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 ‘YouTube’
When thinking about masculinity and popularity, the ‘coolest’ boys have traditionally been those who physically intimidated their peers through aggression, misogyny and homophobia. In this guest blog, Max Morris asks whether this model of popularity still exists for members of the YouTube Generation by looking at some of the UK’s most popular vloggers (or video bloggers). He argues that these vloggers reflect how many boys today find homophobia to be unacceptable and value public displays of affection – often by sharing photos, videos and emotional care work on social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
We learnt about a lot of things from the young people who we interviewed for this project. YouTubers opened up a whole new world of micro-celebrities, people whose fame derives from their channels on this website rather than via the more traditional media of television and film. Although there’s a growing number of influential young women beauty vloggers, the YouTubers who came up in our data were mostly male gamers, animators or comedians. But two women stood out: Tampon Girl who was hated and Jenna Marbles who was loved. As we explored their channels, Jenna Marbles struck us as someone challenging dominant ideas around women, weight loss and fashion. In her latest and 200th video, which we discuss in this post, she challenges dominant ideas of aspiration, success and the future.
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.
While the CelebYouth team didn’t set out thinking we were ‘digital sociologists’, the project was designed to engage with people online through the project website, Twitter and Facebook. In this second blog post on our contribution to the recent digital sociology seminar, Laura explores some of the tensions, opportunities and challenges facing the CelebYouth team in communicating about their research online.