Woman with stammer becomes TikTok famous sharing challenges to raise awareness

'It's given me the confidence that nothing else ever could in this entire world'

A woman from Mountain Ash has risen to social media fame after documenting her life with a stammer.

Beauty brand owner Jessie Davies, 29, has racked up more than 3.1 million followers since sharing her first video on TikTok just six months ago.

Around 3% of the UK adult population believe they have a stammer, according to research by the charity STAMMA.

Jessie's videos show her carrying out challenges - in which she is required to speak on demand in often distracting environments - and tackling stigmas around the neurological condition.

Some of her most popular videos show her ordering food and drink items at drive-thrus - something she had previously avoided.

"Before my journey I had never done it before as I was too scared as you are just speaking to a box, and when you have a stammer it is so important to have eye contact and to stay focused," Jessie explained.

"Going through the drive-thru and not to have that eye contact, and you also have to speak on demand, is really challenging."

But it's now a fear Jessie overcomes regularly - and she shares every raw moment of it with her TikTok followers.

Six months ago, Jessie had never been to a drive-thru due to fears she would stammer.

Jessie said she was inspired to spread awareness after noticing a lack of representation in the media.

"Every single day I face so many obstacles - it can be having to use the phone, it could be having to meet someone new, it could just be I want to order food. Every day there is a new obstacle.

"I share my videos on TikTok because I haven't seen anyone with a stammer ever since the X-Factor in 2002, and so it's not spoken about enough at all.

"I'm on my own little journey and I am just documenting it, and I hope it inspires but also educates other people."

The response has been overwhelming, with Jessie's videos frequently attracting millions of views and hundreds of thousands of comments.

Despite fearing the videos would receive a negative backlash, she said the response has been "incredible".

"I thought at the beginning I was going to be trolled and I thought the worst-case scenarios, but it just turned and I never expected to get the love and support that I have received.

"I find the more I speak about it the more that people understand, and then the more respect they have for someone who has a stammer or even struggles with their speech, as there are so many people who struggle with their speech for so many different reasons."

Jessie uses TikTok to share information and tackle stigmas about stammers.

Jessie also shares videos in which she carries out 'random acts of kindness' in her local area - handing out flowers, giving away free beauty products and paying compliments to strangers.

It's during these challenges that she realised the positive impact her content has had.

"When I see these young people and they come up to me because they've seen me on TikTok and they tell me that I'm their idol and their role model, and I'll be there struggling with my speech.

"They stand there and listen to every word I say, and they are patient and maintain eye contact and they don't finish my sentences.

"I think to myself, if a young person can do that, why can't a troll also understand that?"

How to support someone with a stammer:

Jessie also shared the impact her TikTok journey has had on her own life.

"It's made me realise how many people care, and how many people want to learn, and there are so many people who face the same struggles.

"When it comes to my confidence, it's given me confidence that nothing else ever could in this entire world.

"I have found other ways to cope with my speech now and before I just thought I had to live a certain way."

She added that she is grateful to those who have supported her journey, and offered some advice on how to support others with a stammer.

"Just be patient, please be patient. Try not to interrupt a person who is struggling with their speech, have eye contact and focus on the conversation, as it can be really distracting when somebody checks the time or starts to butt into your conversation.

"I just think it is to give a person who has a stammer some respect."