Nikkie de Jager, a popular YouTube blogger famous for glamorous makeup looks and various high-profile makeup collaborations, has come out as a transgender woman following an alleged attempt of blackmail towards her.
She said that while she had always wanted to make this announcement to followers "under my own circumstances", she was speaking out now because "it looks like that chance has been taken away from me".
"So today, I am taking back my own power and I have to tell you something."
In a 17-minute video titled "I am coming out", de Jager - better known as her online name, NikkieTutorials - said that she was "born in the wrong body". While she stressed that she doesn't feel the need to label herself, she said that "if we are going to put a label on it, yes, I am transgender".
"But at the end of the day, I am me," she added.
The Dutch blogger explained that by the age of seven or eight she "fully wore girl's clothes only and it felt amazing." In the video, she explained that her makeup account was started as her transition was finishing up.
The make-up artist said that she started hormones by the age of 14 and used "growth stoppers" that prevented her from becoming taller, and that she fully transitioned at 19 years old.
She alleged that blackmailers were trying to sell her story to the press, which brought on her announcement.
"The last thing I want in my life is for you to not trust me anymore or to look at me with different eyes," she said. "At the end of the day, I am still Nikkie."
The star particularly thanked her mother, who she said had supported her from day one: "Growing up, I think the No. 1 thing I'm the most thankful for is my mom — love you, Mom — because she has been there for me since day one."
The 25-year-old has been making makeup tutorials for over a decade, and has amassed over 12 million YouTube subscribers and 13 million Instagram followers, charming fans with her extravagantly glamorous and highly stylised makeup looks.
Bright colours, sharp contour and long, lush lashes are trademark details in many of her looks, and she was particularly praised for a video showcasing the power of makeup where she made up one half of her face, leaving the other bare.
As her fame grew, so too did her business. The blogger has worked as Global Beauty Adviser for Marc Jacobs Beauty, has collaborated on an eyeshadow palette with Too Faced and has worked with makeup brands Maybelline and Ofra. Just a few weeks ago, she collaborated with Lady Gaga to promote the singers Haus Labs makeup line.
In the wake of the video, de Jager has been supported by troves of stars. Co-founder of Anastasia Beverly Hills, Norvina, wrote on Instagram "I am so happy for you I'm so proud of you you’re so beautiful I cried happy tears watching you", while presenter Michelle Visage wrote "So happy, so proud, so very VERY proud".