Exploring authenticity in YouTube’s beauty community

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Megan Nicole Mavrakis (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Tad Skotnicki

Abstract: This study seeks to explore the beauty community on YouTube and how the audience viewing these videos about beauty products interpret authenticity in the people they watch. While also looking for how authenticity presents itself in the beauty influencers themselves. This study also investigates how race, gender, class, and sexuality plays a role in understanding and viewing what it means to be authentic. A content analysis was performed using two case studies Jackie Aina and Jeffree Star to study the community. Videos and comments posted from January 2019-January 2020 were studied for instances of realness. Findings concluded that authenticity was presented in two different forms: the “everyday girl” and aspirational. Commonalities of the two presentations included: transparency, intimacy/vulnerability, and relatability. Race, gender, class, and sexuality, were found to have some impact on the narratives as it helped audiences feel more intimate and connected to the individual influencer.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
Authenticity, Beauty Community, Self-Branding, Social Influencers, YouTube
YouTube (Electronic resource) $x Influence
Authenticity (Philosophy) in mass media
Branding (Marketing) $x Social aspects
Beauty culture $x Social aspects

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