Elevate Difference

Natalie Tran - CommunityChannel

Natalie Tran, a 22-year-old Australia vlogger, has created a small sensation on YouTube. The reigning queen of Australian YouTubers, she is a young, fresh-faced woman with self-deprecating humor who picks on the mundane snags of life that often get under our skin. It's a Seinfeld approach to humor, except this channel features a smart-mouth Vietnamese woman who begins each video with a quirky wave and smile.

The videos are often short, less than five minutes, with mild irreverence and profanity scattered throughout. Her satirical style is engaging, highlighting comments she receives from viewers and labels that portion of her videos "Comments/Porn Music Time," which is befitting of her overall "your mum" jokes and "ugly word of the video" persona.

A community channel with nearly 200,000 subscribers, Natalie's place is dubbed the site where "bandwidth commits suicide and cool goes to die," and has been embraced all over the globe, deeming her the number one most subscribed Australian channel on YouTube.

In some comments there are references and comparisons to HappySlip, another popular Asian comic female vlogger based out of New York, who stamped her Internet fame with the Filipino flag and primarily focuses on the Philippines and Filipino American culture.

Both have strong followings, but the difference between the two is target audience. Tran, who came on the interwebs in 2006, utilizes YouTube without an independent website, and appeals to a wide variety of viewers, but has a younger flavor to her videos. She speaks on the fly and grounds her 130 videos (and growing by the week) in casual humor relating pop culture, sexuality, Australian temperatures, and everyday grumbles.

Christine Gambito from HappySlip, who also launched her comedic career in 2006, has fewer sketches (eighty-one videos), and her skits play on the safer but still hilarious side of web entertainment. Topics range from her personal connection to the Philippines, to a friend passing away, to Facebook etiquette. Unlike Tran, she steers clear of any sexual innuendo and often showcases her musical talents. With her own domain and easy to navigate website, HappySlip has a more mature feel than Natalie’s community channel, which works in Natalie’s favor.

Natalie’s appeal to a young generation has spread far and wide and her success story proves that YouTube remains the hotbed for raw talent and creativity. Her popularity has skyrocketed so quickly it will not be surprising when a global linguistic trend begins to take hold; when "yeh" replaces "yeah," while "man" and "mate" are tagged at the end of sentences.

Written by: Lisa Factora-Borchers, April 4th 2009

The majority of Nat's subscribers are actually WOMEN. so anything said about her appearance are completely false(or at least, mostly false?). And she doesn't show cleavage as often as people claim anyway... she just dresses normal. Anyway, Nat is all kinds of awesome. (:

My problem with the above review is that the author spent approximately 130 words out of a 420 word article (~30%) describing to the reader somebody who was not Natalie Tran. I understand that it is appropriate to use comparisons in such a review to help illustrate to the reader the style and presentation of the subject. The author did this effectively in the first paragraph by likening Ms. Tran to Seinfeld which required no further explanation. But spending two paragraphs of a seven paragraph article explaining who someone is, just so you compare them to the subject of the article, is simply weak writing. If there is no one more well-known than “Christine Gambito from Happy Slip” to appropriately compare Ms. Tran with, the author should have forgone further comparisons.

As far as all the comments about Ms. Tan’s physical attributes (aka breasts) and mode of her dress, get over your selves. People like to look at people they find attractive. If Ms. Tran is deemed by some to be attractive, she would be daft not to include her physical presentation as part of her videos. She is making videos she wants people to see. You don’t show pictures of animals being slaughtered or famine victims while you are making a video on how to give yourself fake abbs. Her presentation style and demeanor are casual so it seems sensible that there cloths should be casual. She dresses no different than any other twenty-two year old you might see at the mall (at least, where I live). The internet is a vast warehouse of pictures and videos, if people want to find body parts to look at (and I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know) they are out there. Any size, shape, or state of undress, they are out there. Do some people watch Natalie Tran for her body and the way she dresses? Of course. Do some watch her because they find her funny or can relate to her? Of course. If we didn’t all have different perspectives and tastes and motivations, we wouldn’t all be humans.

Natalie is famous for her unusual mind. I like watching her video. She's cute, I have to say that. I realize there are many people knowing who she is and caring about her. Not to mention her appearance, she really impresses me.

I am Australian so perhaps I have a slightly different perspective than others on this.

Natalie is popular because she understands young people, both male and female. I just don't think older people "get" this.

The whole "sex appeal" thing is a bit unusual. She dresses like the girl next door on the way to the market, not the girl next door on the way to the club.

Nat is actually the only person I've ever subscribed to on youtube. Enough said ;)

The thing that I like about Natalie's video are how well-produced they are.

Instead of gratuitous video effects and edits that leap out at you, she tells the story using effects as subtle presentation tools. Oh and the fact that she isn't using a crappy webcam helps too!

One of these days, she's gonna make it big in entertainment either in front or behind the camera!

I totally ADORE Natalie - and it's because of her wit, her incredible timing (the indispensable talent of comedians), and her honesty. Oh heck she's clever and quirky with extreme nimbleness - a veritable Barbara Sasaki. As for feminist - the way I see it, feminism is about the liberation of women, and I reckon Natalie is for liberation of people. I think she's also very vulnerable - comedians often struggle quietly against dark thoughts. She's a precious person - she feels like she's your sister or buddy, the last person on Earth who would screw you over. And sure, she has sex appeal and she uses it - quite tastefully - totally upstaging "Hot for Words".

I just found Natalie Tran completely by accident on YouTube. she is hilarious while using a subtle / classy approach. But more than that... she obviously has a subwhat twisted mind (in a good way) when it comes to humour. She's like a Cohen sister. she may in fact even have a genius intelect. Besides her success on YT, there's definitely something more to this young talent.

She's really cute, but she's also super charming and talented.

Her quirky style, playing multiple ppl, having funny conversations with herself.. hillarious.

If she just sat there in tighter tshirts and talked boring s**t, I bet she'd have far fewer viewers.

Natalie is funny and light hearted :) Her videos are quick, silly, and happy. It's a nice little spot of sunshine to see her, and some times it's just what I am looking for to break up a few boring moments.

Gosh, compared to a political lecture, I can hardly imagine why we like to tune in to Communitychannel??? Hmmm.

Thanks to Nats and all the people who have posted Free Hugs on Youtube! You keep me shining!

All together now; Everybody smile ^_^

women are so clueless...yes men really watch her just for her breasts...immodesty-and-lust channel is all it is

Anoyous said... shes no funny to me. Therefore shes notfunny to other people. they are watching her for her boobs. im so logical n feminst.

I said... shes not funny to other people becuz YOU dont find her funny, so basically what ur saying Anonymous is that ur selfish and u only matter. now im sure some people watch her for her boobs, but i dont, and i find her funny, and i like her intresting point of veiw. next thing im so logical and femenist....ha yeah right call me when you actuallyturn logical and feminist...k

She's not funny to me. Therefore she's not funny to other people. Therefore they are watching for her b00bz. I'm so logical and feminist.

I guess compared to someone like a HappySlip she has sexual innuendos in her content, but compared to the average female YouTuber her stuff is tame as shit in that department.

Nevertheless, good review.

One thing I left out which is quite essential to her ratings. She gets a lot of hate mail posted up. To most people that looks horrible and disgusting, how racism and sexism can be tolerated. But in the eyes of television; No Publicity is Bad Publicity! As long as people love or hate her, she is still getting viewed by them.

You always need a healthy amount of haters to argue with the lovers on your vids ;)

.... Okay I'm done

I love the feminist remarks that occur on a blog called feminist review. Shes gorgeous but that's not what makes her funny, he has a nice figure but thats not what makes her give encouragement to the Australians that are going into their final exams.

The reason she has so many subscribers is simple, she can relate to so many people. The majority of people have conversations with each other on very simple topic. On these topics, humor is made, which is exactly what Natalie does, and never fails to do.

she also has a script, a basic routine that you see on every video, a professional manner of targetting her audience, letting them know what they are in for on every video, until she makes a special.

...yes MrChrisMonos loves Natalie Tran and made a song for her about soap, so maybe I'm a bit biased to my comments about her :D

I love watching natalie's videos, they're very humourous and exciting everytime i see a new video of hers on my subscription box.I think she is funny because she bases most of her videos about everyday life.

why do some people have to be such feminist cliches by saying things like "the only reason why she has subscribers is because of her looks and boobs, and the majority of viewers are pervy men"... if you really watch her show without those bitter preconceptions, maybe you'd be able to enjoy it.

I've heard that Tran is Vietnamese version of Chen/Chan lol

I am a 16 year old boy and i subscribe to the community channel.I love nats humor and wit and that wink;)she now has 411,000 subscribers not only because she is beautiful but hilarious as well watch her videos and you cant help but laugh and laugh.(so just enjoy and dont focus on the casual sexual enuendo)

Retard? Come on now. Demeaning those who are mentally challenged is not appropriate for this blog.

Nat is freakin hilarious and way better than all that other overdone comedy on youtube. And I'm a girl, so I am not attracted to her because of her boobs. She is a funny person, without looking like a retard or compromising her image.

I find it amusing that blackstix assumes that all the uninhibited commentators on nat's cleavage are US. She's attractive for sure, but there is a lot better to be found on the internet. She's just a dirty minded sassy girl who talks to the audience like a friend at camp you expect to come back home next week. It is disarming and pleasant to watch. Plus boobs. Of course.

Why is it that whenever women show the slightest bit of cleavage some men will think they're doing it purposely to gain an advantage? As Natalie has often said, she doesn't have much to show. & then there's the way today's clothes are styled. I'm a 65 yr old women & I have the hardest time finding clothes that won't inadvertently show some cleavage with the slighest shift in position. I find myself constantly pulling on the back on my blouses trying to bring the wretched thing back to what I consider 'correct'. No, I don't think Nat's trying to show cleavage at all. I have 14 & 16 yr old granddaughters & believe me, there's clothes out there with a lot more cleavage that those that Nat wears. Nat is restrained in clothing choice--believe me!

While she certainly is cute, it is most definitely the humor that keeps me coming back. She's one of the few Youtubers that actually makes me laugh. I think I'll finally subscribe!

Hi My comment was - Yes, sex increases sexual attractiveness.;-)

I said very little if anything about her fashion choices. Wrong number.

Actually I think 'yeh' has already succeeded. I have a 13 year old granddaughter & her friends are always saying 'yeh'. Oh, I must have hit a wrong key when I registered. My name is Leah Ma-not Mao. Anyway......

to 1 of the anonymous's, So for u humor has to be rolling in the aisles laughing? You've never heard of low-key, subtle or wry humor? A lot of us people out here r not young guys. I'm a 65 young old grandmother & I think Natalie is wonderful. As for her blouses-have you seen what they've been selling the past 10 years? It's difficult to find anything that DOESN'T have cleavage. I know. I try very hard. Also I have 2 teenaged granddaughter. Believe me, Nat's clothes are not that sexy. You must have a dirty mind or an overactive libido to think that's what the guys are attracted to. Besides, did u hear her say she wears a size A? You're just full of ill will & nonsense. Why don't you go find someone else to pick on?

Amazing how many comments there are relating to Nats breasts being the reason for her popularity, both here and on youtube. Usually from the usual stereotypical inhibited US commentators who miss the point of her ireverent, insightful and light-hearted observations. I never watch this sort of "post teenage stuff" cause I'm old and it bores me rigid, but for you Nat, I make the exception, and so it seems do many others, you go girl!!!

I find her video's rather funny... A few of them, I just can't stop myself from laughing whenever I watch them.. :)

And, I think that the way she occasionally reveals her breasts (which doesn't happen often) is the main attraction why she has so many subscribers...

After all, I am a male subscriber, yet, I am gay.

I meant to say, I do not think that the way she occasionally reveals her breasts... etc

I actally think happyslip's "mature" channel and "safe" style works to her advantage.

I have seen a few of her videos. Quite frankly, I do not understand why she is so popular w/ an X number of subscribers. She merely mentions everyday events that an above-average individual should notice - what then, is so commical about critisizing the judge on Britain's Got Talent? Or the latest paranoia that is brought on by swine flu?

The answer perhaps lies in that she appeals to large population of MALES due to her looks and perhaps the way she dresses and bends down to reveal an ample shot of her breasts. Making nerdy little boys feel that they 'know' someone attractive/'real' over the internet.

Never mind. It is always wrong to question the popularity of such things in such a 'pop' era. Don't bother replying/flaming this post, I surely won't be back.

Legal authority with the government of Australia has always been very prudent. However, even within the law of property of Her Majesty with privacy laws of Canada the Community Channel and Mrs. Natalie Tyler Tran has avoided legal litigation. I blame their inability to conduct business properly and being a tool of the Association of South East Asian Nations telecommunications policy makers with the International Labor Organization Bureau of Gender Issues. I further think UNESCO should fully investigate my allegations.

I also have a man-crush on Natalie.

kristine it's the job of a critic to place into context whatever it is they are reviewing. the language is not so much formal as it is universal. a critic is trained to break-down a subject. in this case the elements that contribute to natalie's popularity, & to make comparisons to similar artists. it is not the place of a critic to assume the voice or attitude of that which they are critiquing. can you imagine if everyone who reviewed hemingway tried to write in his style? natalie is great, in my opinion actually brilliant in her social commentary and sarcasm that she slyly covers with a faux naivete but legitimate self-deprecation. she knows she's on to something but waiting to see how all of this will play into her larger life/career etc...i do believe you are right she hates to read reviews and is trying hard to remain as grounded as is possible for someone who has such wide appeal. oh, plus i have a huge crush on her! g'day mate! (btw how the hell did i land on a bloody feminist blog, seriously!)

Yes, sex increases sexual attractiveness.;-)

Thanks for bringing her to my attention! She's awesome.

Lol, I love how you wrote such a professional review for communitychannel. "Her satirical style is engaging." Seriously, she's a casual, laid-back person. You don't need to formally analyze her show.

Actually, it's called porno music/ comment time.