Only Joana Ceddia would oil paint the Mona Lisa in one video, just to aggressively imitate an iconic feud from the hit reality television series “Dance Moms” in another. She is the definition of the down-to-earth, lovable chaos that Gen Z eats up, earning her millions of subscribers. The 20-year-old Canadian’s fame was arguably the result of an algorithmic miracle, as YouTube suggested two of her videos to millions on their recommended page. One video showed Ceddia taking inspiration from a famously opinionated YouTube hairstylist as she impulsively cuts her hair with craft scissors, titling it “Brad Mondo, this is for you.” In the other video, Ceddia “duped” items from the notorious clothing line of fellow YouTuber Emma Chamberlain, who was criticized for blurring pictures of the merchandise as a marketing gimmick.
Ceddia also showed that, instead of buying into the “mystery” items, one could easily make them at home. The craftiness she exhibits here manifests itself in many of Ceddia’s videos — from using nail polish as paint for fine art to raising her own pet quails. Her videos were often over-the-top (like when she baked 3 million cookies for 3 million subscribers), but were simultaneously relatable and humble.
A Rapid Rise to Fame
The teenager initially took to YouTube as a distraction from an injury that prevented her from playing college sports, but her channel became so much more than that. Ceddia’s quick rise to stardom is not an exaggeration, and as reported by SocialBlade, she gained over 107,000 subscribers in only two days. Ceddia’s content diverged from the highly planned and edited videos that dominated the YouTube landscape of 2017. She was relatable, not feeding into the mass vlogger mentality that strives for perfection.
Ceddia was wonderfully goofy, bringing back the homemade mayhem that her generation grew up with on YouTube. She also developed her own video-making style, taking viewers along with her through daily life, while simultaneously using comedic monologues and crafty DIYs. Many young YouTubers drop out of school and move to Los Angeles upon achieving stardom, but Ceddia wasn’t one of them. Rather, Ceddia continued life as normal — a choice that marks Ceddia as radically down-to-earth when compared to other social media stars and simultaneously reminds her viewers that Ceddia is just like them: a regular young adult going about her own life.
In a video that has been reuploaded by another user, she stated: “If I dropped out right now and I said ‘I’m gonna live with my YouTube for the rest of my life,’ that’s not gonna work because I know I’m not going to be doing this for the rest of my life.”
It seems that Ceddia took this claim seriously, as she mysteriously deleted her account in November of 2021. Ceddia did, in fact, attend college, studying physics and astronomy. Everything seemed to be going well for Ceddia, as she uploaded videos and attended college, and even combined both at times — in one video she even dressed as a pirate for a week, curious to see how the people at her college would react. One begins to wonder, what caused Ceddia to leave the internet?
Ceddia Disappears Without A Trace
Life changed for Ceddia after she announced she was suffering from Topical Steroid Withdrawal after ceasing her eczema treatment. As a result, Ceddia was left with debilitating eczema that left her unbearably itchy and unable to go about daily life. Consequently, Ceddia had to leave school, revealing in a video titled “The Absolute State of Affairs,” “I was bed-bound. My skin was so tight and dry that I couldn’t move my neck or my arms.”
Adorned in oversized sunglasses to hide the toll eczema took around her eyes, Ceddia continued to make videos, in which she seemed to be healing. She even made light of her situation, posting a short video where she comedically read aloud the poor spellings of the word “eczema” from her comment section — from “aeggsmach” to “agrsma.”
But, to fans’ shock, Ceddia deleted her YouTube and Instagram accounts in November 2021. One user on Twitter, @spacePigeon9, emotionally stated: “joana ceddia’s channel is gone. this is SO the last straw for me. i was able to get through anything as long as her videos were there. she saved my life, and now so much content i love is gone.” Some assumed that she was simply done with the YouTube chapter of her life, while others expressed concern for her well-being, wondering if her eczema struck yet again, or if something was terribly wrong.
Fans were left speculating, and one Reddit user even questioned if her channel fell victim to an AdSense scam that specifically targets larger channels. Ceddia may have simply been fed up with YouTube’s toxic nature. As a public spectacle, social media stars are constantly subjected to scrutiny and hate. Ceddia even stated in a 2019 interview with The Washington Post, “To put yourself out on the Internet takes a lot of courage,” and “You have to be careful with what you’re putting out there, because people can twist it.”
After the initial panic about Ceddia’s disappearance, fans were left with a cryptic message that appeared on Reddit. The post was created by Ceddia’s friend Jade, and its legitimacy was confirmed by never-before-seen photos of the two together that she posted online. In her post titled “She’s alive don’t worry,” Jade stated, “Hey there’s been a lot of speculation on what happened to Jojo [one of Ceddia’s nicknames] and her channel, rest assured she’s alive, so do not fear the worst.” Beyond that, not much information has been disclosed on the situation; Jade still remains a moderator of r/JoanaCeddia, but now only rarely posts.
Fans are left to wonder what truly happened, as Ceddia’s legacy is shrouded in mystery for now. As she enters a new, YouTube-less phase of her life, fans across social media are wishing her all the best. She was just a teenager when she was thrust into stardom, after all, something many cannot even fathom. Fans can only hope that wherever life takes Ceddia, her beloved quirkiness prevails — a trait that has humored and uplifted millions across the globe.