Utah food blogger shares recipe for feeling good about yourself

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LEHI – She didn’t mean to, but Rachel Farnsworth made millions of people cry.

Rachel runs the popular The Stay at Home Chef blog and YouTube channel from her home in Utah.

“Sometimes the response can be a little bit overwhelming,” she said.

It all began with a viewer’s comment about her hair: “You look like you’re 70 with your gray hairs. You really should consider dyeing them for TV so you don’t look like such an old hag.”

A week later, Rachel was on her way to a YouTube-sponsored video production seminar and needed an idea for a class project. A cooking video wouldn’t work — there was no kitchen available – so she wrote a script about the comment.

In the video she produced, she explains that she doesn’t dye her hair at the request of her husband, Stephen.

“I wanted to live like we were growing old together,” said Stephen.

Rachel has Addison’s disease, a disorder that comes with a shorter life expectancy.

“Every sign of aging that I have is a sign that I’m still alive,” Rachel said.

She explained that, when she was young, she had a jaw deformity.

“I was always super self-conscious about it,” she said. “I felt like I was some sort of hideous monster.”

She longed for the corrective surgery, which had to wait until she stopped growing.

“Then I’ll be beautiful and then I’ll be happy,” she’d thought.

She had the surgery, and nothing changed.

“It didn’t change anything about how I felt about myself,” Rachel said. “Self-love has absolutely nothing to do with how you look.”

(Surgery) didn’t change anything about how I felt about myself. Self-love has absolutely nothing to do with how you look.

–Rachel Farnsworth, Utah food blogger

She screened the emotional and raw video, which she had no intention of posting, for the other YouTubers in the class.

“I think I held my breath for the entire three minutes that it was playing. I was really nervous,” she said. “But the reaction in the room was so strong: ‘Rachel you have to publish this video.’”

She discussed it with her husband and decided maybe the world needed that message. “So I hit ‘publish,’” said Rachel.

The video went viral. She stopped counting views when the total surpassed 200 million. Two years later, she stills gets messages about it every day.

Rachel constantly shares her image online. She has six million followers. Every month about 250 million people watch her cooking videos. She still gets comments, good and bad, about her looks.

“And,” she said, “I honestly don’t care.”

That attitude, she said, took hard work.

She said she stands in front of a mirror every day and says positive things about herself out loud.

“And then if I heard the little voice inside saying negative things, I would say ‘stop,’” said Rachel.

She says she did that every day until the voice inside her head started matching the words she’d say out loud.

Now, she said, she spends her time and attention on things that matter – food and her family – not on comments about gray hair.

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Peter Rosen


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