YouTube's Vlog Authenticity in the Performance of Femininity

The Construction of Authenticity

The first indicator of the vlogging style’s authenticity is YouTube’s dichotomy between user-created and professional content. Having professional TV/film clips and music videos on the same space as bedroom or back-yard productions (Burgess & Green), gives vloggers an authentic and real persona. This contrast gives vlogs an aura of being closer to reality, being less polished than professional productions. The vlogging format also gains this aura from its antecedents: webcam culture, personal blogging and the confessional culture of reality TV (Burgess & Green). These three communication styles established safe spaces for people to express their personalities however they desired without outside pressure. They gave people a voice, allowing everyone to share their own life experiences and unique points of views. The type of repeated content vloggers create also points to the sense of authenticity present in vlogs. A common vlog concept is participating in challenges started by other creators. In some cases, the vlogger even mentions whose idea they are following or repurposing. Examples of this are the many tags, such as the “My Boyfriend Does My Makeup Tag” or the “What’s In My Bag Tag”, indicating that vloggers are not above viewers; they are all in the same community (Fischer) and watching the same videos, bringing vlogs’ stars to the same down-to-earth level of the viewers.

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