SOCIAL MEDIA

Thursday, February 8, 2018

My Truth Behind My Sponsorship Experience with YouTube | Natural Hair YouTuber

A few years ago, I felt like I had to stand out in the natural hair community. I went to the extremes to not look like a cookie cutter image of the next natural. I bleached, colored, and basically fried my own hair to look different. I wanted to appeal to brands by looking different. I was stuck in a place of constantly comparing myself to other natural hair women that I admired at the time. 



I felt like I was missing out on the hype that came with being a poppin’ natural hair YouTuber. I'm talking about receiving free hair products, promotions, the trips, and even getting into magazines. I wanted to be known in the natural hair community. I wanted to be the face of a brand.

That was until 2016 came and I woke the hell up. I wasn't woke for half of my natural hair journey. I went back to my jet-black hair color and on my definition of a true healthy hair journey. I was happy and content with my growth on YouTube and with my healthy hair journey. It felt amazing being eager to connect with so many of my subscribers. Yet, I still was not able to pass up a sponsorship opportunity when herGivenHair company ended up emailing me. (No, shade to them. I am thankful for the opportunity.)

I felt like, 
“Finally, my hard work and dedication is paying off. Brands are finally getting to see me.”

However, I was lying to my damn self and making an ass of myself on YouTube at the same time. I say that because I knew that I didn't wear clip-in extensions or even wigs as a protective style. I was fronting for the opportunity after seeing so many other natural hair YouTubers receiving the hair and doing reviews on the hair left and right. I felt compelled during this time to see what the hype was about. (Plus, I was getting the hair for free.99.)

I found out quick that it wasn't what it was cracked out to be. I had to do a styling video, wash day video, and how I care for the hair video all in a matter of weeks. I couldn't back down after signing the disclosure agreement. I felt like my subscribers were starting to label me like as a fake and another natural hair YouTuber who was sponsorship hungry.

I couldn't fault the ones who called me out for my videos with the clip-ins. I couldn't fault my subscribers who thought that I was selling out. I felt like I did sell myself short for a brand that didn't truly stand for anything that I embodied as not only a content creator but a low-budget everyday natural.

It was then I knew I had yet again lost myself from trying to be like next girl on YouTube. It was then I knew that I wasn't worthy of my truth. How was I staying true to the main reason why I started creating natural hair videos in the first place?

After that sponsorship opportunity, I butchered the hair some more and threw it away. I didn't want to be in the light of day even wearing it. The company didn't even post my photos that they told me to take for Instagram and that I tagged them into their page! 

I felt played and knew that it was a lesson learned. I couldn't play monkey see monkey do for some bundles of curly hair and no appreciation behind it. While other naturals possibly were getting paid to promote the hair, I was looking crazy and out of touch with myself. I knew then that I had to self-evaluate my intentions with continuing YouTube.

I also worked with other hair companies and other hair vendors in the past because I wanted to be on. I wanted to appeal to everyone who was on the protective style train back then with bundles and wigs.

It took me a few months to get back to my truth on YouTube especially being a black natural hair YouTuber. I had to truly dig deep within me. I'm talking about taking the time to consult with Christ about my life and what He is teaching me to learn, cultivate, and understand.

Before creating video content, I am a very passionate writer. Writing is my outlet for self-expression. I’m always learning and sharpening my pen skills. I know that chasing my dreams of becoming a well-known published author is what keeps me grounded. I’m also bless with the gift of gab too. So, using my voice on YouTube to communicate and inspire other people besides with just “things beauty” gets me going.

I just wanted to say to anyone before you launch a YouTube channel to know your worth. Value where you stand in your goals and dreams. Don't be a cookie cutter image like others that you may admire. Be your true self without any hesitation in front of the camera. If you only want to launch a YouTube channel for money, then you will truly miss out on the goodness of having a non-demanding hobby.

If you been on YouTube and you are indeed a content creator remain true to the reason or reasons as to why you started. When it starts taking a toll on your mental health just know when it's the right time to take a break. There's no need to apologize for getting yourself back in good health. 

If you love what you do keep pushing and even when it looks like you're not connecting or growing your audience to larger numbers still be humble. Be thankful for the folks that do watch your videos and that are subscribe to you. Be mindful of the sponsorship opportunities that you do venture into. Never compromise your channel and content creating for money. You're amazing within your truth. 



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5 comments :

  1. Wow!!! Thank you so much for staying true to yourself and not being like just any other naturalista on YouTube!!

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    1. Thank you so much! I truly appreciate the love and for you watching my videos on YouTube too!

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  2. Love this... constantly "Dare to be You" in everything and the rest will follow

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    1. Thank you so much for reading my post! Yes, Dare to be YOU is so true!

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  3. Hey Ms. Lady just watch some of your videos, you talking about I'm tired of these type of natural hair youtubers and you are so right about some of them, being all dramatic about there hair and especially the ones that said if you used any brushes or combs you will have hair breakage I am like girl growing up thats all your mommy used on your hair lol. Keep up the good work love from one Louisiana girl to another

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