Being an influencer is not an easy job especially when everyone is looking to criticize or disrespect the content you create. It’s difficult to make it through a career on social media platforms without having at least one scandal.
It’s true that every influencer is caught in some type of controversy, but it’s how they deal with it that determines how their followers react.
Shane Dawson started his YouTube career in 2008 by making comedy sketch videos that received a large amount of backlash for their vulgar and racist undertones.
Dawson changed his image and rebrand his channel, attracting different and larger audiences. In my opinion, Dawson is one of the best content creators on the platform.
Through his controversies, his fan base stood by him and supported him through his honesty. Dawson, in turn, remained open with his fans about his rough childhood, his weight struggles and mental health issues. This allowed his viewers to really get to know him and appreciate his content.
He changed and continued to earn respect. In recent months, he started working in different communities on YouTube, especially the makeup community. He teamed up with Jeffree Star, a makeup mogul with his own successful makeup brand.
Star is among one of the most controversial creators, but Dawson was able to harp on the reality and show Star in a different light. Dawson proved that people can change despite their past controversies, like he had done himself.
In an eight-part documentary series on Dawson’s YouTube channel, he showed how creators work to build brands and keep themselves balanced between personal and public success. The series showed the process of creating and distributing a makeup and merchandise collection. This was the first time a YouTuber was open about the trials of this type of rigorous process.
I think this was the perfect way to get his audience excited for the collection. By being transparent and showing every aspect of the process, his audience was able to appreciate it and want it so much more.
The collection dropped on the Jeffree Star Cosmetics’ website and attracted so much attention that the website shut down within the first few hours of the launch. Dawson sold over one million pallets in the first 30 minutes, not including retail sales. The eyeshadow pallet quickly sold out along with the rest of the collection.
Many people criticized the makeup, claiming that it’s not suitable for “wearable” eye looks and the colors didn’t go together. I believe that’s the point. Dawson wanted to create an eyeshadow pallet that represented the brand he worked so hard to grow. By having shades like a silver “diet cola” and a neon yellow “food videos,” Dawson wanted to add elements of his life along with their corresponding colors.
In this time, Dawson was nominated for Creator of The Year by the YouTube Streamy Awards. I don’t think any other creator is deserving of this title because of his hard work in creating content. He is relatable and dedicated to his fans.
Shelby Bordes is a 20-year-old mass communication junior from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.