Back in 2008, a year many millennials bond over as a time of blissful nostalgia, a 19-year-old by the name of Shane Lee Yaw, better known as Shane Dawson, joined YouTube. By 2010, he had totaled a little over a half billion views credited to the sketch comedy that he frequently posted to his channel.
Today, Dawson has become a household name and is still adored by many of those who watched him during his early days. However, the content that he publishes has changed dramatically. Far from the risky comedy sketches he once created, Dawson now finds answers to the questions millennials ask about people within the YouTube community. His documentaries have taken over the internet, racking up millions of views within just a few hours of their release. Most recently, he released the first episode for his newest documentary series, which focuses on the life of Jeffree Star.
Titled “The Beautiful World of Jeffree Star,” Dawson gives viewers a glance into the business side of Star’s world while also revealing his own personal journey toward becoming a makeup guru himself. The video opens up with clips from his previous series with Star titled “The Secret Life with Jeffree Star.” Many of the involved scenes flash back to moments of the pair discussing the possibility of Dawson releasing a makeup palette of his own, a topic the YouTuber believed was just a joke at the time. However, as the video progresses over the course of an hour, it becomes obvious that what began as a joke is now becoming a reality.
Following these opening scenes, viewers watch as Dawson follows Star to a meet-and-greet for fans of the popular beauty guru. However, throughout much of the process leading up to and during this meet-and-greet, Dawson appears to be uncomfortable and out of place. Looking deeper into the body language of Dawson during these moments, it’s assumed that he might feel self-conscious while standing next to someone as successful as Star. These feelings are not an unfamiliar theme for fans of Dawson as many have grown up watching him openly discuss his body image issues as well as his anxiety.
Over the course of much of 2018 and 2019, fans have followed Dawson through his journey of becoming a beauty guru. Beginning back in August of 2018, after the filming of his documentary series titled “The Secret Life of Jeffree Star,” Dawson began experimenting with makeup on himself as well as his friends with the help and mentoring of Star. Since then, Dawson has highlighted his progressing talent everywhere from Instagram to Snapchat to his fiancé’s videos. This newly discovered talent of Dawson has caused rumors among fans that he was attempting to create his own makeup palette.
Releasing a makeup palette and putting himself out there in a market that he is unfamiliar with is not only a step that could be huge for Dawson’s career, but could also be a huge step for his self-confidence and the way he carries himself in the world. Over the past few years, fans have watched Dawson begin to become more comfortable with who he truly is. This journey of self-discovery for Dawson began back in July of 2015 after he posted a video to his old YouTube channel, Shane Dawson TV, titled “I’m Bisexual.” From there, Dawson began to reveal more of his true self, refusing to hide behind the comedy any longer. Fans followed him as he introduced his boyfriend, Adams, and more recently watched as Dawson knelt down on one knee and proposed to his long-term boyfriend, solidifying the happiness between the two YouTube stars.
While Dawson seems to be projecting quite a bit more confidence in himself recently, it seems that he still has to work to feel up to his exalted status on YouTube. Observing the lyrics in “Prom Queen” by Catie Turner used in the preview for his documentary series, these struggles still seem to haunt him.
However, it appears that Dawson is using this struggle to his advantage. Pushing past the fear he has while standing next to Star, Dawson strives to climb to the top and feel like a true prom queen, and makeup seems to be his superpower. Wearing it, practicing it and showing it off on his social media causes Dawson to glow in a different and brighter way. Makeup isn’t the only thing bringing Dawson new waves of confidence though. The family and friends in his life matter more than ever before, and it’s clear through the footage he chose to use in the preview that introduced his latest series.
The word “beautiful” has more than one meaning in the title of Dawson’s latest documentary series. While it obviously implies the shiny, exciting world of Star, the word also implies, hidden underneath the surface, the beauty that Dawson can create in both his own world as well as others, including the beauty that his fans have shown him over the years as he has matured into the self-loving and charismatic man that he is today. Dawson might feel like he cannot be the prom queen in the world of Star, but he’s clearly the star in his own world.