For millennials and gen-z, the 2000s represent a simpler time. This bright, carefree era pulls on our nostalgic heartstrings as a unique time in history when the rise of consumer technology collided with celebrity gossip culture— giving the world access to both in ways we’d never seen before.
These novelties inspired the zeitgeist of the era, making the 2000s a time when pop culture reigned supreme. Paparazzi and tabloids wrote the narrative, and Paris Hilton— the ultimate tabloid queen— was a god amongst the human race. Being ~young, wild, and free~ became a legitimate career choice, and owning a bedazzled Sidekick was the hottest accessory around.
The boom in consumer technology was celebrated with explosions of colour, pixelated graphics (they couldn’t help it tho), and glitter everywhere, paying homage to what our home computers and flip-phones could do at the time. Social media didn’t exist yet, nor did filters, FaceTune, or internet trolls.
After years of social media toxicity, political extremism, increasing racial violence, and a global pandemic, the internet’s obsession with 2000s nostalgia comes as no surprise. Take a scroll through Instagram or TikTok and you’ll find thousands of accounts dedicated to this uptopic era and its chaotic style.
At the forefront of this blast from the past is up-and-coming YouTube content creator, Mila Tequila. A mere two months since her channel’s debut, Mila’s videos have swept the YouTube recommended page with their catchy titles and bright thumbnails rife with 2000s motifs, colours, and aesthetics.
Her wildly popular content combines investigative journalism with witty, conversational commentary as she deep-dives into the biggest feuds, scandals, and dramas of the early-to-mid 2000s. Leveraging her love of editing (self-taught, might we add), Mila splices together photos, videos, and visuals from the 2000s with clips of herself presenting from the comfort of her bed (sometimes with wine in-hand— which has proven to be controversial, but more on that later). It’s this entertaining, yet laidback reporting style that’s resonated with audiences and helped catapult the creator to YouTube virality.
With nearly 100K subscribers, over 1.3 million channel views, and fans like Kahlen Barry and Luke Alexander, Mila Tequila is on the fast-track to becoming one of YouTube’s biggest names, all in a matter of weeks.
So obviously, we had to know more. We caught up with the pop culture guru to hear all about her obsession with this defining decade, navigating new-found viral fame, her content creation process, and how she manages to juggle it all as a Junior in college.
In speaking with the 21-year-old about her YouTube ambitions, one thing is clear: Mila has been laying the groundwork to build a successful channel for years.
“I have been making content and putting it on YouTube sporadically since I was probably 11 or so. It was always kind of my ‘thing’ that I could edit videos,” she tells Centennial Beauty. “I used to make my friends make movies with me so I could edit them. In middle school, I would just download a bunch of music and random videos so I could have something to edit. It’s just something I’ve been doing literally forever.”
But when Mila got laid off from her job as a bartender back in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, she decided it was time to bite the bullet and truly dig into her passion. Despite her calm, cool, and collected demeanor on-camera, the Lousiana-based creator admits she was nervous to post her first Mila Tequila video. “I [was] trying to work up the nerve to make a video,” she explains. “I have been sitting around waiting for someone to make digestible yet funny and thorough videos about the 2000s for literal years now. In the last few months, I was like…why am I waiting and not just doing it myself?”
Her first video, an in-depth analysis of the years-long feud between Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, made a splash on YouTube’s commentary scene. “It’s actually insane,” she says of going viral practically overnight. “I can’t even say ‘thank you’ for increments fast enough. By the time I [had finished editing] a video saying ‘thank you’ for 10K, I had 20K.”
Her subsequent videos— two more on Lindsay, one about The Bling Ring, and her most recent on feuds involving Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, and Selena Gomez— have seen even greater success, but not without a lot of hard work.
Of her process, Mila explains that she develops the concept for a video from “things I’ve been dying to know since childhood.” After the concept, comes the research phase. “I usually start with gathering background info about everyone involved for
context purposes. Then I hit the blogs. I usually go month by month and just read
whatever I can about the people I’m trying to write about,” she tells us.
One blog in particular that Mila credits for her inspiration is pop culture died in 2009, saying, “There were a lot of very thorough posts on there detailing not only the events of major tabloid moments, but the context that surrounded it.”
Between researching, scriptwriting, filming, and editing, the college student says her videos can take anywhere from two weeks to three months to complete.
Despite its pay-offs, YouTube success hasn’t come without its pitfalls. “I wouldn’t call it ‘hate’ per se, but I do have a lot of people comment that my makeup looks dumb, or the way I edit is stupid, or they don’t care about my commentary… or I’m not drinking my wine fast enough(????),” Mila says about internet trolls.
“Thankfully, I feel like I’m very cognizant of the fact that people will say literally anything on the internet. And sometimes, there will be a comment that definitely reads as ‘hate,’ but it’s just someone who likes your content and oddly enough feels like they know you well enough to joke that way— which is a whole conversation about parasocial relationships. It’s definitely something I’ve observed for years (especially in my days on One Direction stan Twitter) and I’m seeing it happen to me now, which is strange.”
It’s this understanding of human behaviour that’s helped Mila cover topics from an unbiased perspective, which has proved important when reporting on controversial personalities. “I’ll be doing a rise of Kim Kardashian video,” she says of her upcoming content. “Which a lot of people objected to but I think people will be surprised, her journey to the top is pretty misunderstood.”
As for the future of her YouTube career itself, Mila says she’s not quite ready to make it her full-time gig. “I’m still a baby YouTuber,” she continues. “Working on my own time for myself is so ideal. But there’s also the paranoid part of me that wonders where YouTube will be in 20 years. So I’m going to make sure all my eggs aren’t in one basket but at the same time, if I don’t have to have a boss, I’m down.”
Rapid Fire Questions
Lindsay or Paris? Lindsay
Fave 2000s scandal? Tom Cruise professing his love for Katie Holmes while jumping on Oprah’s couch.
Most underrated 2000s icon? Naturi Naughton from 3LW, she never missed with a look or a song.
Best 2000s fashion/beauty trend? Mary-Kate and Ashley’s “boho chic” outfits make me
drool to this day.
Top creators that inspire you? Popculturediedin2009 of course, and on YouTube D’angelo Wallace and Drew Gooden.