The past few weeks have seen the beauty community rocked with scandal after scandal. There have been multiple 40 minute videos, tweet-storms, blogposts over the sudden villainous James Charles, or is it Tati who is the villain? And where do I even place Jeffrey Star? Honestly the beauty community has felt like TMZ the past few weeks and I think that it makes a good overall conversation starter about what the community is now and what it means to be a “beauty influencer”.
I was on YouTube at the time that Zoella was blowing up in the UK. I remember when she hit 1 million subscribers and it was a huge deal. Sprinkle of glitter (Louise Pentland) hit a million as well, Niomi smart and HelloOctober and Inthefrow were also there but weren’t at 1 million.
It’s strange to say I don’t watch any of the OG youtubers from the Brit Crew much anymore. The got too big, and in their efforts to cater to all of their subscribers, to millions of people their content became rather bland. It was no longer very interesting.
It was around this time Zoella “wrote” her book, Girl Online. The fact that it was ghost written made headlines and people were angry. I see this as the very first stage of the YouTube scandals. Now if a popular YouTuber writes a book, it’s practically expected to be ghost written. Now we deal with youtubers charging $500 to meet them and get a goody bag and smear campaigns over the internet over subscriber numbers and dirty secrets. The community for those bigger youtubers no longer really feels like a community.
There were conventions and meet and greets where you just had to show up before the 500th person to get a ticket. There were little giveaways there weren’t shoving sponsorships down our throats. The YouTube community feels almost mainstream in how fake it has become.
It’s no longer something people just do for fun, it’s a job now and people have huge teams to help them succeed. What happened to kids sitting on their beds in their bedrooms with a tripod and maybe a couple of lights? It used to be that anyone could be a youtuber because everyone started from scratch. Now kids can give themselves a bump if they have enough money to start off with nice DSLR cameras and lighting and sound.
Overall, I guess this is just me saying that I believe that 2019 is the year the true beauty community has died in a sense. There are still people to follow, but there is no real sense of community. There can’t really be a sense of community when there is so much sponsorship and scandal.