Happy International Women’s Day! Jessica Jemalem Ginting serves up the perfect procrastination to help you ignore the patriarchy, even if only for a few minutes.
It’s no secret that YouTubers today are as influential as any other type of entertainer, but unlike their stage or television counterparts, they have the added benefit of building a community with their following. This has paved the way for more diversity in terms of content creators, after all—it’s a free and open platform for everyone. So today we’re going to be celebrating the Asian female stars of YouTube, and this list offers a broad range of content:
This is one of Anna’s most popular videos, and a lot of you have probably already stumbled across it at least once before. Refreshingly honest and bitingly funny, Anna’s videos are a mix of life lessons, comedic sketches, short films and personal stories wrapped up in bite-sized, professionally produced videos. She is genuinely one of the most entertaining and talented YouTubers out there, also did I mention she has six cats? Yep, so look out for some adorable cameos on her channel.
Marina Watanabe (marinashutup)
If you’re looking for a new feminist channel to follow, look no further. Marina’s videos are always very informative, relaxed and engaging. Think of them as the (intersectional!) feminist-education lessons you never got at school. She discusses political issues, feminism in the media, race, sexuality and also mental health issues. She is also an author at ‘Everyday Feminism’, an online feminist magazine that is definitely worth checking out.
Hilariously funny, Liza was a Vine star before the “death” of the platform—and thank god she branched out into YouTube. She is the personification of comedy itself. Trust me, watching her videos makes you feel like you’ve just entered the weird part of the internet, with her absurd and outrageous sketches. But then reality hits when you notice that she has nearly 8 million subscribers on her channel, so maybe you’re not that weird after all. You go, girl.
Natalie Tran (communitychannel)
Natalie is a seasoned YouTuber with almost 10 years of experience under her belt, launching into fame long before the website became mainstream popular. In the video above, Natalie presents a TED Talk at Brown University about Asians in media and her experience as an influential artist. As a YouTube vet, she definitely appears as a mature figure, but that doesn’t stop her from doing her silly sketches and sarcastic commentaries on everyday life.
Karen Yeung (IAMKARENO)
We’re getting into that zone now, the beauty and fashion side of YouTube. I’ve only recently discovered Karen’s channel and I keep wondering why I haven’t found her earlier— this is why lists like this are important! Her fashion videos are flashy and vibrant, with lots of colours and fun. They give off this throwback pop vibe, which only Karen could pull off with such class. There is just so much to appreciate in the technical production and aesthetics of her videos – definitely a channel worth subscribing to.
Fathia’s a smaller YouTuber compared to most on this list, but she’s one of my favourites. Her videos are stylistic diary entries about her life in Indonesia, and she incorporates a lot of poetry and music into her videos. She rose to fame when her ‘accents’ video went viral, and her channel has amassed over 300,000 subscribers since. If you’d like to explore life across the globe from a young woman’s perspective, look no further.
Nami Cho (NamiiCho)
Nami is a makeup instructor, beauty guru and describes herself as a ‘Korean-Canadian Post-Teen Mom’. I stumbled across Nami’s videos when I was watching her story about being pregnant at 17, and I’ve really enjoyed her channel ever since. Nami fearlessly speaks about anything and everything, reminding us that beauty gurus have their own story, too!
Sarah Sullivan (Sarah’s Vegan Kitchen)
This one is for all the foodies out there! Sarah cooks up a lot of delicious vegan meals, does recipe taste tests that are mouth-watering just to look at. Her channel is a great source of inspiration if you need healthy meal ideas for university life – my cooking has certainly gotten a lot better after watching some of her videos!
Arden Cho (ArdenBCho)
Some of you might already recognize her from Teen Wolf, but Arden Cho also has a prolific YouTube career. Known for her singing, both originals as well as cover songs, Arden’s channel is the place to be if you’re into music. Her vlogs are also really fun to watch, giving you a little insight into the life of a television celebrity. Arden should be on every ‘rising star’ list out there.
Lilly Singh (||Superwoman||)
No YouTube ‘Top Ten’ list would be complete without Lilly, also known as Superwoman. She is the highest-paid female YouTuber ever, and has even done star-studded collaborations with Michelle Obama, Dwayne Johnson, Priyanka Chopra, Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran. Superbly funny, Lilly’s videos are the definition of #relatable – especially for a lot of Asian girls out there.
Collage by Jess Baxter