True crime has fascinated us for centuries.
I guess there is a lot of psychology surrounding the phenomenon. Whether or not it stems from a morbid fascination with murders and their perpetrators or it comes from the spectacle of violence, true crime has been extremely popular. Think of the Victorians who’d rush crime scenes to get their first glimpse of the gore and salvage their souvenirs or murderous pamphlet’s being passed around on the streets and in public houses.
Though it may not be unusual but in our overly saturated media lives, true crime seems to be an obsession shared by everyone. With documentaries, podcasts, and a Ted Bundy film every year, it seems we’re more entrenched in these sadistic, salacious stories than ever before.
So, for whatever reason, and whether it is trashy, uncouth, or acceptable, we are at the height of true crime media. Everyone has their favourites, from series such as Faking a Murderer to podcast’s like My Favourite Murder.
For me, it’s a young American woman who simply tells a story whilst putting make-up on. Yes, I am here to talk about Bailey Sarian and her Youtube series, Murder, Mystery, and Make-Up.
In that unrelenting sea of true crime, where many people sit in front of the camera and tell a story of horror, Bailey Sarian has been a stand-out. Accumulating 5.67million subscribers, Sarian has a large legion of fans and it’s no surprise because her weekly video series is terrific. The premise is simple, and right there in the title, nearly every Monday, Sarian sits in front of the camera, puts make-up on, and talks about a true crime story that has been heavy on her noggin.
Against a candlelit backdrop, Sarian mines centuries of fiendish behaviour to bring an engrossing series, from the well-known stories to unsolved and unusual murders. The first couple of episodes are rough but as she finds her own groove, Sarian presents this captivating stories all while producing some gorgeous looks. Some of the best episodes are tales that had been shrouded in time. Yet after watching a particular video, the story will stay with you, lingering in the back of your own mind like an evil shadoq. For example, this writer was inspired to write a book after this Bailey Sarian video.
Remarkably, Sarian never feels exploitative. Of course, there will always be that aspect of watch a true crime show that leaves a bad taste in the mouth, but Sarian puts in the work. There is an air of passionate curiosity that means each video is thoroughly researched so there are no facts untouched or left behind. Also, Sarian explores the backstories of killers not to garner sympathy but to understand their creation because on the flip side of this, Sarian is quick to condemn the villainy.
On top of this, there is something so intimate about her video series. She talks to the camera, and therefore the audience, as though she was merely a friend, gossiping in the boudoir, getting ready before super. Sarian tells stories in an engrossing and magical manner, with the story interspersed with how fantastically she is putting on make-up. There seems to be little pretence either, because Sarian flubs and stumbles sometimes which only adds to the familiarity of the videos.
Bailey Sarian’s work has evolved, and she now has a podcast/video series exploring the dark heart of history. There’s a merch empire but none are directly profiting off the victims in her videos; they are more based on her popular sayings and quirks. Bailey Sarian holds such a dominion that so many women my age have already heard of her, before I even had a chance to garble on about her series.
So, this October, if you are looking to satisfy your dark heart, then look no further than Murder, Mystery, & Make-Up.