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TWINS Ali and Josie are as close as twin sisters can be but that doesn’t mean the pair want to look the same, in fact the two could not look more different. While pink-obsessed Ali has worn the same colour every day since 2016, Josie prefers darker hues, wearing a lot of black and green - although she’s not so mono-colour wearing as her sister. The pair do share a love for Japanese culture and fashion: Ali favouring Kawaii style, which loosely translates to ‘cute’, and Josie describing herself as a fan of Harajuku Neon. But what happens when the frills and pastel makeup tones come off and the twins are transformed into Instagram baddies?
Social: https://www.instagram.com/kawaiiconic.ali/
https://www.instagram.com/igiko.pop/

A MOTHER-OF-TWO born with a rare condition is restricted to permanently walking on her knees. Sarinha, from Brazil, was born with arthrogryposis, resulting in her legs being twisted and her arms underdeveloped - but she doesn't see her condition as a problem. Thanks to her helper, there's nothing Sarinha can't do because of her condition and she lives life like a 'normal' person. Sarinha started a TikTok page a year ago and has already gained more than 250,000 followers. Her Instagram and YouTube pages boast thousands more, as she continues to raise awareness of her condition. She loves posting videos that feature her two children and husband Marcio. Sarinha told Truly: "When I started posting my videos I never imagined that I could get 4,000 views, never! I thought they would flop, but they went so well it made me make even more videos."

CLASSIC cars have been reenvisioned as miniature versions and collected in a ‘dwarf car’ museum. Ernie Adams, of Maricopa, Arizona, has been creating his incredible scaled-down replicas of full-size cars since 1965, starting with his version of a 1928 Chevy two-door sedan. The original car, known as ‘Grandpa Dwarf’, was made out of nine old refrigerators and is still running today. Since then, Ernie, now in his late-70s, has made hundreds of 11/16th scale dwarf cars, from racers to cruisers – all fully drivable and road-legal. One of the gems of his collection is his take on the 1949 Mercury two-door coupe, which he built entirely from scratch using flat sheet metal. Known as ‘Rebel Rouser’, the car uses a 1290cc motor from a 1982 Toyota Starlet alongside a garden tractor battery and a five-speed transmission. The Mercury replica took Ernie five years to build and boasts an impressive top speed of 100mph. The car also features a faithful recreation of the original vehicle’s interior with a radio, glove box, and heaters. It now sits in Ernie’s Arizona museum alongside the other dwarf cars – a collection which Ernie says he’ll never part with despite receiving offers of $50,000 to $450,000. In the meantime, Ernie is finishing up work on a mini version of a 1904 Oldsmobile Pie Wagon, which he says will be his final build.

COUPLE Bri and Sheldon started dating in 2019 after matching on dating app Hinge. Having used a wheelchair for most of her life, Bri had found dating online difficult, with men either being unable to see past the chair - or asking deeply personal questions about her sex life. For a while Bri even hid her disability on social media, hoping that would match her with more guys - but they weren’t the right kind of guys. Now a model and comfortable with her own body, Bri started posting photos of her in her chair on dating profiles. Bri and Sheldon connected over their love of style and fashion and since the pandemic hit have got even closer, moving in together and working as a model/photographer team on some of Bri’s street-style modelling assignments.

A MUSIC producer looking to update her style has been given the ultimate futuristic make-over. Serena Elis, from Florida, describes her everyday look as “basic” - her wardrobe consisting of floral dresses, gym wear and sneakers. However with the help of expert make-up artist Annel, she will undergo her dream “eccentric” transformation, inspired by her style icons Lady Gaga and Grimes.

A MOTHER of three is learning to love her excess skin after losing 150lbs in two years. Karla Johnson, from Chaska, Minnesota, weighed 352lbs at her heaviest. Since January 2019, Karla has lost 150lbs but has been left with excess skin on her stomach. At times, Karla has felt insecure from her loose skin but hopes by sharing her story she will empower others. Karla told Truly: “It’s harder to exist in this world being bigger - I want other people to know it is fine to look different.” As a child, Karla’s mother was often working long hours so Karla spent her time indoors watching TV. “I was about 200lbs by the sixth grade and by senior year I was 300lbs.” Although Karla often dreamt about losing the weight, she carried a great deal of self-doubt and it wasn’t until she hit rock bottom in 2019 that she decided to really change her lifestyle. Karla cut out sugar and carbohydrates from her diet and began to notice a visible difference. She describes watching the scale go down as “intoxicating”. Karla, who finds the gym an intimidating place, enjoys home workouts and running - she now weighs 210lbs and feels better than ever before. However, she still carries a lot of loose skin in her midsection which can make her feel insecure: “It’s hard when you work so hard to not be exactly what society’s ideal beauty is.” Despite this, Karla says learning to love her skin has bought her “new accomplishments” and believes we should “never let fear stop us.”

A MOTHER of three is learning to love her excess skin after losing 150lbs in two years. Karla Johnson, from Chaska, Minnesota, weighed 352lbs at her heaviest. Since January 2019, Karla has lost 150lbs but has been left with excess skin on her stomach. At times, Karla has felt insecure from her loose skin but hopes by sharing her story she will empower others. Karla told Truly: “It’s harder to exist in this world being bigger - I want other people to know it is fine to look different.” As a child, Karla’s mother was often working long hours so Karla spent her time indoors watching TV. “I was about 200lbs by the sixth grade and by senior year I was 300lbs.” Although Karla often dreamt about losing the weight, she carried a great deal of self-doubt and it wasn’t until she hit rock bottom in 2019 that she decided to really change her lifestyle. Karla cut out sugar and carbohydrates from her diet and began to notice a visible difference. She describes watching the scale go down as “intoxicating”. Karla, who finds the gym an intimidating place, enjoys home workouts and running - she now weighs 210lbs and feels better than ever before. However, she still carries a lot of loose skin in her midsection which can make her feel insecure: “It’s hard when you work so hard to not be exactly what society’s ideal beauty is.” Despite this, Karla says learning to love her skin has bought her “new accomplishments” and believes we should “never let fear stop us.”

A 24-YEAR-OLD from Kerala, India was born with moles that cover 80% of his body. Prabhulal, who is currently doing a Masters in Commerce at Madurai Kamaraj University, is the only member of his family to have this rare condition. The moles now cover over half his face, having been growing and increasing in size with age. Some of these moles are located in his right ear and their expansion has caused him to go deaf on that side. To help clear up the moles and reduce their growth, Prabhulal has tried modern medicines, as well as alternative techniques, but unfortunately neither have had much success. He now hopes to try plastic surgery as an option. However the vast size of the moles presents a certain degree of difficulty to the doctors. The solution therefore is to attempt a small section first and go from there. As a young boy, Prabhulal was shy and avoided going out because of his appearance. However, with the help of his mother, Bindhu, he came to accept who he is. Prabhulal is now proud of his difference and seeks to inspire others on social media.

WHEN she was younger, Kristy used to try and hide her face. The 26-year-old from Massachusetts, US, was born with neurofibromatosis a condition that causes tumours to form on nerves. However, with the support of her family, Kristine has learned to embrace her condition and now feels surgery to change how she looks would be unnecessary. Kristine told Truly: "I love who I am and if I get cosmetic surgery, it will be changing who I am.” Kristine started posting on TikTok last year and hopes to help other people who are struggling with their own self-image. Kristine said: “I tell people when they ask me what happened to my face, I tell them beauty.”

A 2ft 10" WOMAN with brittle bones disease has defied doctors by giving birth to her son. Trisha Taylor, 31, from Idaho was diagnosed at birth with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, after being born with 150 fractured bones. The condition which is more commonly known as Brittle Bones disease, meant that Trisha grew to be just 2ft 10” tall and it has also caused her to break over 600 bones in her life, some of which broke as a result of her sneezing or falling over. In 2008, she met her 6ft 1" partner Michael. In 2011 the couple got married and by 2014 the couple had decided they wanted to have a child together. On consulting with several doctors Trisha was advised against having a child, as she was told the baby could crush her. However, Trisha was determined to have her own child and in 2015 she found a doctor who was willing to support her. On March 29, 2016, Trisha gave birth to Maven, who weighed 3lb 13oz and was perfectly healthy. Trisha, who is now raising Maven with her husband, hopes to inspire others and show that disabled couples can have children of their own.

COUPLE Aidan and Heather have been together for six and a half years, and married since July 2016. They first met whilst working at a Victoria’s Secret store, when they were both women. Initially dating as a lesbian couple, Aidan came out as trans and has since had surgery and hormone replacement therapy. At the start of 2020 the couple, from Spring, Texas started talking about having a family of their own; however their plans were then hit by Covid19. The couple spent an agonising summer looking through their options and are now beginning to attempt the process of artificial insemination.

A 5-YEAR-OLD born with a rare skin condition isn’t letting the disorder stop her from being a fun, playful and outgoing little girl. Harper Foy, from Seattle, Washington State, was born with a rare condition, called Harlequin Ichthyosis, that leaves her with thick scaly skin across her entire body. The disorder, that affects around every 1 in 500,000 people, has no known cure. Angie, Harper's mum, does what she can to make Harper as comfortable as possible, which often involves moisturising Harper from head to toe and bathing her up to three times a day. In spite of her condition and her rigorous medical routine, Harper has shown that she won’t be prevented from enjoying her life to the full. Described as a ‘born entertainer’ by her mum, Harper loves to sing and dance, and also likes to run around and play football with her old brother. At just 4 years old Harper also proved she could help to redefine conventional beauty standards, by signing for TCM Models on a two year contract. Harper and her mum hope sharing Harper’s story will serve to inspire others with the condition.

A PIN-UP aficionado has enlisted the help of her best friend to undergo an extreme metalhead makeover. Stacie and Jessie previously featured on Truly last year, where we saw Jessie give Stacie the ultimate pin-up makeover. Now, Stacie gets her revenge and turns her friend into a metalhead with facial tattoos and dark, heavy makeup. Jessie later revealed the look to her partner Joseph - but how will he react?

DASHA, 20, from Pennsylvania, is 3ft1 inches tall. Her short stature, even by little person standards, makes that extra inch important. The 20-year-old student was diagnosed with a form of dwarfism known as Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia (SED) and lives with her parents, Rob and Terri who are also both little people (mom Terri is a foot taller than Dasha and has Kniest Syndrome and dad Rob, is 4ft6 and has Achondroplasia). For Dasha, being 3ft1 is a part of her identity and she wouldn't have it any other way. She started a podcast addressing what it means to be born with dwarfism and has even recorded episodes with her mother. She also records videos on TikTok about life as a little person.

AT 320lbs, Jessica Beniquez from Spring Hill, Florida, started her weight loss journey in 2016. Growing up, Jessica was always overweight and it was not until after graduation she finally put her foot down. Jessica told Truly: “I was just sitting in bed watching Netflix and I would binge watch for a good two months. After that, I was like I am done with this." Jessica was stuck in a dangerous routine of watching four to five hours of TV and eating which was causing her weight to increase. She wanted to feel and look better and decided to make the journey to a brand new self. Jessica said: “I was just lazy. I just didn’t want to do anything or talk to anybody. I was drawn into the show and just didn’t want to get off the couch." As well as binge watching TV, Jessica would fry a lot of her food in oil. “I would cook deep fried foods like corn dogs, French fries, chicken strips, chicken nuggets, mozzarella sticks. All of it. I would fry it. It's crazy like thinking back on my old eating habits because now, forget it. So gross." Jessica’s weight loss journey has inspired her to become a personal trainer after living through the experience, she knows what works. Jessica told Truly: “I never thought that I would be a personal trainer, that would never even cross my mind. I never even expected loving working out or eating clean. If you knew me four years ago, forget it. I was not the one to seek any advice about weight loss, about food, exercises - I was clueless."

18-YEAR-OLD Bella Roberts was born with a rare form of lymphoedema called Hennekam syndrome. Unlike most people with lymphedema who experience swelling due to excess fluid in one or two limbs, Bella has swelling throughout her entire body. Bella, who says she is one of the few people in the world with her specific form of lymphedema, has also experienced stunted growth from her condition. To manage her condition, Bella takes several different medications, to help reduce the swelling. However, despite the medicine, Bella still has a visually different appearance to most and this sometimes became the source of bullying at school. Even now as an adult, she still receives negative comments, as well as undesirable looks and stares from people she doesn’t know. Her condition, aside from causing a visual difference, also means that she can’t exercise or walk around for too long, and she also finds it difficult to find clothes that fit. Undeterred by life's obstacles, Bella is a super positive person, who has a fantastic network of friends and family that support her and love her for outgoing personality. Bella is now at university studying film and hopes to be the first disabled female to win a BAFTA for Directing.

ASPIRING tattoo model, Casey Olver from Tauranga, New Zealand, has finally faced her nerves by showing her new facial tattoo to her dad, Wayne. Despite not having any tattoos of his own, Wayne previously said he doesn’t mind Casey getting inked, so long as she doesn’t get any on her face. Casey, who hasn’t seen her dad in a few months, is hoping he’ll approve of her new look and support her choice regardless. That said, it is by no means the first time Casey has shown up to her dad’s house with a new tattoo, as she started getting them at just 14 years old. The motivation to get her first tattoo was born out of the desire to create her own unique identity that was different from everyone else at school. Later, she drew inspiration from famous tattoo artist, Kat Von D and started getting more and more tattoos. Currently, at age 29, Casey estimates that she has around 50 tattoos and has spent upwards of $50,000 on them, although she also gets some of them for free from her friends. Confident and happy with her aesthetic, Casey is now an aspiring tattoo model and loves to show off her incredible geometric black and white tattoos whenever she gets the chance.

WITH a 30-year-age gap between them, couple Ashley and Keith have had to get used to people questioning their relationship. The couple, who met on Tinder, got engaged after just four months of dating - and half a year after Keith's first wife died. Ashley, 28, is an accountant while 58-year-old Keith does odd job manual work and looks after Ashley's son Eric at home. In spite of their speedy engagement, not to mention a global pandemic, Ashley and Keith were determined to get married in 2020.

ETHAN, 24, has always had a passion for body art and started modifying his body at just 11 years old. With so many tattoos across his body and face, Ethan can't put a number on how many individual tattoos he has. His girlfriend Meg has only ever seen Ethan with tattoos. With the help of a makeup artist, Ethan's tattoos were covered up giving him and Meg the chance to see what he would look like now without tattoos...

WHEN she was diagnosed with Stage 2 nasal cancer in 2014, Tina, 43, from Texas, was devastated. After some deliberation she made the difficult decision to undergo surgery to completely remove her nose. Tina told Truly: “I actually had one doctor tell me, ‘You’re a young attractive woman we don’t want to permanently disfigure you'. I said: ‘That’s all great and fine, and I can appreciate that but what good is pretty if I’m six feet under?’" After the surgery, Tina was worried about how her children would react but they responded with love and they now have a family saying ‘whatever okay looks like, it’s going to be okay’. Tina said: “The way my husband looked at me never changed, the way my children looked at me, never changed, not for one second.” Tina was fitted with a prosthetic nose but it irritated her skin and she did not like the way it looked. She felt like she wore it for everyone else so one day decided not to put it on and has not looked back. Tina said: “People told me, 'You would be so pretty if you had a nose'. I’m still pretty anyway, I just stopped letting it define me, and that was kind of liberating.” Tina has had to fight hard for her confidence and wants to challenge beauty standards. She said: “From the moment we're born, society tries to fit us in a box of what is acceptably beautiful, what is acceptably appeasing to the eyes, and I want to shatter that box. I want to destroy it. I don't want anybody to ever feel like they're not beautiful.”

A MOTHER who once weighed 380lbs credits her son for helping her lose 200lbs in four years. Cristina McClaren, 39, from Arizona, turned to food for comfort when growing up to help her deal with her mother’s substance abuse problems. At her heaviest, Cristina weighed 380lbs and was left feeling humiliated when she was unable to run around a soccer field at a fitness bootcamp. She decided there and then she needed to change her ways for herself and for her teenage son, Jeremiah. Cristina told Truly: “I didn’t feel like I was being the best parent that I could be, looking back it’s an embarrassment.” In 2014, Cristina embarked upon a fitness journey and over the course of four years she managed to lose 200lbs. At the beginning of her journey, Cristina thought: “I’m either going to be 600lbs or I can stop and at least get down to 200lbs.” However, the journey has not just been about the physical for Cristina, but it has helped her mentally too. “I needed to lose weight and have confidence,” she explained. “When I was heavy I was guarded and didn’t want people to look at me.” Cristina credits her son for helping her with the journey and believes she’s a much better parent since losing the weight. The pair keep an active lifestyle together, whether it’s Jeremiah joining her at the gym or the pair paddleboarding on the weekend. Cristina now feels like a totally different person and loves the way she looks: “I feel like I can take on anything.”

A MOTHER who once weighed 380lbs credits her son for helping her lose 200lbs in four years. Cristina McClaren, 39, from Arizona, turned to food for comfort when growing up to help her deal with her mother’s substance abuse problems. At her heaviest, Cristina weighed 380lbs and was left feeling humiliated when she was unable to run around a soccer field at a fitness bootcamp. She decided there and then she needed to change her ways for herself and for her teenage son, Jeremiah. Cristina told Truly: “I didn’t feel like I was being the best parent that I could be, looking back it’s an embarrassment.” In 2014, Cristina embarked upon a fitness journey and over the course of four years she managed to lose 200lbs. At the beginning of her journey, Cristina thought: “I’m either going to be 600lbs or I can stop and at least get down to 200lbs.” However, the journey has not just been about the physical for Cristina, but it has helped her mentally too. “I needed to lose weight and have confidence,” she explained. “When I was heavy I was guarded and didn’t want people to look at me.” Cristina credits her son for helping her with the journey and believes she’s a much better parent since losing the weight. The pair keep an active lifestyle together, whether it’s Jeremiah joining her at the gym or the pair paddleboarding on the weekend. Cristina now feels like a totally different person and loves the way she looks: “I feel like I can take on anything.”

A FATHER dubbed as the 'wolf man' was born with a rare condition that causes excessive hair growth all over his body. Gabriel's family were not surprised when he was diagnosed with hypertrichosis at birth, as over 30 members of his family, including his brother, all share the same condition. Gabriel says his condition doesn't limit him in any way, other than having to pay a lot of money to take care of the excessive hair. At just 16 years old, Gabriel and his brother started working in a circus as 'wolf men'. Four years ago Gabriel married his wife Alicia, and they now have a young child together. Recently, Gabriel started a TikTok account that has already amassed over 30,000 followers. Gabriel told Truly: "On TikTok a lot of people ask me what's going on with me, if I am real - I try to explain it." His wife Alicia added: "He's a very good person in the broad sense of the word - so the condition is not important to me."

A 23-YEAR-OLD with a rare skin condition isn’t letting her disease stop her from doing what she wants - even getting tattoos. Paloma Lira from Sao Paulo, Brazil was born with congenital lamellar ichthyosis, a condition which causes the skin to become extremely dry and scaly. The genetic disease has no cure, and Paloma has to have a strict care routine to soothe her skin - especially during the hotter months. When Paloma was a child, she was frequently bullied for her skin condition - however now as an adult she refuses to allow anything to get in her way. She has even had tattoos and frequently tries out different makeup looks. She told Truly: “I started doing makeup at about nine years old. Makeup can make you feel pretty and wonderful, but it’s what inside that makes a difference. Regardless of the condition you have, regardless of really anything, that can’t stop you from doing anything. Don’t care about people’s opinion." Her mother Sandra said: “For what she’s been through, I would say she’s a true warrior."

THIS woman has moved countries to marry a man on death row. Sigrid, 39, lives in Florida with her nine-month-old son. She is a long way from her native home of France, where she once had a large support system of family and friends. Since moving to the states three years ago to marry a man on death row her life has been turned upside down. Her husband Alan is in a prison a one hour drive away from her, where he has been incarcerated for the past 15 years for first-degree murder and robbery. Sigrid explained how they met: “I started writing to prisoners because I believe in second chances and rehabilitation.” She became Alan’s penpal, only looking to be his companion, however, after conversing for months, their relationship began to evolve. “When I started to realise that I was having feelings for him, and him for me, we both got scared," she said. “We tried to stop writing to each other, [but] we were both miserable. After six weeks, he wrote back - the first words were, ‘I love you'.” That long-distance relationship blossomed and after a year of writing and Sigrid visiting him, Alan proposed. But once Sigrid shared the news with her loved ones, she suddenly became isolated from her community. “They all disappeared, they were really scared for me,” she told Truly. After their marriage, Sigrid moved to the states to be closer to her husband, and they now have a son together. Despite the challenges she faced in the past, Sigrid is firm in her decision that she chose the right partner to share her life with. “I'm loved unconditionally by someone who I love the same way.”

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Created 2 years, 7 months ago.

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Category People & Family