The first time I watched a YouTube video was in 2007. I was looking for new dance moves to use in musical theatre choreography, and I put the words, “Bollywood Dance,” in the search box.
I watched a cute couple perform a dance together, and I was happy to see some steps I could learn, but when I looked at the comments box this is what I read,
“Guy is good, girl is fat.”
That statement was absolutely not true. There was nothing wrong with the guy’s appearance, but the girl was lovely and in excellent shape. This was literally the very first YouTube video I ever watched, and it had a chilling effect on my desire to ever post a video myself.
How many helpful and entertaining videos are never made or uploaded because of the cruel comments we face?
Now that I’ve been posting on TikTok consistently for over a year, I’ve noticed a big difference in the Cruel/Kind ratio. I get far more negative comments on YouTube about my appearance.
My age and weight get the most criticism, and I don’t understand why YouTube insists on pushing out my videos to men under 30 who clearly are offended by my looks. I try to remember to put, “Dance over 50,” or something similar in the description, but many of the commenters still seem surprised to see a video from a woman over 50 in their feed.
The other side of the coin is that the videos with the harsh comments are also the ones with the most views and likes. I’m going to keep dancing and posting for the people who like my videos, and because it’s fun. Its easier and faster than ever to create and post an entertaining video, and my dancing has gotten so much better thanks to all of the creators who post.
I went out dancing with a friend for the first time in years recently, and I had so many more moves to play around with than I did when I was younger. I always like, and I usually follow when I see dancers over 40, 50, and beyond, and it’s making my life better.
Dance on everybody!