The line began to form around 8am on the corner of 18th and Broadway in Manhattan. Rachel Meyer — known as “Bunny” on YouTube — is due to arrive at makeup store Tart at noon, and her biggest fans wanted to make sure they had a shot at meeting her.
Meyer, or “Bunny,” as her fans call her, is a relatively well-known YouTube celebrity, vlogging under the username Grav3yardgirl. She is one of the highest earning YouTubers, earning her an estimated $US462,798 a year from her popular videos, which cover a smorgasbord of topics, like makeup and fashion and even paranormal activity.
One of her most popular videos called “I AM FLAWED (imperfections tag)” has a near million views, and, according to the fans we talked to, is the video that sums up why they love Bunny the most. In the video, the 26-year-old goes on a 10 minute rant about why she doesn’t care that she isn’t perfect.
Her other gimmick? Her “Does This Really Work?” series, where she reviews products in parody fashion, trying everything from nail art to stick-in eyelashes.
It’s not scripted, and to the adult ear she might sound reminiscent of a character from popular 1990’s Nickelodeon show “All That” (like SNL for kids), but mums tell me their young daughters go nuts over the videos, dissolving in laughter.
In a world where even the labelled “down-to-earth” celebs like Taylor Swift and Blake Lively are rarely, if ever, seen un-coiffed, Bunny sends a good message for young and impressionable girls, a demographic that showed up in full-force to wait in line to meet their idol this morning.
Sofia Cammarano, pictured below, got up at 5:30am to trek solo from Trumble, Connecticut to Manhattan in order to be one of the first in line outside of Tart.
Cammarano, 16, said she’s been watching Bunny’s videos since 2011, and likes her vlogs on paranormal activity and graveyard tours the best.
Cammarano was one of six girls who were waiting at the very front of the line. She had traveled alone, but befriended (from left to right below) Kerina Nunez, 17, Naidy Calojes, 18, and Alexandria Cassella and Maggie McGarry, both 12.
The girls came prepared with signs and gifts for their idol. The heart on the sign below says “Follow us!” and gives the girls’ Twitter handles.
There were cards.
And Cammarano brought her a book, “The Spoon River Anthologies.”
“It’s about ghosts and she loves ghosts,” she explained, as if she had purchased the gift for a good friend’s birthday. And in a way, she had. When we talked to Bunny fans Maddy Broderick, 15, and Sydney Caprio, 17, we learned more about what made Bunny so appealing to the young masses.
“She’s cool,” Broderick told us, “and she’s not trying to be someone she’s not. And I appreciate that. And she likes Hunter S. Thompson! Do you know how hard it is to find someone who likes Hunter S. Thompson?” (Wait until she hits 21 and heads to any bar in Williamsburg.)
“She’s weird,” Caprio concluded. “She’s weird. And I like that.”
When we asked her who the anti-Bunny was, they both thought for a minute.
“Michelle Phan, maybe,” Caprio said slowly, referring another YouTube star with 6 million subscribers. Phan makes videos with titles like “Reduce Cellulite with Coffee,” and “Underwater Makeup.”
“I like Michelle,” Broderick counteracted. “But yeah…she’s too…polished.”
Perhaps Bunny’s youngest fan in attendance was 10-year-old Stella Copeland, a soft-spoken blonde from Brooklyn who’s parents chaperoned her as they waited for Bunny’s arrival at Tart.
Stella’s mum, Vicky, said she’s seen the videos herself and thinks they’re funny.
“[Bunny’s videos are] good for kids. They’re funny, they send a good message; she loves them,” she motioned at her daughter. Stella told us all of her friends watch Bunny, often times together, but they’re all at camp this summer.
Bunny, with over 3 million subscribers on YouTube, makes her money from ad revenue, and seems to have unlocked the key to success: kids love her and mums approve.
Take a look at Bunny’s YouTube channel or watch one of her videos below: