Lele Pons was the queen of Vine. Now that Vine has passed on, (although Vine 2 is, in fact, a thing) Lele has transitioned from Vine to Instagram and YouTube. I made a video on YouTube in which I explored Lele’s content somewhat thoroughly and I’ll share that here (because I like cross-posting, but also because I know some people prefer videos over blog posts), but the purpose of this post is to explore Lele’s style as a writer, and as a content creator.
Who Is Lele Pons?
Lele is a Venezuelan American content creator who built up an influential following on Vine and then increased that following by consistently creating content online on YouTube, and Instagram. Her content has a young fanbase and she’s an immensely popular social media personality. She’s also allegedly done really shady stuff online, and is apparently very jealous of the success of others, despite the fact that there’s no serious competition on sites like YouTube and Instagram where one’s success doesn’t take away from another person’s success. To give you an idea of the sort of reactions Lele evokes in people and the accounts alleging her jealousy I’ll share a few reactions to her and her content by both other Viners and by YouTubers. And if anyone’s curious I thought about sharing Enjajaja’s video talking about viners because she mentions Lele but I decided against it because that video wasn’t specific enough to share here, but Enjajaja (Enya Umanzor, who is also a former Viner) also talked about how bad Lele’s content is in one of her videos (specifically “VINERS ARE THE WORST“).
Lele’s Actual Content:
As you can see she likes to create somewhat relatable content. There are exceptions to this rule, particularly on YouTube where she’ll stray away from the relatable content concept she’s fond of and venture into more ambitious or at least more topical content than generic “relatable” stuff, but it’s a very common recurring theme.
Her basic comedic script heavily relies on a twist ending and often starts with either something that is or was relevant in popular-culture or has an initial base coming from something she’s deemed “relatable” such as having a bad teacher or having a competitive relationship with one of her cousins. The twist-endings are so consistent and pervasive throughout her videos that you can reliably jump to the ending of any of her videos and see a “shock” ending, whether it’s her being engaged to the principal, her being Medusa and turning a group of gods to stone, her calling on Katniss Everdeen to end the Latin-American Hunger Games, her blackmailing a driving instructor to get her license, and a multitude of other twist-endings. It’s pretty clear that she either finds this funny herself or her audience does. Her content can definitely be funny, especially to younger audiences but it’s odd seeing so many videos of hers focus on the twist ending. I wonder if her audience consistently stays all the way through her videos or jumps to the ends to get a quick laugh and then goes to see other content? I’d love to look at her demographics and data on her views because that’d allow me as a writer and content creator to understand where she’s coming from in terms of continuing her career.
For better or worse I don’t feel any particular way towards Lele. When I was younger I was a fan of her content but over time I started finding her less funny and to this day I like that she is firm about reminding people that she’s a Latina, but it seems like she can be toxic to the community of influential viners turned social media presences that she’s a part of, and her content’s main creativity comes in its random endings which in my opinion isn’t super creative. I’d like to see her experiment more, but I understand her taking things slow in terms of maturing as a digital creative and being safe in her usage of her young audience. Her content is successful, she’s built a career out of social media and comedy, and deserves props for that. It’s a shame that she’s done seriously shady stuff and is apparently a toxic presence in her community, but I hope that in time she apologizes for what she’s done and makesup with those she’s wronged. Lele is a fascinating person and her career is only just beginning, I wonder where she’ll go from here.
One final thing worth noticing is that she doesn’t credit child actors in any of her videos. I HATE this. It wouldn’t bother me as much as it does if she didn’t include a set of links to the network she’s a part of in each of her video descriptions, but she does. She includes links to her friends and fellow content creators in Shots Studios at the bottom of each of her videos, and while it’s possible this is a contractual obligation it’s annoying that she does this and doesn’t credit child actors that she includes in her videos. I don’t understand why she does this, it’s just weird and not cool to have a young fanbase and not credit the young people you use in your videos, these are other human beings that went out of their way to help you out and to not properly credit them is shady. These aren’t props you’re using Lele, they are other people who took time out of their day to help you out and for you to not give them the credit they deserve but to shoutout your network is genuinely bad behavior, especially when you credit your fellow actors if they have social media but not credit children who appear in your videos, sketches, and social media. Stop treating child actors differently than you treat other actors, especially if you aren’t going to explain why you do this. Seriously, credit child actors if you use them in something you’ve made. They deserve recognition and acknowledgment.