Over the summer, I had the opportunity to meet YouTuber Jaclyn Hill at an event celebrating the launch of her wildly succcessful Becca highlighter. In person, she was exactly as she comes across on her channel: bubbly, excited, and incredibly positive. The thought that anyone could reduce this fun-loving vlogger to tears is appalling, but yesterday Hill posted a video that shows a darker side of her very public life.
In the video, Hill talks about wanting to make a positive change after reading thousands of hurtful, negative comments on her channel. "I feel like a lot of people forget that I have blood in my veins," Hill says in the video. "I cry when I'm sad, I bleed when I get cut, and I'm a real person."
Hill is one of thousands who receive online hate messages on a regular basis. But, she's quick to point out that it isn't just the negative comments directed at her that have made her "afraid" of her YouTube channel. It's also the knowledge that her subscribers are willing to jump down each other's throats and call each other names from behind the anonymity of a keyboard. She urges her viewers to "put [their] energy toward the greater good" and try to create a more positive community online. "I just want to say this for my own peace of mind — please don't think I am asking for pity, or playing a victim in any way," she writes in a comment. "This is about how you guys interact with each other, not just me. I just want to see women respect and encourage each other."
We're incredibly proud of Hill for creating a video that speaks to the nature of online bullying today. In a day and age when it's so easy to spread hate, it's important to remember that we're all human and deserving of respect — no matter what you think about our eyeliner.