Fans of tiny, magnetic, makeup maven Talia Joy Castellano, who tragically lost her six year battle with cancer in July of this year, are campaigning for M.A.C. cosmetics to dedicate a line in her memory. Talia, who would have turned fourteen on August 18, had enjoyed internet celebrity status due to her successful YouTube channel of makeup tips and tricks, and candid commentary on her struggle.
“I’ve gotten so many benefits from cancer, having a YouTube channel, inspiring people and having people look up to me . . . the journey of having cancer was amazing. But every journey has an end.” – Talia Joy Castellano
Diagnosed with with stage four neuroblastoma cancer on Valentine’s Day in 2007, for years Talia received invasive treatments and even experienced a year of remission, however her cancer kept returning. Doctors suggested a bone marrow transplant but, according to the Daily Mail, last summer she decided to forgo additional painful surgery and enjoy her remaining days. She was given a year to live.
On July 16, a message from her grieving mother read, “It is with a heavy heart that we share with all of you that Talia has earned her wings at 11:22am. Please lift her beautiful soul, her beautiful light to heaven.” Fans and friends offering their condolences included Ellen DeGeneres, Miley Cyrus, and Justin Bieber.
Days before the tenacious 13-year-old sensation succumbed to illness, her mother posted Talia’s handwritten ‘bucket list’ to Facebook. The whimsical teenage dreams included random acts of kindness like giving flowers to a stranger, and adorably girlish ambitions like hoping to get to a Justin Bieber concert. As news of her death circulated, fans hurried to act out Talia’s unfulfilled wishes and share their photos via social media, delighting in such items as having in a messy cake fight, getting a tattoo, and the silliness of covering a car in sticky notes. Would her young fans ever suspect that big-hearted Talia suggested such joyful tasks to inspire impulse, courageousness, and altruism among them in her absence?
She’d written ‘Have my own MAC collection,’ at number 62, and a devoted fan named Lauren Vennes showed her own compassion with a Change.org petion to see that item become a reality. “She has gone through so much in her life and the one thing she wanted to accomplish is putting her handprints and footprints in the world,” her inspired letter to M.A.C. cosmetics read. “We should make one of Talia’s dreams come true whether she is here with us today or not, because she deserves every second of it.” Lauren’s petition has already earned over ten-thousand signatures. “Some supporters have suggested the beauty giant, who regularly launches limited-edition ranges, could donate part of the proceeds from the ‘Talia line’ to cancer research,” the Daily Mail encouraged.
Talia had aspirations as a makeup artist and applied cosmetics to favor her bold features rather than conform in an uncomfortable wig. She explained in one vlog: “When I put on my make-up I feel like I can embrace those features that I really like about myself. I feel if someone’s looking at me, they’re looking at my makeup, not looking at my bald head. I am just trying to make young girls, young adults, adults, anyone, feel beautiful by using makeup.”
Before she passed, she reflected wisely, “I’ve gotten so many benefits from [cancer]. Having a YouTube channel, [inspiring] people and having people look up to me . . . the journey of having cancer was amazing. But every journey has an end.”