Makeup bloggers turn against consumerism

Something odd is happening in makeup-vlogger country: a wave of searing criticism of overpriced and useless cosmetics, and of consumerism itself. The Outline's Mehreen Kasana reports that "anti-haul" videos have gained a special status in the community.

Most anti-haul videos are somewhere between 12 to 20 minutes long, and typically focus on beauty products. The host details a list of things they don't plan to buy and the reasons why not while detailing the often exorbitant prices. There are anti-hauls about Kylie Cosmetics, Sephora, Colourpop, Maybelline, and other brands. These videos have gained a special status in the makeup community on YouTube where cosmetics-focused videos — whether in tutorials or reviews — are always pointing at products. In anti-hauls, these items are critically evaluated outside the bubble of hype that gets inflated around products on YouTube. The verdict? You don’t need most of the stuff marketed to you. ...

This may be a generational thing. Retail industry research shows that millennials would rather pay for experiences than for stuff, suggesting materialism is out of style. These videos empathize with today’s overworked and underpaid consumer. They speak to the condition of being overwhelmed by options, having little to no financial comfort, and being visually harassed by high prices.

Thing is, beauty product reviews on the web are the fakest part of the internet, a pastel mountain of bullshit driven by a relentless stream of cosmetics care packages from PR people and undisclosed affiliate marketing. It's practically impossible to find out if anything's good by googling it. Read the rest

Leaving kids in front of screens unsupervised for hours may have unpleasant consequences, parents learn

We all did so well keeping our kids away from obvious traps like 4chan, but it turns out that during those endless unsupervised hours watching Minecraft videos and Twitch streams, their hosts were muttering on about anime and black IQs and what to do about The Jews. And now our kids are hitting their teens, it's coming out of them like the first belches of sewage from a blocked toilet, and, well, here we all are in 2017!

...again this week with the news that YouTube video gaming personality JonTron had made several racist and anti-semitic statements. JonTron — real name Jon Jafari — started his week by tweeting support for Iowa representative Steve King on Sunday, after King made the troubling claim that “we can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies.” Jafari then doubled down on this stance in an interview with fellow streamer Steven “Destiny” Bonnell, complaining of the erosion of a “unifying culture” in the United States, portraying Black Lives Matter as violent terrorists, and repeatedly making portentous warnings that white people would become the minority in American society. ...

On YouTube, these fringe opinions are insidious, too. They’re not set to Leni Riefenstahl films or videos of the Nuremberg Rallies — they dribble out during video game streams, or in Twitch chat, or in YouTube’s never-ending “up next” queue. These are ostensibly benign spaces that have become politicized in recent years, but not so loudly that the average parent will be able to clock the association.

Read the rest