We live in a world where Melanie Murphy wasn’t allowed to monetise her youtube video because it contained “graphic content”, what was that graphic content you might ask? Acne. Where Luke Cutforth couldn’t monetise his video because he talked about his struggle with depression. I’m not talking about the money making side of things, i’m talking about the fact that stopping monetisation is acting as a filter to stop people talking about real life issues.
More and more of social media is being white washed (literally) through algorithms and is becoming more and more like traditional media; real life is being pushed out and replaced with a false image of ‘beautiful’ people with perfect skin and perfect lives.
Social media used to be the place where anything goes and while that isn’t always a good thing it largely is; it means that opinions spark discussion, a hell of a lot of learning can be done and above all real people watching videos and reading blogs could relate to the real people making them. With the lines between social media and traditional media becoming blurred its starting to throw up issues that people are starting to speak out about; obviously lives that are portrayed on the internet are edited but that shouldn’t mean when someone does want to share something personal that it should be deemed as inappropriate because it doesn’t adhere to the perfect youtuber stereotype.
These thoughts never really crossed my mind until i myself considered making youtube videos, although i really wanted to start a channel the thing stopping me was my image of what a “youtuber” was. A 5 ft 2 girl with acne, crooked teeth and a tendency to be too lazy to shave her legs was not what i pictured when i thought about “youtubers”.
Thats where the problem is, youtube and the internet in general has morphed into a world of perfection. Its going so far that its taking control away from creators and moving away from the original reason it was so great. Everything has become warped, some videos are being flagged because of acne and others people are photoshopping acne on to their faces to make an eye-catching thumbnail.
I took the liberty of searching a few phrases on twitter like “acne youtubers” or “acne youtube”, it pulled up multiple different tweets with the same message: acne is so common but it would be difficult to name 10 ‘big’ beauty youtubers who actually suffer from it. Why is it in a world where 80% of people suffer from some form of acne in their lifetime, do they only have the 20% of people to look to for advice?
Obviously there are multiple other issues such as race and disability under representation which i, as someone who cannot relate to can’t realistically sit and write about but i just want to let you know I’m not ignorant towards them and are not ignoring their huge importance and relevance to this subject.
I understand flagging and disliking are there for a reason, if someone is doing something wrong that shouldn’t be on the internet then it should be removed. But thats just it, the things that are getting removed or “demonetarised” aren’t things that shouldn’t be on the internet; they’re things that have every right to be on the internet not just because theres absolutely nothing wrong with talking about mental health etc but because those videos are created with the intention to help others. Just because a video talks about real life things, things that might not be happy or funny doesn’t mean they’re inappropriate, how have humans suddenly decided that real life is no longer appropriate?
Youtube starting to not allow people to monetise videos that talk about real life issues is the internet equivalent of adverts for women’s razors or shaving products; you see the woman shaving her legs but there was never hair there in the beginning. Its like they know the issue is there and it effects people but they don’t dare show it and their answer is to deem it as inappropriate.
I dont really know what i wanted to achieve by writing this, i just felt like it needed to be talked about and I know I’m not the only one talking about it. I wanted to bring in Louise Pentland here (formerly sprinkle of glitter), she’s kinda why i started to notice these things because quite bravely she’s had a rebrand. Louise has openly admitted she is going to start talking about topics she didn’t touch on before and it leans itself to realisation that before even her channel missed bits out about life such as swearing or politics so as to not offend or loose subscribers.
Youtubers and youtube as a whole is a huge media outlet now, the biggest youtubers are becoming ‘celebrities’ and brand representatives and it means they’re sometimes expected to act in a specific way, either to appeal to an audience or so as Louise put it “not to offend”.
Its hugely positive that a big youtuber like Louise is talking about these issues and it reassures me that someone i’ve followed for a long time is staying true to themselves and going against societies constant pressure to appear perfect.
I also talked about this in a youtube video you can see it here:
– Maria x