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17 Niche YouTube Video Essays To Make You An Expert On Random Topics

The internet is a fantastic place to discover new information — especially when it comes to watching YouTube videos. YouTube consumes so many people’s lives in this digital age we live in, sometimes bringing viewers down a rabbit hole of random, miscellaneous information. For me personally, it can be literally hours of clicking from one video to the next before I come up for air and ask myself: How in the heck did I end up here? 

But while some of the information you find on YouTube may be random, that doesn’t necessarily mean learning it is a waste of time. You can actually pick up a lot of specific, useful details about pretty much any topic you can think of. Who knows? You might even become a subject-matter expert yourself… or at least have a lot of fun by entertaining your friends with some niche stories and facts. All in all, YouTube-diving is a great way to find out information on a specific topic and potentially gain a new perspective from someone who has done their research. 

If that sounds appealing to you, check out these 16 YouTube video essays that will surely captivate you — and maybe leave you wanting to know even more.

On the downfall of tween culture

Video essayist Jordan Theresa explores tons of pop culture topics on her channel, but her January 2024 video “Where Have All The Tweens Gone?” is especially compelling. The 42-minute video covers the phenomenon of Gen Alpha quickly going from being children to being teenagers, essentially skipping the tween stage — and walks through the reasons this might be happening.

On Teenage Spaces No Longer Existing 

Madisyn Brown is a video essayist and singer who has posted a range of video essays on her channel discussing issues relating to femininity, artists in the music industry, and other pop culture-related topics. In this 25-minute video essay, she discusses how the spaces for teenagers to find community and identity is becoming obsolete, touching on the idea of today’s kids feeling the need to grow up faster and how the stage of being a teenager (the transition from child to adult) is becoming more narrow and blurred in society. 

On The “Girl-ification” of TikTok Trends

Here we have a second video essay by Madisyn Brown. In this video essay, Madisyn discusses the popular girl-ification of phrasing that’s been circulating the internet, such as “girl dinner” and “girl math.” She talks about the girlification of trends, analyzes it and its roots, and the impact (debatably positive or negative) it has on us. 

On How Beauty Maintenance Is A Scam

In recent years, beauty maintenance has expanded into a multi-step process with an increased implementation of numerous products into our routines — partly in thanks to the rise of self-care products on social media. This third video by Madisyn Brown discusses beauty maintenance, explains how it all came about, and argues that it’s a scam. 

On the Entire History of Big Brother 

Fans of the show Big Brother, or those who are interested in learning more about the show, this video is for you. Ethanimale creates videos relating to the show, including seasonal reviews, personal thoughts throughout the season as a fan, analysis of seasonal twists, individual player strategies and competition breakdowns, and more. In this 40-minute video, Ethanimale discusses the entire history of the show so viewers can get a glimpse into how the series has transformed over time. The video starts with how the concept of the show was developed, and it then leads into a breakdown of each individual season (so in other words — as a heads up — each season will be spoiled). 

On The Plastic Feminism of Barbie 

So many Barbie-related trends and discussions have arisen in the past year due to the release of the Barbie movie in the summer of 2023. Video essayist verilybitchie talks about the Barbie movie (without giving too many spoilers) but doesn’t just focus on solely reviewing the film, but rather explores how the feminism in the film ties into the controversial image of Barbie that Mattel has created over the years. 

On the Transformation of Reality TV 

In this video essay, Casey Aonso argues that reality TV has taken a turn for the worse — despite the power of the internet, bigger budgets, and more unique show concepts. Casey discusses why reality TV isn’t the same compared to the shows we grew up on and the factors that are causing this.

On The Glamorous Lies Reality TV Sells 

If you love reality TV, you won’t mind that there are two reality TV-themed essays on this list. Here, Salari talks about what goes on behind the scenes when it comes to some of the most well-known reality competition shows. There is more than what meets the eye and the video essayist discusses why the format does not lead to a lot more success among the contestants. 

On The Psychology of Advertising 

Any advertising and psychology majors out there? This video essay by Existential Guide explains why some advertisements tend to make more of an impression with consumers, along with what tactics cause certain advertisements to leave a long-lasting impression.

On Color Psychology

Similarly, this video essay by Visme explains what certain colors mean in terms of evoking certain messages or emotions, and how those translate into marketing when it comes to appealing to consumers and sending the right message to people. 

On Why Movie Titles Matter 

Sometimes the most interesting perspectives are the most concise. In this five-minute video essay, Karsten Runquist talks about why movie titles are one of the most important aspects of the filmmaking process. Karsten has other videos on their channel analyzing specific films and movies in monthly review videos. 

On A Kids Movie That’s Actually About Existentialism 

Want to feel nostalgic? For Gen Zers who grew up watching the animated movies that were released during the late 2000s to early 2010s during their childhood, this video essay by The Fiction Addiction examines a SONY movie called Surf’s Up (2007) and how the philosophical nature of existentialism is present and prominent in the movie.

On How The Food You Eat Affects Your Brain

We know certain types of foods are good for our bodies, but what about our brains? It turns out, certain foods and the components that make each food affect our brain in different ways. This TED-Ed video by Mia Nacumelli explains the science of food and its effect on our brains.

On How Modern Media Affects Attentions Spans

In this video essay, oliSUNvia — whose channel’s “about” page is described as “philosophy, social science research, media and gen z trends” — talks about how the incorporation of images and videos into our communication methods have affected our attention spans, and how that in turn affects society as a whole.

On Finding Purpose

Another video essay done by creator oliSUNvia touches on the purpose of life — more specifically, the difference between a meaningless and insignificant existence and finding ways to cope with insignificance and finding our own purpose in the life that we have.

On The Gen Z Vs Millennial Jean Style Debate

There’s been constant back and forth between millennials and Gen Z about who’s right on many topics, including which style of jeans is best. Here, video essayist Mina Le settles the debate once and for all!

On Aesthetics & Curated Identities

In this video essay, Shanspeare discusses social media’s obsession with the word “aesthetic” and the concept of curating a specific identity that needs to fit into established micro-trends. Shanspeare has other video essays that range in a variety of topics such as entertainment and pop culture, gender, and race. 

Courtney Lemkin is a National Contributing Writer for Her Campus. She writes life and career content on the site including advice on academics and more. She is a recent graduate of St. John's University where she majored in communication arts and minored in English. During her time at St. John's, she was the vice president of the campus' multimedia organization and also has previous experience writing for College Magazine. She later became an editor, social media coordinator / newsletter editor, and eventually worked her way up to holding the position of editor in chief. In her free time, Courtney enjoys anything related to the arts and loves going to see Broadway plays.