Talking LGBT+, YouTube, & K-Pop with Flawless Kevin
If you’re into K-Pop, anime, and makeup, up and coming YouTuber Flawless Kevin is the YouTuber for you. KCON LA 2018 marked the first time that Kevin attended the convention and concert, and we at The Kraze had the wonderful opportunity to sit down and get to know him in an exclusive interview!
Q: For our readers who are getting the chance to know you for the first time, can you please give a little introduction about yourself?
K: Hi everyone! My name is Kevin, also known as Flawless Kevin on the Internet. On YouTube I create a lot of LGBT+ content as well as BTS-related content. On Instagram, I do a lot of makeup tutorials revolved around my interests, whether it be anime, K-Pop, or pop culture.
Q: Is this your first KCON? If so, what are you thoughts on a whole large convention based on K-Pop, K-Beauty, and K-Fashion and Korean culture? Did you ever think that K-Pop would be this big here in the U.S.?
K: This is my first KCON in its entirety. I am a fetus when it comes to the K-Pop fandom and this culture. I just got into K-Pop a few months ago, so I would say I’m pretty new and I’m super excited. I think it’s amazing how there is a space where people can come together and all appreciate the same things that we all love. Just the fact that it’s this big just shows that there is so much love and support for something so simple like K-Culture, K-Beauty, and Korean music. I definitely feel it has evolved. The point to where it is now, it’s just so baffling and amazing to see how much support it’s gotten. I’m really excited to be a part of this community.
Q: You participated in KCON LA’s LGBT+ panel, are you excited or nervous? What kinds of things do you want to be talked about?
K: I was nervous but I don’t have a problem with public speaking and whatnot. I was more nervous about giving the right content and the right value to the people attending. I wanted to make sure that they were there and they got something from it and that they felt like it wasn’t a waste of their time. So I was nervous about giving them value to their day. We talked about a lot of things such as the first openly gay K-Pop idol, Holland. That was super cool. About how representation is so important and I really value that. The fact that there is someone like Holland in the media, especially K-Pop. We also talked about in Korea, it’s not as well known and people are not aware about sexuality, such as being in the LGBT+ community. So the fact that there is someone of that public figure and stature is so alleviating, especially for the youth because they can finally see someone, in the community such as K-Pop and feel safe. They feel accepted and that their voice is heard. We talked about lots of things in regards to the music, the country, the culture, and how much we as a society have evolved and grown.
Q: In regards to your YouTube channel, what made you decide to start your channel? Are there any other YouTubers that you would like to collaborate with?
K: So I started my YouTube channel when I was 16 years old, when I was in high school. Long story short, I was bullied in high school. For me, rather than dwelling in that feeling of sadness, I decided to make a video of that experience and story. I actually uploaded it to Facebook and it got so much love and support and positive reception. People said: “You should make more advice videos!” So I did and I kept posting to Facebook. Until one day somebody said “Why don’t you just post it on a YouTube channel?” I was like “Oh. Duh.” So in creating a channel, it was really interesting because I didn’t really know what to call my channel. So I came up with Flawless Kevin because I really admired Gigi Gorgeous at the time, so it was a little spinoff on her username. I really looked up to her because at the time, she was pre-transitioning, boy in makeup. I identified with her. So with me, I came up with Flawless Kevin. Initially it was going to be Fearless Kevin but I think that username was taken on Instagram or something and I wanted the same username on all the social media domains. For awhile, I didn’t know what Flawless Kevin meant and after doing it for quite some time and really growing with my content and audience, at the end of all my videos I say: “to be flawless is to be yourself” because to me, being flawless doesn’t mean having no flaws or the absence of flaws. It’s having those flaws and accepting it, embracing it, not listening to society’s social norms and beauty standards. Like I said, to be flawless to be yourself.
Q: Are there any other YouTubers that you would like to collaborate with?
K: In the future, if I were able to collaborate with other creators, I really looked up to My Life as Eva (Eva Gutowski). A lot of my videos are inspired by her. I look up to Alisha Marie. I love her professionalism, her editing, and her personality. Shane Dawson is definitely a person who is at the top of the list. I think it would be cool to collaborate with him and maybe talk about the K-Pop Community and how that has affected me as a person. Potentially other K-Pop creators, especially choreographers. I think it would be fun to do a video where they teach me how to dance. I like learning the choreography for fun although I get a lot of smack from it from the fandom.
Q: What are some positives and challenges to being a YouTuber? How do you overcome those challenges?
K: I think one of the positives of being an influencer is that you have influence and you have a voice. Your voice is heard. The downside to that is that because it’s heard, everything you say could have implications (positive or negative). You really do have to be careful about what you post and what you say because sometimes there are people out there that are not going to like you and use certain things against you. On the other hand there’s going to be some people who love and support you for everything you uphold and value. It’s a double-edged sword with having such a big influence, platform, and voice. It’s about being mindful on how you use it.
Q: What is the creative process when it comes to filming your videos? (do you plan ahead, wing it? etc.)
K: Initially when I started doing YouTube, it was all over the place. I just did whatever made me happy and it wasn’t till recently that I started to niche and narrow it down. Whatever I feel comfortable and happy doing is what I usually gravitate towards to. Whether it be fashion, makeup, or a comedy video. I just try to think of ways to be innovative within a specific niche. For instance, in the K-Pop community, there is a lot of reaction channels. It’s very saturated, so it’s really hard to stand out. So in order to stand out, I kind of think outside of the box. An example to me is I wore BTS merchandise out in public, in hopes of making ARMY friends. I feel that not being afraid to show your inner fangirl and going out in public is something that is different. Some folks may be shy about their interest in K-Pop, so for them to see someone like me who is confident and open about my interests could potentially give them the confidence to be themselves. It’s about thinking about what I like to do, what the market is missing, and what the audience needs and values. It’s a balance between all of those.
Q: If you collaborate with any K-Pop group or artist on a video for your channel, who would it be and what kind of video would you create together?
K: Oh my goodness! People are going to be like “Wow! You don’t listen to any other K-Pop groups!” but it would be BTS. I think it would be really fun if they did my makeup. I think it would be interesting to see each member taking a turn. Like this member is in charge of eyeliner and this member is in charge of eyeshadow. At the end, going down the line of steps and seeing that transformation. I think that would be funny!
Q: Is there any advice that you’d like to give to readers and fans out there who are interested in starting their own YouTube channel or wanting to pursue something in media regarding K-Pop and the Hallyu Wave?
K: My biggest advice is, if you’re in it for the numbers (money, followers, or fame) then you’re going to burn out so fast. The thing that will last is your passion. You have to be passionate about what you create, what you upload, and if that passion isn’t there then I feel like you’re in it for the wrong reasons. Another thing is, that if you do start a YouTube channel and you are passionate about it, be patient. Do it for fun. You shouldn’t be expecting any results overnight unless you’re lucky. Patience is also something that you have to learn and adapt to within this industry. But at the end of the day, just be yourself and have fun.
Q: Last question, are there any updates, information, or future plans that you would like to tell readers to look forward to in the coming future?
K: I am thinking of uploading more raw and genuine vlogs. Getting a different side of Kevin because I feel that they see the LGBT+ side of Kevin, they see the makeup side of Kevin, and they see the fangirl side of Kevin, but they don’t see Kevin on an everyday basis. I want to incorporate more casual content. Nothing that is polished. Nothing that is too time consuming. Just something that gives them a good insight into who I am as a person on a day-to-day basis.
On behalf of The Kraze, thank you so much to Kevin for giving us the opportunity to have this interview! Make sure to keep up with Kevin on YouTube and other social media!
Main YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/FlawlessKevin
YouTube Vlog Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/xHeyItsKevinx/