the truth about vlogging: introducing samantha maria aka beautycrush
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...
"Vloggers are just normal people," says Samantha Maria AKA Beautycrush, "we try to express the freedom and fun that you can have with clothes and make-up without spending thousands of pounds or having to look like a supermodel." A fashion styling graduate turned designer (she's just launched a label with her boyfriend called Novem & Knight) - 25-year-old Sammi first started vlogging in 2009. Fast-forward to today and the British beauty has over 1 million subscribers, all of whom she treats to regular videos about her life and longstanding love of fashion. One of the cooler vloggers, Sammi's content focuses heavily on street style, while her intimate chats about bad relationships and self confidence are, actually, pretty engaging. She's also refreshingly real about the way high fashion no longer speaks to certain people and how the industry needs to change in order to address this. To find out more, we caught up with the superbabe and all round beauty crush to talk DMs, down to earth fashion and why vlogging empowers her as a woman.
What's so great about vlogging?
I love that you can reach, inspire and influence people from all over the world through a screen, without mostly ever even meeting them (although meeting viewers is another thing I adore about vlogging). Image is powerful, I don't care what anyone says, some may find it 'shallow' but if I've taught someone to draw a winged liner when they never knew how, then apply some killer red lipstick and pull on a sexy leather jacket and feel fabulous for the night, then I'm one happy woman.
Why do you think vlogging has become such a craze, and even more popular than branded videos from large fashion companies?
Vlogging has very little boundaries. I think fashion companies, although they are inspiring and lusted after by so many people, are hard to relate to, especially for younger people, and a lot of people wouldn't be sure how to style some items when they turn to their own wardrobes at home. I just try to show that we're all human, we all have flaws as well as 'best bits' and you can look fabulous without trying to change yourself into something you're not.
How has vlogging changed how we consume fashion?
I think vlogging has given women, in particular, more confidence to go out and wear what they want, without worrying about judgement or criticism. I have made many fashion mistakes in the past, many of them on YouTube, too! But the fact is that I went on YouTube thinking, ''I'm just gonna give this a try!'' It's empowering! So many girls have messaged me saying I have inspired them to wear DMs, heels, red lipstick, curly hair or to buy a dress I've featured currently. I think seeing items on someone you know is just kind of normal and going for it makes more people consume exciting fashion items.
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 would say that it is still there, exclusivity will never disappear in fashion. I would also say that times are changing, especially with social media. Vloggers give an honest, often un-biased and more down-to-earth opinion on fashion and I think many people appreciate that.
Should fashion be democratic?
I think certain people and fashion houses definitely have a say over up and coming trends, colours, influencing decades and garment shape, among other things, but I do believe parts of it should be more liberal. I don't think there's anything wrong with a new group of people having their say too and their input into the world of fashion. I believe all that is happening at the moment is that vloggers have admired fashion figures and designers for years and it's an amazing chance to share that admiration with their audience who have similar interests.
Can anyone be a vlogger?
I think so! There are all sorts of people in this world and there is always someone who will watch you and have similar interests to you.
How does it feel to have an entire community surrounding and supporting you?
Overwhelming and Humbling. It can be daunting though knowing so many people (especially the younger people) are looking up to you because I am in no way perfect! But I just try not to think about the numbers too much and just carry on doing what I do.
How do you deal with online trolls?
There are times when I'm tempted to reply and to say my piece, but over the years I really do try to shrug it off. How I see it, when people are saying something to bring you down, it actually reflects their own emotions and their own problems.
Text Tish Weinstock