i like these youtubers but also I'm not sure if I do
here are some half-formed non-spell-checked thoughts about youtubers.
the time of the daily vlogger is over. how the time of the daily vlogger was ever not-over is beyond me – how did all those americans find the energy? I’ll never know. Daily vlogs were interesting for a quick moment but then much of the content became about the vlogs themselves, about recording that day’s vlog and editing it quickly in time for posting. Snake eating its tail. When they hit that stage, I dipped out. But I missed the casual insights into someone else’s lives. So when Youtubers eventually started posting weekly vlogs instead, I was glad. It was better for them - more filming, less editing and posting administration - and it was better for me because the content was allowed to be content again. cool.
but in the way that culture booms and busts, it has become suchhh A Thing. My enjoyment of it is waning, sort of. I thought maybe I was too reliant on the same 2-3 vloggers and what I needed was more variety. I love variety. I asked around for more channels to subscribe to and over the past 2 weeks I’ve been watching cari cakes, Leah’s Fieldnotes, kwok, Moya Mawhinney, Kieun Choi and Anja. I thought I enjoyed the videos but I quickly realised that even when I was enjoying them, I was also starting to feel a bit bad about myself? And I wasn’t expecting that, and I don’t want it. So now I’m .. unsubscribing.
The actual content of these weekly vlogs goes something like this: healthy young skinny fit female protagonist effortlessly records her life around a country that is foreign to her. it’s a place she lives or a place she’s just stopping in for a month or so, because she’s a cool floaty gal with no schedule – she makes money from youtube now so she can live wherever she wants. life as light as a feather. Loads of cafes. Beautiful skinny friends. Straw hats, picnics. Coffee, cakes, flowers. Mornings and morning routines. The sea. Watercolours, books, polaroids. Bicycles with baskets on the front of them. Natural make-up. Blouses and silk and long skirts and thrifted clothes with gold expensive jewellery. Homeware, haircuts. Dried flowers. Gallery visits, solo dinners, shooting content for Instagram. Self-improvement, journalling, scrapbooking, BFFL features / other youtubers in the same category features / but mostly everything is alone to camera, with b-roll of nature and clean, expensive houses.
knot of thoughts (writing this at 4.30am on a friday night): they are all living the perfect life that I want to live and I’m jealous. of course, it’s probably not actually perfect but it’s made perfect by the edit, and I don’t want to consume content that has absolutely no grit to it when my life is sandpaper. I think a lot about ill health and money; those 2 things don’t seem to exist in the worlds of these weekly vloggers. I am making generalisations but generrrrally that’s fair to say - everyone is fine, everything is paid for, and everything is easy. Again, deffo shit going on behind the scenes. But turmoil and drama don’t make it into the stories these girls are crafting. Real life is the elephant in the room. These people are on an endless gap year. I feel sick because I also want an impossible life where nothing bothers me – I don’t have that, they don’t have that IRL, and instead we have the impossibly perfect videos in betwee us and we agree to believe them and all their niceties. the flowers, the perfect skin, white bed sheets. it’s cute and pretty and chic 2 wander the world. It’s so rough to watch it.
I told Zarina I had been slamming these videos and she said they were all twee. That’s it, isn’t it. Tweetubers. Tweeness has its place (in the lives of retired women with disposable income) but I don’t need it right now. I’m sort of glad I know where to find it. I’m also genuinely happy for all of these creators for building a life where they make youtube videos and that’s it. They all make videos in the same shared style using vintage overlays, happy fonts, copyright free music from the same libraries, and cute animations. And I like the style, and I feel like I shouldn’t
We are going to Ireland in December to lock ourselves in a room and write the secret book, and all I can think about is making a weekly vlog that pulls the same framework these girlies use but filling it with Real Life. I want to film and edit it as an experiment, even if I don’t put it out into the world. I want to know how the sweet easiness of the editing style will feel when it’s presenting sickness and stress during this gas-price winter. Vintage overlay and lofi jazz on shivering hands trying to type type type.
I imagine if I tried to do a weekly vlog in my own (rented) house here in Liverpool. Since watching these youtubers, I feel like I have grown self conscious about parts of my house I hadn’t noticed before – or the parts I’d put up with because before, I didn’t think I had to care. The walls are magnolia, they’re not white. We have laminate floors downstairs, and the ugliest carpet in the world upstairs. The rugs never stay clean because of the cat and also crumbs. The furniture is a bit old but not in a cool way, it’s just old-fashioned - stuff our mums leant us when we moved in because we didn’t have anything to our name. The kitchen is fucking hideous. It is brown and yellow but the tiny countertops are ugly grey, so small, and we don’t have cool plates, just normal ones, and actually I broke one yesterday when I was washing up because the countertops are just that small they couldn’t hold everything I needed to wash. I should learn to live comfortably with the house I very much need to live in, no choice – I shouldn’t be self-consciousness of something nobody ever even sees. That’s part of the reason I knew I needed to unsubscribe as well; everyone on the internet lives in a fashionable setting and it is oppressive.
Anyway this is too many words now. It is 4.57am. I am going to go and brush my teeth in my ugly bathroom that is fine, and tomorrow I will live my ugly life that I enjoy, and I will think about how young women make a career romanticising their lives & how I could never do that because I couldn’t afford to lie (financially, creatively, socially, physically) so I just write about the truth of the matter instead
next night additional thought: you know the way the instruments of Capitalism create anxieties in us so that we spend more money because we think we are made to believe we need to keep up with trends to continually project the right sense of self, I think that is what is happening here, except it is happening with an entire lifestyle and I am suspicious and I am out!! i reject the anxiety. there is already too much anxiety in the world to confuse anxiety and entertainment. i will not be hoodwinked !!!!!