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Is Shane Dawson Changing the Face of YouTube Culture?

Somewhere deep in the Hollywood Hills, Jeffree Star opened his audience up to facets of his life previously unknown. Months prior, Tana Mongeau, another YouTuber was under heavy scrutiny for the failure of her TanCon Convention. She was then given a platform for which she could make herself accountable and provide insight on the tumultuous affair.

In spite of his serval scandals, Shane Dawson has prevailed as the Godfather of YouTube. If you aren’t already aware, Dawson has been receiving a significant amount of traction on his docuseries. It began with him opening up to his audience about his past. This has slowly developed into more detailed videos that featured people from a wide range of lifestyles.

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No lies, just facts. August 1

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As I quickly described before, Jeffree Star revealed his truth to Dawson with this series gaining the most popularity. It was broken down into five episodes- The Secret World of Jeffree Star; Becoming Jeffree Star For a Day; Switching Lives with Jeffree Star; The Secret Life of Jeffree Star and The Truth About Jeffree StarThe Secret World of Jeffree Star left fans stunned as their eyes were opened to Star’s extremely luxurious home (which is an understatement). “What, why, how, explain,” Dawson uttered after only getting a small glimpse of the home and instantly the audience was able to connect with him. In Becoming Jeffree Star For a Day, Dawson does a complete 360 as he assumes the role of Star. After getting an extreme makeover filled with Gucci and highlight, Star detailed his troubles as a man who doesn’t conform to the expected conventions of gender roles as well as his heartbreaking and short-lived music career. Switching Lives with Jeffree Star and The Secret Life of Jeffree Star builds off of the last as Dawson continues to “live” like Star. Here we finally start to understand Star’s success and the in’s and out’s of his cosmetic line. The finale, The Truth About Jeffree Star, is the most candid of them all. The duo travels to Star’s old apartment where they discuss his worst moments and his rows with self-harm.

What is it that people love about it all? I suspect that it stems from the evident genuineness that is displayed by Dawson in the series. While taking on the aspects of a documentary, many of Dawson’s videos give off the feel of a reality show. But the fact is that reality shows aren’t synonymous with reality. Too often they are scripted with producers pushing false narratives. But Shane is different. The honesty established in his videos bridges a relationship amongst himself and his audience, which is why I think these videos are so loved.

So what’s next for Dawson? It’s been about a month since he has uploaded a video and fans have been patiently awaiting the arrival of his new 8-part series. Recently it’s been rumoured that this new series will cover Jakes Paul and Team 10, who has for some time now gained a lot of notoriety for their method of operating. 

With this recent tweet, Dawson has thrown his fans for a loop. A set premiere has not been released but when that day comes, I can only assume that viewers will be stunned and eager for more.

The sky’s the limit. With 80 million+ views on his last series, I can only foresee an upward trend. YouTube has its limits and with Shane constantly evolving, I can hardly fathom the idea of him sticking to the site. Many have proposed the idea of a Netflix original starring Dawson. While I know that starting a show is difficult, I truly believe that Dawson has the potential to grow from just a Youtube channel. Let’s begin with the editing which is done by both Dawson and his videographer, Andrew Siwicki. When watching his videos, it’s evident that everything is done with thought; this ranges from smooth transitions to montages that emphasize scenes and even jump cuts that are necessary and don’t feel obnoxious. The content of his videos is also striking. When watching YouTube we might find ourselves asking the question “does this having any substance?” With Dawson’s videos, we don’t have to get to that question. With a blend of dramatic speech and satire, Dawson calls attention to many social issues, mental and physical health. So what do you think? Should Dawson remain on your subscription list or should he surpass that and move to the TV screen?

Featured image via Shane Dawson [@shanedawson] (2018, January 2)

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