Amber Wagner is all about positivity. Raised in a devoutly Christian family, the Los Angeles-based Instagram personality who is best known as Just Livin Baby, has spent much of her life in the church. It’s her faith, she told me in early April when we spoke over the phone, that inspires her to create acerbically comic videos in which she provides guidance on love, life, and loss.
I was first introduced to Wagner’s Instagram page when a friend sent me a video of her breaking down the importance of “doing you” and never chasing “fuck ass” dudes. When I saw it, I felt like I was getting advice from one of my homegirls — personable, real, and refreshingly honest. Now, whenever her account comes up in conversation, my girlfriends always rave about how relatable Wagner’s videos are, and how they feel like she’s speaking directly to them. It is partly why her videos have gone viral, garnering attention from celebrities and everyday people looking for direction. But offering advice is nothing new for Wagner, who is often the first person her close friends call when they’re looking for counsel.
I spoke to the 26-year-old Wagner over the phone about what inspired her to post inspirational videos on Instagram, how her life has changed since becoming a recognizable presence on social media, and why she wants people to keep the faith.
What inspired you to start posting videos on Instagram?
Honestly, my religious videos, I started doing those because I had some days where I was dead broke, didn’t have no gas, and out the blue, God would just bless me with some funds. In random places, like in my glove box, I’d find ten dollars. Or lookin’ in my shirt pocket I’d find some money. So I was just like, “You know what, let me start telling people how good God is.”
Where’d you get the name Just Livin Baby?
From the 2 Chainz song, “Living.” In the chorus he says, “Im just livin baby” and I just love that, cause that’s really what I’m doing. Like, I’m just livin’ out here.
You wear sunglasses in the majority of your videos. What inspires your choice in shades?
I like my glasses to be big, cause I’m a big girl. I don’t need no small little glasses, unless I’m being funny. For my real shades, to like, go out and be fly? I need them to be big and have a unique shape to ‘em.
Lollipops have also become a staple in your videos. What’s your favorite flavor?
I’ma have to go with cherry and strawberry.
How has your life changed since you’ve gone viral?
This is actually my third account, so I’ve been in the mix [for a while]. I get so much attention when I’m at the swap meet, at the drive through, [or sitting] in traffic. People want pictures. But free entry into the clubs, and all that? I like that.
Why do you think your supporters relate to you on such a deep level?
'Cause when I give a message, I’m speaking off of personal experience. I put it in a way where everybody can relate to me, but giving real-life problems and giving solutions to them.
What do you hope to inspire in others with your videos and messages?
Just for people to keep the faith and always be positive. No more negativity. This world is already corrupt with fuckin’ [Donald] Trump and all that. We just need to keep it positive, you know?