Pass It Forward: 3 YouTubers

Friday 14 December 2012
When I was 17, my parents shipped my younger sister and I to New Zealand in order to get a better education. Being the eldest in the family, I was given the responsibility to manage the house, dad's business and my sibling (and the following 2 who arrived in later years). I was not only young, I was utterly clueless. Needless to say, I made plenty of mistakes.

There were many international students who were in the same boat as I was. As you can imagine, no parents and infinite freedom. I was once invited to a party and a waitress (I call her my angel) stopped me at the door, shook her head and told me not to go in there. I listened to her advice and went home. It turned out that these were drug filled parties or perhaps orgies would've been a better word. I remember having to break up fights in the bathrooms between two groups of hormonal young men. Or when my then 15 year old brother who was outraged that he wasn't allowed a drink because he's of age (yeah, right). I bought him a drink and made him drink it all. The guy puked his guts out and never touched alcohol again till many years later when he knew how to deal with it (mom, if you're reading this, sorry!).

I was once in a conversation with a friend who described how she and her boyfriend were utterly stoned and wasted at family dinner when she was in her early 20s. She wanted her children to experience the same freedom that she had, meaning that they are free to smoke pot and be promiscuous. Well, call me a prude but I strongly disagree. I've seen devastating consequences of these actions. Every action is preceded by consequences so think carefully.

Now that I'm a mom, I'm more conscious about the kind of role models that Lil L is exposed to. Social media platforms are widely available at the touch of a fingertip. Lil L and her friends are so proficient on YouTube that it's actually scary. 99.9% of music videos are of overtly sexual and violent nature. And the messages that they're bombarded with. I believe in putting down a strong foundation, to teach about consequences of one's actions and a deeper faith. Otherwise, it's a little like building a house made of straw and expecting it to withstand a tornado.

These are 3 incredible popular YouTubers who have admirable clean cut reputations as well as a strong following. They're sensible, inspiring and fantastic role models especially for the younger generation. Just in case if you're wondering why they're all of Korean descent other than that they're all beyond talented....... well, I'm a little biased. My niece and nephew are half Koreans. I spent 10 years practicing Taekwondo and learning Korean (all forgotten) in my younger days ;P

Janice and Sonia Lee of Jayesslee

Janice and Sonia are two Australian born Koreans twin sisters with masses of talent. The duo are a YouTube phenomenon, raking in millions of views each video. The two sisters uploaded their first ever video in 2008 and by 2009, their Officially Missing You video went viral. Sonia had only picked up a guitar for the very first time the year before! They're sweet and humble with a heart for people. In 2010, they traveled to L.A for their debut concert and haven't stopped performing since.

Arden Cho 

Arden is a 27 year old American Korean model, actor, singer and songwriter. She has well over 120 000 YouTube subscribers. Yup, those are pretty big numbers to say the least. She appeared in cosmetic brand Clinique campaigns throughout Asia two years ago. When she tried to break into the Korean market a few years ago, she was given a list of cosmetic surgeries she had to do AND was asked to lose more weight. She declined saying that she was proud of the body and face that God gave her and that character was important than the exterior.

David Choi

David is a talented American Korean singer,  songwriter and YouTube video producer living in Los Angeles. In 2004, Choi won the grand prize in David Bowie's Mashup contest and appeared in USA Weekend Magazine alongside Usher, after he received the grand prize for the magazine's John Lennon Songwriting Contest for teens (wikipedia). His videos have been viewed over 110 million times and was reported to be the 15th most subscribed singer on YouTube. He often collaborates with other YouTube bigwig like WongFu productions often playing a caricature of himself - a poker faced and humorous dude.


  1. I usually rarely comment on your Pass It Forward posts on Fridays as I'd be engrossed checking out the other bloggers you posted about. This time however, I want to say thank you for sharing on the importance of a moral upbringing. :)

  2. These are awesome. Thank you so much for introducing me to such talents! I'm now obsessed with Janice and Sonia!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  3. I want to thank you for introducing me to the twin sisters. I just came back from from K.L. yesterday and attended a Christmas party last night. There was this family that made some very personal and insensitive comments on my appearance and I tried very much to get over it. This, added to the traveling and having to be on the constant look out for my boys during the trip really took a toll on my sanity. I was crying out for help on the inside, and feeling so guilty for scolding and shouting at the boys. I awoke at 3am last night and decided to read on my ipad. So glad you posted this.. They are so inspiring and the words of this song spoke to me deeply.

    1. Eileen, having been in your shoes, I can sincerely empathize. I've realized that those who pass who point out negative comments to others are often the ones having the very same issues themselves. I'm so pleased the twin sisters were able to alleviate some of the pain you're facing.

  4. I'll check these out. I'm a lil biased too...I like Korea, the people and the food.. :)

  5. i came across wongfu productions on youtube earlier this year and they are hilarious! Absolutely love them. And through their channel, found out about all the other amazing artists that they often have collabs with.

    I find it amazing how something as simple as uploading a video can skyrocket one to the masses. The American dream/promise fulfilled.



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