A few days ago, The New Yorker’s Yi-Ling Liu posted a special feature about a farmer from China who found a career in live streaming. Upon stumbling on the article, I found myself fascinated by this farmer’s story and her rise to fame.
It all began three years ago when Liu Mama, a farmer from Northeast China, began posting short comedy skits on the live streaming platform, KuaiShou (快手直播). With the help of her son-in-law and cameraman, Liu Mama’s channel–“Liu Mama’s Everyday Life/刘妈妈的日常生活”— blew up. The content was genuine–it reflected authentic moments of her life in China. She would post videos of herself “shucking corn, harvesting tomatoes, and driving around fields.” She’s not afraid to be real, a sentiment we don’t often see in social media these days.
That authenticity is what drove many people to watch her, according to the New Yorker: “In this landscape of meticulously airbrushed faces and fashion feeds, people were quickly charmed by the loud-mouthed, ruddy-cheeked farmer from the North.” Occasionally, Liu Mama will also dress up in costume for her videos, acting out skits with her son-in-law. Through her refreshingly crude comedy and harsh but clever realness, Liu Mama has now attracted almost fifteen million followers and earns a reported $140,000 USD per month. While there is a general sentiment that KuaiShou is not a popular or relevant social media platform, I think Liu Mama’s numbers speak for themselves. You don’t need to be from the city to be known.
Now, Liu Mama posts mostly cooking and recipe videos on her show, “Liu Mama’s Everyday Life.” Post after post, she never fails to make viewers smile with her bright and positive attitude; if you speak Chinese, or even if you don’t, I highly recommend checking her out!
Images via Liu Mama, Kuai Shou