Moj Mahdara has always been obsessed with media. Growing up to the tunes of MTV, Moj later parlayed her passion into consulting agencies focused on digital entertainment. Now, she's the CEO of Beautycon media, which bring together the world of digital influencers, the brands they use and their fans. It's not a stretch to say that Moj knows the definition of #BUILTBYGIRLS pretty well.
For Moj, Beautycon's appeal had all to do with its ability to reach people: "I think that as someone, who is a minority in a couple different ways, the thing that spoke to me massively about Beautycon was that there was nothing like this for me when I was a teenager, and music was the thing that inspired me and made me feel like I had a community. I love the connectivity and the inspiration."
Beyond promoting new products, Beautycon is all about allowing fans to get in touch with those YouTubers they watch religiously. But despite being seen as solely "Internet famous," there is something about a YouTube sensation that sparks what Moj refers to as "fandamonium."
"It's a tenacious, vivacious, loud, expressive, diverse audience. There are people here of all walks, of all colors, of all shapes and sizes and neutral in gender who are basically here to celebrate themselves and have a really great time," she said.
Unlike your typical TV or movie star, a creator, as Moj refers to them, actually talks back to their audience, fostering a sense of connection that shows the vloggers' devotion to their fans.
"I think these creators have done a good job of being consistent and of being available. I mean, they talk back to their fans," Moj explained. "Like, how many celebrities have you seen that [tweet] back? It's a one way conversation like, 'I put out a record, and I put out some content, and you talk amongst yourselves.' These creators are like, 'Hey, I saw that you didn't like this video, or I see you had a misunderstanding about something I posted.'"
Part of this contagious sense of excitement and expression comes from the fact that these creators are completely themselves 100 percent of the time. Not only do they show themselves without makeup, they post videos being silly, or they'll post a vlog featuring their daily routines.
"Why they're connecting to such a huge audience because they are really open and vulnerable about who they are and what they're growing through." she said.
As a result, their viewers are inspired to be themselves as well, allowing us to view beauty as more of an enhancement of who we are, rather than compensation for what we're not. Moj added that the spirit of being who you are (promoted by these vloggers) is helping Beautycon transform the fashion and beauty sphere in a way that is more inclusive.
"We wanted to redefine how beauty is expressed and how it's approached for the general market. Beauty [products] used to make you thinner, whiter, blacker...[but now] it's more of a celebration of you, it's a celebration of expression, freedom. It's redefining beauty in a way that even guys are here wearing makeup," she explained. "I think this audience has taken beauty back into its own arms, and they're redeveloping what that means to them. It's not about how to look perfect all of the time."
With a new spot for beauty cropping up in niche blogs all over the Internet, makeup and fashion no longer has to be about what we should be hiding, or which celebrity we are meant to look like. Instead, the online beauty community has created a network that promotes being yourself, and opening a dialogue about what beauty means for you. And now Beautycon is the event that is bringing them all together.
"I think it's good for society; I think it's good for us," Moj concluded. "I think that everyone is excited for this new part of the beauty movement."