Makeup and drama

My own YouTube channel has nothing to do with this subject, but I’ve been observing the “beauty community” on YouTube.  I do like makeup, after all, although not to the extent that many YouTubers take it.  Of course, for some of them makeup is their job — so they have to wear a ton of it, and so they do.  A few of them transform from being fairly plain to being drop-dead gorgeous, and that’s fun to watch too.

Where I live, it looks like most people don’t wear any makeup at all.  It’s acceptable to be covered in tattoos and have purple hair, but you just don’t seem to see much in the way of makeup outside of the occasional unfortunate Instagram brow (why are these kids channeling Groucho Marx?).   And in the church I attended until recently, makeup was not forbidden (nothing was), but just not used, although there was certainly a lot of artisan-made jewelry and carefully beautiful undyed hair. It was the Church of the Elderly Hippie, I guess.

While I used to see lots of women wearing lots of makeup where I used to live (on the cusp of a very wealthy area), as I just said, it’s becoming ever the more alien to me in my new surroundings.  However, just for fun and relaxation I watch these YouTube people apply, and bitch about, makeup.

It’s all fun and relaxation, that is, until you read some of the comments.  At that point you start thinking maybe you watched a capital crime being committed instead of an innocent makeup video.  Yesterday I was watching one of the “drama channels” (a new genre where very silly drama is created about makeup videos and their creators) in which a woman was describing the comments received by one makeup artist — among which was a comment saying something like, “I know your parents regret adopting you.”

Whoa.  That’s outside the mark, dude.  Such viciousness is becoming the norm on YouTube; actually it’s been around for a long time (not as prevalent as it is now) and I have long been reluctant to open the comments on my own innocuous videos because of it.  It used to be aimed mostly at women and minorities; for example, one guy tried to disqualify my comment on a how-to painting video because of my gender.  Nowadays, however, it seems to be hitting everyone…even makeup artists.  Hell I’ve even seen it in the comments on ASMR channels*.  And many of the remarks from these holier-than-thou critics display racism, sexism, and (unfortunately more acceptably) ageism.

The drama channels themselves may be part of the problem, as they dig and dig and go on and on and on about a one-word slip, some supposedly nefarious business deal, or somebody not liking someone else’s makeup, etc.  This can lead to impressionable kids and unbalanced adults using the relative anonymity of the computer keyboard to launch nasty attacks on strangers.

The fact is, this is MAKEUP, people.  Calm down.

I do admit I watch the drama channels for the sheer fascination of watching someone rip into someone else for not being perfect.  But very occasionally I’ve also learned some actually interesting things on them, such as here’s why some makeup is so expensive: manufacturers treat YouTube makeup “influencers” to extravagant vacations on tropical islands, including tons of pricey gifts, in hopes of getting good reviews.  The drama channels were born from news of excursions like these, I believe; but mostly they are just the new soap operas, only with real characters.  It’s small-town gossip magnified by millions.

Anyway, if you’re down in the dumps because the real world is so screwed up, I invite you to look in on the makeup channels and the drama channels.  Just like the afternoon soap operas of decades ago, they’re a diversion from the drudgery of housework.  Or something like that.

But the thing is, never take it seriously.  Don’t be that person who comments something like, “I know your parents regret adopting you.”  Anyone who stoops that low has more problems than makeup can hide.

*My own complaints about (intentional) ASMR videos is that are that they are often inaudible, never cause “tingles” as well as unintentional ASMR videos because they try too hard, and here’s the sexist part — some of the young women ASMRers are clearly playing only to men (which is sexist in itself, but never mind).  A few have their cameras focused on their cleavage throughout their entire videos; you never see a face, nor hands, nor feet, nor anything but someone’s chest.  It’s unintentionally hilarious, but to the eyes of a straight woman it also looks obvious and cheap.  Then again, no one’s forcing me to watch it and there are so many ASMRers now that one can easily choose another video.  Which I do.



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