YouTube Spotlight Canada: breaking down barriers

Lainey Posted by Lainey at September 7, 2017 15:18:30 September 7, 2017 15:18:30

Hollywood, as you know, continues to be criticised for its lack of diversity. And while there are those who are working diligently to create opportunities for women and people of colour and other underrepresented artists and personalities in front of and behind the camera, equality remains a distant achievement.

That said, creative people are finding new ways to build their careers outside of the conventional Hollywood development system. Issa Rae, for example, started on YouTube with the launch of Awkward Black Girl in 2011. Five years later, Insecure premiered on HBO. Like Issa, young creatives around the world are using YouTube to amplify their voices – and many of these creatives are right here in Canada.

Canada is the first YouTube market globally to launch a channel dedicated to promoting local creators. The new YouTube Spotlight Canada Channel will be both a showcase for emerging Canadian talent and a discovery route for fresh perspectives – from personalities that are not often included in the content that comes out of Hollywood. YouTube continues to feature faces and bodies that have been traditionally marginalised and/or misrepresented entirely. And while, sure, “appearances” aren’t everything, it does mean something when, for too long, there’s been a dominant standard of what’s considered attractive. Many YouTubers are challenging that standard.

Like Aysha Abdul, a Muslim beauty vlogger from Toronto who is “redefining what it means to be beautiful”. And Molly Burke, a 23 year old vlogger who is “blind, but …also a lot more than that”. Molly recently hit the 100K subscriber milestone. This means over 100,000 people around the world wait every week for her latest video – about how she puts on makeup, or how she picks up after her guide dog.  Check out Aysha’s channel here and Molly’s channel here.

These are the creative voices that are being boosted by YouTube Canada Spotlight, voices that may not have been heard otherwise, voices that are informing viewers around the world, voices that are teaching us new things, expanding our boundaries, and, hopefully, encouraging a more empathetic and inclusive point of view.

Here’s Aysha’s latest “Fast & Flawless Minimal Makeup” post for back to school:

Be sure to subscribe to YouTube Spotlight Canada and support Aysha, Molly, and hundreds of other aspiring Canadian content creators.

c/o YouTube Canada

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