About Me

Rachel Oates

Hey everyone! If you’re here, most of you probably know me from Youtube but if you don’t, my name is Rachel and I am a Youtuber who likes to speak on a variety of topics. As an atheist, I often debunk bad science from Young Earth Creationists, and call out harmful life advice from theists. While, as a big fan of science I enjoy takling about human biology, psychology and animals. I’d also say I’m a pretty liberal feminist, definitely an outspoken ally to the LGBT+ community¬†and passionate about raising awareness and reducing stigma of mental health issues.

My main goals are to educate, entertain and empower all my viewers and encourage them to have to confidence and knowledge to form their own opinions, make their own decisions and really take control of their lives.

This page here is just a little intro to me, who I am, and some of the stuff I’ve done in my life so you guys can get to know me a little more outside of my videos.

Life

I’m currently 26 and live in London with my gorgeous little pupper, Kyra. She’s a wonderful 6 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier who I adopted from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home last year.

Rachel Oates and Kyra

She adores playing fetch, chewing on all her toys, beef, beef and beef, cuddles and licking EVERYONE she meets! She is the most important person in my life, my best friend and an absolute little angel.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of taking photographs, reading, painting (although I’m not the best at it, it’s just about having fun for me!), makeup, and spending as much time with dogs as possible.

Background

I grew up in a small market town in South Yorkshire called Penistone and went to secondary school (11 – 16) and sixth form (16 – 18) at Penistone Grammar School (which is not half as fancy as it sounds, and definitely isn’t an actual grammar school).

In 2011, I moved away and studied at the University of Warwick. I studied a first year of Biomedical Science with the intention to specialise in neurology, but then realised that’s not what I wanted to do with my life. That first year I got to study a great range of topics including genetics, microbiology, virology, biochemistry and physiology, to name a few.

Rachel Oates Graduation - Warwick University

So, I switched course to BSc Management with a focus on Marketing, however I also took modules in neuroscience, psychology & consumer behaviour, economics (not my strongest subject!), accounting & finance, morality and ethics in business, and a really wide range of different topics. Honestly, it was a fantastic course that really let me explore a huge variety of topics. During this time I also took a year out to work as the head of marketing for an online book retailer. I returned to Warwick to complete the final year of my degree and graduated with a 2:1 in 2016.

Work

Youtube’s a relatively new part of my life. I never really expected my channel to take off in anyway – I didn’t think anyone would care all that much about anything I had to say but you guys proved me wrong.

Penistone Church - Rachel Oates
Here’s a photo of Penistone to split up the monotony of a wall of text.

My first proper paying job (not just the volunteer stuff I did before then) was working in a local pharmacy and photo printing lab in Penistone when I was 14. I stayed there for 4 years, also working a second cashier job while I was at sixth form, until I moved away to uni in 2011.

I did a whole bunch of jobs during my time at uni: I did some freelance photography work, worked in Leamington Spa’s grottiest bar, worked in a jewellery shop, and interned at The Student Room, to name a few.

Oxford - Rachel Oates
This is like 2 minutes from where I used to live in Oxford all those years ago.

In 2014, I took a break from my degree and moved to Oxford to take a head of marketing role for an online book retailer. It was the kind of job that taught me a hell of a lot about marketing but I also just learnt a lot from the whole experience. I moved to a completely new area and knew no one, lived by myself without housemates for the first time (which I loved!), struggled on the tightest budget I’ve ever been on and generally had a pretty tough time. 18 months later when I decided to go back to uni and finish my degree, I felt tougher and more confident than I ever had.

After I moved to London in 2016, I got a marketing job straight away but just didn’t feel like the small company I was working for was right for me so on a bit of a whim… I quit. I decided I wanted to work for myself so did a bit of freelance work doing digital marketing, web design, graphic design, a bit of photography. Eventually I started blogging for fun, set up a Youtube channel and somehow it evolved into what you see today.

Youtube

I never expected anyone to actually care about anything I had to say on Youtube but I first started to get noticed a little in July 2017. A big part of this was thanks to the wonderful Godless Cranium, who gave me a guest spot on his channel and I’m very grateful to.

Rachel Oates - makeup and about me

Since then it’s all been very exciting and I’ve grown to nearly 105,000 subs and amassed over 10 million channel views. Ok, it’s still not big by some Youtubers’ standards but it’s unbelievable for someone like me.

One of the biggest challenges I feel I’ve had to face with Youtube, that I think all online content creators go through, is opening myself up to so much potential criticism. It is terrifying. And one of the most difficult things for me is that fact that when I have just 20 or 30 minutes to talk about a topic and not a lot of time to give any real background, it’s very easy for people to make plenty of assumptions about me – both right and wrong.

Blue Beetle makeup - Rachel Oates
I loved my DC-inspired makeup videos. This is the Blue Beetle look.

I understand it but it does get annoying when a fair few people take one look at my baby-face and assume I’m still 15 or 16 and living with my parents. I get plenty of comments about ‘when I have to look after myself / when I move out / when I grow up’ all these things are going to change, from people not realising that I’ve been working part or full time almost constantly for the last 12 years, supporting myself financially and living independently for the last 8 years. I don’t doubt I’ll continue to learn more and grow as a person as I get older but I’m not as naive as a lot of people think.

There’s also plenty of assumptions made by the way I dress and the fact I enjoy wearing fun makeup. Plenty of people seem to think a woman can’t be overtly feminine and intelligent. I won’t change dressing in a way that makes me feel good about myself though – I enjoy pretty clothes and comfy clothes and weather-appropriate clothes, I enjoy playing with fun makeup, bright makeup, bold makeup, and why should I change that for anyone else? If someone can’t take me seriously, despite talking about some pretty solid science, just because I have a bit of glitter on my eyelids then the problem is with them, not me.

And then there’s the accent. My accent is weird. Even for an English person. I’m originally from South Yorkshire and grew up with a strong Yorkshire accent, when I moved to the midlands for uni and then to Brighton and Oxford it just got weaker and weaker and started to mix with the accents of all the people around me. Warwick had a lot of international students so that influenced it, amongst other things and now I just talk a bit funny! A lot of people hear me though and think I’m dead posh which couldn’t be further from the truth – I grew up in the most normal, working class family you can imagine! I haven’t always had the financial stability that I have now and growing up, a huge part of me thought that I’d end up stuck in a job I didn’t care about working for minimum wage in Penistone all my life. So now I’m in a position with a little influence and, hopefully at some point, a bit of disposable income, I really want to pay it forward – let people know that whatever their background, they can take control of their lives and do something they really find fun and fulfilling, and maybe help people out when I can.

Fun Stuff

I’m not all about work, as much as it feels that way sometimes. I have some amazing friends, I’m closer to my family than I’ve ever been and I have plenty of hobbies to fill my time!

Rachel Oates - About Me

Photography

Brighton Beach - Rachel Oates Photographs
Brighton is one of my favourite places for photography – it’s so pretty and fun!

I’ve been interested in photography as long as I can remember. My first camera was some old point and shoot 35mm cheap plastic thing and I LOVED it. At 13 my parents and sister saved up and got me my first ever digital camera! Looking back, it was nothing special but I adored it! It was the best present I’d ever received and I’d go round taking hundreds of photos of my dog, Jasper, and my fish and flowers, and anything cool I saw.

When I started working, I saved up for months and months to upgrade to a better camera and then again to upgrade to my DSLR just before I turned 19 – I was still using my Canon 550D up to June 2019 when it finally died, and I had to upgrade. I currently use the Canon 77D.

Over the years I’ve also collected a range of new and second-hand film cameras (both 35mm, 120 and instant) and absolutely love how much fun they are!

For more about this, go see the photography section of this site!

Painting

I like painting and scrapbooking and making stuff in my spare time. I’m not the best painter but I still really enjoy it and that’s the point!

You can see a bunch of my art stuff by clicking here!

Books

I’m an avid reader. Always have been, hopefully, always will be. I have far more books than I ever have time to read but also spend far more time reading than is probably healthy.

I read a lot of fiction – I’m a big fan of crime fiction, thrillers, fantasy and horror, and, honestly, I’ll give most things a try!

I also love reading science books, particularly around biology, animals, and psychology. I do enjoy a good history book too!

I’m a big fan of comics and graphic novels! Potentially controversially, I prefer DC over Marvel (and I’m not the biggest fan of superhero films, Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Dark Knight Trilogy and possibly even Dr Strange being the exceptions). Fables is perhaps my favourite series of comics ever. I also adore stand alone graphic novels like A Sky Full of Kindness, Tamara Drewe and Maus.

Reading, to me, shouldn’t be hard work. It should be fun and enjoyable. I feel like, often but not always, if I’m struggling to enjoy a book, why bother finishing it? I’m sure I can learn the same stuff from a better written book or another source entirely. Life is too short to be bored.

You can follow my GoodReads account here to keep up with what I’m reading!

Makeup

I adore makeup – it’s like art but on your face! For me, makeup isn’t about covering up anything or trying to change something about how I look, it’s just about having fun and creating something cool where the canvas just happens to be my own face.

Eye Makeup - Rachel Oates

I like playing with bold, bright colours a lot of the time. I also like playing with dark colours – smokey eyes and red lips are a favourite. And I also like natural looking, simple makeup.

You might be surprised to know that in my day to day life I don’t really wear all that much makeup, it’s only really when I have a cool idea or product I want to play around with, when I’m filming a video, or when I’m heading out somewhere a bit special.

Rachel Oates - Makeup

I’m trying to make sure that all the makeup I currently buy and use is cruelty free and, where possible, vegan. Some cruelty free brands I recommend for being great quality and affordable include: Barry M, Focallure, Nyx, Revolution (and Revolution Pro, I <3 Makeup, and Obsession), BH Cosmetics.

A Note On Editing…

I feel at this point it’s also worth making a note about photo-editing. Photoshop, Facetune, whatever other apps and programs people use to alter their faces and bodies is pretty commonplace now. I try to avoid this as much as possible.

Rachel Oates - makeup and about me

Yes, sometimes I’ll sneakily erase an overly obnoxious spot if it’s detracting from the overall image. Also, in one particular Instagram post where I was trying to show off some eyeshadows I was (very kindly sent), I found (too late to fix it in real life) an obvious splodge of foundation I’d not blended out properly on the side of my nose / corner of my eye and used a cheeky smudge tool to make it less obvious in the photo. I think it’s important to be transparent with you guys about this kind of stuff.

That’s not to say I always look 100% the same in real life as I do in my pictures. Bright lighting is flattering. Sometimes I add cool lighting effects to my pictures to make them more interesting. I’m awkward in front of the camera, so playing around with trying to find the right camera angle is something I do. Face shapes also look different depending on what photo the camera is being taken on – lenses of different focal lengths will produce very different results. It’s worth bearing all this in mind when you see pictures of me or anyone else.

 Rachel Oates - a note on image editing. No makeup, no editing.

All this said, I want to try and be my most authentic self for you guys. Or at least as much as you can be on the internet.

Thats why I’ll never alter the shape of my facial features or body in my photos. I’ll show you my (often boring) makeup-free face as much as my full-of-makeup face. And I’ll keep posting the natural, everyday photos with all my (many, many, many) flaws on show because, ultimately, I’m just a regular person (with spots, pores, stray eyebrow hairs, chicken pox scars, and a crazy overbite!) and I’m not going to pretend otherwise.

Find out more about my approach to makeup and clothes here.

Everything Else

I’m also really interested playing PS4, animals, collecting a million stuffed animals and bears, and visiting museums.

Charlie Monkey - Rachel Oates