For anyone that follows Essie Button on YouTube, you may have noticed that her last few videos are really different from her usual format. The camerawork is a little more free and shaky, she doesn’t always address the camera directly, and there’s definitely a more adult feel to the videos. In Let’s Meet Again, Estee addresses these changes and talks about how she felt penned in by the expectation of what her channel should be like, feeling that it only allowed her to show one side of her personality. Moving forward, she promises to be showing a lot more of her whole self (she’s changed all her social media to her real name, Estee Lalonde, to reflect this), and hints at future projects to come.
What I found most interesting about this change wasn’t specifically what Estee was doing, but rather how her subscribers and followers were reacting to it. It seems that for every comment applauding her for stepping up, demanding more from herself and celebrating the need for the channel to grow up, there was another comment letting Estee know that they didn’t approve of what she was doing, asking her if she was okay, expressing their dislike for this new look on her channel. I suspect that some of this comes from Estee’s appearance in her videos; bare-faced and relaxed, rather than made-up and bubbly. I think they’re forgetting that you don’t need to wear make-up to be happy, and she looks stunning without any products on her face.
There’s no doubt that this is all a brave move from the ex-Essie Button. Embracing change can be daunting no matter what it’s to do with, but it’s especially nerve-wracking when this is the way that she makes her living. She’s taking a massive risk of losing subscribers if she doesn’t please them, and she’s also refusing to conform to the beauty stereotype that is all too familiar across YouTube at the moment. It’s incredibly refreshing for me to watch her videos now because I don’t know what to expect from them, whereas there are other YouTubers I’ve watched avidly for over a year now that all follow a very specific pattern: Favourites, Haul, Empties, Repeat. Yes, I enjoy watching them, or at least I did when that’s all there was to offer. But now, seeing that there is another way of doing it, more importantly a better way to do it, I’m not sure if I’ll continue to watch the others so regularly.
What I hope is that Estee’s courage is going to rub off on other YouTubers, which will mean the beauty and vlogging worlds end up being a lot more diverse and reflective of the real people behind the camera, instead of sticking with a fail-safe formula.
And I suppose that this maybe applies to the blogging world, too. All too often I see posts telling people exactly what they should be doing in order to be a good blogger, a successful blogger, and even when these are coming from people who have found success, I find it hard to believe that they have something that will work for everyone. When it comes to the internet, and life in general, what works is you. You being individual and unique and not conforming. My favourite blogs are the ones that offer a person’s view on something, done in a way that fits their personality, and something that has been thought through. Quality over quantity always wins, and it’s something we all need to bear in mind as we’re moving forwards and carving out our own paths.
I guess there are a few things I’ll personally take away from Estee’s change to her channel. Only posting work that I’m proud to have written, that reflects the things I truly love and what I’m most passionate about in life. To continue remembering that my own opinion is the one that should matter most to me when I’m going about my life, and as long as something is making me happy and not harming anyone, I’ll carry on doing it. And finally, to take risks. To try things out even if they might end up not working out, to be myself at every opportunity and to continue working hard to get where I want to be.
Thanks, Estee. You’re an inspiration.
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