the truth about vlogging: introducing tanya burr
In celebration of YouTube’s 10th anniversary, this week we will be delving into the weird and wonderful world of internet vlogging, as we meet the voices of the digi generation and online stars of tomorrow who have been redefining the very meaning of...
British make-up artist Tanya Burr has been vlogging since 2009 (October 16th 2009, to be precise). At just 25 years old, she has over two million subscribers to her YouTube channel, while her candid videos are viewed by six million people a month. With more hits than some of the most iconic fashion videos on the web, it's clear that Tanya's influence is unwavering. Because, tired of relentless retouching, the fashion world's unrealistic ideas about body shape and beauty, its inflated prices and elitist outlook, young boys and girls our tuning out of high fashion and logging in to the realness of fashion vlogging. Which is why someone like Tanya, who's celebrated for her chirpy personality, relatability, and refreshingly honest outlook on life, is so successful. But it doesn't stop there, a regular front row fixture, Tanya is not only one of the leading style authorities for the digi generation, she also is fast-becoming a prominent figure on the fashion circuit two. Something that was cemented last year, when she attended the British Fashion Awards. But this is also where things become slightly problematic. While there are those who praise her for opening up the worlds of fashion and beauty to include a greater diversity of voices, there are those who want to keep fashion absolutely exclusive, and resent vloggers like Tanya for what they see as an infiltration of their industry. Not that Tanya pays any attention to these people, though; she's far too busy with the eponymous makeup line she launched last year and even more focused on Love, Tanya, her autobiographical beauty guide which came out in January. We caught up with the vlogging superstar to talk democratizing fashion, how to deal with trolls and what it's like to have millions of friends from all over the world.
What do you love about vlogging?
The creative control is great, as I can take it in any direction I want. I also love the community it has created, the trust with my audience is great and I love letting them into my world.
Why do you think vlogging has become such a craze, and even more popular than branded videos from large fashion companies?
Vlogging really lets viewers into the lives of the people on screen, which really builds up a relationship and viewers can see the real lives of their favourite YouTubers.
How has vlogging changed how we consume fashion?
I think it's made it much more immediate and exciting. We can see how different people would style things and get honest feedback on both beauty and fashion, and we can see style on everyday, normal people.
What would you say to critics who argue that vlogging has removed a certain sense of artistry and exclusivity when it comes to fashion?
I think that's a good thing - fashion and beauty are for everyone so vlogging opens up these channels for everyone, which is really exciting.
Should fashion be democratic?
Can anyone be a vlogger?
Yes, of course anyone can vlog, but for the majority of people it would probably be seen more as a hobby. It takes an incredible amount of dedication and hard work to make it a career.
Does vlogging empower you as a woman?
I think running my own business is really empowering, especially as it's something I started myself in my bedroom. It's really exciting to see that I've built it up myself.
How do you deal with online trolls?
It was very difficult at first, but as the community has grown, sadly, it's one of those things you have to get used to. Now I just try and ignore the hate, though sometimes that's easier said than done!
How does it feel to have an entire community surrounding and supporting you?
I really love it, it's like having millions of friends all over the world.
Text Tish Weinstock
Photography John Stewardson