Former Disney Star Christy Carlson Romano Is Making Her Comeback As A Content Creator

By Meghan Dillon··  6 min read
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Christy Carlson Romano dominated the Disney Channel in the early 2000s.

From her breakout role as Ren Stevens alongside a young Shia LaBeouf in Even Stevens to her starring role as the lead in the hit animated series Kim Possible and Disney Channel’s Cadet Kelly, she was on top of the world. Unfortunately for Romano, her post-Disney career didn’t pan out the way she wanted it to. Now, living an ordinary life in Texas with her husband and two daughters, Romano is finally making her comeback as a content creator on social media platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.

Christy Carlson Romano’s Life after Disney

Nothing lasts forever, and that includes the tenure of a Disney Channel star. Unlike her Even Stevens co-star Shia LaBeouf, Romano had a hard time making a name for herself after leaving Disney. This led to a sense of bitterness towards LaBeouf, which she addressed on her YouTube channel. She said, “For a while, I think the ghost of who Shia was and who he became was really frustrating for me.”

She continued, “I felt a little jilted from the whole situation. I was like, ‘Here he is. Making a big ol’ splash in Hollywood and here I am, I chose to go to college and there’s consequences that come to that,’ but there was definitely an undercurrent of regret…[and] comparison.” 

Despite not breaking into Hollywood as an adult, Romano remained in Hollywood for over a decade (although she also lived in Manhattan for college and for her stint as Belle in the Broadway version of Beauty and the Beast). In this time she battled an eating disorder and alcoholism, but she also met her husband, producer Brendan Rooney, and had two daughters. Though her post-Disney life had been full of ups and downs, everything changed when she ran out of the money she had made as a Disney star. In a video on her YouTube channel, Romano went into detail on how she lost millions through irresponsible spending (she encourages her followers to become financially literate to avoid making the same mistakes she did) and getting scammed by a psychic.

Like many of us, Romano was forced to deal with her past trauma when the pandemic hit in 2020. When she realized she had a codependent relationship with Hollywood, she, her husband, and her kids packed up and moved to Austin, Texas.

Romano’s Candid Comeback on Social Media

Despite starting her YouTube channel in 2019, her channel didn’t take off until she left Hollywood to live an average life with her husband and daughters in Austin. When she got to Austin, she started making nostalgic content through her series “Snacks and Reacts” where she and other former child actors react to their old shows while eating mystery snacks. It’s as wholesome as it is nostalgic, and I’ve binged them all in one sitting a few too many times.

Some of her more successful videos are candid confessions where she talks about her life and experiences in the entertainment industry. My favorite part of these videos is that she films them while she’s hiking, and there’s something about the beautiful scenery that’s so therapeutic to watch. 

In her confessional videos, Romano isn’t afraid to spill the tea and share her honest thoughts. She talks about how Disney pitted Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan against each other, why former childhood actresses "go crazy," and the toxicity of childhood fame and stage moms. Though Romano is candid and sometimes talks about serious issues, there’s something about her demeanor that’s very calming. She comes across as very mature and emotionally intelligent, which makes her feel very real and relatable. 

She goes beyond the “stars, they’re just like us” trope because she’s just a normal thirty-something who loves her husband and kids. She’s not pumping gas sans-makeup in a sweatshirt none of us can afford – she’s living her life like any other woman her age (she’s 37), and it’s refreshing to watch. As someone who grew up watching her on the Disney Channel, I genuinely enjoy her content and love that she always tries to put a positive spin on things. With so much negativity in the world, it’s nice to see a content creator try to spread positivity.

Besides her YouTube channel, Romano is also popular on other social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram. Though she talks about her life as a child actress and makes nostalgic content on TikTok, most of her posts revolve around her life as a wife and mother. She expands on more relatable content on her Instagram, proving that she knows exactly what her fans want and creating a new type of aspirational content.

The Best of Both Worlds

Though she uses her Instagram to promote her YouTube and TikTok content, she also posts pictures and videos of herself with her husband and daughters. Through these more personal posts, she gives fans a peek into her everyday life. You don’t feel like you’re scrolling through a content creator’s page, but looking at photos of your high school friend sharing about her daughter’s birthday party. After scrolling through so much content that feels forced or staged, it’s genuinely refreshing to see something real on Instagram.

Romano sees her new career as a content creator as the perfect way to make a living and be the best wife and mom she can be. In an interview with Buzzfeed News, she said, “This is giving me the freedom to enjoy my life with my girls. If I had to be on a set all day and I was there for 12 hours a day, I would literally lose their childhood. I wouldn’t be able to be there for them. The way that I want to be is sort of like this working stay-at-home mom. And so I’m kind of getting the best of both worlds.”

When I was a kid, I wanted to be just like the actresses I saw on Disney Channel. Their lives seemed so glamorous, and I aspired to have closets full of designer clothes, a hunky heartthrob of a boyfriend (*cough* Vanessa Hudgens dating Zac Efron), and a gorgeous condo overlooking Hollywood Hills. As an adult, I find Romano’s content to be aspirational. To work as a content creator and be a full-time mother sounds like the dream, and her rising follower count is proof that Romano has aged well with her audience.

Closing Thoughts

Through her comeback as a content creator, Christy Carlson Romano has created a brand of content that’s both nostalgic and fun, relatable yet aspirational, light while discussing serious issues. She’s living the dream, but she’s also giving us the wholesome content we love!

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