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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pitt chapter.

The YouTube community can be a polarizing place. However, amidst the chaos of David Dobrik vlogs, tear-stained forced apologies and family vlogging channels, there have always been the It-Girls of YouTube. In the early to mid-2010s, the YouTube scene was dominated by “Back To School Outfits”, “Disney Princess Sleepover”, “High School You vs. Child You” and “Morning Routines”. With there color-filled thumbnails, these girls such as Bethany Mota, MyLifeAsEv and RCLBeauty101 had a chokehold on young girls’ entertainment everywhere. But like everything, as trends shift and as the times change, YouTube It-Girls phase in and out. From Emma Chamberlain to Ashley (aka bestdressed), many YouTube It-Girls have moved on to bigger and better things. However, an It-Girl (who isn’t technically in the It-Girl club BUT TOTALLY SHOULD BE) that I hope never leaves is Nicole Rafiee (aka NikkiNasty).

With just under 800k subscribers, Rafiee has been creating content on YouTube since her college days (boo Temple) She gained popularity with videos such as “how i TRANSFORMED my skin on a budget”, “Growing Up a Compulsive Liar” and “reading creepy DM’s in ASMR fashion”. She received acclaim with her video: “a guy answering questions girls are too afraid to ask.” With it reaching over 2 million views it is the most popular video on her channel to date.

I first discovered Rafiee in 2022 while I was coping with SAT season by dreaming about life post-grad, living in a big city with an adorable apartment and two cats. Her video “MY FIRST EVER BIG GIRL APARTMENT TOUR!!! *philly*” popped onto my YouTube home page and immediately piqued my interest. Rafiee blends her hilarious rapport with shots of her aesthetic apartment filled with disco balls, Facebook Marketplace furniture, and her adorable cat Clementine. 

Since that video, I have been an avid subscriber of her channel. Her videos range from the video-essay style with topics and thoughts on true crime, pop culture and entertainment. Rafiee always comes off as relatable and hilarious while maintaining a professional aura of doing research and being knowledgeable about the videos she creates. 

Rafiee has recently gained popularity with her “Chronically Online Girl Explains” series. In these videos, she puts photos of celebrities on her wall and explains internet drama and scandals in a humorous way. She premiered this series by explaining Ethan Klein and Trisha Payton’s “Frenemies” podcast, posted in October, is now one of her most popular videos for a good reason! 

Other than YouTube, Rafiee also has a podcast with one of her friends from college, Jake called “Talk Nasty to Me”. The two friends record in Rafiee’s apartment bathtub and discuss everything from Jacob Elordi to boofing. Their back-and-forth chatter feels like being on FaceTime with your long-distance friends and is a favorite podcast of my mom and I’s to listen to while driving.

Nicole Rafiee is your cool older sister with a wolf cut and tattoos that you aspire to be but never will. Her carefree nature, niche interests and ADORABLE cats will draw you in and you’ll forever be changed. Truly everyone should listen to an episode of “Talk Nasty to Me” or dive into a “Chronically Online Girl Explains” video. She is an It-Girl of YouTube, no doubt about it.

Lila Ryan is a first-year student at the University of Pittsburgh and is currently a writer. Her favorite things to write about are film/music reviews, pop culture, and pretty much anything arts related! She is pursuing both a major in History as well as a minor in Political Science. In addition to being a part of Her Campus, she is a member of Pitt’s Treble Choral Ensemble and Pitt Dance Ensemble. In the future, she plans to attend graduate school for a Master of Arts with Teacher Certification. Outside of class and Her Campus, Lila loves baking, Fleetwood Mac, reading, movie marathons, hockey, flowers, and everything coffee-related.