ADELE HAS BLESSED US WITH HER RETURN

Around midnight last night I had a heart attack.

My queen, Adele, has released the music video for her single “Hello”. It is amazing, to say the very least. It has garnered over 48,000,000 views in the last two days! It is a masterpiece, directed by my favourite director on the planet: Xavier Dolan. It’s no wonder the visuals match the song itself so perfectly.

I honestly cannot form words at the moment, but here it is:

Watch it and weep with joy.

Child Dreams in Code While I Dream of Dreaming in Code

So here’s something that both inspired me and slightly depressed me. As someone who’s only begun coding a couple of months ago, fourteen-year-old Santiago Gonzalez makes me look like I’m barely making it through my ABC’s.

Nonetheless, this is a kickass video, kudos to you kid.

Is Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” Feminist?

So by now most of you have seen Nicki Minaj’s music video Anaconda. Reactions I’ve heard to the video were predominantly shock, disgust and offense. I’m not even a Barb but I love it, and I’ll tell you why.

nicki-minaj-reveals-anaconda-art

 

Anaconda made me realise how much of an empowering feminist Nicki really is. Don’t see it? Let me break it down.

The song samples Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Grammy Award-winning song Baby Got Back. That song itself is pretty exploitative and talks about how he’s only into chicks with plump posteriors and that his “Anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hun”. The song is rooted in booty politics, which discuss the idea that women’s bodies are mere pleasure for the male gaze.

 

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Think of Anaconda as a satire parody of Baby Got Back, because Nicki included butt-slapping, gyrating and booty-hopping, all of which were in the original video, but does it almost to tease the male gaze. How is she teasing you ask? Well, that cocktail bar scene stands out for me. Where she’s wearing a revealing maid’s outfit, spraying whipped cream on her boobies, twerking, licking the cream seductively and finally a banana appears. She takes the banana, makes it seem like she’s going to eat it alluringly (like most cliché woman-eats-a-banana-and-makes-a-guy-hard gags), but instead she rips the banana in two, cuts it up into little pieces, and throws it over her shoulder. Now people, if that doesn’t strike you as a powerful statement then I don’t know what does. She’s basically taking the male gaze and literally chopping it up and tossing it. She does the same thing in her song Lookin Ass, which I thought was genius. She literally grabs machine guns and destroys the male gaze.

 

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Then Drake shows up. What was his purpose in the video? He sits there, having a good time while Nicki gives him a show-stopping, blood-pumping lap dance. So for a while we think he’s got the upper hand. But look closely. Drake is a prop. He doesn’t drop any bars, his clothes are pretty low-key and there’s never attention to his face. He’s just there to have Nicki’s bum up all in his grill. What gives it 500 times more volume is that they didn’t pick just any model off the street for that scene; they casted Drizzy, who’s an established rapper and has probably taken part in booty politics himself.

 

nicki-minaj-drake-anaconda

 

So Nicki’s getting him all excited, but he can’t get too enthusiastic ‘cause as soon as he tries to touch, Nicki swats his hand and walks away off-screen like a BOSS. She’s in charge, she ain’t havin’ your anaconda and she got buns, hun!

 

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Is Anaconda part of the feminist movement? I think so. Is it flawed? Definitely.  Issues like skinny-shaming are included in the song, but that’s a discussion for another day. Does it make a powerful statement against the way women are portrayed in the media, and more specifically the music industry? Absolutely.

What do you think? Let me know in the comment section.

 

THE FIRE CHALLENGE!

Happy Hump Day,

Ever heard of the condom challenge? Yeah, this is like that but worse.

So there’s a new, hip, challenge that all the kids are doing nowadays!

Lately I’ve been thinking that challenges on YouTube are getting out of hand. I first heard of the Fire Challenge when Shane Dawson mentioned it in his video appropriately titled THE FIRE CHALLENGE. You might be thinking that there is no such thing as a fire challenge. Let me assure you, it’s real.

This is how it goes: an individual douses him or herself in alcohol and then proceeds to set him or herself on fire.

 

Most people that are talking about this topic are saying that people are lighting themselves on fire to gain celebrity. I can see how that could be. It’s just something I would not recommend. There are just too many consequences. Fire burns. That seems like an obvious statement to you, but to some it seems to dwell only at the back of some people’s minds.

So many teens have been burnt badly through attempting this challenge.

I hate to admit it, but my generation is really not proving to be the most intelligent. I mean, I’m not excluding myself but damn, lighting ourselves on fire? Seriously?

Here’s one of the more famous videos of this horrible challenge:

Apparently that kid’s mother, Janie Talley, was arrested and will appear in court in October.

You know what? I’m just going to end the discussion there. This is driving me crazy, I’m afraid I’ll say something stupid. Let me leave you with this video to get the full picture of what’s going on.

As always, stay fresh!

 

 

 

YOUTUBER OF THE WEEK: MALIS TGLR

First and foremost, if you’re a curvy, thick, big-boned (or what have you) girl like me, you’re going to adore this week’s Youtuber Of The Week. In fact, after watching the video I’m about to talk about, you’re going to join the long line of women queuing to marry him. Now that that’s been said, let’s get right to it. Malis     Malis Tglr everybody! And, to be honest, I discovered him quite arbitrarily and completely by chance. I was in the middle of being traumatised by my first HowToBasic video (side note: I am in dire need of venting all of my raging emotions for the lawlessness of HowToBasic videos, but more on this later, I need a whole segment for that!) when I glanced at the sidebar and saw an intriguing title:                                                                                                

                                                                                               “I Love Me A Big Girl” 

And before I even saw the video, no, before I even clicked on the video, I loved it. Yes, I know that’s somewhat narcissistic of me, but you’re gonna have to cut me some slack. My thick sisters and brothers: you feel me.

So, I clicked on the video. I watched it. I laughed. It ended. I pressed reply. I watched it again. I pressed replay. Wash, rinse and repeat this about five or six times. Let me tell you why I loved it so much and why Malis is my YouTuber of the Week.

1) He didn’t say the words “fat” & “thick”  like they were curse words.

2) His laugh.

3) He gave multiple reasons for why he likes chubby girls when, in all honesty, he only needed to tell us one. I mean, I am pleasantly elated that he enlightened me that there’s a whole sea full of fish that go for the fish other fish swim away from. Did that analogy make any sense?

4) He was straightforward.

5) His laugh.

6) This phrase: “Are you f*cking retardedly stupidly dumb?” (you’ll get it when you watch the video)

7) His laugh.

8) This phrase: “A big girl will make you feel loved”

9) He didn’t skinny-shame.

10) He was genuinely funny.

 

Honestly, there are a few things he said that I don’t like, and I would specify but I don’t want to ruin the magic for you. It’s just nice to hear, from a man’s perspective, that us thicker girls aren’t the ugly, incompatible, cat-ladies we make ourselves out to be. And yes, I know this is just one man’s opinion. But if one person can have the capacity to feel and think this way, then it at least gives us hope that there are more out there kind of like him. I’d certainly like to think so.

As always, stay fresh.

YouTube Culture

Merry Monday!

Alright, so everybody’s been going crazy the past couple of months. By everybody, I mean YouTubers. And what they’ve been going crazy over is the seemingly recent acknowledgement of the of fame and stardom within the  YouTube community and the consequences that follow. Let me break this down.

It all started with SprinkleOfGlitter, aka Louise Watson, who posted a video appropriately entitled “YouTube Culture” in May.

 

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This video sparked a YouTube revolution. Okay, maybe not a revolution (yet), but it definitely got a great deal of people that use the platform to voice their opinions on the topic. From the people in comment sections, to smaller YouTubers, even to the major YouTube celebrities like PewDiePie.

 

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What Louise was saying was that after experiencing her subscribers scream at her and go crazy at YouTube conventions and meet-ups, she was overwhelmed. She says that it has come to a point where her own fans scare her. She thinks that there needs to be a better way for famous content creators to interact with their fans in a more stable environment. What’s more important is that she believes that she doesn’t deserve the praise and idolisation from her subscribers. She used idol and role model” as the key word. Louise thinks, and I agree with her, that to idolise someone one needs to acknowledge that person’s life story. She fears that they might not realise that the person they see onscreen is only the version of herself she wants to put out there. In other words, often viewers fall in love with the person that the content creator has decided to portray, not the actual content creator. So when one says Louise is their idol, they really mean Sprinkleofglitter is their idol.

Personally, I agree with every single word she said. I left a lot out, so you really should check out the full video to get the full idea, it’s refreshingly honest.

What struck me the most was the part where she talked about how she found it weird that there were barriers between her and her viewers at this convention. Also, when she heard that a girl queued for 7 hours just to see her, she felt like crying. This was what got me thinking, for the first time, about the authenticity of the “dialogue” atmosphere the YouTube claims to uphold, contrasting to the “monologue” ideology of mainstream media.

Until recently, we’d all accepted the idea that mainstream media, mainly TV, is not a platform where creator and consumer can interact. Because, really, no matter how much I love Amy Poehler I know that there’s zero chance we’ll ever meet. However, I sincerely and shamelessly believe that I will meet Trisha Paytas, The Third Pew and Brandon Berg and that we’ll be the best of friends. Seriously. But the point is, I soon realised, after watching all of Tyler Oakley‘s VidCon vlogs, that YouTube culture really isn’t that different to Hollywood culture.

 

Notice the screaming fans screaming for Tyler's attention. Also BODYGUARDS!

Notice the screaming fans screaming for Tyler’s attention. Also BODYGUARDS!

Granted, Tyler Oakley has over 4 million of subscribers, so fame is inevitable. However, the power that be have constructed an environment where the subscribers are treated as fans and YouTubers who happen to have lots of subscribers are treated as celebrities. Just like the mainstream entertainment industry. Bodyguards, flashing cameras, fangirls begging for the famous person’s attention, signed posters and red carpets.

People aren’t equal within the YouTube community. I’m not sure if they ever were; I got into YouTube relatively recently so I wasn’t there to witness the early days of YouTube but I see where it is today and I’m afraid to say, it looks a lot like the mainstream entertainment industry. There are spaces on YouTube where there is plenty of dialogue. Sadly, this usually only occurs when the YouTuber has below half a million subscribers, maybe even less. It seems that when the subscriber count goes up, comments and tweets stop getting replies.

Louise is really on to something, and I love it. She’s one of the few top YouTubers that seem to care about the divide between viewer and content creator. I respect that. She’s not the only one. Here’s a non-extensive list of other YouTubers that feel the same way (my favourite is TheThirdPew’s, just sayin’).

Don’t worry, I added links so just click on their names to go straight to their “YouTube Culture” videos. I know people of the Interwebs are lazy, I got you.

1. TheThirdPew

2. PewDiePie

3. Mickeleh

4. ChewingSand

5. Vicky (from The Hopeful Family)

 

What’s your take on all this? Comment!

ARE TROYE SIVAN & CASPAR LEE ‘REAL’ SOUTH AFRICAN YOUTUBERS?

Good Day People of the Interwebs,

Do you consider Troye Sivan and Caspar Lee genuine South African YouTubers?

It’s Troye on the left and Caspar on the right. This was the thumbnail for Caspar’s video “Exclusive Interview With Troye Sivan”

 

Today I was exploring the small but talented world of South African YouTubers and found a video by the amazing Michael Cost entitled ‘What South African Movies Taught Me‘ and he said something that really struck a chord with me. After he mentioned all he learnt from Spud was that “if you starred in Spud, you will become a famous YouTuber”, he said something I’d been too afraid to voice myself, which is that he thinks Troye Sivan and Caspar Lee aren’t reeeally South African YouTubers because:

a) Caspar was actually born in England and moved to South Africa when he was young, and

b) although Troye was born in Johannesburg, he moved to Australia when he was young and has lived there ever since

And, to be honest, I kind of agree with him. But not for those reasons.

Okay, I see the disappointed judgement on your face. Let me make my points clear before we start throwing stones. Firstly, I don’t think that you have to be born in a place to call it home, so Caspar, you’re as South African as I am. I don’t dispute that fact. And Troye, well I don’t actually know what your family’s reasoning was for moving to Australia but whether you have or haven’t abandoned your South Africanness has nothing to do with me.

HOWEVER, the way I see other South African YouTubers is not how I see Caspar and Troye. For me, it’s not so much that I don’t think Caspar and Troye aren’t South African, that I have no right to decide, but for me it’s more of the essence of a hardcore South African YouTuber that I think they don’t have.  You know what I mean?

 

Here're just a FEW awesome South African YouTubers. From top left corner to the bottom right corner it goes: Michael Cost, Kharla Williams, Nerdzsquared, Prev Reddy, Rohil Aniruth, Tenn iBair, Liesl Prinsloo, Mark Fitzgibbon and ME! (^_^)

Here’re just a FEW awesome South African YouTubers. From top left corner to the bottom right corner it goes: Michael Cost, Kharla Williams, Nerdzsquared, Prev Reddy, Rohil Aniruth, Tenn iBair, Liesl Prinsloo, Mark Fitzgibbon and ME! (^_^)

 

Most South African YouTubers that I stalk (did I say stalk? I meant subscribe to) and love watching don’t really have über HD cameras, don’t hang out and travel with mega famous YouTubers like Tyler Oakley and Zoella, don’t get over a million views for a video and definitely don’t have a million subscribers. Heck, I’m pretty sure we get excited when we see we’d gotten a hundred views on a video and gained two subscribers.

But this is what I love about the South African YouTube community. We are growing together, experiencing the struggle of slow internet and powering through Eskom but are still making videos, not because we’ve got a billion subscribers, but because we have twelve and we love entertaining those twelve. Well, that’s why I’m doing it anyway.

So, no hate to Caspar and Troye (Troye was actually previously one of my “YouTuber of the Week” click the link to find out why!). I actually enjoy their videos. I’m simply saying they just don’t have the je ne sais quoi that I find in other South African YouTubers. Hey, it’s neither a good nor a bad thing: they’re just different.

Having said that, please check out all the South African YouTubers I’ve included in the collage I made, they’re top notch, I promise.

Here’s a list, in order of appearance:

1) Michael Cost

2) Kharla Williams

3) Nerdzsquared 

4) Preven Reddy 

5) Rohil Aniruth

6) Tenn iBair

7) Liesl Prinsloo

8) Mark Fitzgibbon

9) Gugu Béla

As usual, comment below! I’m dying to know what you think about this.