Last week we told you about this viral video where a student filmmaker recorded people at her high school and told them they were beautiful. Their varied responses, from pleasure to suspicion, struck a chord with a lot of people and has earned the video more than 6.5 million views so far.
Months later, filmmaker Shea Glover, now in college, has created another video to add context to the project – and it turns out she meant it to be more than just giving compliments and seeing how people would react.
“It wasn’t really a social experiment,” Glover says. “I changed the title – it started off as ‘Social Experiment: People React to Being Called Beautiful,’ and then I changed it, because after a couple of months I was like, ‘It’s not a fucking social experiment.’ It was literally me just filming beauty that I saw in people.”
She explains that the integrated arts project she did in her senior year wasn’t actually about physical appearance, though it’s fine with her if people interpret it that way. (And to be fair, she did tell her subjects “you have a great look” a number of times in the original video, so it’s an easy assumption to make.)
“Even if it was about appearance,” she adds, “if you can’t find 20 different people in a school that you find beautiful, maybe your idea of beauty is a bit skewed and maybe it’s a bit too small.”
Either way, she seems determined to keep this video from pigeonholing her as a “social experiment YouTuber,” and invites people to start a dialogue with her about things she’s passionate about.
“I really do hate that social experiment bullshit, where the people give a $100 bill to a homeless man and film his reaction. Like, fuck you. That’s some vain shallow shit. If you really cared about the homeless man, you would take him out to lunch or talk to him for a few minutes, give him the money and walk away. But the fact that you filmed it is like, ‘Look at me trying to get a bunch of views. Look at me, I’m a good fucking person!’”