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12 January 2016, 15:44
Scenario: You, waking up in the morning and looking out at your beachfront view, before you head to the Hogwarts-sized kitchen to spend an hour chopping all the ingredients for your green smoothie and blending them in your Nutribullet.
Yeah, that never happens irl. And yet it seems perfectly natural when Niomi Smart (glowing goddess and YouTuber) does it.
In 2016, we've accepted beauty and lifestyle YouTubers as a kind of human inspo boards. We've come to terms with the fact that our lives will probably never look like that and yet we're still kind of disappointed when our £3 Superdrug lipstick doesn't quite match Zoella's Tom Ford.
It wasn't always like that. Back in my day (*shakes cane at sky*) the appeal of YouTubers was that they represented us - kids, who didn't quite know what they were doing, but they really wanted to do it well. 6 years, lots of hard work and several great business decisions later, they're multi-millionaires. Their brand empires stretch across multiple channels, clothing lines, music, books, etc. Naturally, the lifestyle that comes with that, doesn't reflect that of the majority of subscribers.
Not that we're not proud of our precious unicorns, we're just wondering how relatable #TeamInternet still is, now that they're also Real Celebritiestm? That's not a rhetorical question, by the way, feel free to chime in in the comments.
Beauty YouTubers especially, now live the kind of life that doesn't mesh at all with our hot mess existence. BUT does that make their videos inauthentic?
I'd argue that, no, their glamorous online personas aren't necessarily fake because *gasp* PLOT TWIST - they're authentic to their own lives. I am willing to believe that Zoella uses hundreds of pounds worth of cosmetics on her body every week and we'd argue that she's still super relatable.
In 2015, YouTuber Essena O'Neill famously "quit" social media, declaring it to be an inauthentic, commercialised environment.
Social media isn't real.Essena O'Neill
Agree to disagree, Miss O'Neill. Although it is true that social media won't always reflect your real life.
The trick, if you want to watch these aspirational channels and not hate your life, is to filter the messages. Michelle Phan is a fantastic vlogger and her videos are super adorable, but we're not about to rush out and buy her overpriced cosmetics range (sorry, Michelle, we still love you). We're also not crying over the fact that we don't live in stylish NY penthouses. Michelle Phan is a millionaire. We are not. And that's fine.
So yes, it's hard to see famous YouTubers as relatable underdogs at this point. They are now highly successful experts in their field and that alone is worth a click and a view. Just don't get depressed looking at their multi-million dollar lives, K?