I sometimes think the YouTube community is a bit like a high school. The ‘cool kids’ or the most popular/viewed YouTubers, check a certain number of boxes — you have the girls who post-aesthetic fashion/makeup videos, do monthly Q&A’s about their lives and often post hauls where they hold (usually) overpriced clothing and makeup to the camera for fun. Then there are the funny dudes who post funny videos of themselves doing funny things; this often entails doing challenges like “Guess the Body Part” and trying candy from other countries. Inter-dating among the cool kids is highly encouraged by fans and often happens too (see: Zalfie).
I won’t lie — I often enjoy watching these kinds of videos. I’m even subscribed to a handful of such YouTubers when I need advice on how to style a certain shade of lipstick or try out a funky braid or just laugh at people singing songs with helium balloons. They’re like chick flicks, just guilty pleasures you can sporadically binge on.
What frustrates me though is that there’s a bunch of super cool YouTubers out there, posting a lot of stimulating, both artistically and intellectually, content. But they have far fewer viewers and subscribers and so don’t get as much publicity. These are like your high school kids who sit in the corner and are a bit quiet and weird but are actually radically interesting and thoughtful and cool once you make the effort to get to know them. One of my favourite YouTubers, Antastesia, belongs to this social group of YouTube and I’d like to use Affinity to boost some online love for her – trust me, she really deserves it.
So here are a few reasons to watch the amazing Antastesia:
- Discursive videos on intersectional feminism
Antastesia, whose real name is Emy, posts a lot of videos discussing issues of intersectional feminism. What I like about her posts is that they never seek to impose any idea or opinion on her viewers. It’s just sitting in front of the camera to express an opinion and open up something for discussion. She also keeps her topics current, linking them to real-world events happening as we speak. The comments section for these videos becomes a lively place, with all sorts of people from all walks of life coming together to refreshingly have a healthy debate about an important topic. It’s quite educational and stimulating to see.
2. Discussing veganism (both pros/cons!)
I know a lot of people get annoyed by YouTubers who talk excessively about their veganism and even seem to shame those who can’t make the leap to it. But I think Antastesia approaches it quite well and holistically. She has videos explaining her veganism journey and also gives examples of vegan meals, shares books and videos on the subject, describes various aspects of the vegan community and even deals with issues like your family possibly being intolerant towards veganism. Overall, it’s quite a nice, educational approach to the topic that doesn’t come across as aggressive or overwhelming.
3. Cool literature chats/readings
Antastesia is currently pursuing a Masters degree in literature and her passion for books is really reflected through her channel. She has a lot of videos discussing her recent reads, which are an assortment of super interesting books that go beyond mainstream bestsellers. Many of them are written by authors from various countries and cultures, which I personally admire so much; world literature really doesn’t get enough mainstream exposure. She also has videos of her reading French poetry and she sometimes discusses literary movements like surrealism, as shown above.
4. Practise your French!
Antastesia’s channel is also a goldmine for people who are trying to learn French. She has several videos of her doing Q&As or just discussing current issues and sharing opinions in French, which is her first language.
If the above reasons aren’t enough for you to immediately head on over to Antastesia’s channel, then rest assured she also has several videos and vlogs covering her travels to places like Japan and Myanmar, as well as older makeup tutorials (for the cool kids!)