It’s crazy to think about the fact that some of today’s biggest YouTube stars weren’t even on our radar a decade ago. Would we be better off if internet celebs such as PewDiePie and Logan Paul hadn’t entered our orbit? Possibly… but they do keep us entertained.
We think it’s safe to say that Tana Mongeau has had one of the craziest journeys to social media stardom over the last few years — transitioning from a seemingly ordinary high-schooler to an all-star vlogger popular enough to host her own convention (more on that disaster later).
So, what initially made users gravitate towards Tana over all the other young girls trying to make it big on YouTube? Here’s what led to the Las Vegas native’s perplexing rise.
How did Tana Mongeau get famous?
Like with any viral video or meme, it’s hard to pinpoint what makes a specific piece of content click. The same could be said for Tana.
Yes, her loud personality and fearlessness played a role in her success, but you don’t gain a million subscribers just by being funny or outrageous. Looking back, it’s hard to tell what exactly led users to Tana’s early work in 2015, though she did help popularize the "storytime" style, which is categorized by long monologues delivered straight to camera.
Within her first year on the platform, Tana published overly dramatic videos with eye-catching titles like "My Creepy Stalker Story," "I Cussed Out My Teacher," and "Hairdresser From Hell?" People enjoyed her wacky stories and didn’t seem to care if they were real or not because she was so good at telling them.
As her views grew, she began to hang out with other YouTubers who had larger followings, such as Shane Dawson, which raised her profile even more.
With fame came controversy for Tana.
If you’re like us, you didn’t hear about Tana until she weathered her first big scandal in 2017. The aspiring musician called out fellow YouTuber iDubbbz on Twitter for repeatedly using the n-word in his videos — which would’ve been great if the racist comedian hadn’t also found footage of Tana using the same offensive language.
The then teen apologized to fans with a tweet that read, "I’ve made so many mistakes and even at 18, I'm still trying to learn. I intend on owning up to everything, and hoping you'll forgive me." She also posted a 25-minute vlog to her channel addressing the incident.
A few months later, Tana was arrested at Coachella for underage drinking, but her biggest fiasco to date is TanaCon, which was supposed to be her own version of VidCon.
After failing to secure a "featured creator" spot at the annual conference, which celebrates multi-genre online video, the "Hefner" singer announced a competing event that would include appearances by some of the most well known YouTubers in the game.
Unfortunately, TanaCon was canceled on Day 1 due to extremely poor planning that left thousands of attendees waiting outside in the sun for hours with no food or water. A few dehydrated ticketholders even wound up needing medical care.