So Much Love (and Hate) for Michelle Phan
By Laura T.
I must admit that I’m pushing 30. These eyes aren’t without wrinkles anymore. Most nights, I have to go to bed at 9pm.
But apply a cucumber mask, do my nails, soak in a bubble bath… and I might just feel like a goddess.
Watching Michelle Phan’s beauty videos make me feel, well… young again. They have an atmosphere about them, a certain calming quality. Often, she combines new dance music (or even anime/video game music) with professional video quality, advanced and basic makeup techniques, and sometimes even fantasies of romantic nights out with “that special someone.”
Yeah, sometimes it’s a little cheese-balls.
But these are some of the many reasons why she has almost 2 million subscribers, 200+ uploaded videos, and a contract with Lancome. She has also recently created her own YouTube video network called FAWN (For All Women Network), based upon the pronunciation of her last name.
Phan = Fawn. Get it?
Michelle’s videos and their steadily-climbing quality have garnered her a huge following over the last few years of her young life – she’s only 25 – and she now has 3 companies to her name. Ever Eden, a jewelry line; MyGlam, a subscription-based sample makeup service; and, of course, FAWN, the new YouTube channel hosting a handful of shows starring herself and other YouTube gurus of the same caliber.
Makes you wonder what you’ve been doing for the last 30 years, #amIright?
Unfortunately, with so much success comes a lot of attention. And with a lot of attention comes a lot of hate. This hate against Phan and other gurus on YouTube is so prevalent that there’s even a site called Guru Gossip, and a thread dedicated specifically to the launch of FAWN (which happened earlier this year) and all things Michelle related. http://www.gurugossip.net/t9375-fawn-for-all-women-network
Since her success in launching FAWN, the insults have been overwhelming and comments on her videos run the gamut. Viewers call her a fraud, poser, bitch, criticize her looks, her voice, and just about anything they can. This isn’t just the occasional comment: it’s downright cyber-bullying.
Why all the hate? And from, presumably, her female peers who watch these videos?
Aren’t we supposed to build up our fellow women and celebrate their accomplishments?
We know how male executives keep a watchful eye over the success of other men. Why are women stereotyped as doing the exact opposite (the Devil Wears Prada, anyone)? Michelle herself has broken the stereotype and fostered a community of gurus around her, cultivating their success in tandem with her own. FAWN consists of MacBarbie07, AndreasChoice, ChriselleLim, JessicaHarlow, and DavenMayeda, who are only a few gurus among the countless others she promotes and favorites.
There are harrowing stories of her climb to success and fame. She fought to get to where she is, mainly just by being herself and continuing to submit her videos to the unpredictable internet public.
The bottom line is this: Michelle Phan is a young woman who is an entrepreneur, an innovator, and a risk-taker. She has done so much in her short life that she should be applauded. She’s not without her faults, but she is doing great things, and she is keeping women in the forefront of the YouTube community. She is making it her purpose to promote “all women” and to celebrate women in power. She is a rising star of feminism and inspires so many to be more than they ever dreamed possible.
Her Google+ account says, “”Some people dream of success…others stay awake to achieve it.”
Good on you, girl. Here’s to remaining wide awake and persevering in the midst of so much hate.