I was introduced to your videos circa 2010-2011(ish). I was a freshman or sophomore in high school, and my best friend at the time was sleeping over at my house when she showed me your video “What Bitches Wear to the Airport.”
After the sleepover, I continued to binge watch every one of your videos in chronological order, ending somewhere around your announcement that you’d broken up with Max-No-Sleeves. I was mildly devastated that the relationship I had just become a fan of was over before I even knew it existed, especially since my favorite video at the time was the two of you shocking each other with that trick gun thing while singing Christmas carols. I watched that shit like ten times in a row.
After my Great Jenna Binge, I was aching for more, and henceforth a routine was born. Every Wednesday(/Thursday) I would check YouTube for your latest hilarious rant (keep in mind this is early 2010’s before your videos underwent a happy metamorphosis). I watched your videos ritualistically every single Thursday for almost a decade, and I got a first row seat to the transformation you made.
Your videos went from bitter, yet hilarious, rants about things in the world that bug you (like your “Pipe the F*ck Down” video, which you have since removed from your channel), to harmless yet wholesome videos of you making a toothbrush costume for Halloween. Both are equally hilarious and entertaining to watch, but there was an obvious shift in the atmosphere of your content. I didn’t actually really notice the shift until long after the fact, when I think you mentioned it in one of your videos and I thought, “huh, you’re right.”
I think it takes a certain level of self awareness and control to recognize a characteristic that you don’t like about yourself and actively change it, with witnesses nonetheless. I think it possibly had something to do with Julien, who is obviously a fantastic and wholesome person who shines so brightly, and most likely had an influence on you (how could he not?). But regardless of outside forces, it’s a testament to your personal strength to change a fundamental part of your personality that you don’t like, and through that change I saw you become a happier person, which thereby made me happier when watching your videos. Win, win!
To be honest, the amount of joy you gave me just by doing random, seemingly superfluous stuff like dressing up like a toothbrush and covering your whole face in rhinestones is unmatched by anyone else on the internet or any media source. I want to say it's because you were more relatable, and many of the things you were doing were things I could do if I wanted to, though I have no use for a giant chair made out of stuffed jeans.
I most likely would’ve continued to watch your videos even if you hadn't changed, but after a while it didn’t even matter if they were all that funny, I was just interested in your life and your unbelievably creative mind. I mean, you made Marbles float with the use of like 100 balloons! How do you come up with this stuff?! I sat and watched you take a nap for 20 minutes. And then you rescued Bunny, and I was practically glued to my laptop screen with those videos of her learning about her new home. (Warning: the below video is almost 40 minutes long, but totally worth it.)
I watched you so much that you even influenced my vocabulary, mostly when I talk to my dog: “Do you wan to AN go outside?” “Are you AN thirsty? YOU MUST WATER YOUR AN CERMET SO IT CAN AN GROW!” I also say “what are this?” in every day situations and people look at me like I’m crazy.
I cried when you cancelled yourself. I had looked forward to your new video every week for 8/9 years, and suddenly that was just over. Thursday went back to being Thursday and would no longer be Jenna Day. I remember thinking “2020 just keeps getting worse.” Pandemic, murder hornets, riots, and now my favorite Youtuber cancels herself because people are so horrible and awful and can’t get over events that happened a decade ago.
I am so angry at those people who made you feel like that. And I have to wonder how long you put up with hateful comments and messages until you couldn’t take it anymore? You were making weekly videos for a damn decade, there were probably hundreds or thousands of those comments, but you kept going anyway.
This is why I’m writing this open letter. I admire your strength to put yourself out there for the world to see, to make fundamental changes to yourself, and to keep going when all these damn haters came for you with pitchforks. I also admire the strength it took for you to make your last video, publicly apologizing. I don’t think I would’ve been able to do that. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of the stuff you do, for your followers, Julien, and your furry family.
It goes without saying that I miss you, but this is not a request that you return to Youtube. If you do, I hope it is on your own terms and that you’re ready to return. I will be ecstatic and show up just like I know many of your fans will. But if you don’t, I truly hope you are living your life for you, doing what makes you happy and leaving all the toxic bullshit of the internet behind. It takes strength to do that, too.
Love, One of Your Many Biggest Fans