Your Tuesday Briefing – The New York Times


At Home has our best suggestions for how to live a full and cultured life during the pandemic, with ideas on what to read, cook, watch and do while staying safe at home.

Vacuuming floors, scrubbing bathtubs, folding laundry. That’s not just a household to-do list — it’s also a list of what you’ll find on a popular genre of YouTube channel, in videos like “Clean with Me” or “Extreme Cleaning.” The Morning newsletter looked at why the videos are so popular.

The videos are largely motivational: Some people watch them while cleaning their own homes, and others use them as inspiration — especially during the pandemic, when many people need a pick-me-up. “The influencers play the role of cheerleader and best friend, commiserating about the mess and offering strategies on how to tackle it,” The Times’s Ronda Kaysen writes.

The genre also has an aspirational quality, similar to home-improvement TV shows. The homes are usually large, with expansive kitchens. The videos are set to soothing music, and their stars are often young women. The videos reframe, and monetize, their labor.

Jessica Tull started her channel in 2017 as a way to make friends while she was at home with small children. “My ex-husband laughed at me,” Tull told The Times. He said there was no way she could make a living cleaning the house on YouTube. She has more than half a million followers, and YouTube is her full-time job.


That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Melina


Thank you
Carole Landry helped write this briefing. Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh provided the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected]

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about the GameStop rebellion.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Third-largest birds in the world, after ostriches and cassowaries (four letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Apoorva Mandavilli, our Science reporter, spoke to the BBC about why U.S. coronavirus cases may be declining.





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