Being A Teacher To An OnlyFans Creator

Besides our parents, the next most important adults in our lives are undoubtedly our teachers. If you think about it, teachers pretty much raised you too — from when you were squirming at playgrounds in kindergarten to finally tossing your motorboard in the air after graduating university. 

For Chanel Yui, being a teacher was her dream career, which she fulfilled after she graduated from university and became a secondary school teacher. However, eight years later, things took a turn and she found herself in a drastic, and some might say, taboo career switch — becoming an OnlyFans creator

Here’s what her journey was like and the ups and downs along the way.

Growing up with dreams of becoming a teacher

Chanel with her students when she was a teacher

Growing up, Chanel described herself to have come from a “broken and low-income family”. She didn’t receive much support at home, so she turned to her teachers a lot in school. 

“When a child comes from a broken family, they’re always on the lookout for an adult to rely on. Luckily, I had so many teachers throughout my life that helped me and were very important to my growth. I felt like I wanted to repay this feeling by helping other kids too.”

After graduating from JC, Chanel went on to apply for multiple scholarships to fund her university education. Almost as if it was fate, MOE accepted her with a scholarship to teach art. Thus, Chanel did her degree at NTU’s School of Art, Design and Media, then completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Education at NIE.

Working as a teacher for 8 years

onlyfans creatorChanel with her students when she was a teacher

Then came the usually-dreaded adulting — which Chanel welcomed positively. She began working full time in different schools under MOE, teaching two subjects in secondary schools: art and maths. 

When asked if she had any subject preferences, Chanel shared, “I definitely preferred art. Maths is a bit boring, and even my kids can tell that I’m very different in both classes.” 

Being around the students reaffirmed Chanel’s passion for teaching — she loved being around them and watching them grow throughout the years. 

But of course, there’s no such thing as a perfect job. 

“I always tell people this — there are two types of people when you go into teaching: adults and kids. The kids are the fun part. The adults? Not so much.”

Things started to take a turn for Chanel when she realised she was trapped in a toxic work environment. One day, she showed up to school wearing a knee-length black dress complete with long sleeves — “from ASOS some more”, Chanel helpfully supplied. 

To her surprise, she was called into the office for her “inappropriate dress code”, as the imprint of her bra straps could be seen beneath her dress. 

She was also wearing pink eyeshadow at the time, which was considered “too much”. The higher ups questioned her by asking, “do you think you’re going to a party?” 

Chanel silently fumed — “then should I just not wear a bra?”. But she also wasn’t much of a confrontational person either. So she just threw on a cardigan and went about her day at work as per usual. 

Chanel with her colleagues

That was only the beginning of the complaints. Throughout her journey as a teacher, Chanel often got many “anon” complaints and struggled to enjoy teaching as much as she used to. “I knew it was from the colleagues around me lah, I just didn’t push on to find out who exactly”, she quipped when we asked.

Going out with her friends to enjoy a drink? Reported. Attending a concert by her favourite artist? Called down to the office again. At this point, Chanel felt like she couldn’t have a life outside of work without someone else breathing down her neck. 

“The whole culture surrounding my workplace boiled down to employees going against each other to influence our grades and bonuses. You kind of have to be ‘better than the rest’ to get a bigger bonus. So it encourages a toxic environment where people backstabbed or brought others down to look better.” 

Chanel was lucky that she wasn’t placed in this environment right from the start of her career, but as she went on to experience different schools and different cultures, she soon discovered the nasty sides of her colleagues. 

Things only became worse when her mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. 

Becoming the sole breadwinner of the family

Chanel and her mother

Chanel and her mother were the only ones contributing to their family income, so when her mother fell ill, Chanel became the sole breadwinner of the family. 

Her mother’s lung cancer progressed to a terminal stage extremely quickly, and before Chanel knew it, the cancer had spread to her brain, resulting in cognitive difficulties. Her mother couldn’t buy food on her own, and if she went out to get groceries, she would get lost outside. This became an extremely difficult period for Chanel to bear. 

“I had zero free time. In between my lesson breaks at school, I would have to rush home to take care of my mother. And I didn’t own a car either, so going to and fro via public transport made this process extra slow.” 

With the accumulated stress of both work and her personal life, Chanel was at her limit. Thoughts about quitting her job soon crossed her mind. But she knew she couldn’t give up her stable income when her siblings needed her the most. 

Chanel felt herself going into depression and asked for some time off, but the school wouldn’t allow it — despite her mother steadily deteriorating as well. To make matters worse, Chanel was called into the office yet again for another “inappropriate post” on her social media. You could say Murphy’s Law truly applied when she was at her lowest.

Tears and anger were commonplace for Chanel. Desperate to seek help, Chanel visited IMH and was diagnosed with clinical depression. With proof that she was unfit for work, Chanel could finally take some time off to be with her mother.

Around three months later, Chanel spent the last few moments with her mother before she eventually passed away. 

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Switching to OnlyFans

onlyfans creatorChanel in one of her photoshoots

At her mother’s funeral, Chanel’s bosses and colleagues came down to pay their respects. 

“Some were more tactful than others, but the main question that all of them asked was this very one: when are you coming back to work?” 

Stunned and hurt by their lack of empathy, this was the final push that led Chanel to quit her job. She was worried about how her family would fare in this situation, but eventually decided to prioritise her mental health first.

“I was intending to do something in the media industry, but the company I was looking at was on hold for the role I wanted. So I started ramping up my streams, content creation, and opening up different accounts and platforms.”

That was when Chanel first met a friend who introduced her to OnlyFans. Since Chanel was keen on photoshoots, having starred in various photoshoots herself when she was still a teacher — “I was doing them for free, I wasn’t moonlighting” — it was only natural that she would be interested in this platform. 

“I was very much in a ‘f*ck society’ mood. There was a lot of angst coming from my previous job, so I thought, you know what, I don’t care what the conservative public thinks of me. I want to do this while I’m still young. I don’t want to be old and saggy and regret not trying.” 

Facing new challenges

Chanel in one of her photoshoots

FYI, pornography is illegal in Singapore. So for those who have a stereotypical view of what kind of content Chanel posts on OnlyFans, think again. 

To Chanel, “OnlyFans is just another social media platform, except it has a paywall.” She often posts extras from photoshoots that might be more lewd or sexy — these aren’t allowed on Instagram, but can be on OnlyFans. 

When asked about what defines her brand, Chanel shares that her main themes for shoots are a mix of cosplay, fashion and cyber. She already had a public digital art account dedicated to cyber-inspired pieces that she had done, so these shoots felt like a natural extension of that. 

On OnlyFans, subscribers get to interact with the content creators too. This means that Chanel often gets custom requests for certain photos with a negotiated price. “Sometimes, even armpit photos,” Chanel laughed as she shared. 

“But of course, when using an adult platform, this means they will request more adult things.”

Apart from OnlyFans, Chanel is actively pursuing other social media accounts — Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitch, all on top of doing paid shoots, some managerial work, advertisements and boothing at conventions. It’s all about the hustle life now.  

And when it came to telling the people around her about her career switch, Chanel was surprised at the amount of support she received. “I think they could really tell I was struggling before, and they see that whatever I’m going to do is bringing a positive change.”

Her older sister had some doubts though, and questioned if she was really sure about her decision. But Chanel understands that this came from a place of concern for her future, and eventually, her siblings became fully supportive of her freelance work too.

Plans for the future

onlyfans creatorChanel in one of her photoshoots

With more flexibility in her time now, Chanel’s mental health has taken a positive spin. Previously, she was prescribed antidepressants to help her with her clinical depression. But she has since stopped taking them as per her doctor’s advice — “I’m not dependent on them anymore to do productive work, and I feel a lot better.” 

Inevitably, with such a drastic career switch, Chanel is bound to come across people from her previous job. 

“Actually there are some ex-students on my OnlyFans. I don’t know why, but they will voluntarily tell me this. However, in my opinion, people make their own choices as adults and are responsible for their own spending. Whatever is on OnlyFans, stays on OnlyFans.”

Is the teacher-student relationship really null then? Chanel jokingly replied, “well, if they want to role play, it’s fine too…” 

Chanel doesn’t let the negative comments about her career switch affect her though, because she feels that she has a lot more career options now. To her, most of the comments that she has gotten are ignorant — she’s not ashamed to embrace something different, so why are they? It just sounds like their own projection of what’s “right” and “wrong”. 

“I realised that teaching is something I can do until I’m a dinosaur anyways. But then, am I really just going to evolve into this dinosaur without doing anything else with my life? The longer I was there, the more sure I was that I was wasting my youth.”

The best part about life now? Chanel doesn’t have to follow a specific path that’s set for her. The possibilities of what she can do with her future seems endless — at least, she feels, until she’s in her late 50s. 

Chanel Yui Switched From Being A Teacher To An OnlyFans Creator & Now Embraces Herself In New Ways

Despite having gone through a tough time while teaching, Chanel doesn’t regret her teaching career. “It means that I helped eight years worth of kids get better at what they are doing. I have been part of their life, and they have in some way gained something from me.” 

But her main regret? “Giving up the best years of my life to the government sector.” That’s why Chanel continues to pursue her passions and embraces herself in new ways, whether it’s as an OnlyFans creator, content creator or modelling for fun shoots. 

For those who are considering a drastic career switch too, Chanel advises, “if your job or environment is impeding your growth, especially mentally, then don’t be afraid to receive help and see that there may be a different path for you.” 

All images courtesy of Chanel.
Some quotes have been edited for brevity and clarity.

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