How Megan MacKay Turned YouTube Makeup Tutorials into a Talking Point
This article originally appeared on The Daily Dot
By Audra Schroeder
Last month, Megan MacKay posted a video to her YouTube page in which she offered a “Ray Rice-inspired makeup tutorial.” Yes, the title might make you hesitant to click, but in the span of just three minutes, MacKay breaks down the NFL’s domestic violence problem and the culture of victim-blaming while applying foundation. The video now has more than 2 million views.
The 22-year-old Toronto writer and comedian has developed a very specific approach to her YouTube videos. They often present themselves as makeup, beauty, or food tutorials, then dive deeper into a topic in the news that week, pairing satire with a feminist or political take on the issue. MacKay has taken on Hobby Lobby, Nine West’s “husband hunting” shoes campaign, and Urban Outfitter’s tasteless Kent State sweatshirt. She applied to be Cambridge University’s Doctor of Chocolate. Most recently, she addressed Celebgate under the guise of a Thanksgiving recipe tutorial.
We asked MacKay a bit more about walking the line between satire and sincerity in her videos.
I’m wondering how you decided to use makeup tutorials to talk about more important issues. How did that become your way into the discussions?
I’m an “SNL” junkie, so the idea of creating a “parody of the medium”-style channel was really appealing to me. “SNL”’s a TV show that makes fun of the stuff you see on TV, including commercials, game shows, soap operas, and the 6 o’clock news. If you watch makeup tutorials on YouTube, it logically follows that you would watch parodies of makeup tutorials on YouTube. The medium is the message, and all that jazz. Long story short: Marshall McLuhan’s ghost came to me in a dream and told me to do this. Spoooooooky. (Totally kidding.)
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