Destiny Godley

Is YouTube to blame for the demise of a popular beauty content creator? That’s one of the suspicions of vlogger Destiny Godley, who on Monday took to her YouTube channel to announce to her followers that after 11 years, she was “cancelling” her eponymous channel.

Godley, an “OG” in the beauty vlogger space, has made a name for herself testing product and creating makeup tutorials with a specific focus on beauty for people of color. But recently, Godley claims to have been suppressed by YouTube’s algorithm, making her videos harder to locate—even for the over 372,000 subscribers to her channel.

In fact, Godley says her profile was so diminished that even longtime subscribers had no idea she was still creating new content. Notably, even her farewell post is addressed to “those of you who can see this—and I’m sure it’s not going to be many of you. This video may get all of 3,000 views.”

Those numbers may sound astronomical to us laypeople, but in the beauty blogosphere they are meager, particularly when you consider that YouTube’s most popular black beauty vloggers—Jackie Aina, Alissa Ashley, Nyma Tang and Shayla Mitchell—regularly register hundreds of thousands of views per post. And more views mean more influence, which means more opportunities to monetize.

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So, why has Godley suddenly been shut out? She has no idea, but it’s clear she suspects a culprit.

Do I know what’s happening? No. Do I know why it’s happening? No. Am I surprised that it’s happening? No. Well, things generally don’t work out for me; I have to work harder, longer, stronger, smarter; I have to be more talented, I have to run faster, I have to jump higher ... So, I’m not surprised that YouTube is shitting on me right now.

As fellow black folk—and black women, at that—we certainly understand the concept of having to be twice (or three times) as good to get half as much; though that doesn’t explain why Godley isn’t thriving alongside her black contemporaries on the platform. So, what’s really good? On commenter surmised:

MAYBE this is YouTube’s way of forcing new accounts to be made to make it look like they’re “growing” “See investors!! We’re getting more and more ‘new’ accounts!”

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Though we’ve heard rumblings, we don’t know for sure. But for fans of Godley, it’s likely a relief to know that rather than abandon YouTube altogether, a new account is exactly what she has planned—despite now having to rebuild her following from the ground up. Starting on September 1, followers can find her at The Godley Glow; let’s hope she has better luck with a fresh face.