Is it just me or Get Ready With Me videos are rarely about hair, makeup and fashion anymore? While these elements are of course acknowledged, the format is more a framework to discuss a hotter topic from colourism and homophobia to personal plastic surgery experiences. GRWM videos have been huge for years even a decade ago amongst YouTubers but this new framework is part of a push for more authentic content on social media after a decade dominated by polished perfection.

 “The comments section is almost like a little group chat,” said Claudia Walsh, a 26-year-old lifestyle influencer from Maryland with 1.2 million TikTok followers to the Wall Street Journal. “If anything’s going on in my life, or even if you have a question and need advice, you can talk about it.”

David Craig, a media industries professor at the University of Southern California notes that the format is a great blend of reliability and aspiration. “They’re still making themselves beautiful and going to something fabulous, but at the same time, confiding and sharing sometimes really intimate, personal details.”

“I feel like the requirement to get vulnerable has to happen faster, because people are scrolling through, they get one video of yours, and they have to relate,” said Valeria Lipovetsky, who got her start with YouTube videos on holistic nutrition in 2016. “Something has to catch them.” Oversharing is what gets people’s attention. 

Videos with the GRWM hashtag have been viewed more than 97 billion times worldwide, according to TikTok, with more than 72 billion views since last May. The world within that hashtag includes a mix of earnest storytelling as well as spoofs on the form (think “get ready with me for a school fight” or “get ready with me to cheat on my girlfriend”). 

Influencers using the format for genuine anecdotes say they are making the kind of content they would have appreciated seeing when they were younger. Meredith Duxbury, a 24-year-old lifestyle creator known for her buzzy (and occasionally controversial) foundation technique, has spoken about her experience with anxiety and ADHD while layering thick contour streaks over multiple pumps of foundation. 

For many creators, the conversational topics create a stronger bond between them and their followers. The commenters and followers feel less like fans and more part of a community. 

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