When I'm not reading, writing, singing, cooking, keeping my languages up, developing muscle memory at PAAD, applying for jobs, and occasionally sulking, I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts and watching/listening to YouTube videos. Below are a few YouTube projects I've come across recently that have really helped me change my perspective (slooowly) and muster up positive vibes.
I first new Andrea Lewis from my elementary and middle school days watching "Degrassi: The Next Generation", in which she played a character named Hazel. But just last month, my friend Dany featured Lewis on her self-love/body positivity blog, The Dear Body Project. In this feature, Dany interviews the actress and lists eight reasons why Andrea Lewis should be one of the women who inspires us most to treat ourselves kindly and be the best that we can be. I skimmed the blog post, it was well-written and encouraging like most of Dany's writings are. Cut to last week, when I remembered reading that Andrea had a YouTube channel and thought, You know what? Let me check this thing out. And I loved it! Typically when I find a YouTube channel or podcast that I enjoy, I like to go back to the very beginning of their content and watch or listen through everything up until their most recent work. That's what I've been doing with Andrea's channel for the past week. She's about all the things that Dany's about, except on her channel she also goes into the grind and joys that come with being an artist, which I find personally helpful. With her it's all love and honesty and adorableness and work ethic and growth and good vibes; she's like that special, light-giving friend everyone should have. Below is the video of hers that's challenged me the most so far; it's been a week and I'm still meditating on what she says in it:
Margot vs Lily
Three weeks ago I saw an ad for this webseries while waiting for a different video to start playing, and I was intrigued enough to give it a shot. Nike Women's most recent campaign attempts to speak to and empower all women, including regular girls who might tend to feel alienated by the majority of fitness brands. Margot vs Lily is part of that initiative to inspire, entertain, and sell things. Two adopted sisters challenge each other to a New Year's Resolution bet: Lily (a popular fitness YouTuber) is challenged to make 3 friends in real life, and Margot (who just lost her job and thinks her sister's channel is silly) is challenged to make her own fitness channel and get 1,000 subscribers. The webseries is a very casual, charming, lighthearted project that I've come to appreciate a lot more than I thought I would. I like how the fact that Lily's black and Margot's white is mentioned but also isn't an issue; they're still sisters and they're just people. I love Lily's hair, upbeat attitude, and awkwardness. She's just a goodhearted girl who just doesn't know how to work her magic in person, which is basically me. In terms of body type, both of the actresses represent the mainstream standard, but their broader relatability lies in their challenges. Margot shows that not all twenty-something women are fitness freaks or need to be, and Lily shows that not all online media personalities have it all together when the cameras aren't rolling. Here's the first episode to get you started:
"The TOOL Is NOT Important The GIFT IS"
The comedian Kevin Fredericks (Kevonstage) was a regular fixture in the Great YouTube Binge of 2013, so he and his content aren't new to me. Most of the time his videos are incredibly silly and stoopid, inducing either cackles or head-shaking depending on what he's talking about. As a Christian and as a person in general Kevin tries to inspire his viewers, and every so often he uses a video to do his good preachin'. And y'all. Y'all. This video right here that he uploaded yesterday spoke to my entire life and the exact moment where I am right now! It's for people who are afraid to use their gifts, which is me to a T. Please watch it, and apply it as you see fit:
I hope that these videos prove helpful to you in some way, even if just as happy distractions!