The reason being for this post is because I do want to address subculture matters again (as much as youtube and the people on it can be regarded as part of the subculture) as well as this theme being mentioned very briefly by our dearest from Copenhagen one time that made me think about the subject.
And then when I wasted my time on youtube the other day and realized that I am subscribed mostly to goth youtubers -and couldn´t watch more than 2 minutes of a video- was when I questioned why something that has sparked my excitement and inspiration 2 years ago seems ridiculous now.
I will not pour shit over specific youtubers, I think we all know who they are, plus shitting all over people has never gotten anyone far (also, one could easily write a post about why they hate goth bloggers). Rather, I will try to explain why it is weird for me to watch goth/ alternative people on youtube whilst myself being one, and hopefully start a fruitful butthurt discussion.
This post concerns primalry people who vlog and sit there talking to their watchers about different topics, rather than people who have a purposeful comic persona on youtube.
1. The topics
Almost on every goth youtuber´s channel you´ll find videos like "how to do Siouxsie makeup"; or "how to make a shirt out of stockings"; or even better: "the essential goth bands you cannot live without".
I suppose all those are nice if you have been living under a rock. But come on, the same makeup styles, the same clothing idea are pretty much being repeated all over again on each channel, and then you get the occasional "goth tag" or "10 ungoth confessions" that make you want to puke. Sure, I did an ungoth confessions post and a goth tag, so that makes me no different, but youtube is a different medium than a blog, and in our day and age people are a lot more attentive to a video than to written text online. It just feels like most goth youtubers love placing themselves in a box of the same themes and cathegories, which from an outside perspective makes goth kind of boring, and goth is one-sided enough...
I do realize that a lot of goth youtubers address a great variety of topics such as bullying, self confidence while dressing goth etc. But aside from that all other videos are like a checklist of things you need to film before getting fully acknowledged as a "goth youtuber". And frankly, you don´t need to watch a tutorial on how to rip stockings in order to achieve the same result, do you?
On a more personal note: no sin is greater in my opinion than introducing people to the "most essential goth bands". I have written on this subject numerous times: there is no right or wrong bands to start with when getting into goth. As a matter of fact, fuck all those whiny bastards, start with diverse bands, start with music that makes sense to you, maybe you don´t even like the 80s at all and that´s ok, most of the bands are super boring anyway, and it really depends which musical background you are coming from.
This is something that our dearest has mentioned- when you see a person all dolled up with elaborate makeup, teased hair etc you cannot help but wonder if all that work was done just for the sake of the video. Sure, so many of us dress alternative every day, put on makeup and what not and need I not tell you how fun that is, but the world behind the camera and your every day life is a lot different, and behind every filmed material there is some amount of production going on, no matter what kind of youtuber you are. It is exactly like television.
So seeing someone who looks like a walking WGT on each video they make kind of leaves you with a hypocritical impression. Do you need to make yourself pretty for your watchers so that your youtube persona will be acknowledged as goth? Is it that crucial? I just wonder how many of goth youtubers look like they do every day, and if they don´t have days where they wake up walking in their onesies with hair messed up and makeupless. Or weeks where they dress casually.
I am not saying it´s black or white, but imagine the situation- I am going to film a video about something concerning goth. What would be the first thing to do before I set up the camera?
On a side note, one could argue how much is the persona of any individual on youtube being projected authentically, with all editing and cutting to make the speech more fluent, lighting and script and everything else that goes into production making you presentable to get the subject of your video successfuly across.
You cannot compare the types of youtubers that do music videos or tutorials with the ones who vlog, but frankly nothing looks natural behind the camera.
This is perhaps the most tricky part to talk about, and it´s the way people express themselves in a video. I find that so many goth youtubers take themselves too seriously as if goth is their only occupation. Sure, one makes a goth themed youtube channel for the very reason, but the way these people talk about themselves makes for a very self centered and artificial impression.
Goth people in real life don´t make closet tours; goth people in real life don´t address themselves "being goth" at all. Which is why it makes me feel awkward someone highlighting that very aspect of their life.
On the one hand, of course the subculture and/or other attributes of the umbrella term "goth" would influence an individual´s life and it would be wonderful and inspiring, but creating a sort of goth universe in the form of videos, where you sit with the background of your goth realm talking only about goth with gothic music wearing all black with heavy makeup, makes for a very one sided presentation of yourself.
And again I come back to the previous argument: the production- goth is something you do not do 100% of your time. Sure it is real as much as you as a person is real, but it is like looking at a certain aspect of a person´s life with a magnifying glass, saying "I am only that thing".
It resembles a cartoon character with only one attribution designed only to highlight certain happenings in a plot, like Chief Wiggum in The Simpsons. Do you see what I mean?
On the other hand, making an entire channel where you talk about yourself is quite a self centered move. Is it wrong? Nope, here I am writing a blog mainly about things that concern me. But again, the world of youtube is a lot more exaggerated, placing the transparency of the person behind the camera in question. One can always ask him/herself to what degree is the person in the video real. And I obviously mean not real as in flesh and blood, but how honest they are with the world they are communicating with, and the way they chose to communicate.
In the most serious conclusion, I am in no way dismissing goth youtubers and saying they are doing something wrong. The stated above is perhaps my way of explaining why watching specifically goth youtubers makes me uneasy and leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth.
And for the record, a great number of goth youtubers has inspired me greatly at the time, and I have made 2 video blogs myself which still can be found online (where I am very serious and not the least sarcastic hehe).
After consuming the subculture for a while, embracing it fully, stomping it and throwing it to the trash I can say that discovering goth people on youtube is a treat for young people who are just getting to know the subculture, realizing they are not alone out there. Alternatively, the process of making youtube videos can be a great thing for the youtubers themselves, as it is a really cool hobby and can be in many ways beneficial and entertaining.
So why the criticism? I dunno, I guess this thing you call goth, or the gothic subculture takes on a different light when you get to see real people around you organize gigs, play in bands, shop for records and meet for a beer. Say, it is more down to earth. Whereas after watching a single person online telling you about all that you already know seems kind of pointless.
But imagine your 14 year old self living in the middle of nowhere discovering that there are other odd bats like you whose voices just want to be heard.
I guess it´s all a matter of perspective after all.
Tell me what you think in the comments if I have sparked your opinion, and thanks for the ones who read it!