My perfect Sunday evening consists of watching beauty vlogs on YouTube while enjoying a lovely, steaming cup of green tea. These vlogs explain how you can use make-up to highlight your beauty by making certain parts of your face lighter or darker – ‘contouring’, in layman’s terms. This can be achieved with the latest Fenty products recently launched by Rihanna, for example. The central message of the beauty gurus seems to be that you can boost your natural beauty with a layer of make-up.
Many people will dismiss this as superficial nonsense, but apart from promoting products and explaining how to use a particular object, my concept goes far deeper than a layer on the surface of your skin.
Manny MUA, Patrick Starrr, Nakita Dragun… YouTube is full of beauty vloggers. One of the most successful beauty gurus right now is actually home-grown, and provides tips on YouTube under the name ‘NikkieTutorials’. All of them promote the idea of ‘accentuating your natural beauty’, which I think is a lovely way of looking at wearing make-up, especially since there are a lot of prejudices as far as this is concerned.
A social experiment on YouTube shows what kind of prejudices bystanders and colleagues might hold when it comes to your make-up. Many of those featured in the video find girls wearing light make-up to appear unkempt or tired. At the same time, women wearing heavy make-up were seen to be unsure of themselves or assumed to be wearing it simply as a way of attracting men. The experiment showed that some thought of these women as party animals, while others viewed them as unkind or bitchy. And this experiment was only about make-up worn by women; men wearing make-up has not gained widespread acceptance, even in the Netherlands. This is truly astounding in a country regarded as the epitome of tolerance.
Manny MUA (as a male lover of wearing make-up) and Nakita Dragun (as a transgender make-up fan) use their videos to show that make-up isn’t just for women, but for everyone who wants to accentuate their natural beauty or who wants to slap on the odd layer here and there. The vlogs are mainly about feeling comfortable and having the freedom to do and wear what you want. The aspect that makes these vlogs so powerful is that they smash prejudice and stigmas. Men, women, transgender people, everyone is entitled to a superficial layer from time to time.
Pooja Guptar is taking a Master’s degree in Media & Business