YouTube vlogger Tyler Oakley is a “professional fangirl” and is very obsessed with one thing these days — the British heartthrobs One Direction. Peeking into his bedroom in a quiet Los Angeles neighborhood reveals the extent of his obsession — his walls are adorned with clippings and posters from Tiger Beat and J-14 magazine of the band members in various poses.
The cluster of posters is part of a recent redecoration of his home that’s complete with deer heads and vintage maps. Apart from the One Direction posters, Oakley called his aesthetic “grandma chic.” His newly renovated digs are a far cry from his early days as a vlogger hailing from Michigan State University. Inspired by early LGBT YouTuber William Sledd’s “Ask a Gay Man” series, Oakley started making videos in 2007 as a way to update his friends back home about life in college. Since then, he is known in the YouTube community for his loud, sassy take on pop culture news and is inching towards 1 million subscribers. He’s also seen mainstream fame earlier this year thanks to a brief appearance in Pepsi’s intro to Beyonce’s Super Bowl Half Time Show, where he encouraged his legion of “professional fangirls” to submit their photos for consideration.
Many of his vlogs show him fawning over “Glee” actor Darren Criss, collaborating with mega-YouTubers like Kingsley, and promoting The Trevor Project, an organization preventing suicide among LGBT youth.
Read my interview with the “professional fangirl” to find out the moment he knew YouTube was his calling, how his videos inspire LGBT youth, and ending the debate once and for all — who is the hottest member of One Direction.
Check out the full interview below or visit the last page for the partial video interview.
I’m curious about the remodeled digs you have here.
Tyler Oakley: My new apartment, welcome.
What’s up with these deer? You have a lot of deer motifs.
I don’t know, I just like it. I think over the past few months I lived in L.A. I’ve been going to the flea market and I just keep picking up stuff, and then I looked at my collection and it’s just like a whole bunch of antlers and deer, and I’m like, “I guess that’s what I like.” But yeah, that and globes and what else do I have a lot of … I don’t know. Yeah a lot of globes, a lot of deer, a lot of owls, a lot of floral, I love floral — if you couldn’t tell — floral everywhere. It’s bad.
You got the cosmopolitan and taxidermy together.
When they were helping me figure out how to design, they were like, “What is your aesthetic?” and I was like, “Grandma chic.” I think that’s what I’ve accomplished [laughs]. Maybe.
Reminds me of visiting my great aunt.
Thank you. That’s exactly what I’m going for [laughs].