For Danah Clipa, 30, every day is an @DanahBananaa day. And for her TikTok followers (1.1 million and counting), it’s a phrase they’ve come to use when they want to treat themselves.
“I’ve gotten tagged in so many videos of people saying, ‘I’m having a Danah Banana happy day’ and doing all the things that make them happy,” she says. “It’s probably one of the best feelings ever.”
At the same time, she’s garnered praise for being honest about her struggles with mental health.
Clipa became a full-time content creator a little over four years ago, first starting with self-taught makeup tutorials on YouTube. As she expanded into other platforms, the Lake Charles native who has lived in Baton Rouge for over six years, saw her TikTok follower count take off on during the height of the pandemic.
Today, Clipa creates slice-of-life videos showing cocktail and coffee creations, beauty tips and shopping hauls. Baton Rouge eateries and locales often make an appearance, including a collaboration with Companion Animal Alliance showcasing pets up for adoption or fostering.
Clipa sat down with 225 to share the ups and downs of content creation and why she feels it’s important to be transparent with her followers.
—As told to Meg Ryan
What’s the best part of being a content creator?
I really like the flexibility, but I also really like being a very expressive person. With social media, you can kind of just express yourself however you want. You’re pretty much your own boss, and I thoroughly enjoy that.
And the most challenging?
A thing that was hard at first was the isolation because, in Louisiana, there are not a lot of full-time content creators. Plus, you can be the most positive person on the internet, and there’s still going to be some people that just don’t like you.
How did you come up with your ‘happy day’ content?
I was constantly getting asked, ‘What do you do when you’re having a bad day?’ I had just never made a video on it. So I was like, ‘Honestly, I do this.’ And I’ll just do only things that make me happy on that day. It got a really good response.
Why was it important for you to have an honest conversation about mental health with your followers?
I’m pretty sure everyone around my age can empathize that it wasn’t easy to speak about mental health. There still is a massive stigma around mental health and medication. The very first video I ever did about it didn’t get a whole lot of views, but in comparison to the views, I received so many comments of people just saying, ‘Thank you so much for speaking on this, you made me feel so much less alone.’ It might make me uncomfortable for a minute because it is hard to speak about sometimes, but just knowing that even if I helped one person feel less alone, that is an impact.
This Q&A was edited for clarity and brevity.
This article was originally published in the November 2022 issue of 225 magazine.