Pretty Girls Becoming Popular Online: What Does It Mean?Justine Ezarik is a pretty blond girl who calls herself "iJustine" and gets hundreds of thousands of hits on her YouTube videos of her doing completely irrelevant bullshit like shopping or telling boring stories to the camera, because of the fact that young men will generally watch pretty blond girls do anything, which then makes said girl popular, which then attracts young female viewers, who will watch popular girls do anything. Mindless lemmings drawn to reflections of our own vapid selves, we all are. For a more thoughtful exploration of this issue, let's see what former Gawker ed. Emily Gould has to say:
Ezarik is one of a new breed of completely self-constructed celebrities. Like my friend Julia Allison, whose online self-­promotion recently landed her on the cover of Wired, she is a Web 2.0 version of the American everygirls with bleached teeth and fake tans who have enjoyed reality-show notoriety for a decade. But Ezarik didn't wait around for a reality show to cast her: she trained the camera on herself, controlling every aspect of how she was portrayed. And while her shtick is that she's just putting quotidian stuff online, she's actually as invested as a reality-show producer in shaping and policing a brand.
So, yes, reality shows are now micro-targeted and self-produced, but still just as vapid as they were on network television. Justine has fans, Justine has stalkers, Justine has a manager, but overall Justine likes the attention she gets from "lifecasting." Fair enough. The takeaway:
Attention's a touchy subject right now. As we trust cultural arbiters less and less to tell us who deserves attention, calling those who seek it—especially women—attention whores has become a dismissive, silencing insult. But here's the thing: understanding that your blog is less a shrine to your awesomeness and more a location where a like-minded community can form—and genuinely being okay with that—is actually pretty rare, even among Internet personalities.
We're genuinely okay with that. Now you, our like-minded community, can comment on this random video below if you so choose. [Technology Review]