You’ve heard of The Little Mermaid, right? The Disney animated film about a mermaid who gives her voice to a sea witch for legs, in hopes of marrying a human prince.
The Sea Witch notices the mermaid is getting a little too close at having the prince, so the witch transforms herself into a beautiful woman to tempt him with the angelic voice of the mermaid.
Again, we have a story of the Youtube glory days. When content was far and in between and it had yet to blow up.
Meet Ysabella Brave. She found Youtube in 2007 and quickly took the internet by storm. With her angelic voice, Ysabella enchanted viewers. She made you feel loved, too, with the addition of her Talk Channel. She’d offer advice, talk a bit of her personal life and sometimes say a prayer.
Ysabella was an angel, for sure.
But, in 2008, she was struck with illness. Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue System. She stated she had more illnesses, but this was what she chose to share. She also ran into trouble when her videos were flagged for Copyright.
So, with her being ill and many of her videos gone, Ysabella faded away from the internet. Another Youtube great, gone. I was saddened.
I had forgotten about her, as time went on. However, she popped into my mind this January. I wondered, had she gotten help? Was she better? Was she still singing?
So, I looked her up. The first result was the Wikipedia page. The second link caught my eye. YOUCARE. I clicked it.
Youcare is a donation service, much like GoFundMe. I was shocked reading the information. Ysabella was out of a job and needed money for her medical expenses! My heart sank, just for a second. Then, it occurred to me… was this real? As far as I knew, Ysabella was MIA from the internet. Was someone profiting off the angelic Youtube Star?
I did a little digging, and could not find any information from Ysabella herself. This was concerning. Surely, if a person needed money, they’d post a video or note on their website, right? RIGHT?
All I managed to find was a 5 minute video, “Help Ysabella…” from March 31, 2014. So, something fairly recent.
The video is a string of text, put to angelic music. “Ysabella’s life has been at risk for years…”
“She can not afford food…”
“She can not keep food down…”
“Many illnesses…” “
“Ysabella can not operate a computer due to her condition…”
At this point, I was utterly convinced this was a scam. It was just too convenient that Ysabella herself could not communicate with her fans. She had over 34,000 subscribers. A two minute video explaining her situation would be plenty and serve as proof.
Still searching for proof that this was in fact from Ysabella, I found her facebook page. It was public, so I cruised the activity. The stuff “she” was putting out was strange. Really Evangelical. Ysabella had mentioned God in some of her videos, but it never had seemed extreme. There was also a lot of I’M SO ILL. NEED HELP. MONEY NEEDED. All over the page. It just seemed strange to me. Red flags were popping up all over. There was this exchange with a ‘fan’ where you can see Ysabella becomes enraged that she’s being questioned at all:
Then, Ysabella is going to “set fire to the world” if she can’t find a video chatting application:
Before I had begun exploring the facebook page, I had commented on the “Help Ysabella” video. I was polite, as I expressed my concern.
So, as I’m reading her facebook, I get an email. Someone has responded to my comment on the video. Then, another email. The responses were blowing up. One was from the video creator, someone who appeared to be speaking to Ysabella frequently. The other comment told me to “read Ysabella’s response.”
And there it was— from Ysabella’s own Youtube profile: “This has been going on all my life.”
What followed though, was nasty. Very, very nasty.
I replied back, saying I felt she should make a video to better explain the situation.
FEED YOUR HEAD, she said.
I couldn’t understand what was going on. Was this really Ysabella? Was someone pretending to be her?
We talked back and forth a bit. Nothing good. “She” was so upset she was being questioned. She could not understand why I didn’t just believe her. Why doesn’t she just send me her social security number and her ID, she taunted.
Elsewhere on the internet, Ysabella was being questioned by other fans. People with legitimate concern. One person even said they had been donating to her fund, but stopped, when the money seemed to “just be going into a black hole.” You can see that thread here: http://www.reddit.com/r/youtube/comments/2vy2fw/ysabella_brave_scammers_profiting_from_former/
The thread then has responses from someone defending Ysabella. Andrew. He was not the person who had posted the video, but seemed to be in close conjunction. His responses were long. Linking to pictures of Ysabella supposed “ailing condition” and reasons she couldn’t get help from government programs.
His language was similar to that of the Youcare page, leading me to think he had been the one to set it up.
The situation died down— as the Facebook page went missing and the Youcare page was being investigated.
But, our story does not end there.
No. Because on May 21st, 2015, a new video arrived. A broken Ysabella appears.
“Hey guys, guess what… I’m not dead. I’m alive. So in my email, my facebook…”
“I’ve been reading a lot, from my friend, from my Youcare page… I wanted to say a few things…”
“I’m grateful for those who believe me…”
“I do need help money wise…”
She then mentions seeing communication about people wanting identification, pictures of her in the hospital, etc. I never saw any of that, specifically. I only saw the one comment of a fan asking for a general photo… not from a hospital bed, just of her. And, people wanted her ID? Well, she had accused me of wanting hers, but I never asked her for it.
Then, halfway through the video, a man slides into frame. ‘Andrew’. Her ‘biggest fan.’ And he’s ‘going into debt’ trying to help her. The Youcare page is real, she says. She assures us that all donations from PayPal do go to her. She coughs a little then.
It doesn’t end there.
“For those who are skeptical, I get it. Here’s your video… “
She says it in a manner of kindness. She understands why people were concerned and wondered if this was real. But why then, did she give me a hard time? Why did she attack me by SHOUTING and linking me to a video from CLUE suggesting I was stupid?
So, once more, I commrented on the original donation video.
“I’m glad she made a video… but why did she give me hell?”
Some hours later:
Now, is this how you respond to people who are concerned?
In the blogosphere, I happened to find this: http://insurancevideos.blogspot.com/2007/08/ysabella-brave-investigation-and-other.html
Someone was ‘investigating’ Ysabella way back in 2007. For what, I don’t know. But Ysabella was harassing the poor woman, apparently. I have seen a bit of this anger.
The bottom line is this:
There are several red flags going on here. Ysabella always projected this angelic energy. But, now, she seems bitter and cold. Was she always this way? Is she even really ill? The thought did cross my mind, that she may very well just be faking this entire thing.
And, where does Andrew fit into all this? Who is he?
I don’t wish her ill will. If she’s sick, that of course is horrible. However, I can’t understand why she is acting so cruel to me and others who are wondering if this is legitimate.
And so, we come full circle. The Little Mermaid.
Who Is Ysabella, really? Is Ysabella in disguise?