I got fed up, until a friend of mine who worked at Funny or Die gave me a good tip: under every video, I should write that the video was “written by Uldouz Wallace.” Once I did that, I must say that I saw a bit of a change, though some of my male colleagues weren't happy about it, since they couldn't take credit (and the monetization) for all my hard work.
Speaking of colleagues, I'm a true believer in collaborating and always finding new people to work with; on the road to having millions of followers on social media, things haven't always been easy. One of the hardest things that I personally had to deal with was social media people with horrendous attitudes – even if all they’ve done is create content for social media and have big followings, some of them are really nice and some are not so nice.
Living in a Virtual (Real)ity
I noticed early on that dealing with social media people was like experiencing high school all over again. It was especially rough with Viners (RIP). There was a certain group of them that had huge egos - bigger than all the A list celebrities combined - and don't get me started on their cocky and arrogant behavior. Some of these people were just brutal; they pretend to be friends but then backstab each other, it’s crazy what some people will do for followers.
The truth is that many of these same people look very happy on social media but are unhappy and depressed in real life, so for everyone reading this: don't believe everything you see on social media, people tend to only show the good stuff. A lot of people look up to certain social media personalities – their lives look so cool and they always look happy and glamorous, which can make their followers look at their lives and think that they're not good enough or that they're not doing well. This makes the followers unhappy. I think it’s good for me to talk about this stuff in a real way so that people know a lot of it is bullshit. Part of my goal is to share the real deal of what it’s like on social media – and to show what my life is like in the real world as well. We’re all in this crazy life together: why not help add some reality, brightness, and humor to each other’s journey?