Saturday, November 2, 2013

Post 4: Youtube as a Magazine Alternative

In an effort to keep up with the digital age Hearst and Conde Nast have both launched youtube channels for their major magazines. Hearst's "Hello Style" youtube channel is dedicated to content from four of their major women's magazines, Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and Seventeen. "Hello Style" offers beauty and fashion from some of Hearst's major brands and Conde Nast has a channel for each of its magazines from Golf Digest to Vogue. 

When Hearst first launched an article reposted on Mashable asked, "Could Youtube Replace Women's Magazines?" The article argues that perhaps the audience would rather watch a manicure tutorial than read about it in print. However the article ignores the already flourishing youtube community of women and girls that are creating their own lifestyle content; from beauty tutorials to fashion and fitness. More and more people are turning to youtube for more than just funny cat videos. Original user generated videos/channels are extremely popular and women and girls are a major part of it. 

One of the most popular youtubers, Michelle Phan has 5 million subscribers and vlogs about beauty and style. She was recently featured in Vogue and has launched a line of beauty products. The beauty tutorials on youtube extend far beyond the kinds of tutorials featured in magazines. While a magazine may show a picture of a runway model with the perfect cat-eye and how to re-create it; a youtube "beauty guru" may have the video for re-creating the perfect cat-eye, Lady Gaga's latest makeup look or drugstore alternatives to the newest beauty products. 

The experience of youtube beauty gurus ranges from self-taught to professional and the kinds of videos range as well. Some of the most viral videos are of celebrity transformations and tutorials on re-creating celebrity looks. The re-creations are sometimes ten minutes long, even with some parts of the process sped up and they show that a lot of work and makeup goes into achieving these celebrity looks we may see in magazines and ads. 

There is also a large community dedicated to beauty that is underrepresented in mainstream magazines. Natural hair is popular in the black community but you may not be able to find a lot of information or help in magazine. However, on youtube there are several channels (naptural85, chescaleigh's hair channel) and videos for natural hair tips, tutorials and styles. There are also youtube videos for almost every skin color, with one quick search you can find a foundation match or a tutorial for your skin tone which might have been difficult otherwise. 

The youtube community is full of creative lifestyle content created by women and girls and magazines are taking notice. Many youtube vloggers have worked with magazines and companies and use their channels to launch their careers. The youtube community is very close knit and they collaborate with each other all the time including the beauty and style vloggers. Beauty and style vloggers are controlling their images, marketing themselves and their work and communicating with a large audience with a video camera and an idea. 

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