Why I’ll Never Be YouTube Famous

There’s a video floating around the online natural hair world where Jouelzy raises the question of texture discrimination in the natural hair community, especially as it relates to sponsorship or partnership opportunities with large hair companies for kinky textured bloggers. In rare fashion, I made a response video just to pipe in that I don’t think the hair companies are the blame, but really we as consumers are more likely to support a blogger with long, curly hair, even if we ourselves have shorter, kinkier hair.

Since making the video, the comments have been nonstop – some people agree with me, some don’t, and some called me a jealous hater – but all in all, they’ve caused me to think more about the shifted culture of natural hair on YouTube (and YouTube in general) and what viewers expect. One comment that shocked me was that some people don’t support kinky haired bloggers because “4c hair videos are boring”.

In case you were wondering what could possibly make the videos that my fellow kinky haired friends and I – which we spend time recording, twice to three times more time cutting down and editing to appease the low attention span generation that we live in, and then even more time uploading to YouTube… sometimes more than once if it’s acting up – boring [yes I know this grammar is all jacked up and then some but let me just ignore it and continue], here are 10 reasons that I came up with.

10. We don’t review 30 different kinds of wigs and weaves each year.

9. Our hair doesn’t shine in the camera.

8. Our hair doesn’t shine in the camera because we don’t use $1000 Nikon 7000XYZ cameras and professional cinematic lighting.

7. We edit videos on iMovie instead of the $200 FinalCut Pro.

6. Even if our hair is waist length, it shrinks to our shoulders.

5. We don’t beat, contour, and highlight our faces before we get behind the camera.

4. We don’t all put 4C in the titles of our videos i.e., “Tips to Grow 4C Hair Fast”, “Waist Length 4C Hair in 2 Years”.

3. We don’t record daily vlogs… we actually only talk about our boring, luster-less, short hair.

2. We have pretty basic boring lives just like the rest of the world; we go to work, go to school, are raising kids, etc – and no one wants to watch videos about people who are just as plain and boring as they are themselves.

1. We talk about loving our hair as is, rather than tips and tricks for how to make it grow longer faster, or to magically (eh hem… chemically) become a looser texture.

Don’t take this list to mean that these are all things I aim to “improve” upon. I made my YouTube channel solely to track my own journey and to help inspire others to see that their kinky hair was beautiful as is; perhaps if I was in it for either the money or the fame I would put in more purposeful and sustained effort. Getting an extra check here and there is always fun, but I have other interests, goals, and sources of income that don’t tie my happiness to the number of views I have on my videos. I’m also not knocking anyone’s hustle if YouTube is their source of income, or if they would like it to be. However, I’m curious as to how the natural hair community on YouTube has evolved from simply informational videos of a few years ago to full blown out theatrics of today, and whether that change has been driven by viewers or by the bloggers.

Do you think bloggers, especially on YouTube, don’t do enough? Or are viewers expecting the most?

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  1. Hmm, I think some natural bloggers do *too much*. I like this blog and your videos because they are simple and they are how-to – I am also busy, and I like a helping hand to introduce me to a new style, product or technique, or a different way to think about my hair. But I really don’t want to watch a daily vlog of somebody’s life or watch them opine on political topics and celebrity news…I just want to watch them do their hair.

    I’m a little bit overwhelmed by full-time YouTubers, to be really honest. I like well put-together videos, but I start to lose interest when people go pro-YT primarily because that’s when they start to introduce irrelevant ridiculousness.

  2. I think it’s all a matter of why you are watching. If you genuinely want to watch a video to find out how to do something in particular to/with your hair, then you will watch whoever has a tutorial on that as long as they help you understand how to do it. That being said, I do have a preference for videos where the person is describing what they are doing and the products they are using over one that has only music or complete silence. and I do find that I would rather watch a person with my hair type (4B-4C) because it is most time futile for me to watch someone who doesn’t have my hair type and then I’m struggling to do something with my hair that it is not meant to do.

    1. This is also true – I prefer to watch 4B and 4C bloggers partially because they have textures closer to mine, and therefore demonstrate better what I can actually achieve with my hair. But on top of that – they’re also less likely to be the slickly produced pro-YT bloggers and therefore…normal.

  3. I just feel like there is a huge gap between good and bad videos on Youtube, and it’s only growing wider. You have the near-unwatchable videos with poor lighting and monotone personalities, and then you have the full-time youtubers using thousands of dollars worth of professional equipment. Anything in between seems to get drowned out due to sheer numbers.

    Anyways, I think that curly-haired naturals get more attention because many new naturals still need to get over their low self-esteem, hair-wise and in general.

    BTW, could you link to the comment about 4c hair videos being boring? Cause I’ve seen horribly dull videos from type 3 naturals, as well. Can’t be paying a single internet comment too much mind without the appropriate context.

    1. Thanks for your comment! I wasn’t paying the comments much mind, I just thought they were interesting. I’m not sure I can link to a comment, but it’s somewhere under my video.