YouTube Academy: Exploring beauty vloggers


Welcome back, loyal readers. The weather is warming and winter is over. So what could possibly be a better way to add some “spring” to your step than practicing some new self-health rituals? Moving away from the gaming community, let’s travel to a different corner of the Internet: the lifestyle and beauty sections of the metaphorical superstore of YouTube. These genres are massive, with over 45,000 channels specific to the category and close to 700 million views per month. These channels usually, but don’t always, feature women and girls doing makeup and hair tutorials, life hacks, DIYs, and store hauls. These YouTubers are nicknamed “beauty vloggers” or, more commonly, “beauty gurus”.

So what does it take to be a beauty guru? Well, it’s actually really simple. So simple, in fact, I think almost anyone could do it! All you need is a camera, some nice lighting and a style or look you want to achieve.

One of the most well known gurus is a 27 year old from England. She’s a fashion and makeup vlogger who has been uploading to YouTube since 2009; she is Zoe Elizabeth Sugg. Zoe, more widely known as her screen name “Zoella,” has more than eleven and a half million subscribers. She posts a video to her main channel once a week, but also posts more frequently on her vlogging channel “MoreZoella,” which boasts more than four and a half million subscribers. Her videos on her main channel often showcase her favorite things at the time, a new look she likes for certain occasions, and life hacks and tips. Did I mention she’s also an author? She has a total of three books under her belt, all part of her best-selling original series “Girl Online.” Zoe has a very entrepreneurial spirit, explaining how she also has her own clothing, accessories and makeup line.

Zoella is one of hundreds of female beauty vloggers that are talked about regularly. But let’s skip over to the male side of the genre; let’s talk about James Charles Dickinson.

James is a 17 year old boy from New York City. He has a YouTube channel (named simply “James Charles”) where he regularly posts makeup tutorials and hauls. His subscriber count as of late is about 826,000. Though, he is more widely known as the first ever “CoverBoy.” Yes, you read that correctly, dear reader. James is the first ever male spokesperson for the makeup juggernaut CoverGirl. I’m sure you’re wondering the same thing I am: what does this mean for the future? Well, it means a lot of things. At the very least it shows how supportive outside companies are to smaller, lesser-known YouTubers. But looking past that lens, this is huge!

Not only does this show the inclusivity and hospitality mainstream media is showing towards YouTube personalities, it also shows the inclusivity and hospitality the world is showing towards out of the norm people. Guys in mainstream media and society in general don’t often wear makeup or jewelry; CoverGirl, however, dared to be bold and sign on an effeminate male, a teenager who is okay with being “different.” This will slowly but surely begin a chain reaction of other massive companies exploring and embracing the wide varieties of people the world has to offer. We’re not cookie-cutter copies anymore, my friends.

Beauty is something most would think is seen on the outside, but we all know deep down it comes from within. Wear what you want, look how you want, be whom you want. The world is changing, a lot of the old rules don’t apply anymore, and that’s a truly beautiful thing.

YouTube’s beauty community is always changing and growing, much like the standards and fashions of beauty itself. It’s never too late join, create, or share. Have fun expressing yourself through makeup and fashion, no matter who you are. From printings on paper to musings in your mind, my name’s Hannah. Thanks for reading.


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