YouTube is an infamously unpredictable medium, a public stage where beautifully-shot lifestyle videos and earnest, relatable vlogs coexist with more malicious content (see: PewDiePie, or Felix Kjellberg, who was recently fired by Disney for posting anti-Semitic content). That being said, discovering a new and emerging YouTuber can be a rewarding experience—and it happened to me over the weekend.
Meet Shir Levi, a Canadian-born Israeli whose videos about mindfulness, veganism, and so much more, offer insight into finding emotional, spiritual, and physical balance in our chaotic world. The granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor who joined the partisan resistance, Levi’s Jewish roots are just one component of her multiethnic identity, which, as she explains, encompasses Polish, Russian, Romanian, Turkish, Egyptian, Iraqi, and Indian ancestry. Thanks to her positive outlook and exuberant self-love ethos, Levi has attracted a community of more than 47,000 subscribers to date.
What makes Levi stand out to me the most is her honesty about how she perceives the world: She’s candid about being a highly sensitive person and also addresses her journey to body acceptance, which is something her followers adore. As one user commented on this lingerie-shoot video narrated with spoken-word poetry, “This is so powerful! […] I’ve gone through many of the same things as you and this video really touched me. You have inspired me in so many ways in all of your videos.
While I can relate to Levi’s self-image struggle, I appreciated her videos about moving through the world as a highly sensitive person even more. Like Levi, I am a highly sensitive person (are you?), and hearing her normalize these qualities and open a discussion around them―viewers from Portugal to Morocco have left comments of gratitude on these videos―was refreshing and reassuring. Plus, between her big curls, bright lipstick, and her logo―a bold illustration of an eye, green like her own―Levi’s personal brand is on-point. Her soothing accent, at once playful and wise, is an added bonus.
Perhaps the greatest draw to Levi’s channel is its versatility. Not only does she offer intimate glimpses into her emotional landscape, she also virtually invites us into her home with videos about feng shui, design, and her vegan pantry. (In addition to being a proponent of clean eating, Levi is a vegan food critic. You can find her Hebrew-language restaurant reviews here.) So do yourself a favor on Valentine’s Day—or on any day when you need a boost, for that matter—and check out Shir Levi’s channel for a dose of mindfulness and self-love.
Zoe Miller is Tablet’s editorial intern. Follow her on Twitter here.