YouTube has become home to many communities and their video creators over its 14 years of existence. From gaming, to music and to cooking, there is pretty much a topic for anyone to get involved in and watch. The beauty and fashion community, otherwise known as the “lifestyle community,” has always thrived on YouTube by having a major fanbase. However, two of the lifestyle community’s creators, Carrie Dayton and Sierra Schultzzie, are helping to give the community a makeover to become a more inclusive platform by widening its beauty standards, so that it may reach a broader audience of viewers.
YouTubers who joined the media platform in 2007 and 2009, like Zoe Suggs (Zoella) and Ingrid Nilsen(Missglamorazzi), paved the way for future lifestyle community members, like Bethany Mota (Macbarbie07) and Aspyn Ovard. While the community has been generally positive and accepting of different beauty standards, it has lacked diversity in a few areas, one such area being body size.
Many of the young women who make videos of the lifestyle variety tend to be thin and tall. This commonality means that some of the clothing brands and items that they recommend won’t work for every woman, as the average clothing size of an American woman isn’t between a zero and a 12. Two YouTubers who are aware of the need for more size inclusivity in the lifestyle community and are challenging its standards are Carrie Dayton and Sierra Schultzzie.
Dayton, a 30-something-year-old YouTuber based in Arizona, has been creating content since 2013. She launched her channel with several beauty-themed videos and then began to branch out into making “storytime” videos. Along with these storytime videos, she began to create what she calls “big sis advice” videos, where she discusses things that have happened to her in the past that did not go so well and then shares advice to her audiences based on her experiences.
As of lately, Dayton has been phasing out storytime videos and focusing more on making videos where she goes thrifting, tries on clothing from different brands and speaks out about body positivity. Dayton has also ventured into the world of vlogging with her vlog channel, Carrie Dayton Vlogs.
Schultzzie, whose chosen nickname is an embellished version of her last name, Schultz, is a 23-year-old California native. Schultzzie joined YouTube in 2014, when she began uploading videos focusing on subjects typical of a lifestyle creator: tags, morning routines, and clothing hauls. In 2016, she created a vlog channel with her husband called Sierra & Stephen IRL, which documents the life of her, her husband and their two dogs, Bruiser and Bella. Schultzzie has lately been focusing her channel on style swaps, merchandise line reviews and, like Dayton, body positivity.
The term body positivity has been thrown around quite a bit in recent times, as various individuals define it in their own ways. However, according to an article from Psychology Today, what the term essentially boils down to is acknowledging that your body may change as a result of various factors, and still accepting it no matter the changes.
Dayton first discussed body image on her channel in 2017, with a video titled “body image + why i’m done with facetune.” She talked about how women are portrayed in the media, how at a young age she began comparing herself to other girls around her and how she finds herself comparing herself to what she calls “Instagram girls.”
At the closing of the video, she vowed to stop using Facetune, the popular photo editing app. In 2018, Dayton made another video about body image simply titled “Why I Gained Weight.” Dayton recalled childhood memories of the women in her life speaking negatively about their bodies and other factors that led her to struggling with the way she viewed her own body. She explained the reasoning behind her weight gain, expressing how unhappy she was when she had tried losing weight in the past.
Schultzzie dipped her toes into making body positivity videos in 2016, with a video on beachy outfits for curvy girls. Later that year, she fully dove into the body positivity and self-love pool in a raw, unedited video called “Fat Girls & Body Image: You are NOT a Number on a Scale.” In this video, Schultzzie recalls a recent incident where someone close to her had commented to her that she needed to lose weight for her wedding, and then Schultzzie explains how she processed this incident.
She stresses how self-worth is not defined by a size written on a label, and to take care of your body by nourishing and listening to it. Schultzzie later went on to make more serious, sit-down videos, such as “My Body Positive Journey & How I Learned To Love Myself,” where she talks about her struggle with being confident in her body, eating disorders and feeling like the “fat girl.”
Though both Dayton and Schultzzie have approached discussing body positivity and image in different manners, there is an aspect of their branding that is mutual, if you will, and that aspect is being an “inbetweenie.” This term refers to someone who does not always fit into standard (00-14) clothing sizes but does not fit into plus-size clothing, either. Fans of both YouTubers drew comparisons between the two women as inbetweenies and were leaving comments asking the two to collaborate on both Dayton and Schultzzie’s Instagram and YouTube pages.
Fans’ dreams finally came true in March of this year, when the two met in person in Schultzzie’s hometown of San Diego. They filmed two videos together and each released one on their own channel. Schultzzie released a video of the YouTubers trying on clothes from Target, and Dayton released a video of themselves trying on clothes from Aerie. These videos were both lighthearted and real, with the pair discussing how size doesn’t mean anything, as both women wear around a size 12 to 14 and the clothing that they had tried on fit each of them slightly different.
Dayton has since visited and recorded with Schultzzie two more times, making videos about trying on plus-size clothing from Torrid and trying on curvy jeans from various stores. However, a video posted on Schultzzie’s vlog channel might arguably be their most important collab. In the video, Dayton, Schultzzie and Schultzzie’s friend, Skylar, share their honest opinions regarding their body image, and how they have all become positive towards their bodies throughout the years.
Dayton and Schultzzie have both grown immensely since their start on YouTube, as women and girls across the world have watched and related to these lifestyle creators. In a world that often suffocates women because of how they look, Dayton and Schultzzie provide a breath of fresh air.