Recently, I was assigned a project for my Women’s Literature class. We had to discuss women in media and how they are portrayed.
The first thoughts that popped into my head were regarding Women in YouTube. I had previously watched a YouTube video by RayaWasHere called “Tips for YouTubers”! One of her tips became the topic of my project.
My topic was: When starting a YouTube channel, most women feel that in order to get views and subscribers, they have to be beauty gurus and nothing else. Also, once type-casted as a beauty guru, they are criticized for branching out.
Recently, a few beauty vloggers and blogger wrote books and received criticism from viewers and non-viewers, who claimed that they were using their internet stardom to their advantage.
The YouTuber profession is still considered a new and unreliable source of income because it’s constantly evolving. For income, one relies on how many subscribers one has and how many people watch those videos. YouTube is a relatively new way of gaining an income. Even though there is an abundance of people who constantly upload content of many different genres, there is still room for new people.
With so many new people trying to become a successful YouTuber, a new issue has surfaced. Getting noticed in the world of YouTube, while still staying true to oneself and producing the content one is proud to produce, is the mission of newer YouTube stars. In RayaWasHere‘s video, she touched upon this issue. She discussed her initial struggles in figuring out what content to produce. She felt pressured into making beauty and fashion content because that is what she saw women like Zoella, Tanya Burr and Fleur De Force producing.
Zoella, Burr and De Force are all British vloggers and bloggers. All of these women produce content concerning fashion and beauty. They all have a line of cosmetic products that are popular around the world. What Raya emphasized was that, just because you are a girl, it does not mean that you have to make beauty and fashion videos if you do not have to. If you want to make travel videos, make travel videos.
Many women starting YouTube channels also go through this struggle. They are being pressured into making content they know will receive the most views. Women like Raya, Grace Helbig and even Lilly Singh, have broken out of this beauty box. Helbig solely produced silly comedy videos with the occasional travel vlog. Singh, one of the top paid women on YouTube, also posts comical videos, daily vlogs, as well as travel vlogs. These women make the content that makes them proud, whether that be comedy or travel videos. These women stray away from making the typical content girls are expected to make. They also stress the idea of making content that reflects your passions. If your passions are beauty and fashion, that is fine, but if beauty and fashion are not your thing, do not feel pressured to make these types of videos.
YouTube is supposed to be a place where a person can express themselves. There should not be any type-casting issues because there is room for everyone!