The problem with YouTube Influencers

I love makeup, it’s no surprise to anyone who knows me to read this. I have become more and more enamoured by makeup as the years tick by. This is probably down to two reasons.

  1. I’m getting older and need all the help I can get, and
  2. I view makeup as an art. I always have and the more I see of highly talented people creating amazing things with makeup, the more I fall into the rabbit hole

So I spend a lot of time watching YouTube videos to hone my own skills and I really enjoy the tutorials. I’m not going to name all my favourite influencers, as there are many and that’s not what this blog is about. But it’s safe to say that I do have some goto channels and some real favourites on Instagram too.

However, recently things are getting ugly (for want of a better word) in the beauty community. Over the last few months I watched influencers have very public melt downs, have their past twitter posts come back to haunt them and launch full scale war on each other. In the last few days alone I don’t think I’ve actually watched a tutorial on YouTube, as my feed is clogged with drama channel synopsis and viewpoint and apology videos (some a little more authentic than others) from some of the most popular influencers. Businesses are literally crashing and burning as a result of everything that’s happened.

So, what is up with the beauty community at the moment?

Beauty influencers and other YouTube famous celebrities are a brand new generation of fame and entertainment. They don’t know how to deal with what they are dealt. They don’t have the training and they didn’t have big management teams around them when they were starting out. Most of them were sat in their bedrooms 5 years ago uploading their thing to the YouTube platform and still living their own everyday existence on the side. Much like normal celebs, sometimes their past will come back to bite them. In some cases, bite them hard. Now they have to deal with it, very publicly.

However, the monster that is social media that made them, can destroy them in just the same way. There are people willing them to fail, just as there are people willing them to succeed.

A lot of the influencers have made their name on ‘honest’ reviews of products and this probably means stepping on the toes of those around them that are favouring other products or even bad mouthing another collaboration or product by another influencer. It’s a dangerous and risky business to be in, and in the past the YouTube money was worth it. The problem is that, everyone is brave behind a keyboard and there doesn’t seem to be any repercussions for those that go too far.

Examples of this culture would be an influencer we will call JK (as I don’t like to give him any air time at all), an influencer who thought it appropriate to name another YouTuber as a paedophile, despite knowing this person worked with children and could destroy him. He did this without any proof at all, and the ‘proof’ he did have was heavily doctored. Did this have enough severity to end JKs YouTube channel?

No.

Despite thousands of complaints and people unfollowing him, he is still going and still being allowed to repeat what he did, to others.

My second example is of course, Logan Paul. He got away with filming a dead body (from alleged suicide) in Japan. His actions should have cost him his channel, but instead gained him thousands more subscribers and he’s still going strong.

It seems that anything goes in the YouTube world, and influencers these days know that anything is fair game, including their own reputations and dark and shady pasts. Yet they still continue to defame and use underhand tactics to get more subs.

There is no place in this world for racism, sexual discrimination, child abuse,fat shaming, ageism and any other nasty, vile ‘ism’ you can name. Yet, in the world of social media, it seems rife. It seems that if you can ‘prove’ something in your own little world, then it’s fair game to say out loud in front of a ring light and video camera, or in 40 words or less on social media. It seems that our influencers want to hit send on pictures that speak a thousand words to send a ‘message’ to their fans and to their ex friends. It seems that they want to rile their fans into going after their competition (despite saying they don’t want you to do this). This is a dangerous game and one that will surely end in real life tears or tragedy at some point.

It’s sad. I’m sad. I love YouTube tutorials and the news of new products coming soon that I login to watch. Yes, I do enjoy the drama channels ‘take’ on certain things, but not to the extreme we are seeing at the moment. I’m sad that influencers are making these dramatic mistakes and not owning them. I’m sad that they put out ‘apology’ videos that don’t seem sincere, when they should have known better in the first place to commit the issue they did.

I want to go back to watching makeup reviews, playing with makeup, enjoying the chit chat that the influencer has when applying the products.

Is that too much to ask?

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