the truth about vlogging: introducing chriselle lim
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...
"My goal was to make content that looked as if it existed in a glossy magazine," says 29 year old, Chriselle Lim, who has been vlogging since 2011, "but still relatable enough for everyday, real women to be able to relate to and be inspired by." Which is precisely what has made her so successful. And by successful I mean 400,000 subscribers on YouTube, 44,000 followers on Twitter, and over 200,000 likes on Facebook. By interweaving her favourite style edits with tales from all her travels, and, even, the heartbreaking moment where she had miscarriage, Chriselle is fast-becoming one of the go to destinations for lifestyle advice. In a harsh climate of recession, zero jobs, unaffordable housing, and broken dreams, the dreamy escapism of high fashion is no longer enough, which is why more and more millenials are turning to kids just like them for advice on what to wear and how to wear it. Because who wants to know how to style a Balmain dress when you can't afford a Prêt sandwich? However, response to the rise of vloggers has not all been positive, with a lot of fashion traditionalists viewing them as threats to an industry that prides itself of exclusivity. Weighing up both arguments and more we caught up with Chriselle to talk fashion, democracy, and why vlogging is has become such a craze.
What do you love about it?
Although I mainly focus on fashion, I also share a bit of my personal life with my audience. I love that I can be completely vulnerable and be myself on camera. I'm able to bring my followers with me through the different parts and phases of my life. They've seen everything from travelling the world with me to my proposal, my wedding, the delivery room, where they saw the first glimpse of my baby girl Chloe, and of course the moment when I shared my miscarriage story. It was heartbreaking, and I was extremely nervous to open up about such a sensitive subject, but the support and response I got from it was unreal. I love being able to share my life story with my followers.
Do you find that your personality is the same on screen and off or is there a certain level of performance involved?
When I first started my vlogging career, I thought I needed to "perk" things up and act more "bubbly and cute" in order to be successful on YouTube, but it was quite the opposite. Once I allowed my true self to shine on camera, and be that same person on screen and off, that's when things started to really grow for me. Authenticity is really what makes vlogging unique and valuable.
Why do you think vlogging has become such a craze, and even more popular than branded videos from large fashion companies?
Vlogging has become such a craze because it's real girls talking about real things. There is so much value in honest opinions and personal experiences.
How has vlogging changed how we consume fashion?
Watching a person like yourself, who you can relate to, is something very powerful. Vlogging has enabled consumers to feel more connected to brands and certain products, which ultimately influences a purchase. Vlogging has enabled everyone to feel like an insider because now what used to be extremely exclusive to the fashion world is now accessible, and at their very own fingertips.
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 wouldn't argue against that. I do believe that vlogging, alongside with digital media in general, has taken away a sense of exclusivity when it comes to fashion. However, when I started vlogging I saw an opportunity to bring back a sense of artistry to fashion videos because I do believe that there is a way to be transparent and available, but in a tasteful way.
Should fashion be democratic?
"FASHION" and "DEMOCRACY" is an oxymoron. I think the "trickle down" and the "trickle up" effects both fuel each other, as you see many high end fashion designers now collaborating with the H&Ms and Targets of the world. We live in an era where social classes have become blurred, and the two have become one.
Does vlogging empower you as a woman?
Yes! Vlogging does empower me as a woman. I'm able to open up and start conversations with other women out there that are going through certain situations (such as a miscarriage) and I'm able to help them through my story. If I'm able to change even just one woman's life through my story, I think my job is done!
How does it feel to have an entire community surrounding and supporting you?
I feel humbled and blessed to have such a strong community to support me in what I do. When I shared my miscarriage story online, I realized that this community that I've built for the past few years was not only for me to inspire them, but also for them to inspire me. My followers have been my biggest strength and motivation!
How do you deal with online trolls?
Kill them with kindness. Trolls need some love too ;)