What Is Jeana Smith's Real Name?

Photo: Instagram
What Is Jeana Smith's Real Name

YouTube star Jeana Smith reveals a new project - and her real name.

For years, Jeana Smith was part of one of the most successful comedy prank channels on YouTube. Along with then-boyfriend Jesse Wellens, she appeared on the channel PrankVsPrank, where the couple filmed themselves playing elaborate pranks on one another. They also had a channel called BFvsGF, where they posted videos of their daily life.

The couple split in 2016 and took a hiatus from blogging as well. But this week Jeana announced that she was coming back with more personal material. She kicked off her new venture by revealing something major: her name isn’t Jeana. It’s Jennifer.

So what is Jeana Smith's real name? Why did she use a pseudonym? What made her reveal the truth now? Read on for all the details.

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1. College sweethearts

The couple started dating in college and got their start on YouTube when Wellens filmed Smith taking the “cinnamon challenge”. The goal was to eat an entire spoonful of cinnamon without eating or drinking anything else — a difficult task that usually results in coughing and gagging.

After the success of that video, the pair decided to start playing pranks and posting them on YouTube regularly.

2. Accolades

They soon gained acclaim on the web and logged view numbers in the millions.

By 2013, USA Today had named them the best pranksters on YouTube. In 2015, the won a Streamy Award for Best Prank Show. In 2016, PrankvsPrank won the Shorty Award for the Best YouTube Ensemble.

3. BFvsGF

The couple also hosted a channel called BFvsGF where they filmed daily videos of their lives. The channel gained popularity, which put pressure on them as a couple to see producing content. At the time, the couple said that working together and trying to have a relationship was hard.

“It’s hard to work with someone you’re in a relationship but we figure out how to make it work and maintain,” said Wellens told PEOPLE. Smith commented that, “It’s stressful but it’s – there’s positives and negatives about it because we get to do all these great opportunities together and if we weren’t working together we wouldn’t be able to bring each other along on these amazing adventures and I think it’s awesome we can do it. But day-to-day you can definitely want some alone time.”

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4. Split

By 2016, the strain had broken up their romance and their creative partnership. The announced via video, that they would be parting ways.

Smith told fans “Everybody thinks everything’s perfect… and it’s really not at all. Everybody has problems, everybody has issues and we choose not to put that in the videos usually.”

They explained that the YouTube channel had contributed to the demise of the relationship with Smith saying “Don’t make daily videos. I’ve said this to couples before… we both can agree it’s not healthy, it’s not good for your relationship.”

Once they broke up, Wellens moved to New York to pursue personal interests and he kept the PrankVsPrank channel. Smith kept BFVsGF. Neither continued posting new content.

5. Jenuine Talk

This week, Smith posted a video for the first time in several years, where she explained that she was ready to return to YouTube but she wanted to do things in a different way. However, the first thing she needed to get off her chest was about her name.

She told fans that her name wasn’t really Jenea. It was Jennifer, Jen for short. She explained that she used the pseudonym for privacy sake while she was still pursuing a teaching career. Her professors in her education program had let her know that having a high-profile social media presence was risky for teachers.  

“I had been told plenty of horror stories to know that it was actually a possibility. So I felt obligated to create an alias, which was ‘Jeana.’” As her notoriety began to grow, her fans knew her as Jenea and she just didn’t know how to set the record straight. “It felt like I was lying to the people who supported me the most. I was never able to figure out how exactly I would tell people that I really am Jennifer when all they’ve ever known me as was Jeana. I didn’t want to disappoint them.”

Her new venture, under her real name, is going to be a talk show format called Jenuine Talk. She plans to feature guests who are YouTube, social media,  and business stars and ask for their personal stories. She tells fans “I’m letting go of the fear I held onto for so long and I want to bring that positive energy to my audience.”

She’s lining up guests for her new show and invited people to reach out if they want to collaborate.

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.