Nobody has made a bigger comeback in 2021 than vlogger Grace Victory. Just like her name suggests, she has proven to be victorious in the face of adversity and illness after an incredibly tough year. In December 2020, while pregnant with her son Cyprus, she contracted Covid-19, which forced her to give birth two months early before being put into a medically-induced coma for three months. As a result, her priorities and content have changed.
Now on the road to recovery, she has started a new chapter with both a dramatic haircut and by deleting all of her old YouTube content. She’s relaunched her channel as TheFamilyHood, where she will be covering parenting and family topics with her partner Lee. It’s quite a drastic change from her former videos, which discussed topics such as sex, relationships, body confidence and issues within the wellness industry.
From her humble beginnings to present day, this is the story of Grace’s content evolution, from her outspoken vlogs to her unconventional introduction to motherhood.
Grace started her YouTube channel at the age of 21 and quickly became known for her transparency as she discussed her experiences recovering from an eating disorder, dealing with PTSD linked to domestic abuse she witnessed as a child, as well as her subsequent journey into therapy. She began making videos because she felt there was no one else on the platform she could relate to, labelling herself as “the internet’s big sister”.
Over the years, she broadened her subject range to include sex and relationships, and began sharing her content and encouraging discussions on Twitter. She also became an advocate for sex positivity and normalising plus-sized bodies, and started to speak publicly about problems in the wellness industry and the dangers of diet trends.
In 2016 she hosted the BBC Three documentary Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets, in which she spoke to dieticians and experts about the concept of “clean eating”. She said afterwards in an interview with TenEighty magazine that “food shouldn’t be restrictive or dirty” and encouraged viewers to practise moderation.
Grace released her first book, No Filter, with Headline Publishing Group, which discussed her upbringing, struggles with mental health, and how it led to her career in social media. In the same year, she appeared as a model in Nike’s first plus-size campaign.
Her interest in the wellness sphere led Grace to write a column for the wellness website, Happiful, up until November 2020. She covered self-care, how to harness the moon’s energy and other guidance on how to relieve stress and anxiety. The same year, she released her podcast – The Sister Space – with fellow body positivity advocate Simone Powderly. Designed to be a community that celebrated sisterhood and encouraged healing, it featured interviews with journalist Liv Cassano and sex educator, Oloni.
As her channel continued to grow, so did her content. Her Instagram began to feature more fashion with outfit inspiration posts as well as beauty advice, alongside photos from her travels with her partner, Lee. In August the couple announced they were expecting their first baby. However, in December 2020 she contracted Covid-19 and was hospitalised. On Christmas Eve, she was forced to give birth to her son, Cyprus Sevyn Williams, two months early and on Christmas Day, she was placed into an induced coma in an attempt to speed up her recovery.
Her second book, How To Calm It, was published in January 2021 by #Merky Books – Stormzy’s imprint within Penguin Random House – while she was still comatose. The book offered advice and insights into how we can learn to better process our emotions and problems to become healthier and happier.
On 8 March, Grace tweeted that she was no longer in a coma, although she remained in ICU for another month before being discharged to a ward. She began documenting her road to recovery and physiotherapy sessions (she had to relearn how to walk and build up her muscles), in addition to seeing and holding her son for the first time. She was discharged and returned home in May, before moving house with her family in June.
Since then Grace has posted numerous pictures of her son and shared updates on his milestones (such as weaning) alongside her own journey back to full health. At the beginning of September, she announced that she was rebranding her YouTube channel to TheFamilyHood, focused on family-friendly content. In her first video, she shared her story fighting Covid-19, becoming a new mum and how it’s changed her life forever.
With a new house, baby and lease for life, it’s a whole new era for Grace Victory, one that is only just beginning.
By Lucinda Diamond, deputy editor of CORQ. Picture credit: Grace Victory via Instagram