I Hate Myselfie, Keywords Press, Shane Dawson, 2015.
Okay, you got me.
I’ll admit, I’m a Shane Dawson fan. At least I used to be, l haven’t been following as much in for the past 2 years or so. I stumbled upon his book at the library and it gave me fond memories of Shane and his videos. You can say what you want about YouTubers but he has a heart and watching his videos always made me feel better. I Hate Myselfie is pure Shane Dawson. His personality shines through this book; there is no doubt he wrote it. It’s his humour, his expressions, It’s an absolute guilty pleasure. I think the book is worth a read because it says a lot about the internet generation.
There is some rambling and parts that do go on and on but for the most part I Hate Myselfie is a fun, captivating read. It’s very chatty, and witty, it feels like you’re watching a really long Shane Dawson video which is probably the best way to describe the book. Definitely not formal but 100% fun and completely Shane.
Teacher: “Are you a Janitor?”
Shane: “l’m 14.”
One of the many great excerpts from teenage Shane Dawson’s everyday life.
I recognized myself in some of his stories, even if they didn’t happen to me l was able to relate. That’s why the book works. Making the transition from an internet Star on people’s computer screens to writing a book can’t be easy. The medium is so different and in this case, so effective. He also discusses getting discovered, his first brush with fame, his past weight problems and body image, haircuts, fake online personalities, isolation and much more. You know, the kind of things that make up the internet. Put it simply, it’s hard not to relate to Shane and to find him likeable: he speaks to the awkwardness in all of us.
There’s a lot of eating junk food and staying at home watching Netflix while self-loathing but ultimately it’s revealing. I touched on the self-loathing, but Shane is very open about this -while it’s mostly seen as negative- he has a good sense of humour about life and himself. As for positives, perhaps the way Shane demonstrates his life lessons and views doesn’t make him a hero, but it doesn’t make him any less sympathetic. In some ways it even shows he’s in touch with his crowd and able to relate to them because a lot of people saw something in this young man whether it’s hope or inspiration.
There are many memorable chapters. The starter on getting a haircut in a ghetto establishment was humorous. Sometimes Dawson is touching, like when he talks about his first romance (at 21 years of age!) and getting two different first kisses (read to find out). Sometimes he deals with heavy topics in a humorous way. For instance, dealing with his teachers in a sad but undeniably funny circumstances (Being asked “Are you a Janitor?”, to which he replies “l’m 14.”). He’s able to make fun of himself and keep it lighthearted.
“I think the book is worth a read because it says a lot about the internet generation.”
Is Shane Dawson a great role model? Probably not, but he’s very appealing and in touch with this generation. Parents can rest assured that buying this book won’t result in their teenage children partying, drinking and having sex. Quite the contrary, kids may become shy and awkward at the very worst.
You may not fully grasp this YouTube phenomenon but Dawson is one of the good guys. When he talks about his life and difficult topics such as diet and sex, he’s relatable and offers valuable opinion and insight. For the record, l still think “Hey that’s YO mama!” could have been a catchphrase, Shane. Would l recommend it? It’s not great litterature, but l absolutely would recommend. 4/5 stars.