And by ‘they’ I mean the YouTuber’s
As you may have heard cosmetic heavy weight NARS has recently announced that they are entering the Chinese market, which means that they are apparently required by law to test their products on animals. NARS is one of THE cosmetic companies which naturally means it’s loved by bloggers, YouTuber’s, spoken about etc. yet since this announcement, none of the YouTuber’s I follow have acknowledged this news. Some media outlets have written articles about it, reported on it or pointed consumers in the direction of animal friendly alternatives. I am not too familiar with Kat Von D but at least she is saying something about it too. NARS themselves have posted a statement on their Instagram which seems to read, that in short, this market was too big for them to ignore, which seems to me is a nice diplomatic way of saying that the profit they could make from this market is too big for them to ignore. Just like with anything, personal opinion and morals are a tough territory especially when it comes to YouTube.
YouTuber’s are their own brand and what they align with says a lot about who they are to their consumer; the power though immeasurable seems to be ever present. By not commenting on this development with NARS, or on animal testing in general perhaps shows the consumer that like NARS & China, the profit and market created through these products is too big for the YouTuber’s to ignore.
This then raises another question; how authentic is the content that we see on YouTube as a platform? Like many developments brought about by the web (including the internet itself), YouTube is seen as a key player in democracy and the distribution of opinions. These YouTuber’s do have an audience that they can speak to, and from what I have seen in comments in response to Instagram posts and videos, this is something people want to speak out, but by simply ignoring or separating themselves from the issue, we can see that a gap does exist between the producer and consumer, even though we believe we have a certain level of ‘access’. On top of this I feel that animals and pets are a big part of the narrative on YouTube, commenters refer to the pets of the YouTuber’s as if they themselves are familiar, and I feel that this scenario further highlights a sense of hypocrisy.
The third, and perhaps hardest point to discuss is that perhaps people don’t care about animal testing. And by this, I mean that animal testing is irrelevant in terms of brand loyalty or image, both for cosmetic companies and for the digital influencers. Though consumers can choose to boycott, ask questions of and educate each other until those in positions of power choose to do something, it can feel like we are all just talking to people who already agree with us.
What do you think?