Back in August 2020, Vogue uploaded a video of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doing her makeup routine. This is the makeup that she wears during her regular (and exhausting, mind you) days at the Capitol. This video surprised people because she is a respected and very popular congresswoman. Surely, she can do so much more with her time than posting a video on how she does her makeup. But, even with this perception, 3.2 million people viewed this video. Yes, Vogue has a broad audience worldwide. But this number is still quite high if we compare it to other makeup tutorial videos on Vogue. So it’s very clear that many people are fascinated with Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s makeup routine.
Sure, we can admire the congresswoman solely based on the work that she does in Congress. But we’re also fascinated by her makeup routine. We love watching our favorite celebrities and other well-known people do their makeup. Through these tutorials, they share hair care tips for women. They share beard care tips for men. But it’s so much more than that, right? So why are we so drawn to makeup tutorial videos?
Connecting with the Different Sides of our Idols
Let’s go back to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez. We’re used to seeing videos of her monologues in Congress. She makes appearances in many talk shows, chatting with the likes of Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah. If we want to see her in a more casual setting, we can turn to Instagram. She posts videos of herself explaining a certain political issue while cooking dinner. But her doing her makeup is a different story.
Through this tutorial, we get to see a part of her that helps us connect with her more. As she washes her face and applies sunscreen, she talks about self-love. She talks about the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. She shows us how she applies her signature red lips and instantly feels empowered. These are the kinds of things that make people like her seem more human to us. In this video, she’s not just the representative for New York’s 14th Congressional District. She’s also a young woman like us who takes care of herself through her beauty routine.
Changing Perception of Beauty
When we scroll through Facebook or Instagram, we’re used to seeing our favorite personalities looking very beautiful. Their hair is perfectly done. Their cheeks are rosy in just the right way. Their lips are so full and glossy. Because we’re always seeing these, we have been forming a certain idea of beauty. And this idea sets very high standards on what constitutes as beautiful.
But through makeup tutorials, we get to see the likes of Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid before they’re all dolled up with makeup. We see their bare faces—their most natural look. We see the long and arduous process of their makeup routine. Through this, we get to appreciate the fact that their enhanced beauty doesn’t just come naturally. They don’t roll out of bed with perfectly curled lashes and rosy cheeks.
By seeing all of their hard work, we also realize that their beauty is not as unachievable as we might think. We, too, could be as beautiful as them.
Building a Community
Another good thing about watching such makeup tutorials is that we get to find the people that we share the same interests and passions with. We can engage with them through the comments section. Through this exchange, we get to forge relationships and build a community of makeup lovers. In this community, we get to share makeup tips with one another. We can even share products with one another. After all, it’s fairly common for a YouTube beauty vlogger to give away products to their loyal subscribers.
But the best thing about being part of such a community is that we get to be surrounded by people who would encourage us in many ways. They would encourage us to embrace our own brand of beauty. They would share tips on enhancing our own skin color instead of striving for fairer tones. They would tell us how to maintain our curly hair instead of how to straighten it every day.
Many people might believe that watching makeup tutorials only fuels our vanity. It makes us feel more insecure about our faces and bodies. While this may ring true for many people, it’s not the same for everyone. For others, watching such videos bring them calmness and even joy. Learning beauty tips and applying them to our own faces help us feel empowered.