This is old and irrelevant now, but as a person whose chronic depression has been so constant since childhood, to the point of it being a known feature rather than exclusively a hindrance, I want to talk about what YouTube is like when you watch beauty gurus and lifestyle vloggers, and offer a different perspective.
I don’t have even a speck of the interest in these things I used to have, but I was reminiscing about the time I’ve wasted watching girls put on makeup and talk about bath bombs and face wash. I love makeup, but there came a point when my YouTube homepage slowly became a dump of morning routine videos and story-time vlogs, neither of which I find entertaining at all.
There are wonderful, real makeup artists with videos on YouTube. That is an entirely different beast and I still watch those sometimes, because they are interesting and you can learn tips and tricks from professional makeup artists.
At one point, I bought a Ring Light (the light used most frequently in beauty guru’s self-shot videos), intending to try my hand at makeup reviews and the like. I put the light up once, tested it, viewed the footage and realized in that moment that I didn’t have a natural, genuine interest in creating that type of content. I felt silly talking to a camera about products so seriously, and frankly, plain stupid for even considering it. I sold the light on Craigslist a few days later, to a girl who wanted to try too. I doubt she has gone anywhere with it.
It takes a very strong person to do what these girls and women do – people are unforgiving and unkind. Are their videos often boring, unrealistic, and sometimes unintentionally silly? Definitely, but it takes quite a bit of confidence to put up with the biting criticisms of viewers.
The moment the switch flipped for me was the moment I realized how awful an interest in anything related to this realm of beauty can be for some of us. Just watching those seconds of footage of myself made me laugh at the absurdity of the whole thing. That is the moment my hobby turned into something entirely different, and I never looked back. Hobbies shouldn’t make you feel unsure of yourself or embarrassingly silly, they should make you happy and be an expression of who you really are.
Taking a peek into my personal past, I can see that too much of an interest in makeup can be very problematic, especially if you find yourself bending to conform to someone else’s standards of what makes content ‘good’. I am proud to say that with every month I’ve consumed less and less popular beauty content, the better I’ve felt about myself and the more I’ve felt my own sense of beauty and style grow. Write your own story instead of watching someone else’s play out on a screen.