Look under the comments of any YouTube video and you’ll find hate. You can usually attribute this to angry 13-year-olds who have nothing better do to, which doesn’t negate the vitriol, but at leaves gives some explanation to where it comes from.
For beauty and fashion content creators, you might think that there isn’t too much of this. After all, their subject matter is hardly controversial. Weirdly, however, they tend to be targets of ire both underneath their own videos and elsewhere on the web.
Guru Gossip is a forum for people to talk about YouTubers (specifically makeup ‘gurus’). For context when I say ‘talk about’ I primarily mean bitch about. The ‘rave about a guru’ section has 904 posts at the time of writing, while the ‘trash a guru’ section has 1,632,750.
I’m a self-confessed Guru Gossip lurker, and as a gossip-hound in general often watch videos from Here For The Tea discussing the various inconsequential beefs between beauty bloggers.
The nastiness displayed on forums like Guru Gossip and a similar but more generalised one called Lipstick Alley is honestly strange for a newbie. One of my favourite YouTubers Jackie Aina has the nickname Bojack Horseman (because she looks like a horse apparently – very droll) and another Jamie Genevieve gets called Jamie Bloated-Vieve. Nice.
Being on these pages is addictive, but in a horrible way. I can only liken it to me eating McDonald’s breakfasts every day despite knowing my insides are now about 80% adipose tissue. The way people speak about people whose job is literally to review eyeshadow and foundation, you’d honestly think they were murderers.
Because YouTubers and Instagram personalities are ‘just like us’ it breeds a type of jealousy. We think that they’re just a normal person who happened to strike it lucky and amass followers, perhaps taking from that that they don’t deserve it. That then becomes ‘why not me?’ and prompts us to try and take them down a peg or two to make us feel better.
But the fact is that it isn’t just luck that gets these people where they are. While it rots my soul that Zoella is a multi-millionaire, I know that she spent years with hardly any following, editing and filming, and saying products were ‘really nice’ before people started taking notice. As well as this, a large number of the gurus we follow were already MUAs, stylists, designers, and respected in the industries they’re active within.
Guru Gossip and its counterparts have made this strange jealous hate-following something that is no longer shameful and kept to ourselves. Pack mentality reigns supreme, and we can convince ourselves that it’s not us – it’s them.
The fact is, it’s not them, and given that many of us in real life are so intent on boosting women’s achievements, we need to see this behaviour what it is: pettiness and jealousy. Of course we all love a good bitch, but these online celebrities are people too. And that shit hurts.
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