Meet 20-year-old Ariel Rebecca Martin. At the age of 14, Ariel began her journey to fame on TikTok’s predecessor, Musical.ly. She was known for her lip-sync and dance videos, as well as starting a movement to end bullying called the #ArielMovement. And what began as something to pass the time and beat boredom turned into a life-changing event.
Ariel quickly gained over 20 million followers on Musical.ly. She signed a deal with an agency at the age of 15, won multiple Teen Choice Awards, and began creating her own original music and content posted to her YouTube channel, Baby Ariel. She was featured in Vogue and Forbes, starred in the Nickelodeon movie Bixler High Private Eye and then played a role as a werewolf in Disney’s Zombies 2.
Whew. That sounds like a lot. Well, it’s because it is. And that much in such little time, at such a young, formidable age, can really get to you. Which is why Ariel took a break from all of her social media platforms to get well, which she addresses in one of her YouTube videos as she encourages followers to take care of themselves.
But that’s just a glimpse of the content you’ll get if you hop on her YouTube channel. Her latest EP, called blue, is front and center on her page. So are videos that discuss emotional wellness, acceptance and learning to love yourself. Yet if you scroll back through the years, you’ll see video content broken into categories like: Music Videos, Albums & Singles, Family Time!, Vlogs, Sketches & Parodies, Musical.ly tutorials and Q&A’s.
The first thing that many viewers will notice is that Ariel is very real. From wearing sweats to eating ice cream and driving around town, she’s made a name for herself in her relatability alone.
Ariel takes the time to tell fans that she stepped away from social media because she was struggling with depression and dark thoughts. She’s transparent about her journey and tells fans that she began seeing a therapist and really focusing on wellness.
From the videos I’ve watched, I’ve yet to hear any profanity or see anything that could be labeled as graphic, but just know that doesn’t mean the content doesn’t exist …
The content that does exist, though, sometimes features Ariel in a crop top, short shorts and in a bra and underwear. We also see a shirtless guy in boxers.
One music video features a young man in a dress, getting ready to come out to his father. Ariel explains that the journey is more important than the destination and encourages fans to be OK with whatever journey they’re on.
In one video, Ariel goes to a shop in Los Angeles where a statue of Buddha, crystals and books with profane titles sit on the shelves. Some of these things are also seen in her apartment that she seems to share with her boyfriend.
One of Ariel’s newer singles features a creepy, dark song about Charles Manson.
Baby Ariel’s YouTube channel is filled with a plethora of content. And really, there’s a little bit of everything. That includes positive, relatable moments as well as content issues, worldviews and opinions that parents will want to pay attention to if Ariel has popped up on your teen’s social media radar.
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).