Since I was thirteen, my dream was to be a YouTuber. I longed to have companies send me free clothes and fully financed trips to music festivals and prime vacation spots. One of my favorite YouTubers, began her channel by creating weekly videos of styling her thrifted clothing, her message being that you can be fashionable on a budget. I absolutely loved these videos, and they helped me discover and really get into thrift shopping, which I adore not only because it is economical, but because the clothes I find allow me to express myself and show the world that I am a unique individual who is open to new things and ideas—not your average high school conformist.
Slowly, as she became more famous, this YouTuber started to change. Now, her videos are based around marketing products for companies and showing the world her luxurious, idealistically dreamlike lifestyle, which she is able to finance because of YouTube. I have not seen her showcase a thrifted find in a video in several years.
I do not wish for this post to be about throwing shade on my former favorite YouTuber, or the hundreds of others like her for that matter, because I believe that people are definitely entitled to spend their money and live their lives however they want. I simply wanted to document how I feel after watching her channel.
Instead of picturing YouTube as the dream job of getting paid to blog about vacation and style clothes for different companies, I now see it as an unattractive lifestyle completely built on materialism. Through watching her channel, I have learned about myself and my values that I believe will help me remain down-to-earth throughout my life. I don’t believe in spending obscene amounts of money eating hormone-free hamburgers at the trendiest new restaurant, nor do I believe in using a twelve dollar crème to cleanse my face because a company told me to. In summary, I do not believe in having a lifestyle based on regularly spending money on luxuries, and this YouTuber has facilitated this self-discovery.
I still would like to follow through with my plan to start a YouTube channel in college, but I would like to have it be about using my own fashion sense to select eccentric articles of clothing from the thrift store and inspiring people to embrace the idea of being unique.