lowercase letters because a e s t h e t i c.
i first discovered shoe upon reading an encyclopedia dramatica article on boxxy, with whom shoe has been compared to heavily upon establishing herself within the internet world. (there is no longer any connection to shoe on boxxy’s article.) at that point she only had a few youtube videos up, the latest (from what i recall) being “the social justice league vs. gamers.” “oppression olympics,” which would become her rise to internet stardom, along with the aforementioned video, were poignant among the then rise of the gamergate controversy, which caused an internet shitstorm decrying journalist corruption on one side and misogyny on the other. seeing as i was passionately for the side of journalistic reform, it was nice to have someone to latch onto to reaffirm my own opinion, as the only place that did otherwise (from my list of follows at the time) was the aforementioned encyclopedia dramatica (but its hard to take them seriously in most cases).
as the months continued, the news on gamergate and rebuking social justice within video games became more rampant by the day. shoe was busying herself on twitter eating up the juiciest articles of cringe and misguided contempt, which she had an ample supply of considering the girth of the controversy at that point. between following her and ED on twitter, it was a mental nightmare trying to follow up on everything and absorbing all the outright combative nature, so i eventually said “fuck it” and unfollowed both for some peace of mind. i would not read her tweets or watch her youtube videos for some time after that, leaving my feet (or perhaps more appropriately, head) bare for a good portion of 2015.
on a casual day browsing ED (again), shoe’s name was brought up (again) in some various article or another, which reminded me that i used to follow her on twitter/youtube. curious as to her current state, i browsed her twitter at that time and, much to my relief, she seemed to use twitter more like a “normal person” (however normal that may be for her) while sprinkling some far-left or far-right humor on top of it. destiny would have it that i follow her again on both platforms, which to this day i have not clicked unsubscribe to either. it also helped that her youtube content became more focused and controlled, leaving a better impression for insight rather than only satirical humor through sarcasm.
this is an ode not only to her as a youtuber, but as someone who seems like a genuinely likable and good person. following shoe on twitter has given me more insight on her person, values, and humor than youtube has with any eight-to-fifteen-minute video. not to say that i believe i “know” her or can beat you in a game of “june lapine trivia,” but there’s an added layer of enjoyability to following someone if you like the person as much as you like their content. her contributions to internet lulz may turn some off (and surely it has over the years), but that shouldn’t shy people away from looking at the person behind the persona. this woman, who swears and stomps on the c-c-c-crazy SJWs in react format on her youtube channel also fawns over her “leaf fiancé,” retweets cute bunny videos, and dubs her youtube subscribers as “friendos” on twitter. okay.
within her “SHUT THE FUCK UP, LIBERAL!!!” youtube career (that’s a misconception of her channel, for those unaware), shoe effortlessly combines humor and thoughtful considerations to various arguments on topics that may be hard for people to talk about. in some very odd way, she could be her own internet version of the daily show, only without the constant trump bashing. its primarily for the lulz, but those lulz lead into some serious arguments against the things those subject to her vocal torment try to establish as should-be fact. videos like “the patriarchy” and “vote Shoe 2016” seem ridiculous on the surface, but one can interpret them as almost “dada-like” in their message of how (too) seriously some take these topics to be, such that they make their entire identity into fighting or advocating them. that doesn’t stop her from making serious videos, as well, such as “domestic abuse against men” or “the absurd political climate & the ACLU.” there’s something for anyone looking for some “woke” content on this later decade’s tense political atmosphere.
sure, she makes funny content. lots of people make funny content. why should shoe get special treatment? i would argue that she’s also a somewhat rare case of someone who seems to genuinely care about her audience. consistently shouting out smaller channels (she even has a thread dedicated to it), speaking for those without much of a voice in the world (see: “domestic abuse against men” video), sharing (in her words) gay content about her life for the world to see (she even featured her parents in a Q&A video); shoe has a humanistic quality to both her content and social media pages. her transparency is a charming trait, and her empathetic nature (despite what her “shtick” may imply in her videos) has dubbed various emotional outbursts on twitter as “mama june” moments. fierce when she has to be and gentle seemingly all else.
and she’s a shitposter, so there’s a relatable context to her followers, too.
the primary reason for this post at this time was a long post shoe dedicated to those hampered by youtube’s latest policy updates concerning video monetization. while i’m no serious youtuber (though part of me wants to be), i felt a serious spark of motivation reading what seems to have come from the heart of someone whose content and person i’ve enjoyed for close to three years now. while youtube may be a long ways off, my love of writing was kicked into high gear and thus my inspiration to dedicate a post to soon-to-be-mrs. shoe0nhead seemed appropriate. so should she ever actually find the time to read this, thank you, shoe, for spreading passion for what you love to those within a similar (or not) field. know that i truly appreciate your words of encouragement and will always support you so long as you continue to believe all the same things i believe and never betray me by turning over to the dark side of n e w – w a v e f e m i n i s m. and to those otherwise who read this and may be interested in what i have explained thus far, give her a shot. in the greater context of things, she’s just a girl on youtube making low-quality videos of herself. what more could you ask for of youtube’s original mantra?