The 18-year-old vlogger talks fashion and beauty on her channel. Her bouncy camera presence attracted retailers’ attention, helping Mota grow in popularity as she organized giveaways for her fans, dubbed “Mota-vators,” and scored her partnerships with JCPenney and Forever 21. She has a clothing and accessories line at Aeropostale, and has gigs like a guest judge stint on season 13 of Project Runway coming up.
How much did you get through?
Li: 2:43. I think I hate-watched maybe the last 30 seconds of Mota fluffing her cotton candy colored pillows because I’m envious of the fact that she could sleep in that late. (Oh, to be 18 again.) But other than my irrational spite toward an endearing teenager who can’t help not having school in the summer, I found her video a nice reprieve from the rambling some vloggers tend toward. Admittedly, I’m not her target audience, and thus couldn’t quite connect to what she was saying. She seems lovely and natural, in a lonelygirl15 kind of way, except she lives in a non-cult-related life and is real.
O’Keeffe: 1:26. Though hearing about an 18-year-old woman’s morning routine isn’t usually in my daily routine, I find Mota charming. She wants to split a banana split with me, y’all! But then she told the audience they were all her “favorites” and “queens,” and I was the one splitting. It was just too pandering. That said, I always prefer someone who’s being themselves – or a version of themselves, I should say – over a character.
Average time: 2:04. Mota is lovely! But she’s definitely for a specific demographic.
Completing the female vlogger trifecta in YouTube’s campaign is the self-proclaimed “Baker of Nerdy Things” Rosanna “Ro” Pansino, whose show “Nerdy Nummies” features the 30-year-old creating Pinterest-friendly treats like Emoji cookies and Lego-shaped cakes. Her colorful, carefully decorated confections have brought her onto daytime talk shows and garnered her millions of sweet-toothed subscribers.
How much did you get through?
O’Keeffe: 2:10. I love food, but boy, Pansino’s banter with her guest co-host was stiff. “I love nutmeg,” the co-host said. “Yeah,” Pansino said back. Riveting stuff. I get that being funny isn’t her thing – and plenty of cooking show personalities aren’t – but the actual baking portion was too elementary. Also: Why is her style so viewer-unfriendly? Why is there no text breakdown of the recipe’s ingredients while she explains, nor a text version of the recipe in the video description? Pansino is fine – I just don’t get her.
Li: 6:02. I’m an unabashed fan of cooking shows (I could watch Chopped for hours), and even though this one felt like it was meant for a younger audience, I was into it. Pansino is appropriately bubbly, and she speaks at just the right pace for me to have a clear understanding of the recipe. That said, her co-host’s presence may have boosted how long I was able to stick with this. Having two people talk while cooking made it more engaging, and their self-deprecating comments and clumsiness gave it an unrehearsed, DIY feel. Of course, once they baked their final donut, I didn’t need to watch anymore.
Average time: 4:06. Pansino’s work is professional and pleasant, but it could stand to be a bit more fun.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.