An 18-year-old from Wales has become an internet sensation thanks to both her looks and thick skin against bullies who make comments about her left eye. Elley Davies is just like any other teenager – she is studying at college for her beauty therapy qualification and works part-time as a shot girl at a nightclub.
Young, having fun and ambitious – it is not anything out of the ordinary. But after she joined TikTok for a bit of fun, the Pembrokeshire resident has quickly become an internet sensation, the Daily Star reports.
Elley has an ‘eye turn’, also known as strabismus, which has made her about 80% blind in her left eye, with her right side working in overdrive so she can see. After refusing to wear glasses from when she was first diagnosed at the age of four, her turn has progressively gotten more prominent over the years. But, the teen has shown that just because she has a ‘visual insecurity’ it does not mean she cannot be confident and love herself.
Although she’s been the target of bullies and trolls throughout her life, Elley has racked up a huge 211,000 TikTok followers and become an influencer in her own right. In an interview with the Daily Star, she opened up about learning to accept her eye turn and hopes to become a model in the future.
She explained: “The turn happened around the age of four, my parents just noticed my eye starting to get lazy, it was mostly when I was tired, it was noticed more. The same occurred with my older brother, he had the same, but he wore his glasses, he liked them, whereas I didn’t, his turn now is pretty much straight. I have people turn and look the way my eye is facing because they aren’t sure if I’m talking to them or the person next to them, it does get challenging. That’s my only reason for regretting not wearing glasses.”
However, Elley’s differences help her to stand out on social media – where she can showcase her talented makeup skills. The teen admitted: “I started TikTok as a bit of fun to begin with, I always liked dancing and lip syncing to songs while recording, so it was a bonus!
“At first, I did not expect such a big following, until I posted a video of myself doing a makeup tutorial which was originally from my first account (elliedavies404) which hit 470,000 followers but got permanently banned for no reason or so I can recall. Even celebrities and well-known people like Tana Mongeau and Georgia Louise Harrison commented on it – it was an incredible feeling. And that’s where it all started! Having a big online presence was new to me, but I handled it the best I could, taking tips from other TikTokers. It all sort of fell into place.”
But with a big audience naturally comes jealousy and negativity, which Elley has developed a thick skin to as she’s been taunted about her eye since primary school. She revealed: “I wore my glasses a lot more in my primary school so negative comments weren’t so bad. I did receive some nasty comments from boys, which stopped bothering me when I got to about the age of 12 (going into secondary school). Comments still bothered me but I got better at hiding it by laughing with them and taking the joke on further, that way they could be straightforward to my face without hurting me, because I was laughing with them, and that continued through secondary school too.”
Luckily for the influencer, she has spent time mastering how she deals with nasty comments. “My way of dealing with negativity, I would say, is definitely different,” she shared. “People’s opinions always mattered to me growing up, to the point I would change it if someone even commented on it, but there was something about TikTok that I really had my heart set on, it was something I genuinely enjoyed doing!
“I wasn’t going to let anyone take away the happiness I got from it, so I didn’t. Yes I’m still human, I still read them sometimes and get upset but that’s completely normal. Sometimes I even comment back things agreeing with the trolls, I just want to show I’m not bothered because I’m not! I’ve accepted the way I like and I’m okay with it.”
Instead of just blanking the trolls, Elley cleverly responds to ‘popular’ mean comments in videos that have gone viral online. She explained: “I also pick out popular negative comments and find TikTok sounds relating to them, I don’t have to prove that I’m not bothered because I do make it clear.
“However there are people with the same condition as myself that are afraid to show they’re visible insecurities and I just want them to feel like they aren’t alone and they don’t have to feel different. I’m okay with hate because there are people who just don’t understand what it’s like to have a visible insecurity, we all have them, mine just happens to be out on show, which makes them think they’ve got the advantage to judge.
“But I see it as I’ve got the advantage to be bold with my insecurity and condition and stand out. I’d love to be a model, like I said I’m confident in myself, but I’d love someone to be confident in me, that would be my dream career. I’d also like to carry on TikTok and growing my platform there, and my socials too. If I’m honest I just want to give back to my family and be able to provide for them and help them in any way possible.” For more news from across Wales subscribe to our newsletters here.