As a Finn I’ve grown accustomed to the fact that whenever Finland or a Finn gets even briefly mentioned in international media, the Finnish media won’t shut up about it. This is all due to Finland being insanely proud of anyone who manages to represent the country in a positive view. Lately, this has been embodied by the Youtube sensation Sara Maria Forsberg a.k.a. Smoukahontas, whose video “What Languages Sound Like To Foreigners” has gained over 10 million views in a relatively short time. Now her managers try to use the massive publicity to create a star out of her.
Since the publication of the first video there has been a sequel including additional languages, a video where Sara sings in different genres and another video where she plays different instruments. It becomes clear that what her managers are attempting to sell is her limitless talent. In a short amount of time her Youtube channel has turned into a job application displaying all of her best traits. What begun as entertainment has now developed into showing off.
So what are these skills? Imitating the sounds of several languages in a way in which a foreigner won’t notice the difference, singing and other musical skills. Sara has expressed her wish to work for an advertising agency and has apparently already received several job offers, some of which are from Hollywood. It remains a mystery to me why exactly the corporations are so attracted to her knowing that she doesn’t really speak majority of those languages and her musical skills are easily overshadowed by those of many other youtubers.
It is possible and even likely that her managers are trying to make her appear far more crowd-pleasing than she really is. Especially her oncoming visit in Ellen DeGeneres Show sounds quite ordinary when you know that youtubers with viral hits are a common apparition in the show. Her managers have said they will try to make her guest into other shows like Conan or Tonight Show. Unfortunately yet unsurprisingly, there hasn’t even been talk of a confirmation.
It must be admitted, however, that an appearance on Ellen will grant the Finn girl greater recognition. She is, as her managers say, super talented but also young and pretty and thus easily marketable. There’s no doubt she will have a successful career in her homeland but it seems unlikely she will manage on the international market, where the stakes are significantly higher.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.