Lately I’ve been watching videos from the YouTuber Johnnie Guilbert. Normally I don’t like YouTubers, but I have grown to quite like him, as well as It’s Black Friday (he’s more of a normal one, whereas she talks a lot about the goth community and it’s quite interesting).
Anyways, I’ve noticed that I gravitate towards his more serious videos, the ones about his history with self harm and suicide, the ones where he isn’t just mucking about doing stupid shit.
It got me thinking. Why am I so drawn to these videos? Is it because it is more relatable, because he is more human? Is it because I am some kind of sick sadist type thing and feed on human emotion. I often worry that I am like that, that I do feed on people’s misery. I don’t know. Maybe it’s because it comforts me to know that other people feel shitty too, I mean I know they do, but when Johnnie lays it all bare in his videos… People just don’t really do that in real life.
It made me wonder about what would happen if I did the same. How would people respond if I made a video about my anxiety? Or about when my thoughts get warped and I terrify myself? Or about when I disassociate?
Part of the appeal with Johnnie is, I think, that he is a rather beautiful emo. A part of me is still that fifteen year old girl who was a bit obsessed with emo boys. It may also be because he does cry in these videos, and I am always drawn to men/boys when they are crying. I think it is a mothering thing. I have such a strong need to care for other people, and I often avoid dealing with my own problems and try to look after others instead. Or maybe it’s because when guys cry it is weirdly attractive. Men are generally expected to be hard and strong and not cry, so when they do it feels as though they’re letting you in, because they’re showing their vulnerability.
So, back to my point. If I made that kind of video it would not get the same response. I am female. People, girls especially I think, are more interested in men opening themselves up, because girls generally feel freer being open with others. Also, I am not particularly attractive, in my opinion. And the boy on the bus who, when I was thirteen, was dared to kiss me (ew) and he declared for all to hear, “Ugh no way, not that thing- it looks like the PE teacher!” (our PE teacher was actually really nice, but she was around about 55-60, and reminded me a little of a walnut, so being compared to her was a bit of a knock to my already low self esteem). I have no visible grouping or stereotype- I’m not goth or emo, punk or hippy, chav or girly. I’m pretty average. So why would someone care? An average girl, who is mildly unattractive, doing something all girls do.
It’s not that I intend to make a video like that (I hate appearing on camera), it just got me thinking. And wondering if the real reason why people listened to what Johnnie had to say was perhaps not because they actually cared, but because he was a pretty emo boy. I don’t know.
Today I have mostly been listening to Massive Attack.