I only got into YouTube a few years ago and I’ll admit that I usually don’t venture out of my comfort zone. As a guy who is addicted to movies and videogames I’m usually glued to YouTube watching my favorites like Fanboy Flicks, The Gaming Historian, Pat the NES Punk, etc, etc…
What I am aware of is how huge YouTube is especially with the millennial scene. Everyone wants to be a YouTube star, everyone wants to create content, and everyone wants a million subscribers. It’s hard to be a breakout star. It not only takes time but usually great production quality and, most importantly, charisma. If you are a YouTuber that is constantly in front of the camera you want to make sure your viewers are happy watching your videos.
I had (kind of) never heard of Gigi Gorgeous prior to being in a movie theater and seeing a trailer for her YouTube Red documentary film ‘This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous.’ The film perked my interest for several reasons. I’m a huge supporter of the transgender community and LGBTQ rights. I love YouTube. I love that this documentary seemed to show a YouTube star who not only grew up making videos on YouTube but then basically documented her transition to a woman.
Because that is what This Is Everything is basically about. It was about a boy named Greg who felt different. And he embraced being different – deciding to start doing make-up tutorials on YouTube. He started building a following while his family, in turn, had to deal with Greg doing what he was doing. Greg has an amazing presence on-screen and his followers love him. He talks about the hardships he faces in school for just being him but he doesn’t care. When he comes out as gay he does it not just to his family but to the entire world.
More videos are posted. More people follow the site. And as Greg moves on through the years he figures out that he’s not a man – he is a woman trapped in a man’s body. So she becomes Gigi and starts the process of becoming the women that she really wants to be. Even with the support of her friends Gigi finds that the support of her family is very important – including her very conservative father. I’ll give it to him – the man is a trooper. You can see in his face how hard it is at times for him to understand what Gigi is going through. But he sticks with her through thick and thin. I’m sure there’s many gay or trans kids out there who don’t have an understanding parent like Gigi has. Gigi is aware of that fact and offers herself to be that support to the gay and trans community for those who don’t have the support themselves.
Gigi goes through a lot. From the loss of her mother, to changing her face, to the decision to have her breasts done…the camera is always there, always on her, always documenting. The real victories for Gigi are the small ones. Like for her brothers to look at her as a sister rather than a brother. For her dad to call her “Gigi” and “her” and not “Greg” and “him.” It’s hard on everyone but there is also happiness as well.
The film is a literal transformation of someone becoming what they really want to be as the viewers are able to witness right before their very eyes.
Gigi realizes she is very lucky. She knows that she was able to grow from someone doing make-up videos online to someone making 7 figures with the ability to become a spokesperson for different products. She’s in demand for photo shoot and fashion shows. It is because she is who she is and never back down. And like her name says…she’s gorgeous. She also realizes that she, because of her YouTube career, is able to afford these changes while some people in the world are unable to make the transformations that they would want. I found it very sad because I can’t imagine those people out there who could never be who they want to be.
This film isn’t for everyone. If you are a gay-basher or an ultra-conservative you aren’t going to enjoy this. You should watch it anyway because it could actually educate you on what it is like to go through these experiences. I’m sure most conservatives just believe you should be white, Christian, and straight. That is “the right way.” But it doesn’t have to be that way. Not everyone falls into those categories. And they should be afforded the same rights as everyone else.
Director Barbara Kopple does an amazing job showing this transformation, how it affected Gigi’s family, and how it affected all the fans that Gigi has. You see the ups with the cars and the crying fans. You see the downs as Gigi tries to relax after different surgeries. But Gigi is quite resilient and makes it through. Kopple gracefully tells that story and made me really feel empowered. I would hope that this story would also empower those gay and trans kids out there who just want to be who they really are.
The flick is available on YouTube Red which is YouTube’s paid service. They do offer a free trial so if you want to check out the flick (and whatever else they have to offer) you can do so without paying a dime. Is it worth it just to watch this movie? Yeah – I pretty much think so.