Hello Rebel, and welcome back to my life.
So I read the book Buffering by YouTuber and candidate for Literal Best Person Hannah Hart, and I want to talk about it a little bit.
A quick summary for anyone who doesn’t know: Buffering is a memoir from Hannah about her life, her family, her YouTube career, her sexuality, KIND of all of the things.
The title as she describes it comes from the time period it took her to process all of these things before she could really speak about them. The “buffering” period between the events themselves and the ability to speak about them honestly and with clarity.
So what I want to break down in this video is the primary feeling I had when I finished this book, which was a feeling of gratitude.
I didn’t know why. It didn’t make sense. Aside from the very paltry fact that we both make YouTube videos, I could hardly be more different from Hannah.
We’re both white and cisgendered, but she’s a woman, she came from a deeply Christian family, she’s gay, she’s less neurotypical than I am.
Like, without all of these shared experiences that she talks about with such unflinching honesty in her book, I didn’t quite understand why I was grateful to her for speaking about them.
Especially since reading the book, at times, made me really uncomfortable. There were parts and passages that affected me more deeply and more negatively than a horror novel, partly because they were real experiences that really happened to her.
I’ve been incredibly fortunate enough to have met Hannah twice at Vidcon and she is just the best. She comes across in her YouTube videos as very kind and compassionate but it does NO justice to how wonderful she is in person.
That’s part of what made the book so deeply affecting. The thought of these things happening to someone I’ve been watching for years and grown to love as much as you can love someone on the other side of a computer screen … made me so sad I cried a couple of times?
And at the same time, nearly EVERY page bubbled over with her energy and love and happiness. Like, she really loves to make people happy. It’s clear in her videos. It’s clear in person. And it’s clear in this book.
It’s like this central thread you can see running through the whole story of her life, even the worst and most uncomfortable parts of it.
The ability to maintain the person she is at the core—or at least, who she seems to be to someone who barely knows her, and as commented on by people who DO know her—to maintain that through the crap she’s had to go through, that someone like me will NEVER have to go through, is amazing.
I won’t face anywhere close to the situations she’ll face in her life. But millions of people will. And I think—though I’m hardly an authority—that hearing this story will not only help people going through such situations, but the people around them as well.
When a big celebrity speaks candidly about an important part of their life—whether it’s Ellen coming out as gay, or Carrie Fisher talking about her mental illness, or whatever—it makes other similar people feel less alone, and also makes the rest of us compassionate for that journey.
We take celebrities and we put them on these pedestals. We think they’re somehow superhuman, that they’re above the rest of us, but they’re not.
Hearing about their struggle, personal or professional, the reasons they STILL have difficulty in life, makes us realize that it’s okay for us to go through those things, too. It doesn’t make us less valid. It doesn’t make us less valuable.
That’s a message a lot of people in the world need, and a lot of those people are close, personal friends of mine.
And I think that’s maybe the reason I ended up feeling so grateful for this book. Because Hannah put her true, personal self on the line to help people—people I know and people I’ll never meet—in a way I’ll never be able to.
Anyway, yeah, so I kind of liked the book and you should maybe go buy it and read it, link in the description.
That’s it for today, Rebel. Please subscribe, if you haven’t already, and I will see you tomorrow. Byyye.