Did Michelle grow up as poor as she claimed?

Before anyone criticises me for dwelling into Michelle’s personal life, please read this. (Credits to Jeanie on gurugossip)

Now, onto the actual debate: Did Michelle really grow up as poor as she claimed?

The link below provides a mini bio of her past.


Quotes from the article, key notes are bolded:

“Memory. • It’s Halloween, and Michelle Phan is 5 years old. • Her classmates have come to school in glamorous princess costumes that cascade and billow. One girl, she remembers, is beautiful in a saffron Belle gown from Beauty and the Beast. • But Michelle’s family is on food stamps. No princess dress for her. Instead, she finds a paper plate and a red lipstick.”

“”I would live in one place, and remember packing up and getting in that van,” she said, her eyes trailing. “When you know that you’re the reason your family is suffering… . Having all that burden, all that guilt, you need to get away.””


Michelle Phan is 18.

It’s time to fess up.

Her mother, hard-working but poor, desperately wants Michelle to become a doctor. Medicine is prestigious. It’s secure. It’s the only logical way.

She studies dermatology at Tampa Bay Technical High School, but inside, she knows she won’t be happy for life.

She explains art college to her mother, who is heartbroken. So Phan makes a promise.

"I will make this work."”

This article really touches your heart doesn’t it? Michelle, growing up so poor, shows us that anyone can succeed no matter what background they come from. So inspirational isn’t it? Now here is where we begin questioning the validity behind her story:

From her Xanga:

She doesn’t understand why girls complain about the price? Didn’t she claim to have been so poor that her family had to rely on food stamps? If that’s true, then she SHOULD know what it’s like to be on a budget. La Mer is not a cheap drug store brand. From her tone, it seems as if $120 is nothing.

8 years old? Seriously? If she was really that poor, how the hell does she have time to worry about her skin, let alone have the MONEY to buy ridiculously expensive creams such as LA MER? Also, 8 year olds should be enjoying their childhood instead of worrying about something so petty.

Apparently, genius Michelle not only began “religiously taking care” of her skin at the age of 8, but was also technology-savvy. Bullshit. Someone please explain to me how she was able to afford Apple computers when her family was supposedly on food stamps. Again, Apple computers are not cheap.

Something else that questions the truth behind her story:


In the video above, Michelle claims to have applied to a Lancome counter three years ago to help her mother pay the bills. Nothing wrong with that until….


Apparently, Michelle and her brother had brand new cars.

Further reference:



Here are more questionable evidence from her Xanga:

Not many poor people I know are able to afford the newest gadgets, not to mention, she also has a WHITE ONE? Even though being poor means that you are constantly on a budget, it definitely teaches you about being grateful with what you have. What do you think? Do you think maybe she just doesn’t have the same attitude as most people, or do you think maybe she was never actually “poor”?



These screenshots are all from 2007. If you scroll up to the video, you’ll see she posted the video Feb 2010. In the video she claims that three years ago she had to help pay the bills. Do the math yourself. Now we know where all the money is going…

So poor that she uses so many different creams at once. Look at the brands too. I’m sure we all know that Lancome is definitely not a cheap brand.

Clearly the evidence collected here questions the validity behind her story. I am not one to judge whether or not she really grew up poor, but through the evidence I suspect she exaggerated her story to boost her fan base and to gain sympathy. After all, it makes her seem more accomplished coming from such a far place.

So, what’s your verdict? Did Michelle really rely on food stamps like she claimed, or is she exaggerating her story to benefit herself?  

Credits: Thank you to members of the gurugossip forum for contributing.

31 notes


  1. naointeressaaninguem reblogged this from michellephail and added:
    oh lord, i always got a smack in the head every time i whined about being poor (and still do) and my family could never...
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