Given how deeply the internet permeates daily life in the Western world at this age, it’s not uncommon for many of us to turn to the web for information before turning to a book. This isn’t necessarily a negative since many books can be found online, including those not available at one’s local library. Furthermore, social media allows us to interact with and learn from people we wouldn’t meet in our immediate environments. Though I don’t have any personal social media accounts, I have been both enlightened and entertained by a number of women who do. Exposure to successful and confident women has encouraged me along my own journey of self-love and self-expression, and I want to take the time to acknowledge some of my favorites from YouTube in case they may have the same effect on you.
Laurasia Andrea is by far the most talented cosmetic artist currently on YouTube. Her innovation has allowed her to progress from Sephora employee to founder of a wig company, FairyyStylish, and eyelash brand, iLaur, in just a few years. Whether her hair is one inch or twenty-six, her channel showcases the unlimited creativity of her eye for color, and her makeup never fails to bring the same wow factor. Her tattoos and piercings are evidence of her divergence from convention to establish her unique aesthetic identity. If you are interested in exploring lace wigs and are wondering how to start, her beginner series breaks down the basics of wig building, bleaching, and blending. Laurasia, given name Laura, has also been very transparent about the challenges of her growth. The genuineness of her personality – along with her flawless, dimpled smile – have garnered respect and praise from many, including myself.
Monica Veloz is a proud Dominican woman from Brooklyn, New York. Her vibrant personality and unashamed embodiment of both Latin American and African American cultures flow through her bilingual makeup tutorials and videos dancing and cooking with her mother and grandmother – both also named Monica. No stranger to troubled skin, she does not pretend to be flawless, but regularly shares her struggles with acne and scarring and her search for solutions. Monica is outspoken about the importance of representation of dark skin in the beauty and fashion industries as well as a greater understanding of the intersectionality of the Afro-Latinx experience. Known for her fierce cheek contour and bold eyebrows, Monica’s slogan “Te molesta mi brillo? – Does my shine bother you?” encourages us all to be loudly and unapologetically ourselves in whatever form that may take.
Patricia Bright became my first YouTube mentor about six years ago. A Nigerian-British bombshell, she has made a name for herself not only as a fashion fiend but an advisor to many as an author and commentator on issues of prejudice, finances, and dishonest influence in the world of celebrity. Patricia’s fashion videos are always heavy laden with humor, and she infuses it even into more sincere topics such as insecurity, which she acknowledges from experience cannot be cured with plastic surgery. In addition to makeup reviews, product demonstrations, and try-on clothing hauls, she frequently invites her audience into life with her loving husband and beautiful daughter, shattering the mystery and assumptions about the realities of fame. Her honest and entertaining content keeps viewers coming back, and we are never disappointed.
Sade is probably the youngest on this list, but her wisdom is astounding. Though her stunning beauty is the center of many of her videos, her most popular ones by far are lengthy recordings of her musings on topics such as relationships, violence, and spirituality. Her remarkable vocabulary artistically illustrates her perspectives, and one leaves her videos feeling educated and enriched. Sade regularly collaborates with hair companies that specialize in curly, kinky-curly, and kinky-straight textures, offering viewers like herself alternatives to the typical extensions that don’t at all resemble their own hair. Her self-described bohemian style is expressed through hauls from websites like Zaful, Shein, and AliExpress, which she expertly combs to procure affordable and enviable statement pieces and accessories. One of my favorite things about Sade, besides the slight gap in her front teeth, is that she never asks for views or subscriptions, but always signs off sending wishes of love and light to her viewers.
Sabrina, AKA Boe Vintage, is another of my absolute favorite characters on YouTube. She is an incredibly talented makeup artist as well as a wiz in the kitchen and a hilarious storyteller. She regularly gives animated commentary on current events and personal experiences, and her BoeTalks advice series lives up to its offer to “give your life a lift.” Having experienced a wide range of challenges at a young age, the guidance she offers many young viewers in painful situations is not only informed by maturity but empathy. Though she does become very emotional at stories that some subscribers send for BoeTalks, she does not hesitate to correct any foolishness, earning a reputation as everyone’s favorite Jamaican-Canadian auntie. Boe and her mother sell handmade dresses, tops, and chokers through their online store, Deadbeat and Co., and Boe posts DIY fashion videos ranging from neon huaraches to neon wigs. She is also a new mom with another baby on the way and provides valuable insight into the realities of pregnancy, labor, and first-time parenting.
The Sugar Bowl can often make us feel as though we are in competition with other women to be the most beautiful, most confident, or most wealthy. Though some SBs do operate this way, the Bowl, and life, in general, is much more enjoyable when we support one another. Helping to polish another woman’s diamond does not diminish the sparkle of your own. The woman I’ve described have made a point of demonstrating that, and I hope that, in addition to them, you surround yourself with other women who feel the same way.