To say that I’m obsessed with Maddie Dragsbaek’s YouTube channel would be a gross understatement. With over a decade’s worth of Youtube experience, she’s a certified OG on the platform, yet she’s mastered the art of adapting to our current social media era. Right now, Maddie creates beautifully thoughtful video essays and vlogs that leave me screaming at my screen, “Thank god, someone else feels the way I feel!” As she drifts between bookstores and coffee shops in Bushwick, NYC, she unabashedly discusses the topics on college girls’ minds. From body image to books to sex to therapy, Maddie tackles each topic with an addicting mix of conversational ease and philosophical care. I love how I never know what to expect from a Maddie upload—she somehow knows what I want to watch before I even know what I want to watch. To top it all off, each of her videos is an aesthetically pleasing short-film, defined by her signature, dreamy color palette and soothing editing. Have I convinced you to subscribe? No? Well, hopefully this list of lessons she’s taught me will inspire you to check her channel out:
- There’s Nothing More Magical Than Female Friendships
Maddie is on a mission to show the world the value of platonic love. While there’s plenty of content on social media celebrating “relationship goals,” I’ve noticed a dearth of videos spotlighting long-term female friendships. That’s why one of my all-time favorite Maddie videos is her vlog about throwing a dinner party to celebrate her friends. In the video, Maddie not only walks viewers through the steps of setting up an aesthetic night-in for her girls, but she also has a heart-to-heart with us about why she intentionally shows appreciation to the female friends in her life. Gen Z feminism often strays so far into the “girlboss” realm that we risk forgetting the power of women simply behaving lovingly to one another. Definitely give this video a watch if you want a relaxing introduction to Maddie’s content!
- Wear What You Want (Right Now!)
While Maddie flits between many YouTube genres, don’t get it twisted—at her core, she’s a leading fashion girlie. She brings the colorful, creative looks that I crave on my social media timelines, and she’s constantly alerting me to new, lesser-known brands. Around five months ago, Maddie dropped a style video that was truly a game changer for my body image journey. The video begins with the lines “If my younger self had me on her Pinterest board, she’d know you don’t need to lose weight to dress how you want.” Let that sink in. It’s an unfortunately common phenomenon for young women to put off wearing certain clothing items until we achieve our “body goals.” I know that this mentality used to plague me in high school and still rears its ugly head when I see mid-rise jeans and bikinis at the store. If you need the confidence boost to experiment with fashion, this video is the perfect place to start.
- “Alone” Doesn’t Equal “Lonely”
Maddie’s romanticization of singleness is a through-line connecting most of her YouTube catalogue. She’s always down to remind viewers that being single isn’t a punishment or a burden—it can actually be a positive in your life. The single life affords you the time and space to cultivate your most important friendship (the friendship with yourself!). One of my favorite Maddie videos that smashes through the pity surrounding being single is her stunning vlog of her solo trip to Paris. So many people assume a trip to Paris should be a couple’s vacation, but Maddie proves that single people can also enjoy all the same travel fun. It’s both relaxing and inspiring to watch her explore Paris and partake in an itinerary perfectly suited to her individual tastes. In short, if Maddie’s YouTube channel had a theme song it would definitely be “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus. I highly recommend her videos to anyone needing a reminder that you are a complete human even when you’re not in a relationship.
- Burnout Is Normal And Surmountable
Last but not least, Maddie is refreshingly open about when she deals with burnout and creative blocks. For example, in a video last year, she chatted all about how her burnout affects her content creation and how she tries to reframe the ruts as helpful “hibernation periods.” Though most of us aren’t YouTubers sprinting on the same content creation hamster wheel, I think most college students can resonate with Maddie’s thoughts on burnout. School gets super draining, and we all occasionally struggle to find motivation when faced with never-ending to-do lists. Personally, I know that my studies as an English major frequently (and frustratingly) leave me too burnt out to read for pleasure. To anyone having trouble finding inspiration at this point in the school year, I urge you to check out some of Maddie’s burnout related content. It’s soothing to know that no one is alone in the feeling of “being in your flop era.” Our internet older sister always has our backs!
Throughout college, I’ve found it super important to intentionally curate who I follow on social media. Subscribing to diverse creators who make me feel seen as the complex young woman I am has been transformative to my mental health. If you’re also on a quest to cultivate an uplifting content creator roster, I cannot recommend Maddie’s channel enough. Her videos are the ideal combination of real talk and stunning visuals, and they’re the perfect long-form content to put on when you’re relaxing in your dorm. What are you waiting for? It’s time to start binge-watching your new favorite YouTuber!