• Wed, Mar 10 2010

Why We Watch ‘Haul’ Vloggers

There are some videos that are hilarious. There are some videos that are informative. There are some videos that are a useless waste of time. And then, there are haul videos. In which, girls reveal what they just bought. It doesn’t have to be anything special. It’s not like these girls have just bought their wedding gown from Vera Wang. There might be something legitimately exciting about someone buying something extravagant, but these girls are buying $6 worth of nail polish. Half the stuff on these sites seems to come from Forever 21. And they’re not showing you how to style it to be extra cool, there’s no how-to component to most of these videos (though sometimes they say something like “I think I can style this up with a cute belt”). It’s just them, pulling stuff out of a bag and waving it at the camera.
Current’s Viral Video tackled this trend pretty well back in August when they pointed out that these videos make absolutely no sense whatsoever. See how Haulers are stupid here:

And damn, they’re right. Haulers are stupid, and their content is useless and not that entertaining, but haulers also have hundreds of thousands of followers (240,698 on that one video). And, while I’ve never watched these videos before, once I started it was kind of, not difficult exactly, but odd to stop. Normally, I click off videos the millisecond I become bored, but when a girl was waving her seven new completely unexciting sweaters in my face, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it would be somehow rude to stop watching her. It would be like abruptly walking out of the room when your roommate is showing off her recent shopping purchases.

And then, I kind of got it. This is the kind of thing you do with your friends (or roommates, definitely roommates). Think about it. Your roommate comes home, hands ladened down with shopping bags, the first thing you say is “Oh, what did you get?” You may not particularly care about the items themselves, but you do it because it’s polite and it shows an interest in what they did and decisions they made. They pull stuff out of the bag and you nod appreciatively and maybe they say something like “I think I can style this up with a cute belt.” It’s a pretty universal female ritual. When you watch these videos, and kind of nod, you’re doing exactly the same thing you’re doing when you actually have friends in the house. But if you want to do that, wouldn’t it be better to do it with some people that you actually know as opposed to total strangers? Not if you’re a hermit! Here are some links to haul videos:

SoCalAshleyDanielle (she is not doing this to brag)

ChanelBlueSatin (her hair looks like shit, today)

AlwaysRennie (Forever 21 comes in such nice packaging)

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