While this is old news (in internet terms) I couldn’t be more excited. Louise Pentland, a YouTuber that has managed to create a loving, and understanding community online, is doing something that hasn’t really been done before (in this capacity) on Youtube - she’s allowing change and chance to happen. She’s allowing her internet personality to grow up and in turn, allowing herself to be free to be herself.
As she say’s, “I'm not perfect. I'm don't live a princessy life in a house made of candy canes (although that does sound cool), I just do normal things. I'm 31, I work, I play. I'm so bored of making things I know will just coast by, not upsetting the apple cart. I want to run free and enjoy it.”
It’s no secret that the group of highly successful English YouTubers signed with Gleam Futures, are mostly regarded as super clean, overtly positive, people. There’s nothing wrong with that, but anyone could see that, that kind of repetition can get weigh on someone after a while. Especially if you’re real-life is growing past the easily accepted content proven to be successful. I’ll also say that even though the “Gleam Team” is seen as the cookie cutter, perfect people on the surface, they’ve all seen and shared their down days - which as a viewer I appreciate their openness as much as the happy positivity. It's fair to say that while so many viewers turn to these folks to help bring a little cheer into their lives, it's also fair to say that the difficulties experienced can also resinate with viewers. So, when Louise shared, what I’m sure was a completely nerve racking choice with her millions of followers, it was something to be celebrated.
YouTube is still so new. It’s something that seemed to blossom overnight, and is still working through it’s own issues and censorship. However, it was created as an open platform so anyone who wished to could share their visual creations with anyone. Without a doubt, "Team Internet" has changed the game for people wishing to make a name for themselves, for freelancers, and for new ways to reach people instantly all over the world. But we can’t deny that those of us who have grown up with YouTube need YouTube to grow up in certain ways as well. Some of us, who are in the 25-35 year old bracket are looking for more adult discussions, more current events, and acknowledgement of the world outside of YouTube. I think that’s why day-in-the-life vlogs (video blogs) are so popular, we’re getting an edited glimpse at someone’s life, but we’re not sitting with them in their bedroom talking about something we don’t see as “real.” Meaning, a haul, challenge, monthly favorites etc… pure entertainment fluff (which I enjoy, definitely not putting that down).
Louise has sprinkled adult discussions on her channel here and there recently, and they always stand out to me. A few to mention: her interview with Ed Miliband, ambassadorship with United Nations 17 Global Goals for Gender Equality, life as a mother with an incredibly clever little girl, and of course, a bubble of life for women my age everywhere.
Personally, I couldn’t be more excited for this growth. When it comes to explaining more adult themed topics, Louise always has a way of wording her thoughts in a way that can reach across all age ranges. I know that she said she felt some of her audience might not approve, or agree with her evolving her channel, and in particular the parents might disapprove the most - but to the parents, I say don’t worry so much. I think it would niave to think that children these days aren’t already exposed to adult content on regular basis. The important thing to remember about Louise’s channel is that she’s built trust and kindness throughout her community, and just because she’s going to include more adult content doesn’t mean that trust should disappear. To parents that might still be hesitant, maybe see this as an opportunity to enjoy a special YouTuber that’s working hard to share her life lessons with the world with your kid. I’m sure there will be topics that are not appropriate because she is 31 and looking to mingle, anddd drop the occasional “fuck” - and that’s understandable, but I wouldn’t say she’s becoming a no-go zone for your kids just yet.
What also excites me about this change is that it's another example of women using the internet in a positive way. That might sound strange, but YouTube is a place where women are able to voice their opinions and be taken a bit more seriously more and more each year. Yes, they still get plenty of sexist trolls on the daily and there's still a lot of abuse that needs to be stopped, but I truly feel like female YouTubers are doing an amazing job at speaking for all woman and discussing what it means to be a 21st century woman.
I send my congratulations to Louise and wish the best for her. I hope this helps her continue to grow and get to know her real self, and I’m so ready for this change. Well done!