This article originally appeared on VICE Asia
Big may describe Boram’s lavish spending habits, but it certainly doesn’t describe her size. South Korea’s wildly-popular YouTuber is six-years-old – and she just splashed out $8 million to buy a five-story home on Seoul’s most covetable street.
That’s right. Boram is the new neighbor on the block in Seoul’s Gangnam suburb – an area known as the residence for South Korea’s richest. K-pop stars and plastic surgery clinics alike dot Gangnam, the “Beverly Hills of South Korea.” The ultimate Korean status symbol. And because of her popular YouTube channel, Boram accomplished this before making it to primary school.
The tiny, beaming star has over 30.1 million subscribers across two channels - the pretty self-explanatory Boram Tube ToysReview, and Boram Tube Vlog which features snippets of her daily life, hanging out with her family and making slime. Her biggest hit is of her making instant noodles and eating it rapidly in front of the camera - it has 376 million views and counting.
Well, we know she’s slurping on those instant noodles for fun and not necessity, because Boram is making an estimated $3.1 million a month. Perhaps, there is something a little more sinister going on than just a wildly entrepreneurial child. According to CNN, her new home was bought through the Boram Family Company set up by the YouTuber’s parents. A mansion that costs $8 million? She got them there in less than three months.
The videos may seem innocent enough: Boram saving her friends in a spiderman costume. Boram driving herself to school in a flashy toy ride. But her age and immense success have made her parents the center of some bad press.
In 2017, the NGO Save the Children received a flurry of complaints from South Korean citizens who worried that Boram’s videos promoted the wrong values. Save the Children questioned Boram’s parents profiting from their child’s massively influential channel.
Most of the parents who reached out were anxious that Boram’s videos were a bad influence on other kids her age, such as a video of her stealing money from her father’s wallet. Save the Children reported the video to South Korean police officials and the Seoul Family Court, decreeing that Boram’s parents complete a counseling course that prevents child abuse.
Another video, which had Boram pretending to be pregnant and giving birth, drew similar backlash. It left her parents no choice but to issue a public apology.
It makes you wonder what Boram would buy if she knew the value of all her money, and if she ever thinks about the future consequences of already being that popular rich kid.
Despite some misgivings on misguided parents, Boram remains wildly successful. All it takes is superhero attire and a superstar smile for Boram to live pretty in her multimillion-dollar property spanning 2,700 square feet, while the rest of us get on with our relatively anonymous and mundane lives.