With more than 94,000 followers, she has numerous companies offering her test products for review. But in the beginning, some questioned her credibility, citing her gender and profession.
“Some thought that it was awkward for a woman, a housewife, to review tech,” Choi said at a press event held Wednesday at Google Campus in southern Seoul.
Choi has always been interested in tech products. Seeing that there were no Korean-language reviews for a laptop that she wanted to buy, she started a YouTube channel in April 2017.
“As tech can be difficult, I don’t use jargon, trying to make it easy for the viewers. (Among many tech reviewers) my strength is my communication skills. Followers tell me that I deliver information well,” she said. Before getting married, she worked as an anchorwoman on cable channel Channel A for five years.
|Housewife YouTubers Park Smi, Cho Seong-ja and Choi Seo-young pose for photos before a press event held Wednesday at Google Campus in southern Seoul. (KPR)|
Choi isn’t the only housewife on YouTube. More housewives, seeking a way of expressing themselves, are turning to YouTube with their own creative contents. Two more housewife YouTubers were at the press event -- Park Smi and Cho Seong-ja, who run a home training and a home cooking channel, respectively.
Park lives in the United States, raising two children. She first uploaded work out clips on Instagram but later turned to YouTube to upload longer videos.
Now the housewife with more than 100,000 followers even runs a health-related business, launching home training items and diet food products.
“A lot of people think that celebrities return to the limelight in shape after giving birth as they have others to take care of the children and work out with a personal trainer,” she said. “But seeing me, raising children by day and working out at night, viewers gain confidence, thinking that they can do it too.”
YouTube helped her to regain self-confidence, Park stressed.
“Raising two children, I was just a mom, not Park Smi. But through communicating with the world through YouTube clips, I am finding myself,” Park said. “I learned that I can be of help to others.”
Other YouTubers at the scene shared the sentiment. Cho, an ordinary housewife in her 60s, loves communicating with the world through YouTube.
“Reading YouTube comments, I go to sleep late after midnight. These days, I can’t get enough sleep,” she said, making the audience laugh.
Cho has been married for 39 years. Living in a rural village, she is a farmer and a beekeeper. Her son suggested sharing her recipes through a blog. After running a blog for three years, she took to YouTube to share her cooking skills with more people.
“One of the viewers left a comment, saying that she cried so much after watching my channel as it reminded her of her mother who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. She felt as if her mother was cooking for her when watching the clips. I will never forget that comment,” she said.
As Cho is not familiar with technology, her son helps her. It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of her son to become a YouTuber with around 79,000 followers, Cho said.
“My son shoots, edits and uploads the clips. I thank him so much,” she said. “As I am a housewife, viewers trust my cooking. My age, with years of experience, played a part too.”
Tech YouTuber Choi agreed with the positive influence of YouTube.
“As people age, their network of people becomes smaller. But communicating with followers, I become friends with various people. I am now curious about everything and everyone,” she said.
For housewives who are considering going on YouTube, Choi had this tip: Be ambitious.
“There is no need to limit yourself to cooking and house chores just because you are a housewife. You can be diverse, not restrained by the concept of a housewife,” she said.
By Im Eun-byel (firstname.lastname@example.org)