Early yesterday, Ingrid Nilsen, an iconic YouTube beauty guru and DIY lover (with over 3 million subscribers) posted a video to her channel explaining how she had always felt like a lesbian and did not want to keep this part of her identity hidden from her fans any longer. First it was Tyler Oakley, so on and so forth. Iconic faces of YouTube coming out to show the world that they are no different than anyone else who is struggling with their own problems. I still remember the time when little old anxious me watched Mitchell Davis' video about how he began making YouTube videos to curb his anxiety disorder.
YouTubers having a voice and standing firm with that voice is crucial to helping young kids understand what it means to be different (and that it is OK to be different)! Since 2007, YouTube has been an escape for me. I was a loner homeschooler, trying to re-discover who I was after relentless bullying at school. When I discovered Ingrid's videos in 2010, I related to her. Her somewhat shy, yet hilariously bubbly nature resonated with me. We both had our own crap. As many beauty guru admirers would agree, there's something strangely soothing about watching someone do their make up and chit chat with their viewers. Someone who is like you--who has the same fears, quirks and imperfections.
Like many YouTubers (not only beauty gurus), Ingrid is a real life example of what it means to hold resiliency and bounce back from the crap that life throws at you. YouTube is necessary because it showcases the lives of every day people and not the scripted reality shows or unrealistic character stories we see in soap operas on television.
Ingrid Nilsen coming out as lesbian to a global audience is incredibly important and adds an extra bit of depth to the YouTube community. Her video detailing her experience has reached over 3.5 million views as we speak and is helping to break down stereotypes/encourage understanding of LGBTQ people. I couldn't be more proud, joyful or excited for what lies ahead of this brilliant lady!
You go, Ingrid!