An indelible face in the fashion industry, Noa Taieb is a model and a YouTuber who creates videos on travel, fashion, and lifestyle. The 21-year-old originated from Tunisia and Algeria but was born in Paris. The YouTube personality moved to the United States in 2015 to study at the University of California, Berkeley, pursuing a degree in economics. He now resides in New York City, where he applies his background in business administration and marketing to a career in management consulting.
Ever since he was a child, he had always been making videos. He used to make short films with his friends, record his trips on tape and sometimes even sit down in front of his camera and talk without ever doing anything specific with the footage. Taieb got into content creation when Instagram started to become popular. He even started his own blog but never shared any of his videos.
How did you first get into YouTube?
When I turned 18, my parents bought me video equipment and told me “this is for when you start YouTube.” They weren’t putting any pressure on me or trying to convince me to create a channel—they just made it available for me. I put it away and didn’t do anything with it for another year. And one day, I woke up and felt like posting pictures and writing blog articles just wasn’t enough anymore. I needed another outlet, something more personal, that would allow me to share my experiences with people. That day, I was so grateful for what my parents had seen months before me and got to filming straight away.
What would your ideal working environment be?
I like working around people, so it would definitely be in some busy place! When I think of my ideal working environment, I think of an open space where people can chat, laugh and collaborate, but also where you can sit down and really focus if you need to. I like flexibility, and I know people will have different ways of getting their stuff done—and that’s okay! I really believe that you will always do your best work when you feel happiest—so your environment should do just that, make you happy.
The place I work at right now is really big on enabling people to be themselves without unnecessary constraints, and I find myself looking forward to going to work every day because I like the people I’m with, the space I work in, and it really allows me to do my best and push myself!
How do you manage time to run your channel efficiently while working?
Finding time to brainstorm, film and edit while working corporate full-time is definitely a challenge, and it’s been my main struggle for the past few months. When in college, I would always find the right moment to create content—I would drop my school work to film when the lighting was best, and pick it back up later in the day after I was done. Working full-time doesn’t always give you that flexibility: you come home when the sun is already setting, and your weekends are always crazy busy. There’s a balance to find, and even though I’m not there yet, I’m sure I will be soon.
What do you do in your spare time?
My boyfriend Sal and I recently moved to New York City, so most of my spare time here is spent exploring the area with him. I’ve always been in love with traveling, so deciding to move somewhere semi-permanently was kind of a hard decision. But the fact that I didn’t know much about the city (I had only been here twice when I was about 8 years old before) makes it an ongoing adventure. There are always new places to visit, new things to do, new restaurants to try… and that really keeps things interesting.
Sal has also been encouraging me to spend more time exercising and working out, so we’ve started spending quite some time at the gym. I had always had a hard time keeping myself motivated but being consistent and seeing progress really feels amazing. We try to spend around 1 hour a day working out, and I even went to my first 5k obstacle race recently! Sal had been a huge fan for the past 2 years, and now I’m really hooked—we’re going to our next one in a month!
How do you want to improve yourself this year?
This is more of an ongoing process than a goal for this year in particular, but I hope to always find ways to better myself. In the past few months, I’ve found myself acknowledging lots of little traits and ways of acting that I know I can improve on. So, I write them down, I think twice and really tell myself “You shouldn’t do/act/think like this”. This can be about negative thoughts I have towards myself, small habits that begin to form, or the way I handle my relationship for example. It’s not an easy thing to do—finding and breaking those toxic patterns that you are so used to—but it is so rewarding when you finally manage to.
Another way I’d like to improve myself this year would probably be to try even harder to find time to be creative and express myself. I’ve met so many amazing people through content creation and knowing that sharing my experiences can help even one person makes me the happiest person on earth, so I really to focus on that more.
Can you name some of your favorite YouTubers and explain why they are your favorites?
I would say my favorite YouTubers are probably Jesse & Gabriel Conte. They are both so comfortable in front of the camera, set a great example for their audience, and still seem to find a good balance between their private and public lives. I love how bubbly and personable Jesse is, and find so much inspiration in Gabriel’s filming and editing skills, so I really always enjoy watching their content.
Who has impacted your content creation most and how?
I think the person who’s impacted my content creation most to this day is probably my friend Patrick Starrr. I met Patrick through YouTube, and the first time we hung out I instantly knew that he would become a really important person in my life.
At the time, I was still in the closet and uncomfortable sharing my sexuality with the world. But I never even tried to hide it around him—which even surprised myself at first. Throughout the years, Patrick has been the most amazing friend and has always been here to listen to my struggles and give me advice, and he’s also one of the people who gave me the courage to come out and really be myself. Now don’t get me wrong, I do not believe that your sexuality defines who you are as a person, but I do believe that it is a part of you and that trying really hard to hide it can be both exhausting and harmful.
Patrick showed me that being open could be liberating for myself, but also help so many people around me—and it did. After I posted my coming out video, I found myself letting go of all the barriers I had set for myself and really blooming, both in my personal life and in my content creation. I wasn’t trying to look like someone I wasn’t, or pretending to like things I didn’t, I was just me, and I could finally share it with my audience.
What would you say that is the greatest satisfaction of being a YouTuber?
Might sound a bit cliché, but my favorite thing about being a YouTuber—and sharing content on social in general—really is connecting with people I could’ve never reached before. I am always amazed by the number of people that find themselves in what I live and share, and that’s what really makes me want to keep creating. It’s also not just me talking, it always feels like a real conversation. I’m learning so much from other people’s experiences and thought processes—and I’m so lucky I get to grow and evolve with so many friends supporting me.
Coming out online was not the easiest thing. It made me feel vulnerable and forced me to deal with the opinions of strangers—just after having finally managed to deal with my own. But doing so was also the best occasion to really connect with people and help those who needed it. I have gotten countless messages from amazing young adults trying to understand their own identity and sexuality, and who have told me that seeing me be comfortable with myself and happy in my relationship helps them, and that feels amazing. Especially during this month of Pride, I want to encourage everyone to celebrate how very special they are and how beautiful what they feel is.
Featured Image Courtesy of Jesse Tam