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Viral Social Media Sensation and Teen Author Charlie Michael Baker on 'Autism & Me'

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Sat, March 23

Life is full of trials and hardship, but as they always say, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

That's exactly what 17-year-old Charlie Michael Baker has done by using his talents to share his story of being diagnosed with autism and of navigating his up-and-at-'em career!

In this Charlie Baker x The Teen Magazine interview, we had the chance to sit down with Charlie as he spilled all the details, from being a best-selling author to collaborating with big-name celebrities like Kylie Jenner.

Photo by Charlie Baker

The Who's and What's of Charlie Baker

Tell us about your journey from being diagnosed with autism at 6 to becoming a social media sensation and published author at just 16!

I don't remember much about my diagnosis because I was so young, but it's definitely been a weird and crazy ride. Social media has been a great way to promote my books; with such a large following, however, does come a lot of hateful people!

Your book, "Charlie Baker: Autism And Me," has resonated deeply with readers worldwide. What inspired you to share your story?

I was bullied a lot in school for “being different,” so the purpose of my book really is to better educate people on autism and to encourage them to be a bit nicer on the day-by-day.

Do you believe your experiences with childhood bullying have shaped your perspective on life and influenced your work?

It was a very dark time, but being bullied has definitely shaped me into the person I am today— I wouldn't be me without it!

With over 1.3 million Instagram followers, you've built a significant platform. How do you balance being a social media influencer with your personal life and other endeavors?

It's definitely still weird having so many followers, but hey, I've always said I wanted to be “famous!" Social media is my job, and it's everything I've ever dreamed of.

To be honest, there is no real balance. Anytime, anywhere, I'm doing social media at all times. Whether that's posting, meeting fans, or doing interviews, it's become my life.

Collaborating with industry titans like Kylie Jenner is a significant milestone. Can you share how this partnership came about and what it means for you personally and professionally?

Kylie is so, so lovely. She and I speak often about life— she's like my therapist! She's a really good friend, and I'm so glad I met her through Glow Beverages!

Your success isn't just measured in social metrics but also in financial milestones. How do you navigate the business side of your career while staying true to your values and message?

With social media comes money, and I am not going to lie, a lot of it. I'm not the best with money; whenever I have it, I feel this urge to spend it, so now we have to lock it away into a trust account I can't touch until I'm 21.

What advice would you give to other teenagers facing similar challenges, whether it's bullying, autism, or pursuing their passions against all odds?

Whatever anyone says, as long as you believe in yourself, you'll get there! I always had people who just laughed at me whenever I said I wanted a career in the public eye; now, they ask for shoutouts!

If you're ever struggling mentally, though, speak to someone. You should never go through it alone.

Your fundraising efforts for charity have been impressive, raising £350,000. Can you share some insights into how you've leveraged your platform for philanthropic endeavors?

I've currently raised £400,000 from the proceeds of my book, but, really, I can't take all the credit for that— the fans helped significantly! All the shares, all the press, and all the people who talked about it helped raise every single penny for charity!

Writing three books at such a young age is an extraordinary achievement. What drives your creativity, and how do you stay motivated to continue creating?

I've always loved writing. It's been a passion of mine for ages, so when I saw the gap in the market… I took it! At the time, there was no book similar to Charlie Baker: Autism And Me, but it's definitely inspired a few people to write similar things.

How do you handle criticism or negative feedback, especially considering your visibility on social media?

To be honest, I don't. I don't read my DMs, and I don't read anything online. And that's the best way to live.

I always tell aspiring influencers: Never read the comments. Celebrities fall victim to this daily, but it is something they “have to deal with” as it “comes with the job.” Again, unfair, but an unfair truth!

What do you envision for the future of your career and advocacy work, both in the short and long term? Can you share any upcoming projects or initiatives you're excited about?

I'd love a career in television. I'm hoping for a reality TV series I hold close to my heart, The Only Way Is Essex. I know a few of the cast, as we've shared a few messages online, but I'd like to get myself on the big screen soon! I'm filming my own documentary soon about my first book!

As someone who has challenged perceptions about autism, what do you hope to see in terms of greater awareness and inclusivity in society?

I just hope to see people treated more fairly and with more respect in the world!

Photo by Kerry Bergin

5 Rapid-Fire Questions

What's the most embarrassing song on your playlist that you secretly love?

Texas Hold' Em by Beyoncé. I'm not usually one for falling into trends, but that song is SO catchy!!!!

Favorite comfort food?

Jam Roly Poly and custard is so yummm!!

Favorite Book Genre?

Memoirs! It's such a good way to hear about someone's life!

Something you never leave the house without?

My phone! I never leave my phone anywhere that I can't reach! How else am I supposed to catch the perfect photo in golden hour? *lol*

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

I already have a superpower. It's called autism! With autism, you have to have this level of confidence and the thickest layer of skin ever!

Check out Charlie on social media!

If you wanna keep up with Charlie Michael Baker and his journey, follow him on:

Instagram: @charliemichaelbaker

Tiktok: @charliemichaelbaker

Facebook: @charliemichaelbaker

Williana Serve
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Williana is currently a freshman in college. She likes to learn new things especially involving Law & Advocacy. When she’s not doing schoolwork, she can be found watching TikTok, YouTube, or reading.