The online world has become a huge platform for young people. In particular there is a growing successful community of what have come to be known as ‘YouTubers’, people who make their living through posting material on the video sharing site. Zoe Sugg, Tanya Burr, Pixi Woo, are among many beauty gurus who make YouTube videos about make-up, fashion and lifestyle. Both Tanya Burr and Zoe Sugg also have daily vlogs which show their ordinary lives as do the SacconeJoly’s a family – mum, dad, two young children – of ‘daily vloggers’, who invite you to ‘be part of their journey. What is apparent amongst all of these videos is the embedded taken-for-granted nature of heterosexuality, yet, as Akile Ahmet shows in this post, YouTube also provides spaces for other ways of being.
Posts Tagged ‘sexuality’
UK retailer John Lewis produces a new Christmas-themed TV advert every year. Retaining a successful formula, they combine a sentimental visual narrative, a (some would say sickly) sweet message about giving, and audio comprising a contemporary British pop star performing a classic love or festive song. This annual offering is an eagerly awaited event, with the adverts being described as the ‘2 minutes that launch Christmas’. Last year’s production – featuring Lily Allen in the singing role – reached not only millions of homes via a TV set, but also went viral, surpassing 10 million views on YouTube. In this guest blog post, looking beyond John Lewis’s explicit aims, Steve Roberts casts a critical eye on the latest ad, asking what messages this carries about gender, sexuality and relationships.
Tom Daley is one of CelebYouth’s case study celebrities so we were very excited when he hit the news last week after uploading to YouTube the direct-to-camera video ‘Something I want to say’. In it, Tom tells us that despite ‘dating girls’ in the past, he’d not had a ‘serious relationship’ until last spring, when he met someone who makes him feel ‘so happy and so safe … well that someone [pause] is a guy’. We love this video. Heather in particular has crossed the boundary from researcher to fan as she’s studied Tom’s media representation including, reading an autobiography and biography, following the news coverage of him across six months and enduring every episode of TV-celebrity-diving-competition Splash! Her colleagues marked her growing interest by getting her a Tom Daley cake to celebrate her 43rd birthday (pictured). In this post she looks critically both at Tom’s ‘coming out’ video and at reactions to it, suggesting that the ‘something he wants to say’ constitutes a new kind of sexuality story and one to which we need to listen attentively.
In this first of three blog posts covering the team’s report of their contribution to the BSA first ever Digital Sociology event, Kim discusses some of the ways in which the project has engaged with the digital within the data collection, and the challenges inherent in this as a feminist scholar encountering celebrity e-bile – violent and sexualised comments directed at female celebrities.
All of the young people we’ve interviewed distinguish between good reasons and bad reasons for being famous. Kim’s written about the frequent disgust directed towards Kim Kardashian both in our interviews and in the media – not only is she called upon as an example of ‘famous for nothing’ celebrity, but she is seen to have risen to fame via a sex tape and has chosen ‘inappropriate’ bumpwear consisting of tight clothing and lowcut tops. However, it’s in 15-year-old Giovanni Plowman, aka Tampon Girl, that we can most clearly see the strong association between female bodies and notions of ‘undeserving’ celebrity. In January 2013 Giovanni Plowman uploaded a video of herself to YouTube which showed her sucking on a used tampon – after she’s removed it off camera – and then throwing up, also off camera. She shot to fame overnight – even becoming an internet meme. What shocks me, isn’t the video itself, it’s the reaction: the widespread – almost universal – disgust that her actions, and she, elicit both online and from the young people we’ve met in our research.