April 15 marked the launch of Hello Style, a YouTube "channel" brought to you by the good people of the Hearst Corporation. YouTube paid the editors of Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar, Seventeen, and Marie Claire $10 million smackeroos to make shows to fill the channel. So now you can get ladymags on your YouTubes! (Also, "Hello Style"? Any word on how pissed off HelloGiggles is about the preemption of their most obvious name for a spinoff style vertical? Anyone?)
Although yesterday was the promised launch date, as you can see, nearly all of the videos on the channel page are just previews for the shows each magazine is putting on, which will debut on different days this week — including Big Girl In A Skinny World (after the Marie Claire column of the same name by Nicolette Mason), Sexy Vs. Skanky (thanks, Cosmo), and Visible Panty Lines (garden-variety celebrity snark from Real Beauty).
It's a real bummer that, in the channel preview above, all of the shows vaunt their beauty and style content — except for Big Girl In A Skinny World, in which host Marcy Guevara talks about exercise instead of clothes and is filmed hanging from the ceiling during an aerial yoga class. It's okay to be fat, so long as you work out like all the time! "Hank and I, I have to say, we hit it off, kind of a good yin and yang," says Visible Panty Lines' Hilary Rushford of her co-host Hank Chen, before launching into a tirade against Madonna for daring to wear a pair of "velour sweatpants, which is just never okay for anyone." (Rushford can keep her sweatpants hatred; I wouldn't be caught dead in her syntax.)
Did YouTube make a wise investment? Are people really going to flock to the site where they get their cat videos and their haul vlogs and their double rainbows to get scolded by a ladymag in living color? Magazines see themselves as voices of authority, YouTube was founded as a forum for anarchic self-expression and other people's copyrighted material. There's a contradiction there, and it's not clear how Hearst — or YouTube — intends to negotiate it.