The Korea Herald


[LLG] Solo and content about life, YouTuber won’t let hate comments dampen her spirits

'There’s no need to be threatened by my content,' Seen Aromi tells online critics

By Song Seung-hyun

Published : June 26, 2024 - 15:27

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YouTuber Seen Aromi meditates. (Seen Aromi) YouTuber Seen Aromi meditates. (Seen Aromi)

Seen Aromi, a YouTuber in yoga attire clutching a reusable tumbler, greeted this reporter with a wide smile that crinkled her eyes on June 18.

Despite her petite frame, Seen exuded a comfortable confidence that quickly filled the room. Her engaging and straightforward personality has contributed to her devoted fan base of 204,000 YouTube subscribers.

However, she has also faced a relentless stream of online criticism.

Her content, which has evolved since she first started her YouTube channel six year ago — from international couple content and travel vlogs to now mainly her daily life as a single woman living in a rural area in Gyeonggi Province — has consistently attracted hateful comments, she said.

"The hateful comments about my appearance are mild compared to other comments that I get,” she shared in an interview.

The interior of YouTuber Seen Aromi's home in Gyeonggi Province (Seen Aromi) The interior of YouTuber Seen Aromi's home in Gyeonggi Province (Seen Aromi)

“When I post videos about being in an international couple, I’d get called sexual slurs. And when I switched to solo travel vlogs, they’d say I was asking to be attacked by men.”

Now, a new wave of negativity targets her videos chronicling her solo life in the countryside as a woman in her 30s, despite having many supporters.

This disparity puzzles her, Seen said, adding that those sharing videos about their married or family lives seem to receive more positive responses.

“I’m simply documenting my life,” she said. “But some viewers seem to doubt my joy featured in the videos, suggesting I’m overcompensating for something missing in my life.”

She has her own theory on the source of the negativity.

“We’re conditioned to believe that happiness follows a script: prestigious university, successful career, marriage, children,” she said. “While that might work for many, it wasn’t for me. By saying I am living happily outside those confines, it seems like there are a lot of people who feel like the validity of their own lives is being challenged."

Her message is clear: Fulfillment can be found on diverse journeys, even those that deviate from societal expectations.

“I’m not suggesting those following a traditional path are unhappy,” she clarified. “There’s no need to be threatened by my content.”

Yoga, gardening, cooking, marriage, parenthood

YouTuber Seen Aromi poses for a photo in a rural setting in Gyeonggi Province. (Seen Aromi) YouTuber Seen Aromi poses for a photo in a rural setting in Gyeonggi Province. (Seen Aromi)

Seen's mornings start with yoga, followed by twice-weekly personal training sessions at the gym, setting a positive tone for the day. Taking care of her garden after working out provides a therapeutic experience that connects her to nature.

Limited food delivery options have fostered more of a sense of self-sufficiency, leading her to cook healthy meals.

Her work, focused on content creation and online interactions like Zoom lectures and meetings, typically starts at around 2 p.m. and ends whenever she chooses. Seen said she is now very selective about the projects she takes on, as she does not feel the need to earn a lot of money.

“I'm debt-free, I have a home and a garden’s bounty. I’ve realized I don’t need much money,” she said.

She finds joy in simple pleasures — yoga, gardening and the peacefulness of quiet nights. These moments emphasize that happiness can be found in every small moment, she said.

"I do have concerns about realistic problems that could arise, such as what would happen if a thief breaks in," she said, adding that she is equipped with a electroshock weapon for protection from potential danger.

She continued, "But I feel emotionally peaceful living alone in a rural area."

Seen did not always believe in this kind of alternative lifestyle, especially since Korea's societal norms say that she should marry and have children by her late 30s.

Having spent years traveling the world as a YouTuber, Seen has gained a newfound appreciation for the diversity of lifestyles beyond these norms.

“My extensive travels exposed me to a wide range of life forms, naturally broadening my perspective over time,” Seen said.

She went on and shared an example.

“In Korea, we often assume a man and woman with a child are married. But during my travels, I’ve encountered couples in places like Australia and Europe who identify as boyfriends and girlfriends or partners, not spouses.”

Seen also witnessed single mothers independently raising their children in Southeast Asia, further widening her perspective on the diversity of family structures.

“While I wasn’t privy to their specific social welfare systems, it was fascinating to observe how there was less judgment surrounding these arrangements,” she said.

Her travels also contributed to her progressive views on having children. She believes society should allow women to have children without requiring marriage if that is their choice.

“Having a child has never been an option for me, since traveling is my job. But if I am a Korean woman with a regular job who lives alone, I believe I should have the freedom to consider this as an option.”

As for her thoughts on marriage, she said she is not opposed to the idea nor necessarily determined to live alone forever.

“I haven’t gotten married because I simply don’t feel the need to do it right now,” she explained. “I don’t have anyone I want to join in a bond with like that yet.”

Additionally, she mentioned personality assessments that revealed her inherent independence, which reinforced her firm belief that it is OK to opt for an alternative lifestyle.

“Based on the results, my therapist told me to leverage my independent tendencies, as long as it does not make my life uncomfortable, instead of trying to change them,” she said.

YouTuber Seen Aromi does yoga at home in Gyeonggi Province. (Seen Aromi) YouTuber Seen Aromi does yoga at home in Gyeonggi Province. (Seen Aromi)

Standing for living, loving and growing, LLG goes beyond the realm of daily news, exploring the vibrant tapestry of modern life, as told by real people. -- Ed.