Third Blog Post: Asian Beauty YouTubers

December 12, 2019 at 8:27 am Leave a comment

by Emma Li

In high school, as I was figuring out how to do my makeup, I struggled to find successful Asian YouTubers with makeup looks I wanted to try out. I tried following eyeshadow tutorials from some non-Asian YouTubers and it all backfired pretty quickly, as I have no “crease” to darken. Many of my Asian friends faced similar struggles.

Back then, the only Asian Beauty YouTubers I had heard of was Michelle Phan and Jenn Im. I didn’t always share their makeup styles, and the makeup styles I did like were all done on white eyelids. Also, given the unreliability of VPN in China, I was not able to hunt for Asian beauty bloggers in the YouTube beauty world. 

After coming to college, with better YouTube access and many more prominent Asian beauty bloggers, I began discovering all these Asian beauty channels. I was ecstatic to find Asian bloggers with makeup styles that I really admired, like Hyulari and Sacheu. What was even more of a pleasant surprise was their willingness to engage with their cultural heritage and other social issues. 

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Unlike the “multicultural” programming I grew up with where Asian characters’ ethnicities were hardly ever acknowledged, these YouTubers discussed their parents, their upbringing, and their culture. Sarah Cheung (Sacheu) also discusses her socio-political views, from feminism to LGBTQ+ rights to sex-positivity. She even has videos discussing philosophy, which was her major.

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Now I can actually learn to do my makeup in a way that works with my face and find products that work with my facial features. Yes, a lot of the videos broaden society’s beauty standards to include minorities but they still reinforce certain beauty standards of thinness, high cheekbones, big eyes, and so on. They heavily promote consumerist culture, but in this hardly escapable consumerist world, I would rather have minorities in the media who can represent and guide young minority audiences as they learn to navigate their identities, whether in beauty, politics, or philosophy.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Social Media: @shanghaiobserved Subtle Asian Traits and the Asian Safe Space – Bry Hong

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