The Best Vlogger Moments In 2015 Prove That "Beauty" Isn't Just Skin Deep
In looking back at this year's best achievements in fashion and beauty, it seems appropriate to reflect on the best moments from vloggers throughout the year. Something about 2015 saw these folks taking on social issues and addressing inequalities more than ever before, focusing on topics of body positivity, body image, sexuality, and ageism. Now, don't get me wrong. There's still a long way to go before we can call anything to do with the beauty industry totally progressive or inclusive. But this year made it seem like those goals were a little more possible.
To me, these moments are hugely important because of how these forms of oppression, stigma, and prejudice shape the dialogue behind fashion and beauty, often without us even realizing it. For instance, if you're watching a video on "how to look younger" and "decrease the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines," you may not realize that the sentiment behind said video isn't necessarily a positive one. If anything, it ultimately reinforces ageism. Similarly, a beauty video discussing using contouring to make the face appear more slender is essentially promoting weight-based shaming. But playing with makeup doesn't just have to be changing yourself to fit anyone else's idea of pretty.
Personally, I'm really proud of how the vlogging community has stepped up this year, helping bring these issues to the forefront. So let's take a look at some of the best moments from 2015.
1. Ingrid Nilsen's Coming Out
Ingrid Nilsen made one of the boldest moves in the beauty world in 2015 by coming out as gay on her YouTube channel. Her video was particularly important for several reasons. For one, coming out is always a brave act that should be applauded. Two, there is still a whole lot of marginalization when it comes to LGBTQ identities, and the beauty industry hasn't always been as inclusive as possible of these individuals. And three, the video showed a very vulnerable side of Nilsen that was undoubtedly touching for many watching. She's since confirmed a relationship with fellow YouTuber Hannah Hart of My Drunk Kitchen, and they make the cutest couple ever.
2. "You Look Disgusting" Video Going Viral
Acne is a subject ridden with a lot of shame, insecurity, and stigma, arguably for adults especially. That's why Em, makeup artist and YouTube creator of My Pale Skin, took to her channel to create a video about both cyberbullying and acne shame. "I wanted to create a film that showed how social media can set unrealistic expectations... One challenge many face today, is that as a society, we're so used to seeing false images of perfection," she wrote in the video's description. Em certainly got her message across, as the video has more than 17 million views.
3. Loey Lane Shutting Down Fat Shamers With "Why Fat Girls Shouldn't Wear Bikinis"
Plus size fashion and beauty vlogger Loey Lane made a video in the summer that addressed the many criticisms folks give her and other fat women who wear bikinis. She basically countered each of these so-called reasons with brilliant quips of body positivity. The video gained Lane a huge following, considering it's received more than 8 million views to date.
4. "100 Years Of Beauty In One Minute" Video Series
You've probably come across at least one of the many episodes of the "100 Years of Beauty In One Minute" series from WatchCut. The idea behind the series is to showcase how hair, makeup, and wardrobe styles have evolved across different cultures and parts of the world over the past century. They've now also started a new spin-off version of the series featuring men. This is a must-watch for any beauty or history junkie.
5. Grace Helbig Speaking Out Against "Dear Fat People" Video
One of the many people to stand up against Nicole Arbour's fat shaming "Dear Fat People" video was Grace Helbig, a beauty, lifestyle, comedy vlogger who titled her response "Oops We're All Humans." In the video, she says that Arbour's words disturbed her so much that she stayed up all night writing notes, unable to get her thoughts about it all out of her head. This honest and emotionally charged response had a huge impact for many. Kudos to Helbig for using her platform to speak out against fat shaming.
6. Bethany Mota Interviewing President Obama
President Obama did a really cool thing this year when he hosted the #YouTubeAsksObama interview, which featured popular YouTubers Mota, Glozelle Green, and Hank Green. They were taken to the White House to have a conversation with the President about the issues their subscribers care about the most. It was so inspiring to see someone in the beauty community included, since those interested in fashion and beauty are so often blown off as being superficial or not caring about anything of substance.
7. Cassey Ho Confronting Perfectionism
Cassey Ho, creator of Blogilates, decided to speak out against body shaming by creating the video "The Perfect Body," which features her in her underwear, reading body shaming comments from social media about herself. She goes on an emotional journey in the video, ultimately learning to love the reflection looking back at her. Her message is both powerful and extremely relevant, since many of us struggle with trying to attain perfection for social media while also dealing with trolls and cyberbullies who are out to tear us down.
8. Akilah Hughes Explaining Intersectional Feminism
Hughes is another vlogger who also delves into comedic and social issues. This year, she created a brilliant analogy using pizza and burgers to explain why feminism needs to be intersectional. Rather than discussing what intersectionality is through academic language ("the view that women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity," as coined by theorist Kimberlé Crenshaw), she explains the concept using fast food. "On Intersectionality In Feminism And Pizza" is a must-watch.
9. GiGi Gorgeous Collaborating With Kylie Jenner
First of all, Gigi herself is a YouTube icon and a total badass. She is a transgender woman who graciously shared her story of transition on YouTube, as it was happening. So, when she collaborated with the one and only Kylie Jenner, queen of Instagram, it was like magic happened.
10. Nikkie Tutorials Showing Us The True Power Of Makeup
YouTube makeup artist Nikkie Tutorials demonstrated the true power that makeup can have, including the negative connotations that come with loving it. "I feel like... lately it's almost a crime to love doing your makeup," she said in the video. Inspired by a challenge on RuPaul's Drag Race, she recreated a challenge in which the contestants did their makeup on only half of their faces to show just how much they could transform. Nikkie did this herself to show just how fun makeup can be — and that it's not only OK to love cosmetics, but awesome.
11. Karlie Kloss Becoming A Beauty Vlogger
The ultimate supermodel becoming the ultimate beauty vlogger on YouTube? Yep, it turns out the worlds of high-fashion and the Webosphere can collide. Karlie Kloss started her YouTube channel Klossy this year, and her videos really show off her personality, giving us glimpses into the life a high-fashion model leads. Her videos include everything from tutorials to traveling vlogs to Twitter Q&As.
This was clearly a big year for beauty. Having cemented the intersection of beauty and empowerment, I have no doubt next year will continue to see vloggers tackle the most relevant social issues of them all.