Social media has become a hub for people to share not only selfies and photos from cool vacations but also a community in which talent such as singing, dancing or makeup artistry are celebrated. Viral makeup artists James Charles and Patrick Starrr are examples of ordinary people who were able to create a name for themselves through social media. Their success has caught the attention of young teenagers who seek to create a name for themselves.
16-year-old high school student Alex Ferrer is one of many teenagers who became inspired by Youtubers like Patrick Starrr and Nikkie de Jager of Nikkie Tutorials. He began posting his makeup looks and tutorials on social media when he was twelve.
“let me just do makeup I don’t care what anybody is going to say it’ll work out and I just got brave and I uploaded my first video.”
Alex began his makeup journey by becoming interested in special effects makeup. He was then introduced to drag queens and would always wonder how they were able to create beautiful makeup looks on themselves. This thought led him to go through his mom’s makeup and give it a try.
“I was feeling myself okay, I was like wow this is what I want to do now, never mind let me do this and it was at a point that I was serious about it. I was like I think I really want to do this as a career.”
Alex’s bedroom is your typical teenage room. With a huge mirror hung on the wall and a shelf used as a home for Various hair products as well as his favorite facial sprays and brushes. Alex sees these platforms as not only a way to build a career path, but also as something that’s good for his mental health.
“I was letting everything out because at this time nobody knew, just maybe my sister and we swore we wouldn’t say anything and yeah it was kind of like therapy and I remember being so happy that day and I felt good about it. If I did that every day, it would make me happy.”
20-year-old makeup and social media influencer James Charles gained viral success after his senior photos blew up on twitter showing off his perfect makeup and glistening highlighter. It’s hard not to feel envious, Alex says “I crave becoming viral sometimes… because I see these people on YouTube, they post videos and off one video they get like millions of views and their career is made. they get money off one single video”
Alex dreams of pursuing a makeup career and is counting on his YouTube and Instagram pages becoming successful.
Alex’s parents were bewildered upon discovering his passion for makeup. Though it seemed very unusual to them, they showed him nothing but support and love.
“He’s a very good makeup artist, when it comes to posting his techniques, his talent in makeup, I honestly see it in a positive way, that’s one of the positive ways I see social media. it will give him chance to advertise his work for people to get to know him, people will start seeing his work on Instagram, Facebook, twitter, another social media and say wow that guy has got some talent wow what a beautiful makeup.”
Still, Alexandra worries that there could be a negative side to social media success. “Many people when one of their work becomes viral and they’re making money because of their views, okay you’re making the money, but you need a career. you need actual knowledge. I believe that this kind of work if it does become viral okay its very good but on a part time basis, not as a full-time career.”
Internet trolls and those who seek to cause harm to others are another concern. “I get scared of people out there who will post negative comments on his work on his attitude on himself in general just because he works very hard for this and it hurts me as a mom to hear negative comments about his work.”
As he sits and scrolls through his Instagram posts with a wide smile, you can tell that Alex is excited about the future and where his passion for makeup can take him with the help of his social media.
“I see a big future, to be honest, because everybody in this generation is just progressing their career through marketing and YouTube. They post everything and people get money off of it which is something that I want to do so I really see something, I think something is going to happen in the future if I keep consistently posting and keeping up with my social media.”
The creamy walls of Alex’s small room seem to glaze with a brightness of hope. Alex continues to scroll through his Instagram account admiring his work. He is ready for what the future holds. This is Ana Duran, for Baruch College in Queens, New York.
For my second podcast, I want to interview Alexander Ferrer, a 16 year old self taught makeup artist who is hispanic and part of the LGBTQ+ community. I would talk to him about how he began his makeup journey and what it is like being so young and accepting who you are. I would also interview his parents and ask them what they felt when their son told them that he wanted to do makeup as well as him announcing that he is part of the LGBTQ+ community.
I will be interviewing a photographer named Andrew Godreaux (@phaser on social media). After graduation high school, he decided that he wanted to focus on his passion for photography and turn that into his career. He has worked with Lil Nas X, photographing the behind the scenes of his music video for ‘Old Town Road’ as well as done street photography. He has twelve thousand followers on social media and I think it would be interesting to see his views on higher education art schools and why he decided to take a more risky route for a career than a standard career.
The podcast that I find myself listening to and enjoying is called The Collector’s House. It’s actually really interesting, because the podcast is part of MatchesFashion.com which is an online luxury retailer that is based in England. This podcast is intended for anyone who shows an interest in fashion. Each episode is a conversation with the host Danielle Radojcin and a special guest in which she asks them to choose five things that they would like to feature in a cupboard at 5 Carlos Place, London (the Matches Fashion headquarters) and give the reasoning as to why those are the items they chose. The podcast is formatted in a standard interview way. It is very relaxed and the only thing scripted is the intro and closing of each episode. It makes it feel as if the listener sitting with the host and the guest as the interview goes on. I haven’t noticed any advertisements in the episodes I’ve listened to. I would say that the podcast is an advertisement for Matches Fashion seeing as most of the guests are designers that Matches Fashion carries in their online shop. I don’t think it is super popular here in the U.S. but it may be popular in the U.K. Some episodes I would recommend to start off with are Alexa Chung’s episode, because she is hilarious and I am obsessed with her as well as Penny Martin’s episode, because its very fascinating to hear how she went from studying art history to becoming the one of the people to launch the biannual women’s magazine The Gentlewoman.