Kelsey and Kendra Murrell, 25
YouTube Beauty Vloggers, Atlanta
Search for the term “natural hair” on YouTube and you’re bound to get lost in one of thousands of tutorials available to women with hair textures from curly to coily to kinky. These videos are a Godsend for black women who are looking to master an updo or perfect their curl pattern.
Enter Kelsey and Kendra Murrell - rising YouTube stars who are encouraging women to embrace their natural beauty.
“We feel like confidence is the key,” said Kendra Murrell. “We [give] a lot of girls confidence and that obviously makes them feel good about themselves so that keeps them coming back and staying interested in who we are and what we put out there.”
With the growth of their co-created YouTube channels Glamtwinz334 and GlamTwinzTV, the twins have showcased their tips and tools to millions of women in a hair community that, over the years, has grown exponentially. In fact, beauty channels on YouTube scored some 45.3 billion views in 2015 according to a study by Pixability, a company that, in part, analyzes the practices of beauty brands and YouTube beauty bloggers.
These gals are popular. Their channels alone have more subscribers than the combined followers of Miss Jessie’s, Carol’s Daughter and SheaMoisture.
“We want to expand our platform and be broad just to show people that you don’t have to be in one specific box,” said Kendra Murrell. “Nowadays the natural hair community is huge but we don’t want to be seen as one thing - so other black girls don’t have to see themselves as one thing.”
WHAT IS LIFE LIKE AS A YOUTUBE CREATOR?
[KELSEY MURRELL] You’re under a microscope more because people are very critical and everything that you do they will definitely tell you if they don’t like something. Also you’re pretty much your own boss so you have to be disciplined and tell yourself you have to have deadlines.
DID YOU THINK YOU'D BE WEHRE YOU ARE NOW?
[KELSEY MURRELL] Doing YouTube as a career - that was unheard of when we started. We had no idea that you can make YouTube a career and it’s so crazy and so beneficial.
WHO INSPIRED YOU AS A KID, WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
[KELSEY MURRELL] Our mom inspired us and she still does. She was a single mom for 12 years and we really looked up to that and just saw that you don’t have to be a victim of your circumstances.
[KENDRA MURRELL] Also, our grandparents because they were a big part of us wanting to do stuff that made us happy.
WHAT'S YOUR GO-TO ALBUM OR SONG TO GET MOTIVATED?
[KENDRA MURRELL] Anything Drake related because he’s motivating...
[KELSEY MURRELL] And he’s versatile and he’s sensitive - but he’s also unapologetic at the same time.
[KENDRA MURRELL] Also, Kendrick Lamar because he’s just all around one of the best rappers ever.