The Rise of "Living Alone" Chic

Some powerhouse creators are vlogging their daily solo lives on social media. Here’s why it’s relevant.

Hitomi Mochizuki, Renee Amberg, Emma Chamberlain, Michelle Choi, are all twenty-something YouTubers. From everyday house chores to financial advice, mental health insights, and thrifting hauls, their content has one thing in common: it shows simple glimpses of their daily lives, and puts self-care front-and-center as a priority. 

But what's so reassuring and fascinating about watching someone shop for sheets, unbox a mop, eat a salad alone at a restaurant, or prepare iced matcha? Are we really that bored?

As it turns out, there’s another explanation. The reason why it’s so comforting to watch these day-in-the-life diaries is that they tell us it's okay to live that way if that's what we want. These videos remove the pressure of wanting more, or pretending we need more. Instead, they help us gain a greater appreciation for the small, simple things we already have. 

This type of content may seem shallow at first, but it can lead to several benefits for viewers’ self-esteem and well-being. Here are six things that these videos advertize and normalize: 

1) Girl Boss
These videos give credit and legitimacy to another type of female entrepreneurship—the kind that’s literally self-made from the living room, and proves highly relatable outside the office environment. 

2) One Woman Band
These videos are reassuring for smaller, fellow creators, and for all self-employed people. In fact, being an online creator means working long hours from home, all while alone and handling many tasks at once. Seeing some creators find so much success with this style is inspiring, and offers welcomed support.

3) Total Freedom
These videos normalize a new social pattern wherein young women can feel in control and guilt-free about the important decisions in their lives, from where they go to what they buy. 

4) Simple Living
Romanticizing daily tasks helps viewers recenter on the importance of small things, and the beauty of each day.

5) Self-Love
These videos normalize being our own priority as something to be proud of, rather than something to be ashamed about. 

6) Financial Independence
Last but not least, these videos encourage financial independence. A lot of successful creators openly talk about the status of their finances, while some dedicate whole videos to building budgets, generating revenue streams, investing, spending habits, and protecting their assets. These creators are very often young people who, besides being on social media, have launched their own businesses (sweats, coffee mugs, yoga classes, etc.). Even if it’s not realistic for a lot of us to follow in their footsteps, their videos show that it’s possible to be self-reliant and business-savvy.

YouTuber Emma Chamberlain mainly vlogs about her daily life, traveling, and living by herself. Below one of her videos, someone commented: "The way Emma is living her life right now is like a love story with herself." Another commenter wrote: "I am in love with Emma's ability to enjoy being with herself." These types of comments are not rare. Suddenly, being alone and not relying on external validation has become a goal.

The comment section itself offers a kind of reassurance, a validation stamp on our supposedly informal likes and wants. The need for solitude, the desire to escape the pressures of a 9-to-5 job, to not necessarily start a family or get married, to not move in with our partner, the desire to travel around or spend the day at home, to invest money and time in our own happiness and well-being—all becomes valid in the light of these weekly vlogs. 

This way of living suits a lot of us, and seeing it being chronicled by social media’s biggest stars is encouraging.

Being self-reliant is one of the best tools to strive in our world, regardless of our background. The extreme authenticity of these videos, even if they show only a fraction of their creators’ lives, makes these creators even more relatable and reliable.

Image - Michelle Choi

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