Web content continues to be the best place for the discovery of diverse voices — and audiences are turning up. Anna Akana
has 1.5 million subscribers to her YouTube channel, where she makes scripted advice videos with a humorous appeal. Similar in vibe to Grace Helbig
, reigning queen of the “awkward older sister” YouTube genre, Akana, an Asian-American woman, seems much more politically aware. She discusses candidly her struggle with mental health issues (Akana’s sister committed suicide in 2007) and delivers non-judgmental lessons on how to “Check Your Privilege.” Her video “Why Guys Like Asian Girls,” which lambasts so-called “yellow fever,” has 3.4 million views.
The quick-witted Akana writes all of her content, including great one-liners: “The more attractive you are, the more cats a potential partner will tolerate.” Much like her contemporaries Helbig and Hannah Hart
(Electro Woman and Dynagirl), she has set her sights on longer narrative content, beginning with the