Political Makeup Tutorials (and the quest for 100,000 views) by Rebecca "Rivi" Dolinger
NOTES: Origins and Context | See Also
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Origins of this content
Makeup tutorials and beauty influencers have gained more and more popularity since YouTube was created. One of the first makeup YouTubers that gained an audience quickly was Michelle Phan, who went viral for her makeup tutorials such as "Barbie Transformation" and other character inspired looks. Videos like hers would be the very first we would see but definitely not the last.

This popularity in makeup would continue and turn what is into what it is now. What these videos do is in a way takes this popularity of makeup and uses it to express current issues. For example in one of the videos the creator is doing a makeup tutorial about an athlete who got kicked off the team for abusing his wife. When she goes in to use a product she says the name of the color is "mismanaged anger" referring to the guy she is talking about. In a way these "parody" Make-up videos reference these major issues and express it in a way for people who watch these videos often to understand.
"None of you in here can get a million views on a video." I raised my hand. "Even after this class? Even after learning all the niches and tips and tricks of YouTube?" Professor Juhasz nodded. "I don't think you could even get 100,000 views on your own video. It's harder than you think."

Challenge Accepted.

So, turns out, it is harder than I thought. I knew what it would be like going in. I did my research. I, Rebecca "Rivi" am good or passionate about a few things. An abbreviated list is: writing, arts and crafts, knitting and crochet, DIY, activism, speaking truthfully and honestly, and poetry.

Now the question is: what of these qualities could I transform into a video that 100,000 people would care enough to watch? Here's how I broke it down:

1). Poetry: On YouTube, slam poetry has risen in popularity. One of my favorite channels, Button Poetry (https://www.youtube.com/user/ButtonPoetry) has really well lit, beautifully filmed, amazingly written poetry, recorded at some of the top venues. Their top hit, "OCD" by Neil Hilborn has hit almost 10 million views. They have over 300,000 subscribers. With the exception of "OCD," which went viral almost overnight, they are recording professional videos. They know what they are doing and they are doing it well. Their average video has around 10,000 views, which is still a lot, but not something I could achieve with the anonymity I was currently at.

2) DIY videos (crafts, art, and crochet fit in here): There are countless DIY videos on YouTube, and there is no way I would go viral or get thousands of hits very quickly with another video about melted crayon art. The channels that are amateur (ish) and have thousands or even millions of views and subscribers, for example, Bethany Mota, have spent years building that up. You will not become YouTube famous from a single video about DIY. It's just not how it works. DIY videos gain fame through a gradual process of series and multiple videos, not through a single one hit wonder.

3) Here's where I hit my jackpot idea: personal truth, a hot topic, and a YouTube persona. I needed a one hit wonder. I did not have the time or the energy to build up a YouTube fan base. Besides, I didn't really want to. That wasn't my goal. But I needed a video, vlog-like, that would give me personality and had the potential to be shared around. Shared around on websites such as Buzzfeed and Upworthy. I needed a topic I knew a lot about, that a lot of people would applaud me for. That I might get a little bit of backlash for, but that would be food for the Internet Trolls. I needed an amateur video that displayed personality, bravery, was relatable, and included positive YouTube qualities and aesthetics.

And so I present to you:

Mental Health Stigma Inspired Makeup Tutorial

(I uploaded it four days ago and I am at a little over 100 views. Fingers crossed that if/when Buzzfeed and Upworthy get a hold of it, I'll reach my goal. And if not, I created a pretty awesome video that I am proud of. So I guess that's enough for me.)