I was sent this video in the past week twice by an old colleague, and another MA student Scarlett Carson in relation to my research question and current practice. Being on Facebook, I had not seen the video in it’s original context, however had noted that the video on Facebook alone had received more than 10M views, 49k likes/comments and over 79l shares. This told me alone how inspiring this video must be to of been shared and viewed so many times of to of received such an empowering reception.
The video shows a girl scrolling through her Instagram feed, viewing pictures of the likes of Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian, the focus of much of my research and practice throughout this semester, questioning her own appearance in regards to comparing herself to those icons noted on the screen. Following this makeup is applied, to change her appearance, and the same routine follows. This appearing to still not be enough, the procedure of cosmetic surgery is mocked through cosmetics in order to look like Kylie Jenner, finishing off with a wig and lip fillers.
This video essentially embodies a huge segment of what I have been researching and have tried to showcase in the past semester through my practical work. My initial response to this video was, “wow, my research question in a minute” really resonating with me and highlighting to may key, relevant issues. The reason Kylie Jenner was chosen as a research point was a natural progression from the reception of my Instagram Post project, after realising how an icon has created an icon to represent herself when she cannot be represented herself, whilst gaining so much power and influence over the public, and societies norms, ideals and expectations that we forget who we are in an aim to be someone else due to distorted self-perceptions from the pressures of the media. This video summaries such in a short amount of time, and upon further research in order to embed this video on to this post, as it is not possible via Facebook, it was apparent that the video was created by a makeup artist/YouTuber whom has over 20k followers and often posts ‘beauty blogger-esk’ tutorials and reviews, posing the question as to why she created this video. Does she feel the pressure as a makeup artist as discussed in previous research when talking to other well known makeup artists turned Instagram icons, whom stated that the artistry dies and becomes a beauty competition due to ‘competition’. Does she feel the need as a makeup artist, blogger and Instagram user that she needs to change herself in order to fit in with those who are ‘most successful’, ‘most on-trend’ and ‘most popular’? This raises identity issues as noted by Bem (1972) where one may change groups to fit in, having an in-group and out-group perspective. Is makeup not enough? Do we need plastic surgery now to be beautiful and conform with ideals? Has working in this role affected her self-perception or is she still aware and in fact informing others, or has she been through this herself?
Moving forward, I would really like to contact Karolina in regards to her video to see if she would be available for a short interview regarding how she feels the industry, social media and competitive nature of such work has affected her self-perception, and how she feels her occupation may affect others.