Of course, quarantine had me looking for some new content to watch on YouTube. Every channel on this list is run by a woman and has less than 1 million subscribers. Most of them have second channels as well. I think it’s important to promote small channels because these people have so many powerful things to share. I hope you enjoy!
Jessica is a recovering addict with nine years of sobriety. She served time in prison in New York and Arkansas for using and selling illegal substances. At 31, she now has her bachelor’s degree, is engaged to her fiance Reece, and has two gorgeous little girls, the first of whom she gave birth to in prison. On her channel, Jessica covers personal stories as well as prison reform, prison recipes, PTSD, and depression. She is candid, honest, and funny. My concept of prison, inmates, and addiction has changed so much as I’ve watched Jessica’s channel. She is living proof that recovery is possible, and even just by watching her channel you can see how far she’s come.
illuminaughtii is a channel run by a woman named Blair whose face is not shown because her videos are voiceover-style. She is instead portrayed as a cute cartoon figure dressed in purple with a triangular head and one eye. In her videos, Blair presents careful, in-depth research exposing unethical business practices and multi-level marketing companies. I know this might sound boring to some people but trust me, it’s fascinating. This channel is so informative and has taught me a lot about responsible consumerism. Blair also covers true crime, mysterious historical events, celebrity scandals, and other curiosities that are unrelated to business.
Voice of North Korea by Yeonmi Park
Yeonmi is a North Korean defector and human rights activist. The current regime of North Korea is horrific, secretive, and oppressive, and not enough people are aware of exactly what goes on in the isolated state. Yeonmi tells stories about growing up in North Korea, including the staggering wealth gap and rigid requirements of each citizen. She discusses more difficult topics like sexual abuse, sexual slavery, violence, poverty, and prison camps. Yeonmi also has some lighter videos about the culture shock she experienced after coming to the US, like beauty standards, her favorite foods, the free market, and democracy. Yeonmi escaped North Korea in 2007 at the age of 13. I think this channel is something everyone should watch.
Kristina is a 23-year-old recent university graduate who makes social and political commentary videos. She is biased just like anyone else, but she is transparent about it and her analyses are extremely intelligent and nuanced. At the end of the day, bias has nothing to do with argumentative skills, and her arguments definitely withstand scrutiny. You can tell she is well-educated on political theory; her knowledge holds authority and she is genuinely passionate about the subjects she discusses. As a political science major myself, I have really appreciated the content on this channel. Kristina also has some videos about being part of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as her difficult journey with mental health.
Pocketful of Primary
Michelle is a fourth-grade teacher and vlogger. She makes videos about her classroom organization, tips for activities, lesson planning, teaching virtually, and life updates, to name a few. Her channel is great to watch for anyone thinking of pursuing elementary education. Even for those who are not, her videos really shine a light on the true ups and downs of being a teacher. Her content also includes back to school “hauls” and classroom “favorites,” a style that most people are probably familiar with on YouTube. I used to want to be a teacher, and while I don’t anymore, I still love to learn what it’s like, and it is vital that people know why teachers deserve so much respect.