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From high schooler to highlighter

By Meng Wenjie | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-02-21 07:16
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Lahongsang (pseudonym) brings joy to her audience by recording her life through videos. CHINA DAILY

A young vlogger, adept at sharing humor and sincerity, rises to fame, tackling diverse topics and empowering others along the way, Meng Wenjie reports.

"I never expected the video to be so funny until I clicked on it!" This comment is frequently shared by viewers under Lahongsang's videos.

Although she is only in her early 20s, Lahongsang (pseudonym) is a seasoned video blogger with eight years of experience, who has humorously documented her life. Growing up in the internet era as a Gen Z member, she's well-acquainted with video recording and social media sharing.

In 2016, while she was still in high school, Lahongsang started her journey as a vlogger on the Chinese platform Bilibili.

"I felt bored during that summer vacation after finishing my homework, so I decided to try recording my life through videos," she recalled.

Even though her very first video lacked professional editing, it humorously depicted a student's ambition for the upcoming semester, only waning as the school year progressed.

Despite being just a high schooler, Lahongsang consistently updated her content with diverse topics such as study, anime, snacks, weight loss, and makeup. She enthusiastically shared her life, creating a youthful vibe for her audience.

"As a vlogger, whenever I encounter something worth recording, I capture it," she said. "I'm not exactly sure what draws people to my videos, but many viewers say watching my videos makes them happy, so maybe that's it."

Her unique, sincere, and easygoing video style, along with her attention to life's details, has steadily increased her viewership from 100,000 to 10 million views. By the end of high school, Lahongsang had amassed over 200,000 followers.

Despite her cheerful demeanor in videos, she admits that she is actually an introvert based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). However, she has kept on spreading positive and optimistic energy to her audience.

At the beginning of 2022, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lahongsang's authenticity and positivity brought her to a broader audience. As a college student, she volunteered in her residential building, organized community activities, and even hosted a "cooking competition" in the neighborhood's WeChat group to lift spirits.

She documented this experience in a series of video diaries, showcasing the hard work of community volunteers.

This series caught the attention of mainstream media like CCTV, further elevating her visibility.

With a growing audience, Lahongsang started to delve into deeper subjects. For example, she released a video in October 2023 addressing "menstrual shame", aiming to empower women.

"The inspiration for this video came from my own embarrassing experience when my pants were stained with menstrual blood, and I was made fun of by some kids," Lahongsang said. "Later, when I came across the term 'menstrual shame' on social media, I realized I'm not the only one; many women are troubled by it."

But instead of lecturing or sharing personal views, Lahongsang documented her experience teaching a physiology class at a rural primary school in the video.

According to her, many local children there are raised by their grandparents, who still hold the stereotypical concept of menstruation being "unlucky", leading to the children lacking proper physiological knowledge. Lahongsang had to try hard to guide the initially shy and joking children to engage seriously with the topic.

This video is part of her new series exploring different professions. Throughout the series, she immerses herself in various roles, including veterinarian, internet celebrity assistant, and barbecue restaurant server, humorously depicting the highs and lows of ordinary people's work.

As a member of Gen Z, Lahongsang enjoys exploring new things and embracing diverse experiences that broaden her worldview, as indicated by her Bilibili home page introduction: "Take on 100 different lives".

"With an increasing number of viewers paying attention to me, I hope to use my influence to assist more people, enabling my audience to journey alongside me into a different world," she said.

While her videos bring joy to her audience, Lahongsang's life isn't always easy. She has to struggle with creative inspiration and face negative feedback at times. She also feels disheartened when viewers trivialize the content of video bloggers, assuming documenting everyday life is easy. But in fact, each of her videos takes about a week on average from planning to release.

"While some scenes may appear to be everyday shots, the storytelling and main idea are meticulously crafted and planned," she said. "What viewers see is only the final product. Without witnessing the production process, they can't judge or undermine others' efforts."

Inspired by this experience, Lahongsang came up with the idea of documenting the stories of behind-the-scenes individuals. Over the past year, she has been involved in the production of dramas and variety shows, and she saw the significant effort put in by numerous people behind every captivating performance, often unseen by the audience.

"I want to highlight these unseen people through my videos," she said. "I'm presented with a valuable opportunity to share my experiences and convey my ideas through videos, and I intend to make the best of it."

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