On July 11, 2015, BeautyCon LA 2015 brought together over 80 top beauty and fashion brands, 140 digital influencers, and thousands of their most coveted fans at The Reef, an indoor and outdoor “creative habitat” in downtown Los Angeles. At the heart of BeautyCon LA 2015, YouTube superstar Bethany Mota delivers an oftentimes emotional Q&A that sheds invaluable insight for other content creators, highlights her multi-faceted YouTube success, and ultimately showcases the positive and far-reaching ramifications of the vlogging industry. Amy Odell, editor of Cosmopolitan.com (a major BeautyCon LA 2015 partner), moderated Bethany’s Q&A.
Established in 2011, BeautyCon not only comprised of global industry summits filled with YouTuber panels, Q&A’s, live performances, and meet-ups, but following a successful $2M round of seed funding, has become a “formidable consumer-facing media platform for young women and their YouTube heroes” (via Fast Company). Bethany Mota, nominated by Cosmopolitan as “Internet’s Most Fascinating,” is a key investor in BeautyCon. This year’s BeautyCon LA 2015 panel topics included “The Evolution of Fashion & Beauty” (presented by sponsor Barbie), “The Business of Beauty Inside + Out,” and “Becoming a Digital Media Sensation,” in addition to makeup demos, #GirlProbs, and a timely “Being True to You LGBTQ+.”
Bethany’s Q&A elicited all the fan fervor and animated reactions in line with a teen social media star sporting over 9M YouTube subscribers. Like BeautyCon and much of it’s surrounding industry, Bethany’s success is predicated on empowering the viewer. As she eloquently articulates during one of the Q&A’s more poignant moments,
“Do what genuinely feels right for you. We are the next generation. We need to be brave enough to make that change. Please remember how much you have to offer the world.”
On her humble beginnings: Bethany expressed difficulty in believing her channel would ever reach 1,000 subscribers. Instead, she recalls her desire to simply make good content for her audience where “we can all relate and connect no matter where in the world.”
On being a “YouTuber:” In the early part of her YouTube career, Bethany relates how she couldn’t explain the nature of what she was doing to family and friends, but took comfort in the fact that “only fans got it.”
On starting out with beauty YouTube videos: As a shy and bullied teen fearful of any degree of judgement, Bethany originally wanted to sing and make music videos. Starting with beauty DIYs and makeup products descriptions felt much more comfortable, less prone to judgement, and helped her break out of her original fear.
On what she’s learned about traveling abroad, fashion: “People aren’t as different as you think they are — we’re all the same.” In addition to polling her fans on Twitter, Bethany draws ample fashion inspiration for her clothing line from her international travels, and envisioning “what people are going to wear 6 months from now.”
On the social pressures of being trendy: Bethany confides “I’m definitely not as hard on myself as before to look a certain way or do what was trending.”
On seeing herself as a celebrity: “It’s rewarding because it enables my creativity, but I don’t see myself as a star. We’re a community, a family. I’m your friend and it’s our opportunity.”
On time spent on each YouTube video: “Up to a week filming; I still edit them myself and I want to do better than before.”
On the primary goal for her channel: In closing, Bethany shares that her main channel goal is “to inspire, to find what truly makes [you] happy — I want to push you guys to find that, push yourself to get started.”