I have a confession to make: I really like drama channels on YouTube.
I don’t remember how I first found channels like Petty Paige and Peter Monn, but I enjoy the two of them. I know there are a ton of drama channels but I don’t like some of the bigger ones, like Here For the Tea. The level of clickbait exhibited on that channel is just… I can’t.
These are the videos I keep on in the background while I’m working and going about my life. I don’t listen very closely, because why would I? To me it’s almost like watching the local news; I like to have a vague idea of what’s happening in the (beauty) world but I don’t generally put much thought into it beyond making sure that the people I care about aren’t embroiled in some kind of sophomoric and nonsensical “scandal”.
Now, when you mention the beauty community and scandal, the first person that I and many others think of is, of course, Jeffree Star.
Until the recent Shane Dawson series, I was only vaguely aware of who Jeffree is. Obviously, I’d heard of his brand, his feud with Kat Von D, and the stuff about him being an overt racist, but that was really where it ended. Ain’t nobody got time to commit this kind of bullshit to memory, so other than wondering how the hell he got so beautiful I didn’t give Jeffree much thought. I haven’t supported his brand or anything he’s involved with on principle and gone about my life.
Last week Manny MUA, Laura Lee and some other YouTubers I’ve never heard of were hanging out in Spain with NARS, like you do, and I guess they were being shitty to or about Jeffree Star on their various social media platforms, and the drama channels exploded. My whole YouTube feed has been clogged with stuff about these people talking shit about their former friend, and it got me thinking…
Who does that? I mean, these people are presumably adults. Some of them are in their 30s now. My age. What kind of adult sits around with their friends talking shit about someone they used to be close to and films it? Is this narcissism, stupidity or both?
I’d be lying if I said I’d never uttered an unkind word about an ex-friend, but to me, there’s nothing worse than falling out with someone I’ve been close to. It’s happened more in my life than I would have liked, but people grow apart and priorities change and sometimes it’s the best thing for everyone involved. A few years ago I had a falling out with someone I’d been close to since I was 11 years old and I was devastated. I do still miss her sometimes but I also remember the not-so-nice things that happened that pushed us to the point where our friendship ended. In the immediate aftermath I was angry and bitter and talked plenty of shit about her, but I never would have posted that on social media or decided to sit in front of a camera and detail why our relationship ended.
I watch a lot of YouTube. Some of my favorite channels involve travel, the paranormal, so many things besides beauty. But it seems like the beauty community as a whole is full of childish, sniping, negative, bitter people. It’s my absolute least favorite thing about the platform and the community, but it’s so normal and accepted that no one realizes it’s not cool unless they do something really terrible, like go on a racist Twitter rant or something. Even then, do they apologize because they worry about losing subscribers or because they’re genuinely sorry for being shitty and terrible people?
I find it troubling at best. These people are the face of the beauty community and making money hand over fist for being awful. Why aren’t we, the audience/consumer, more upset about this? Collectively shouldn’t we be trying to buck the stereotype of the superficial, catty, entitled makeup artist or beauty enthusiast?
I’ve had my toe in the waters of the beauty community for almost a year, though I’ve been an obsessive beauty lover for a lot longer, and my experiences writing this blog and on other social media platforms have been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve “met” so many incredible people of all races, genders, ages, and situations who all share my love and passion for beauty, in whatever way they define it. Not everyone wears makeup. Not everyone spends a small fortune on Korean skincare. We talk to each other, support each other, and everyone I’ve encountered is genuinely open to hearing the opinions of others, especially where products are concerned.
Sure, I get envious when, for example, my pal Nova gets a VoxBox that I don’t, or somehow wrangles a Poshly prize, but at the same time, I’m thrilled for her. She’s awesome, her photo skills are on point and she’s worked really hard to get where she is. Our mutual admiration society started months ago when she slid into my DMs and talked about how much we have in common and how she knew we’d get along, and she was right. Shouldn’t social media be more about meaningful connections than tea and shade? Her success doesn’t have any real impact on me aside from her ability to give me info about getting free stuff. It’s not like there’s a finite amount of success available in the beauty community.
As much as I love being a part of this world I sometimes wonder if it’s really the place for me. Even ignoring factors like age (old), weight (fat) and looks (average at best), is it possible to be really successful without trashing other people? It doesn’t seem like it.