Internet Alter Egos: MirandaSings ‘Coming Out’ as Colleen

/ Mar 31, 2014


As Rhett & Link noted on their “Ear Biscuits” interview with Colleen Ballinger, having an alter ego can be healthy for a person’s psychology. Ballinger helped confirm this notion as she explained the rise of her alter ego, Miranda of MirandaSings YouTube fame.

Born in December of 2007, Miranda came into this world as an amalgamation of everything Ballinger hated about women in musical entertainment…and specifically on YouTube. Ballinger “just discovered YouTube” at that time, and what she found was a bunch of girls singing alone in their rooms in front of a camera. Back in 2007, Ballinger’s first thoughts were, “This is ridiculous. You can’t get famous on YouTube.”

Little did she realize that her mock videos would launch her very own YouTube stardom. Originally posting them for just a couple of friends in her choir during her senior year of college, Ballinger began to notice that they would acquire 20 or so views. This indicated that strangers, too, were watching Miranda. Based on a hate comment telling Miranda that she “sucked,” Ballinger deduced that these strangers believed Miranda was real. And she wanted to keep it that way.

This lead to an extreme effort to preserve Miranda’s integrity as an “actual” person. “I was really crazy about making sure my name was deleted from everything [relating to Miranda],” Ballinger explained. “Everyone did think [Miranda’s first viral video, ‘Voice Lesson’] was real and that’s how it got viral…We love to hate as America…people were watching because they think she’s real and they hate her.” Ballinger was concerned that if fans caught onto Miranda’s true nature, they would stop watching her.

Ballinger’s “craziness” about maintaining the Miranda illusion extended to her live performances, which she started early on in her career for a YouTube celebrity. Arriving to her shows already in costume, Ballinger would not break character the entire time, making sure to finally leave after the entire audience had already exited so no one would see her without the poorly applied red lipstick, Miranda’s signature.

Nowadays, Ballinger is pretty comfortable with the world knowing the truth about Miranda after embarking on the slow “coming out” process. However, Miranda still helps Ballinger perform. She gets nervous when she gets up to perform on stage as herself, but the moment Ballinger puts on that uneven, red lipstick, she becomes totally at ease—one of the perks of having an alter ego that can get away with being ridiculous.

For more on Miranda’s epic rise to stardom (and Ballinger’s ride on her coattails), listen to her interview on “Ear Biscuits with Rhett & Link.”

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