YouTube might be your go-to place for cute cat videos and movie trailers, not inspiration and life advice. But, it can be both! Hundreds of intelligent, thoughtful people post videos every day on the site. Many have things to say that are perfect for 20-something-year-old women to hear. Here is a list of ten such videos:
1. “It’s Okay Not To Be Okay” by Carrie Hope Fletcher
“It’s harder to voice the fact that you’re not okay…but it’s better. It’s better to share that with someone rather than try to cope with it on your own. And you know, it doesn’t mean that you’re weak or a failure, it just means that you’re not Wonder Woman.”
In this video, Carrie reminds us all that when we are having a difficult time, our friends and family are there to help us. It is crucial to reaching out to others and ask for help when you need it. This is such an important lesson to learn, especially during this time of our lives, because many big life changes happen during our 20’s and 30's. Some will be good, and some will be bad. When the tough times come, it is tempting to bottle up our sadness. However, this method is counter-productive to the healing process. It is so much better to share our thoughts and feelings with those close to us.
2. “10 TIPS FOR HOOKUPS!” by Laci Green
“Hookups are one of those things that people kinda get yell-y about…the way I see it, is that it’s pretty simple. If you’re into hooking up: cool. If you’re not into hooking up: cool.”
Laci Green is a sex-positive educator on YouTube. She is a fearless online presence, discussing any and all topics relating to sex and gender. Laci’s personality makes discussing these topics fun, erasing all terrible memories of sex ed in high school. In this video, she gives ten tips for if you decide to hook up. Perhaps the most important tips are that you should be hooking up for the right reasons, it’s consensual, and you use protection. Talking about hooking up in a positive way is so important. Many women our age feels like they should be ashamed after they hook up with someone, but that’s not at all the case. Laci alleviates all anxiety surrounding this topic while also providing words of wisdom regarding hookups.
3. “What Boys Look For in Girls” by Hank Green
“There is very little objectivity when it comes to human mate selection. We’re crazy. We don’t make any sense. And thus, since whether or not someone wants to date you is apparently based on complete randomness, it’s kinda a super terrible thing to base your self-worth on.”
Hank Green’s gender (male) does not impede him from clearly identifying sexism in our culture. This video is dedicated to the millions of women who are told that they should base how they see themselves on men’s opinions. From movies to commercials to songs, Millennial women are bombarded with rules for how we should look. However, beauty standards vary greatly across time and culture. There is no one true mark of beauty. Fashion and makeup should be a mode of self-expression, not solely a way to make others like you. Loving yourself is more important than changing yourself to make someone else attracted to you.
4. “The ONLY Life Advice You Need” by Tyler Oakley
Tyler Oakley gives two pieces of life advice that all people in their 20’s deserve to hear. Whether you need to work on yourself or your social circle, Tyler is here to tell it to you straight. Many times, we realize that we need to make a change and those close to us know it too, but no one actually says it out loud. When it is left unsaid, we can ignore it. Watching this video changes that. Trust me, it’s for the better.
5. “Things We Tell Ourselves” by Emma Blackery
“I find myself telling myself lies upon lies…about what I need to do or how long something can wait and I don’t do anything all day and then suddenly everything just creeps up on me and then I stress out thinking ‘Why have I got to do all this at the same time?’”
Emma Blackery is known for her dry humor and sharp insight. In this skit, she expresses the lazy woes of all of us who live away from our parents. As a college student, I definitely relate. I’m sure all of you Millennials who live on your own do too. Emma’s humorous portrayal of a woman living on her own does not overshadow the point she is making. She is self-aware of her lazy habits, knows she can do better, and wants to become better at doing household chores. At the same time, she is expressing how much she appreciates the all the years spent living with her father. These are sentiments that all 20-year-olds can relate to.
6. “Happy and Healthy” by Carrie Hope Fletcher
“You are you. You look like you for a reason. And the point is to be comfortable with that.”
Carrie is such a wonderful person that I had to include two of her videos on this list! In “Happy and Healthy,” she discusses the issue of weight and how society emphasizes women’s weight and eating habits. Her overall message is that as long as you are happy and healthy, it doesn’t matter what your favorite food is. In the end, Carrie does something that has probably never been done in a YouTube video before: takes her measurements on camera. Her goal in doing this is to prove that these numbers do not make up her overall value as a person. This is a very important video for everyone to watch. Regardless of whether or not you have body image issues, it’s important to be reminded that a woman’s appearance doesn’t reflect in inner worth.
7. “Rejection” by Bryarly Bishop
“I get why you don’t want to reject somebody. You don’t want to hurt somebody’s feelings or many you’re frightened of their response…but in my opinion, even though it’s hard and scary and makes you feel bad, you should just cut people off.”
This video is part of Bryarly’s series, Three Minute Thursdays, in which she picks a topic and talks about it for three minutes in a one-take video. Her video on rejection is my favorite. She speaks in a blunt yet helpful way about being rejected and rejecting others. No one likes being turned down or being the one who turns down someone else. Both situations leave you feeling bad, and most likely the other person feels bad too. But, if you aren’t interested in someone, it is important to tell them that instead of stringing them along. Both you and the other person will feel better in the long run. Also, if you have been rejected, that doesn’t mean you are worthless. All it means is that you and that person were not meant to be.
8. “HOW TO HANDLE HATERS” by Grace Helbig
“Number Three: Imagine them in a completely ridiculous way.”
This video suggests five different ways to handle people who say or do rude things to you. We all have to deal with these kinds of people in our lives, so it’s important to know how to react. The most important thing to remember is that their opinion of you, your personality, or your work does not define you. Chances are, their criticism isn’t even accurate. Bullies are often mean because they are insecure themselves. If you realize their comment is based in truth, then look at it as constructive criticism. Even though the hater might have meant it to bring you down, you can appropriate it to build you up. Grace’s suggestions on how to handle the haters range from sincere and wise to zany, but all are useful.
9. “How to Get Your Dream Job” by Emily Graslie
“If you want to be a photographer or an astronaut or a writer or whatever, identify what it is about those careers that you find appealing.”
Emily Graslie guest stars on the YouTube channel How To Adult, which is dedicated to helping 20-year-olds transition into the real world! In this episode, Emily talks about how to land your dream job, based on her career experience. Many Millennials feel as though they can’t have their dream job because it is unattainable or won’t pay the bills. If that sounds like you, the message of this video is especially important. Having the career you want begins with an aspiration, and as long as you stick with it and work hard, you can achieve almost anything!
10. “I Am A Bad Feminist” by Marina Watanabe
“Basically there are only two kinds of feminists: the ones that make mistakes and learn from them, and the ones that don’t do that.”
In the last video on this list, Marina Watanabe opens up about the struggle of being a feminist in a culture that conditions us to think sexist thoughts. As much as we all try to be good feminists, we sometimes use a problematic word or think a misogynistic thought. As women in our 20’s, we’re the target audience for a lot of sexist media. It’s difficult to let it all breeze past us without affecting our outlook on the world. This video perfectly illustrates this tension. Marina’s point is that as long as you are trying and you learn from your mistakes, you’re the better type of feminist.
All of these videos and creators offer wisdom to help us through our 20’s. I encourage you to check out their other videos and do your own exploring on YouTube, because there are plenty of others that have as much to offer as these do.
What do you think of these videos? Do you have other suggestions? Let us know in the comments!