The first-ever YouTube issue of Seventeen magazine hits stands today and celebrates the new generation of stars we love. But we obsess over YouTube stars for different reasons than we like traditional Hollywood stars. Those celebs seem so perfect -- we can only dream about living their glamorous lives. But on YouTube, we root for the people who are sort of unpolished, a little weird even. We connect with them because they show us their authentic selves, because they are accessible to us.
There's a moment of total freedom when a girl is alone in her room watching her favorite YouTubers and all the expectations of who she should be and the judgments of people around her just melt away. In that moment she is most powerfully, herself.
The connection is just as deep for the stars. Our cover girl Bethany Mota, the first-ever YouTube personality to grace the cover of a national women's magazine, told us how the community on YouTube was an escape from bullying and the loneliness she was feeling. Shane Dawson says that he used to be shy, but on YouTube, he felt free to show his wild side.
It's liberating to surround yourself with people who just get you. The power of finding your tribe on YouTube is creating a space where it's okay to be 100 percent you!