If you love Gabby (AKA Velvetgh0st on the YouTubes), you’ll also probably be all over her other social media accounts and aware, therefore, of the fact she isn’t afraid to be frank with her audience. The fashion, beauty and lifestyle vlogger has a past of being very honest, which we totally dig, tbh. But sometimes voicing your views doesn’t end well, ultimately coming back to bite you in the derrière. And our gal Gabs has definitely had her fair share of hate for saying how she really feels.
So much so that some of her latest tweets have got Gabby into seriously hot water with her fans. And, known as someone who blocks her haters (you go gurl), the backlash against the YouTube star resulted in the creation of the hashtag #velvetbl0cked. Yikes.
Since her YouTube career started around three years ago, Gabby has become known as the YouTuber that isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Not only that, but through both her channels, she has allowed us to gain huge insights into her personal life beyond the clothes she buys and her slaying make-up tutorials.
In July of last year she uploaded a video called ‘Honesty’, in which Gabby addressed rumours and ongoing discussions on her relationships with various YouTubers she’d been linked to.
One topic she addressed in particular was her spat and subsequent ‘fall out’ with Alfie and Zoella. Gabby drifted from Zalfie following an argument on Twitter with Alfie over the ethics of ‘Vessel’ — a website used by some YouTubers, offering paid early access to video content before it’s made officially live on YouTube.
In the ‘Honesty’ video, Gabby also commented on the onslaught of hate she’d received at the time for appearing alongside Zoe, as well as her history with bullying when she was younger.
Moving on from Twitter bust-ups and blocking, Gabby has also been very upfront about her body image and the endless list of operations she has undergone in order to lose weight. Not only that, but she’s bared scars and all. If that isn’t bravery, we don’t know what is.
If we’re talking about YouTubers being genuine, then, Gabby most certainly fits the bill. She doesn’t filter herself or censor her social media feed in order to come across as appropriate to potential younger subscribers. And she most certainly doesn’t hold her breath in order to avoid controversy.
And perhaps that’s half the problem.
Last week the hashtag #velvetbl0cked began to trend following a spat between Gabby and another YouTuber, Eve Bennett. Not long after, Gabby tweeted with screenshots of her conversation with a friend, seemingly mocking someone’s appearance.
Many assumed the comments made were linked to the disagreement between Gabby and Eve and were therefore quick to go off and take it upon themselves to block her before she could block them.
Regardless of the argument, the question of privacy in the YouTube world, or the rude comments about another woman’s appearance, the latter of which is never OK in our books… As women we should be supporting and empowering each other, rather than tearing one another down over something we’re already heavily and unfairly critiqued about.
Aside from all that. Gabby is fully entitled to block whoever the hell she wants and, as long as she’s not causing harm or offence, tweet what she wants.
We complain when a YouTuber isn’t real enough. We want the stripped down version of someone we invest so much time into watching — we feel close to them. However when someone is confident enough to ‘be real’ and have the guts to say how she or he feels or what she or he thinks about certain things. Well, we don’t like it. Usually when we don’t agree with what they’re saying. Funny that.
It’s a two way street and perhaps by saying ‘I’m allowed to have opinions’ and then blocking someone who voices theirs is a little hypocritical. But, above all else, we have to protect number one. So if Gabby finds those things said to her harmful to her mental, and perhaps physical, well-being then do what you gotta do, we say.
As an individual she has admitted, on more than one occasion, to having been severely bullied throughout school. She’s also talked out about going through some difficult, depressive periods in her life. So it’s not for anyone else but Gabby to decide what is good for her in terms of who and what she allows to influence her moods.
As followers, we have no idea what reading her mentions might trigger. Although what we might have to say may come from a place of wanting to have an intelligent, adult conversation, it’s not for us to decide whether she is overreacting by making the decision to block someone on her social networks.
It’s also probably important to remind ourselves that tone can so easily be misconstrued online. What may have been a helpful comment could potentially be interpreted as condescending or passive aggressive, especially if you don’t spam a hundred love hearts and smiley emojis alongside your tweet.
Honestly, emojis are a godsend — we don’t understand why it isn’t universal law to use them. Then everyone would be a lot happier… in less the middle finger got itself involved, of course.
So OK, sure, generally talking things out is a sure fire way to work things out and get along. Communication is pretty important in any relationship, whether online or IRL. But if blocking people is how Gabby wants to deal with negativity, then that’s fine, too.
No one teaches YouTubers how to handle their fame. It’s a very new world in terms of being a full time job and we have to consider that more traditional celebrities get all kinds of media training and so on.
Gabby is out there doing her own thing, looking out for number one (which is only right) and, most important of all, being herself. Yeah, perhaps she doesn’t always get it right. But we reckon it’s probs a lot to handle at times, even if it is a freakin’ cool job.
Take a moment to try and put yourselves into someone else’s shoes. We think Gabs probably has good reason to take such actions and we should respect them. Right? Right.