Women beauty vloggers, or video bloggers, produce YouTube
self-representations as a means of considering cosmetics, their appearance, and
cultural expectations about femininity. These vloggers developed “the power
of makeup” videos and related social media texts in order to critique makeup
shaming and attempts to limit women’s representations and aesthetic choices.
Their incomplete cosmetic applications are connected to and rework reality
television makeovers and feminist considerations of beauty. Feminist scholars,
including Bordo and Bartky, suggest that makeovers direct women to pursue
transformations into better selves and to follow beauty experts’ directions.
In contrast to these forms of control, beauty vloggers have more authority
over their practices. They use the term “transformation” to describe applications
that are not focused on ideal looks or ever-improvable selves, and reform
beauty culture around participants’ interests and artistry rather than male heterosexual
expectations. These women’s practices of self-definition challenge
mainstream conceptions of art, makeup, and femininity.