I’m here to announce another vice. This is a new one, although it also involves an old one—YouTube video chain-watching.
Chain-watching is when you go from one video on a topic to another, sort of like eating a bagful of potato chips. Suddenly you look up from your computer and it’s 3 AM.
My latest discovery is a guy who does makeup and hair makeovers, mostly of middle-aged women, although some are older and some younger. Now, this may not sound very interesting to most of you, but it’s more interesting than it seems, truly. And it’s very interesting to me—not only because I’m a woman of a certain age, but because I’ve always loved makeovers. They’re part of my fascination with change, be it of mind or emotions or body. The first type of change, mind, explains my fascination with political change. The second, emotions, is probably what drew me to training to be a therapist. And the third involves things like these makeovers.
Even as a teenager I had a strong interest in hair and makeup. I don’t think my parents knew what to make of it in such a bookish child, although I had other strong interests as well that vied with my academic bent—dance being one of them, of course. But I was so into hair and makeup that I used to cut out photos from magazines and make a little scrapbook, the only scrapbook I can ever remember making, and in high school and then in college I had a small side business of making up my friends and cutting their hair, for special occasions.
My parents discouraged me, but I persisted. Now with YouTube, the field has greatly proliferated, and these makeover videos are part of the fruit. The ones I’ve been watching are by someone called The Makeover Guy, and every now and then I may present some of my favorites here. The thing about these videos is that the physical transformation is only a small part of it. The truly gripping aspect (to me, anyway) is the transformation in these women’s affect. You can see them come to life and bloom before your eyes. It’s not just about vanity, either. It’s about people treating them like they matter, and about them getting a sense of heretofore undreamed-of possibilities.
I also find that most of the women in the videos are really, really likeable as people. The videos have the advantage of being quite short, too (the better to chain-watch, my dear):