Hi Everyone! I’m going address something a bit off topic here today. Although I’m not much of a ranter (other than the random rant on Confessional Thursday) I have something on my mind that I want to put into words. Recently, I’ve heard quite a bit of negative comments about the generation of social media. Namely, bloggers, youtubers and influencers in general. Keep in mind I’m using the word influencer loosely here – just anyone that uses influence (particularly social media) to affect purchase decisions.
The negativity seems to fall around the topic of expertise and what credentials do any of these people have to be recommending products for others. More specifically, I’ve heard people questioning how Youtubers who aren’t professionals can be recommending products, filming tutorials & giving out tips if they aren’t pro’s and/or don’t have any formal training.
Obviously this hits a nerve. Although I am not a Youtuber, a lot of what I discuss on the blog is products and tips & tricks -so I’ll lump myself in this category.
I don’t think I need to be a professional makeup artist to be able to give my opinion on a makeup product that I use. In the end, isn’t this all there is to a blog, an Instablog or a Youtube channel? Personal opinions. People who love beauty, try products and then recommend them based on their personal experience. Ultimately, as a consumer looking for products to use on myself, I’d rather hear recommendations from a non-pro since I am not a pro. Does that make sense? A professional is in theory better at working with products and application, while I may not be as good. Therefore, if a product works for Joe Schmoe, then I have a better chance to also make it work.
Similarly, I don’t need to be a chef to be qualified enough to recommend a particular food item or restaurant do I? I’m a person. If I eat it and like it, that makes me qualified enough to give my opinion. I may not be a chef, I may not be a food critic, but I do have taste buds, and I do eat, so why shouldn’t I share my thoughts?
Generally I don’t go to Youtube, Instagram or blogs hoping to become a professional makeup artist, a fashion designer or a chef. I’m there to hear and read about consumer products, things I could find at the drugstore, Nordstrom & the grocery store. I want budget & user friendly products. Further, if I watch a makeup tutorial on Youtube, I can follow the look, and most importantly, I like the way I look when I follow along – isn’t that a success? I don’t care if a koala filmed the tutorial. As long as I’m satisfied with the end product, then that’s good enough in my book. Notice the keyword being I in all of this.
Ultimately, we’re living in the era of information. Anyone can go online and become “experts” on almost anything. Heck, I’ve been cutting my own hair for two years after watching Youtube tutorials. The path to learn a particular skill isn’t what it was 10 years ago. Fashion bloggers are directing more traffic to certain sites like Nordstroms than any other single source of traffic. This is completely changing the entire marketing industry. Social media = influence. The traditional professions, traditional marketing, & the traditional way of learning is changing. Just because someone didn’t spend countless hours learning in a traditional school setting doesn’t mean they’ve put any less effort into their craft.
Sure, I primarily want my medical advice from an actual doctor. But the lines are blurred in other arenas. Think about beauty, fashion, cooking, decoration, etc. The wealth of information available is making it possible for consumers to find information and tutorials themselves. This is what allows Youtubers, Bloggers and Instagrammers to make a career out of it. Although this may be threatening to those who previously held the information themselves, hating on others isn’t going to change it. Just because someone else’s medium to success is different than yours doesn’t make them (or you!) any less successful.
So, to all my readers. I hope you realize, I am most definitely not a professional makeup artist. At least not yet… However, EVERY SINGLE product recommendation or mention is based on my personal experience & opinion. I talk about products that I use. And although I may not be a pro, I do have a face…with eyes. I pay attention and I share what I see and feel. Everyone is free to take it for what it is… an opinion in a giant sea of other opinions.
I know the massive amount of work it is to maintain a blog. Social media management, writing, photography, editing, design, etc. It’s not easy. I can only imagine the amount of work involved in filming a Youtube video. So yes, it pisses me off when people try to discredit anyone simply because their path to learning and success is different. I don’t usually curse on the blog, but, in the wise words of Manny MUA: