YouTube beauty gurus are some of the most popular figures on the internet. From their millions of subscribers to their highly watched videos, they’re definitely considered public figures at this point, and one YouTuber in particular has used her platform to enact change. Jackie Aina is the NAACP YouTuber of the Year, and it’s an honor that is incredibly well-deserved.
The truth is that Aina isn’t just a YouTube beauty guru — though her makeup skills and beauty knowledge are, in fact, next level. The mega-talented guru actually blurs the lines between content creator, social media star, and activist in her inspired and important calls for inclusivity within the beauty world.
According to We the Unicorns, the NAACP Image Awards introduced the category of YouTuber of the Year only this year and in partnership with Google. This means that Aina is just the recipient of the honor, but she’s the first person ever to be given the award. The Image Awards are a celebration of the “outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts, as well as those individuals or groups who promote social justice through their creative endeavors.” Nothing could describe Aina better than someone who uses their creative medium to call for social justice. While some may be inappropriately dismissive of YouTube or social media as a platform for change, Aina is proving them wrong one upload at a time.
Aina’s work on YouTube may firmly situate her as a beauty guru, but her work marries classic beauty content with important discourse on what the beauty world is like for people of color.
She uploads classic videos on topics such as nose contouring as well as content on how to get certain looks. The guru, however, differentiates her videos from others — though she is one of many talented, outspoken advocates from women of color in the beauty world — by speaking specifically on how products work for women of color, how brands can improve their shades ranges, and why its so vital for the beauty community to become more inclusive.
We announced the first ever YouTuber of the Year Award at our brunch sponsored by Google. .@jackieaina received the award due to her unwavering commitment to break color barriers in the beauty industry. Read more on @bustle https://t.co/doB0p5VlmH
— NAACP (@NAACP) January 18, 2018
super honored to have been awarded this year’s @naacp Image Award for YouTuber of the year 🙌🏾 thank you so much @google and the @naacpimageawards for this incredible opportunity and reminding each of us that even if just through makeup, we all have the power to encourage social change 💪🏾 #naacpimageawards
— Derrick Johnson (@DerrickNAACP) January 14, 2018