Social media and fashion go hand in hand. Instagram and Tumblr are platforms where people have easily been able to show and promote their sense of style. However, a new and emerging place for the world of fashion to grow just to happens to be YouTube (yes, the land of cat videos).
One of the many genres of YouTube is the category of “beauty and fashion gurus”. These videos include filming makeup tutorials and showing off the latest shopping spree by means of a “haul” that these gurus have been on.
Although many “Youtubers” do have relatable personalities and are funny on camera, their looks and lives in general are hard to live up to. They make it seem like it is effortless to do a smoky eye and contour while constantly going shopping to buy new clothes or room decour. Young girls are idolizing these women who for the most part don’t represent what the average woman looks like and acts like.
Below is an image of the beauty blogger BellaDeLune who makes beauty tutorials. For me personally I cannot afford the time or makeup in order to achieve her dramatic makeup looks everyday. How am I supposed to live up to this?
One issue in this industry is paid promotion and advertising. When gurus make their videos, they often use products that they are paid to promote or show off clothes they were given for free. While I do understand that these woman have to do this type of promotion to make a living, many young girls don’t understand this concept. They think that these women are being 100% authentic at all times. What happens when girls cannot afford all the products mentioned in these videos that are often expensive?
Paid promotion can be well executed which is why they often go unnoticed to the innocent or untrained eye. This clip below is from a badly executed advertisement that was not seamlessly included into a YouTube video.
Obviously this blogger was paid by Wendy’s to promote the brand, but it was done in an uncomfortable manner.
While YouTube can be a strange place of aspirations and getting lost in hours of watching hair tutorials, it is also a place where anyone can take stand against stereotypes and body image. It can be a place for positivity.
One “Youtuber” who stands out is Loey Lane. She is a lifestyle blogger who often makes videos about body positivity and self love. She spreads the hashtag #IAmBodyPositive, acknowledging that a way to feel good in your own skin is to love yourself. Although her videos aren’t only about loving your body, she does have a whole section of her YouTube channel dedicated to body confidence and body peace.
Not every YouTube account is always promoting this type of understanding and body equality. Since anyone can put what the want on the internet, it can also be a place for hate. For example, in September Nicole Arbour made the now infamous YouTube video. “Dear Fat People” which promotes fat shaming and makes fun of people that are overweight.While she claims this to be comedy, it sure feels more like an attack
While this was an outrage, it also prompted a “revolt” by means of Twitter. What is great about Twitter is that is acts as a place for the masses to spread their own opinions and ideas. With enough retweets and favorites, one tweet can go a long way, especially when there are thousands of them. When celebrities and influencers get on board is when change can really be put into effect. Tyler Oakley, a “Youtuber” with over eight million followers on Youtube and over five million followers on Twitter tweeted his own thoughts on the topic.
There is positivity on the internet, but not where it needs to be. How do we make it not acceptable for people to not shame others? How do we finally make it acceptable for people to be comfortable in their own skin? There is still so much to be done.