Lauren Hannah

Grace Zhuang

Going to answer a few questions and comments I keep getting about the YouTube Events and Representation post.

1. What are the numbers representing here?

The numbers on the charts are literally the exact numbers of Special Guests in each demographic at each event. I’ve never taken a statistics class, so there might have been a better way I could’ve presented the data, but yeah. (I got the Guest lists from the events’ websites via the Wayback Machine btw. There may have been more or fewer Guests at the actual events, and this did not include any speakers or panelists who were not official Guests). A lot of people seem to be under the impression that this is a breakdown of attendee demographics, but it’s not. If it were, the charts would be overwhelmingly female. :P

2. There just aren’t many YouTubers who aren’t white dudes, and that’s not the events’ fault.

That might be true if these events only brought in YTers from the top most subscribed channels (which are almost exclusively white men, unfortunately), but they don’t. All of these events featured Guests with 100k or even lower subscriber counts, and there are so many women that have followings like that seriously look at all of these wonderful prominent ladies there are so many holy shit. And that’s just off the top of my head and not even really getting into the beauty, booktube, or music YTers, of which there are HUNDREDS. (There are also tons of non-female PoC, I just live in a bit of a lady bubble so I’m not as familiar with them - but trust that if I was planning a large community event, I would be!)

3. The people who run these events are good people though!

A lot of them are good people - hell, some of them are some of my absolute favorite people in this community. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to talk about the aspects of their events I find troubling. Being a generally good person doesn’t exempt you from criticism, and I’m not even blaming anyone specifically. It’s clearly an overarching problem, and in the case of these events I genuinely believe it comes more from ignorance and obliviousness than anything. Most of the organizers are white guys themselves, after all.

Earlier today Laura Chernikoff made this tweet

Which prompted this conversation

And that got me interested in working out what the demographics have been for the Special Guests (as listed on their websites) of the past four major YouTube events. I feel like we’re all generally aware that women and people of color are underrepresented at these things, but when you look at the numbers it becomes embarrassingly clear how ridiculous this disparity is.

The highest percentage of female Special Guests at any of these events was 32% at Summer in the City. LESS THAN 1/3. 

The highest percentage of Special Guests of color* at any of these events is 16% at the current Buffer Festival. LESS THAN 1/6. (And SitC only had ONE PoC on their Special Guest list this year, which is fucking absurd.)

I don’t want to rant about this too much, I just sort of want to make these numbers known because I find them maddening. And if you guys do too, I encourage you to message the organizers of these events, let them know your thoughts, and maybe recommend them some of the incredible prominent women and PoC we have in this community. 

C’mon YouTube events. I love you, but you seriously need to get your shit together.

*Note that my count is based primarily on looks and the people whose races I know for sure. If I made a mistake and missed anyone who’s white passing, let me know.

How to Paint a Realistic Mouth (Lips) - Watercolor Portrait Tutorial by Kelly Eddington

makeupD0LL

Don’t expect people to love you forever just because you’ve come to the conclusion that women are people. […] It’s a very low bar being set, that bar being basic human decency. So, like, well done on meeting that standard, but let’s be honest - you’re not yet Captain America. (And by that I mean just an indescribably good person who frankly we could all learn a lot from). In that same vein, now that you are a feminist, rather than just declaring that over and over again, why not go out and do some feminist-y things?

I don’t care about your flower beard - Over17Mirrors

Jouelzy

Re: On Miranda Sings and Racism
onedirectionmemeworld replied to your post

It’s all meant to be taken light heartedly. She’s equally loving to all her fans. And let’s admit, jokes that make fun of stereotypes are the basis for stand up comedy all over the world. So just don’t take it seriously or don’t watch I guess :)

orionsrose replied to your post
The thing is Miranda Sings is a character. And through her, Colleen does alot of things that she would otherwise never do in real life.
Also she intends Miranda to come of as an ignorant person who obviously cannot be bothered with the world and hence she does the thing she does.
hussiens replied to your post
The Miranda character is satirical, whose jokes are at her own expense and don’t seem to reinforce any negative stereotypes. If anything it’s an exaggeration of “white girl ignorance”. I’d say she’s safe to promote.
I think it’s important to make a distinction between parody and satire. Colleen doesn’t impersonate anyone but Miranda. She’s her own characters who reflect more on herself than what she’s trying to impersonate. Miranda is funny for how wrong she is.
soariant replied to your post
I absolutely agree that her first “Latina women” parody perpetuates stereotypes and should be addressed. I also think, as this (clearly) was a long time ago, since she’s removed the video already, an apology should be enough to gain back some respect
Also, I hope you see that Miranda is supposed to be a character who thinks she knows more about culture than she does. That’s why she seems uneducated in her videos- you’re supposed to hate her. I know the intention is not to discriminate.
I’m going to watch some more of the Miranda videos and try to get a fuller understanding of the character. My perception is definitely influenced by the fact that I saw the Latina video first, which was Colleen being racist, so I’m having a harder time separating Miranda from Colleen when she does similarly offensive things. 
I also don’t really feel like there’s enough obvious condemnation in those Miranda videos for them to be successful satire? I dunno. I just don’t see her actually criticizing that sort of view so much as exploiting it for views. Especially since whenever someone in the video comments mentions it being racist, rather than explaining that it’s a satirical character and that that’s the point, SO many of her viewers just argue that it’s not racist at all. :/
I am going to reconsider my thoughts though. This is really interesting and I’d love to get some more opinions, especially on what defines satire and where the line is before it crosses into being genuinely offensive. Is intent what matters, or does it come down to what the audience takes away from it?
On Miranda Sings and Racism

Hi guys! Let’s have a chat.

A couple weeks ago over on my personal blog someone sent me an ask criticizing my featuring of Miranda Sings/Colleen Ballinger on this blog due to her “racist humor and constant pedophile jokes.” I don’t personally watch her videos, so I wasn’t aware of any questionable things she’s done.

I was then linked to a few videos of hers. One is a repost of an old, long-deleted video in which she dresses up as a “Hispanic” woman and perpetuates all sorts of gross racist stereotypes.

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Obviously (speaking as a Latina woman) that’s just straight up, indefensible racism. I tried to find out if she’s ever publicly acknowledged how fucking awful this was and apologized, but I haven’t found anything.

Still, the video is several years old and I do accept that people can change, so if this was the only instance I might let it slide if she was making good content now.

Buuuut I was also linked to some more recent videos still up on the Miranda Sings channel, including one where she dresses a Native American character, refers to him as “[her] pet” and makes him speak in a made up language that’s just a series of sounds and then “Yo quiero Taco Bell.”

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And a Gangnam Style parody that’s just her singing a bunch of sounds that I guess are meant to sound vaguely “Asian,” with words like “Tamagotchi,” “Panda Express,” “chopsticks,” and “soy sauce” mixed in.

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I don’t really understand the Miranda character, so I don’t know if those two are some misguided attempts at satire or if she’s just unapologetically racist, but uhh… I don’t know if I’m comfortable promoting her here anymore. :/

And I’d just kinda like to get your guys’s thoughts and opinions, since a lot of you probably watch or have watched her videos and know more about Colleen than I do.

(Normally when I decide not to promote someone I just make a quick, concise post stating why and leave it at that, but the Miranda Sings channel has over 2 million subs and I can’t find ANYONE talking about her racism issues so I feel like this deserves a bigger response.)?