The introduction of Web 2.0 and social media between the 1990s and 2000s brought forward the idea of using the Internet as a new platform for business (Flew 2014, 13). This could be done by utilising the personalised profiles and online communications any person on Social Media or Social Networking Sites (SNS) were able to create and use (Boyd 2010, 42). With the developments of these online tools, new business affordances started to reveal themselves to consumers. This can be seen through the new changes within the Makeup Industry moving from working in different beauty industries to creating personalised beauty guru channels on YouTube. This change is going to be further analysed through the industry itself, the participants who work in it, and the way these makeup artists make their income.
Without the use of Web 2.0 and SNS, makeup artists were able to begin their career through presenting portfolios exhibiting beauty looks they had already created to apply for different job industries. Practice and experience were important factors in these applications for the artists, as if they were to be successful in getting a job, they needed to be able to work on many people with different 'face shapes, eye shapes, skin colours, eye colours, and ages’. If successful, a makeup artist could work in various industries like: ‘film, television, theatre, wedding and beauty, fashion, retail and the service industry’. While the application process clearly required a lot of effort from the artist, after attaining a job, there was then the possibility for issues to arise in regards to working hours.
Makeup Artist Working on a Victoria Secret Model (Nomikou, 2016)
Working hours within the makeup industry could prove to be very unbalanced, which would then consequently have effects on income as well. Working in the entertainment industry could mean that the individual had shifts that last for extensive amounts of hours over a certain period of time and then have no work for the following few weeks. Usually the only way to improve this and have balanced hours in the beauty industry, and income, would be if they worked in retail or service, which could potentially limit the artist if they wanted to work in different areas. (H&MUA September 2012). Though it is clear that an individual being a makeup artist within these occupations could face issues and have to put in a lot of time and effort, it is still done commonly in todays society, as can be argued through all of the courses and pathways on offer to help start their careers (H&MUA 2012). However, in the networked public we live in today new affordances are being provided allowing new job types in this industry, in particular on YouTube.
With 14.9 billion beauty related videos being viewed on YouTube, and 9.8 billion of these being specifically makeup related, it is clear that this industry has become very popular within networked societies (Gutelle 2014). To get a better understanding on how new beauty gurus are taking advantage of business opportunities within YouTube, an Australian YouTuber named Kashani Grimmond is going to be analysed.
Kashani Grimmond (GuruGossip 2016)
Kashani Grimmond, more commonly known as Shani Grimmond, began her journey on YouTube on November 12, 2011 (FamousBirthdays 2017). To create her profile all she had to do was create an account on YouTube for free, find a camera, film herself, and then upload the footage; a much different process to how other makeup artists had to start their careers without SNS (YouTube 2017). Since the very first video uploaded, she has filled her profile with beauty related content like ‘Makeup Tutorials’, and ‘Get Ready With Me’s’, and is now known as a successful YouTube beauty guru with more than 1, 100, 000 followers (ShaniGrimmond 2017). Being in charge of her own profile, Grimmond is able to control when she posts and how regularly, as seen in her bio when she states, ‘I post new videos every 3-4 days’. It is clear that Shani Grimmond has complete control over her beauty channel and through affordances like Spreadability and convergence, been able to make it successful.
Shani Grimmond's YouTube Profile (ShaniGrimmond 2017)
Having 1, 100, 000 followers could not have happened without the success in Spreadability and convergence. As defined by Henry Jenkins, ‘the main characteristic of “social media”/“web 2.0” is that they are spreadable media’ (Fuchs 2014, 53). This means that the content produced on social media, in this case YouTube videos, is easily shared between the public making it more known and successful (Cassidy 2017). The addition of social convergence, the promotion of content sharing between various media platforms, then also helped Shani Grimmond’s success with her followers being able to consume more of her content (Flew 2014, 5). While there are clear changes within the industry itself, changes could additionally be seen through the makeup artists themselves.
It is clear from above that before the introduction of Web 2.0 and SNS makeup artists arguably needed experience and talent to understand the different face structures of people to be able to successfully attain a career (MakupGeek 2012). While it wasn’t compulsory to have lessons and training, in highly competitive industry firms like film and television, artists were ‘probably less likely to be considered for jobs without some sort of foundation training’. There are many TAFE courses, local authority, government or community colleges, and private makeup schools on offer for the public, however if deciding not to go to these schools there a few jobs that will teach you from scratch before you start (H&MUA 2012). The more skills you have though generally means the more income you will earn (GWADTWD 2017).
In todays society we are seeing new roles of audiences emerging where consumers are actively participating in creating content and in result there is a blurring between amateurs and professionals (Fuchs 2014, 53). ‘Anyone can post anything they want, as long as they use a Taylor Swift song’. As seen by Shani Grimmond and her first video of doing her best friends (Chloe Szep’s) makeup when they were sixteen, neither girl were educated on makeup but were just having fun, giggling as she did her makeup for a night out. Despite this, she was still able to succeed stupendously, and improve her skills through trial and error (ShaniGrimmond 2017). She also only had the struggle of finding the correct makeup look for her own face structure, as it can be seen on her profile that she only does her own makeup, in exception to her first video (ShaniGrimmond 2017). This is in contrast to the role of the traditional makeup artist (MakeupGeek 2012).
As stated earlier, makeup artists not on SNS faced the risk of unbalanced hours and therefore unbalanced income. Generally, makeup artists could expect to earn between $1 000 and $1 249 per week, $52 000 to $64 999 p.a, and as their skills increased generally so did their income (GWADTWD 2017). While wages had the potential of being unbalanced, with the new YouTube beauty guru job, there is now potential to earn more money with working hours determined by the worker but have the downside of being connected 24/7 to their viewers, which could lead to the blurring between work and play.
Shani Grimmond is quite successful financially due to her beauty business on YouTube, with rough estimates saying she earns $17.5K- $279.7K p.a. (SocialBlade 2017). However, being active on SNS means that an individual is online 24/7 (Cassidy 2017). Shani Grimmond has now converged her content across many social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter (ShaniGrimmond 2017) to gain greater spreadability and therefore greater success. However, this activeness then means that the blurring between work and play can be seen, as although she may be videoing a Snapchat story with friends or posting a picture on Instagram, they are all helping with spreading her name to a greater audience group, arguably helping her improve her business (Cassidy 2017). Therefore, while this 24/7 connectivity and blurring between work and play has the option of either being seen as negative or positive, Grimmond must deal with these concepts and work with them to further her career into success.
Overall, it is clear that due to the introduction of Web 2.0 and Social Networking Sites, new affordances have created new opportunities for jobs. This can be clearly seen through the makeup artist industry, and the addition of online professions. While both makeup artists not on SNS and on these sites face issues, they both also have their pluses and are both still being conducted today.
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