Spotlight: Asian Youtubers
by Alicia Lalicon
Asians are the most recent race to arrive, en masse, both in America and in the media industry (though we are definitely still struggling in both areas). Young Asian Americans have been building names, brands, and businesses for themselves in media by accumulating millions of admirers and supporters on Youtube. Check out these Asian Youtubers who excel in broadcasting their own areas of expertise to the world:
Fashion - Jenn Im
Through Outfit Diaries, monthly favorite videos, and What Would Jenn Wear’s, Korean fashionista Jenn Im shows 1.4 million subscribers her eclectic tastes in all types of clothing, shoes, and accessories. She reveals what she wears for different occasions (festivals, dates, night outings) and tips on how to piece together an overall cohesive look. Jenn voices over a video on how to style stripes: “If you’re feeling a bit bold, always mix patterns,” as we see her modeling a sheer white vertically-striped crop top with a black and white grid-printed skirt on a city sidewalk. As for practical tips, Jenn suggests a light and breathable shift dress and a wide-brimmed hat to stay cool and comfortable at music festivals. Her excellent editing video-editing and diverse music tastes give her channel a chill, but professional vibe. You can subscribe to her channel clothesencounters, or follow her on Instagram (@imjennim) or Twitter (@imjennim).
Comedy - David So
Korean David So is unafraid to bring a comedic outlook to addressing all topics: race, body shape, gender and racial intersectionality. His weekly videos are usually vlogs consisting of unapologetically vulgar, but sometimes eloquent, exaggerated rants. Filmed in his own home, David’s approach to videos features an in-your-face attitude and casual language that still provides entertainment with a message. About the stereotype that Asian women are submissive, David reveals, “My mother had to work 70+ hour jobs while still holding down the household, like a BOSS. My mother ran a business...fed me kimchi, and STILL had time to beat my m***********g ass. And if that’s not the definition of strength, I don’t know what is.” David collaborates with many Youtubers for side projects on music and comedy sketches. You can subscribe to his channel DavidSoComedy, or follow him on Instagram (@davidsocomedy) or Twitter (@davidsocomedy).
Beauty/Lifestyle - Weylie
There are countless Asian beauty/lifestyle Youtubers, but I chose to suggest Chinese Weylie Hoang because of her sisterly demeanor. Weylie’s videos cover seemingly all areas of her life relatable to a wide audience: from shaping eyebrows, makeup routines, and date ideas, to dealing with depression, sexual health info, and back to school advice. She describes herself as “the sister you never had.....or the sister you never wanted.” The chic Urban Outfitters-esque background of Weylie’s apartment, her laid-back language, and love for her many pets (whom she calls her “children”) make her relatable, almost as an actual sister. Weylie also makes daily vlogs with her boyfriend Wah on WahlieTV. You can subscribe to her channel ilikeweylie, or follow her on Instagram (@weylie) or Twitter (@callmeweylie).
Makeup Transformations - Promise Tamang
If day-to-day makeup with Weylie isn’t your thing, maybe makeup transformations with Nepalese Promise Tamang is. Instead of tutorials on how to achieve a sultry smoky eye, Promise is famous for complete transformations from a blank canvas face (and hair and sometimes body) to celebrity and character look-alikes. With awe-inspiring skill and makeup artistry, Promise has become all of our favorites: Ariel from the Little Mermaid, Miley Cyrus, Princess Bubblegum, and Rihanna. But Promise doesn’t limit herself to female figures; she has also become Bruno Mars, Edward Cullen, Edward Scissorhands, and Drake. Promise’s husband Steve also makes guest appearances in some transformations. You can subscribe to her channel dope2111, visit her website, or follow her on Instagram (@promisetamang) or Twitter (@tamangphan).
DIY/Travel - K.L. Cao
Known only by her initials, the Vietnamese DIYer and traveler K.L. shows Sloabies (the name of her audience, based on her channel name SecretLifeOfaBioNerd) how to make shoes more comfortable, cut off no-booty shorts, and pot succulent terrariums. This former expat shows what she eats in her travels, how to travel comfortably, and how she packs efficiently. Always visually interesting with ever-changing hair colors and video backgrounds, K.L. and her bubbly personality and signature Sloabies goodbye gesture (a wave under the chin to fluttering peace sign with a well wish: “Rock on, Sloabies!”) leave the audience in an uplifted mood. You can subscribe to her channel SecretLifeOfaBioNerd, or follow her on Instagram (@sloabn).
Family Life - Lindy Tsang
Chinese-Irish Lindy Tsang is best known as ‘Bubz’ from her beauty channel, bubzbeauty, but Lindy also has a huge following (880k subscribers) on her vlog channel, Bubzvlogz. This second channel is dedicated to her personal life, which, as a new mother, consists mainly of raising her son Isaac with her husband. We see how Bubz, Baby Bubz Isaac, and Hubz Tim grow as a young family on a near-daily basis from first childbirth to weaning off breast-feeding while moving apartments to teething on a two-year wedding anniversary date at KFC. Even with baby Isaac, Lindy always finds time in the video to talk directly to the audience and update us on her well-being. You can subscribe to her channel Bubzvlogz, or follow her on Instagram (@itsbubz) or Twitter (@bubzbeauty).
Music - Jason Chen
With weekly covers, originals, collabs, and Chinese classics, Jason Chen charms over 1.2 million listeners. Jason has produced a soulful cover of Earned It by The Weeknd, an impressive collection of original songs about love lost and found, a Backstreet Boys medley with Filipino Youtuber Joseph Vincent, and almost 30 covers in fluent Chinese. His video filming styles range from sultry to silly, and he always finds a way to incorporate his flawless falsetto skills. Jason frequently collabs with a wide range of other Asian musicians on Youtube: Joseph Vincent, Gerald Ko, Cathy Nguyen, and Arden Cho. You can subscribe to his channel MusicNeverSleeps, or follow him on Instagram (@jasonchen) or Twitter (@jasondchen).
Instrumental - Terry Im
Korean-Canadian Terry Im is best known for his ‘dirty’ mouth skills on Canada’s Got Talent in 2012. This world-class beatboxer goes by the name of krNfx (“Korean FX”). Terry’s fascination with the “endless possibilities” of making music with a drum set led to him imitating and producing music with his own mouth, through beatboxing. Terry’s beats feel surreal in Elastic Heart, powerful in Say Something, and chill in Doing Fine. It’s clear from any of his videos, how passionate he is in his art. Terry has collaborated with other Asian Youtubers such as JR Aquino, Clara C, and David Choi. You can subscribe to his channel KRNFX, or follow him on Instagram (@krnfx) or Twitter (@KRNFX).
Alicia is a 20 year old senior at The College of New Jersey, with a major in Psychology and minor in Women's and Gender Studies. In addition to writing for Her Culture, she is a writer and editor at The Prospect and Vice President Internal of TCNJ Barkada (Filipino culture club). Her interests include reading, desperately trying to romanticize her unglamourous life, wearing black, and balancing her identity as Filipino and American.