Fame is a funny thing, because there are so many paths that lead there—some of them quite unexpected.
Take Simone Giertz, for example. The 30-year-old Swede (who now lives in L.A. and has nary a hint of a Swedish accent) has gotten famous building what she affectionately labels “s—-y robots.” Her passion for constructing quirky contraptions—an automatic dog selfie booth, a toothbrushing machine, a “hammering machine that destroys everything”—have landed her on the cover of Wired magazine as well as on Stephen Colbert’s Late Night show. She even famously turned a Tesla coupe into a convertible she’s dubbed “Truckla.”
The majority of Giertz’s videos involve some sort of robotic or mechanical gizmo that she’s ingeniously cobbled together to accomplish some incredibly specific or unusual task—like, say, a machine that feeds you popcorn, or a discarded hygiene-product dispenser turned into a doggy-kibble dispenser. But Giertz’s disarmingly adorable personality somehow makes each video feel mesmerizingly watchable.
Giertz has also faced multiple rounds of brain tumors, which she’s also talked about in some videos. In a January 2019 video, she said, “All jokes aside—godd-mmit—I really wish this wasn’t a thing. But this tumor is a thing, and even though it’s not what I would have chosen for myself, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be all bad. And what I keep on trying to remind myself of is, like, this is one of those things that looks like a really bad thing on the outside, but I know too little about life to be sure.”
As I mentioned above, Simone Giertz’s personality makes her imminently watchable as she talks her way through the various things she creates. Her inventions are interesting; but the more inspiring part of her personality has to do with her winsome combination of creativity and can-do work ethic. She doesn’t always know where her labors will take her, but she constantly adapts, changes and applies her creative will to the various projects she tackles.
Giertz’s videos are almost impossible to turn off, both because of her unpretentious, quirky and affable personality, as well as for the amazing things she creates out of almost nothing. In many ways, she’s an appealing role model for girls who are interested in science, technology and math …
… except for the fact that profanities like the one in her quote above occasionally slip in unexpectedly. Giertz doesn’t swear often, but f-words, s-words and other vulgarities do occasionally make appearances, as does a bit of mild sexual innuendo from time to time. Those issues might not be a deal breaker for older teens, but they definitely could be for parents with younger daughters who might otherwise really enjoy how Giertz goes about her work.
Simone Giertz’s channel has a lot to recommend it in terms of her down-to-earth personality and her incredible inventions, not to mention the way she’s bravely faced her cancer diagnosis. But language slips and suggestive quips nevertheless undermine her appeal for families with young, science-minded girls.
Note: Plugged In’s YouTube channel reviews are not exhaustive summaries of everything viewers will find, but a representative sample of recent videos to give you a sense of the kinds of things you might expect to see.
After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.