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Why I’m Not Made Of Win

January 9, 2010

Any time I put myself in the public eye in any variety I already know I’m stumbling head-first into disaster. I seem to always face adversity, and it’s been this way ever since grade school. Back then, it used to bother me a lot. But after enough time getting used to it, I think I can handle it and I think I’ve found my work arounds for it. That having been said, I’m really proud of how far I’ve come, even in the face of adversity. Here, let me identify the top reasons why I’m not the preferable face of public fandom.

Not the Face of Cute

Even though I produce content at more frequent intervals than the other female producers on TGWTG, they have one thing I don’t – feminine sensibility. For this reason, they are far more liked than I am, and it frequently leaves me a bit jealous. But at the same time, what can I do? They have natural talents and charm that I simply wasn’t born with. I’ve tried to fake being cutesy, and it comes off being obviously fake. Take the old “Like, What?” sketch, for example. That wasn’t even passable. I can’t possibly fake it. I can’t force my voice to be less deep. I recently spoke with a Japanese friend of mine, and said that I probably wouldn’t be very popular in Japan because I’m too old. He said, “No, it probably isn’t because you’re too old. It’s probably because you’re too much like a man.” I’d agree with that. There’s a rumor floating around that perhaps you’ve heard of. Hold your hand up in front of you, backside toward your face. They say that you can determine how much testosterone you were fed in the womb by looking at the size of your ring finger. If your ring finger is longer than your index finger, you were given more testosterone as opposed to more estrogen. I must have been given quite a bit of testosterone, because my ring finger is bigger than my index finger by at least half an inch. So, to conclude, I’m not the cute face the Internet is looking for.

Apparantly I “Put On My Make-Up With A Rake”

That’s one of the many terms I’ve heard for my acne. I’m nearly 24-years-old, and my acne is still pretty severe. I haven’t been able to stop overly-producing oils since I was about twelve-years-old. This perhaps is very closely linked to me not being feminine or cute enough, but it’s not necessarily linked to me being manly. It does keep people from wanting to look at my face to begin with, though. I must admit, I hate looking at myself or watching myself as I edit my videos. I don’t know how anyone else watches me.

The Sound That Makes Dogs Hide Under Couches

This falls under not being cute, and I briefly touched upon this before. My voice isn’t particularly pleasent to listen to. At least once per video, I have someone comment on my voice and how much they hate listening to it. I can’t say I blame thm. I hate listening to myself as I edit. And I most certainly don’t ever want to re-watch old footage. It’s part of the reason why some mistakes slip into my videos, because I sooo cannot stand hearing myself over and over again. My voice is like that of a teenage boy’s, and maybe even comes out a little slow. If I haven’t pre-written something to discuss then I stumble all over my words. I’m very calculating, but if I haven’t pre-calculated my words then I end up sounding like a baffoon.

Is all of this to say I’m a man in a woman’s body? Maybe. But I’m pretty straight, and I never ever think about it this way. I’m just me.

Solution: Domination

How do I combat all of these things? By producing as much material as I posibly can, and doing it to the best of my abilities. I’m also constantly trying to improve. It took me nearly a year to figure out what direction I needed to go in. By feeling my way around, I’ve been able to figure out exactly what my audience wants to see from me, and I’m happy to say that my audience wants to see content, and not necessarily a cute girl. I’m still not perfect. I still don’t have all of the skills necessary to dominate in my one particular field. However, I have the voice, and I have the drive. And so long as I have friends and other people who want to help me, I think I can genuinely become someone that won’t necessarily be overlooked right away. It’s always been an uphill struggle, and it continues to be an uphill struggle. But I’m passionate about the things I enjoy doing, and I’ll continue to talk with the proud freedom and abilities to do so.

Thank you, to those of you who have come along with me. My flaws are numerous, even moreso than the few I’ve mentioned here. But you’ve all been of great help and inspiration to me. I’ll continue to be the best content producer I can possibly make myself.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. January 9, 2010 1:07 PM

    I have to say, I’m one of those guys who does, in fact, enjoy the sound of your voice. =) Now MY voice, on the other hand… >.> XD

    You’re doing great and I look forward to seeing more from you. =)

  2. January 9, 2010 1:09 PM

    I follow you on twitter, I’ve been to a couple of the live shows on UStream, and while I can tell the point of this piece is far from a self-pity or praise begger, I have to say that of the TGWTG ladies, you have a distinct edge the others don’t.

    I can’t help but feel that NChick, TCWTG, LMG and Dena all have the unfortunate distinction of being Girl Reviewers, as opposed to Reviewers. Yes, they’ve got the feminine this and that, I suppose, but I’ve heard numerous people refer to Dena as Girl Lee, because it’s the same schtick with horror games and a chick, TCWTG rarely if ever gets mentioned because she rarely posts, no offense to her, I’m sure she’s quite busy, but she doesn’t seem to be present in the fandom mindset.

    LGM comes off as really bubbly, and NChick is… well… Nostalgia Critic Rule 36. There is a girl version of everything. The problem is, they all sort of stop at ‘girl’, and lose the respect of the audience at large. It’s an unconscious thing, but I’ve heard people remark that they’re there more because they’re girls, than they’re talented.

    You, on the other hand, don’t apply to a specific narrow demographic, and while ANE is still sorta picking up, it applies to anyone who has even the slightest interest in anime, PARTICULARLY in American distribution. You present yourself in a very professional manner, and you’re certainly going for quality, as opposed to a pandered audience.

    I have had thoughts as to how to perhaps improve or expand upon, but I don’t know how practical they are for you at this point in time, considering your schedule, but the strive for quality is always more important than anything else.

    I personally, am a big fan of yours. And I hope you keep up the good work.

    -Griff Morivan

  3. January 9, 2010 1:28 PM

    So long as you continue to make stuff which is interesting and provokes one’s thoughts, I will continue to watch and enjoy the things that you do. That’s all one can ask – to be Quite Interesting. Everything else is trimmings.

  4. M4rkku permalink
    January 9, 2010 2:26 PM

    You DA MAN! But seriously, your videos are awesome and so are you. So everyone’s got some thing or another they don’t like about themselves. Big deal. You just be who you are and we can’t wait to see another one of your videos.
    From Finland with love!!

  5. wisdomoftheinternets permalink
    January 9, 2010 2:55 PM

    If you want to get rid of acne, then change pillow sheets daily, the rest weekly. Don’t sleep on your belly and make sure you don’t eat something that fucks up your skin, e.g. drinking milk gives me huge zits.

    The index to ring finger ratio also depends how your hand is aligned in relation to your body, mine ring fingers seem to be a few mm longer, but if I turn my palms upwards then my left hand shows me much shorter ring finger compared to the right one.

  6. Burzmali permalink
    January 9, 2010 3:30 PM

    I’ve always assumed that your problems were more technical in nature. Your videos always look like they could use more light and the sound seems like it is echoing into the mic. Sure a voice coach or something could help you get a little more life into your voice, but I think you’d get more bang for your buck by upgrading your rig.

  7. OCD Superman permalink
    January 9, 2010 6:00 PM

    I don’t understand the naysayers…

    You tend to produce interesting and intellectual content within your range of interests, your jokes have a hit to miss ratio on par with most of the other That Guy producers – male or female, and technically you seem to do fine.

    And honestly, I think you’re as cute as can be. Not to be creepy, but a couple moments from your Fubuki review might have gotten a few unnecessary rewinds *coughDDRcough*.

    Just keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll be watching.

  8. January 9, 2010 9:52 PM

    It’s a good thing to be able to recognize that you’re not perfect, but I think you’re being a bit hard on yourself.

    Regardless, I like that you come off as a personable down to earth human being in your videos and not an idol. It gives the impression of chatting with a fellow fan about anime and I think it makes your videos feel more personal.

    You’re just a person talking about anime for the benefit/to inform other people in the same boat, it makes it feel like you’re listening to a friend or talking to someone at a convention. Keep it that way, I think it’s your unique appeal.

  9. Mika permalink
    January 9, 2010 10:58 PM

    Hey, you’re yourself and that’s all we ask you to be and that’s all you need to be. None of us are perfect, but it’s those imperfections that make us who we are.

    You are the first person, and I had heard all the arguments before, that made me feel guilty for reading manga on-line without paying for it. Thanks to you, I’m actually buying some of the stuff now and contributing my part to manga/anime world. That’s something you should be proud of.

  10. January 10, 2010 12:12 AM


    Marz, I’m not exactly the most feminine-voiced chick on earth either, and I don’t even WEAR makeup, so I get where you’re at. I’ve been called a “dyke” by any number of geniuses who’ve mastered the single entendre, and really, at some point you just gotta laugh at these people. They seriously, really, truly have such empty lives that they have to talk shit about someone on the internet? Wow. Way to aspire to greatness.

    FWIW, I don’t even read manga and barely glance at anime, but I still watch your videos because I like learning about things, and I like the bits of Japanese culture you throw in now and again.

    Just be you, and hell with ’em if they can’t pigeonhole you.

  11. Román Gorojovsky Sánchez permalink
    January 10, 2010 9:30 AM

    Girl (should I say Gurl?), I don’t really care about anime, but I keep checking your videos and this blog, and that’s ’cause I like you. Really, stop being that hard on yourself, ok? You area a pretty and by no means manly girl, and besides not everybody wants the by-hollywood-standards cute girl.

    Besides, what matters more, people who criticize your looks or people who criticizes your product? I bet that (say) Lindsay is more interested in those who comment on what she says than in those who just say “You are teh hot!!!1!”.

    That beig said, you look a bit stiff on camera. I mean, judging by what can be seen in some behind the scenes videos that are floating around (eg. from the brawl) you look more relaxed when you are not acting. Have you tried acting classes or something like that? It helped me a lot, and I really have a hard time even looking at myself in a mirror.

    So stop worring so much about your look, you look finem your voice sounds fine and who cares what the unlearned masses think?

    P.S.: Like, what? whas hilarious, I don’t know if that’s what you wanted but it was great.

  12. January 10, 2010 2:49 PM

    Kaylyn, you are undervaluing yourself is you ask me. You don’t look like Googles or N-Chick. Who cares?!

    I legitimately found you hilarious in your Arcade Gamer Fubiki review. You as a DDR-playing cowgirl? Not much on Channel Awesome could top that!

    Just keep putting that good material only MarzGurl could put out. And NEVER undervalue myself!

  13. January 10, 2010 2:58 PM

    Well, i understand how you feel about all this femenine stuff. Im 22 years old and im not femenine at all, when im playing in xbox live and talking over the mic sometimes i get so insecure just because i think that my voice sounds deep and what the others might be thinking of me. Its not easy to pretend to be something you are not, and you just dont have to do it. Just be what you are and enjoy the things you do no matter what.

    Hope you get more comfortable with yourself, it takes time but you will get there :).

  14. Eduardo permalink
    January 10, 2010 5:40 PM

    Meh, I have to stress this out: you’re a great reviewer, you’re a hot otaku-gamer girl (I agree with the other responses, but I prefered that scene where you head to the arcade and some lucky bastard slaps your tushie), and you can always count with that charisma of yours that makes us crave more of yourself.

    Looking forward for your next sketches.

    PS. Love that blue hair of yours

  15. RaiderRich2001 permalink
    January 10, 2010 10:34 PM

    You are too hard on yourself. You do a fine job and you look terrific.

  16. Dreammirror permalink
    January 14, 2010 11:06 PM

    I agree; its natural for girls and guys to compare themselves to their peers occasionally and to feel sometimes you dont measure up-but dont worry; I think its safe to say that all your fans watch you for YOU; no one else can copy your style/taste/technique that makes your videos unique. Everyone has room for improvement, and you put youself into each piece you do; cant speak for anyone aside myself, but I appreciate you and your work, and greatly enjoy coming back to see whats new–as for cuteness factor- I would be suprised you dont have stalkers after you at the convensions (well not sure thats a good thing…but there ya go). 🙂

  17. January 18, 2010 4:24 AM

    It’s good to be critical and seek to improve; the problem is when you become overly critical and start doing collateral damage to yourself in the name of improvement.

    It’s flaws that give people character and distinction, not perfection. Not that I agree with the tone of your evaluation either, but I think your sensibilities play to a larger demographic than your current niche, which may be part of the challenge. I have to admit, I’m not terribly familiar with specialized characteristics of dedicated anime fans or worse, self-appointed “otaku”, but your overall characteristics seem like they would and likely do appeal to a broader “geek” or “nerd” demographic type, wherein self-described lack of femininity is a bonus because of the distinct modern feminism streak that tends to run through those groups female members.

    If you really feel your speech is a problem, however, might I recommend if you return to college at some point, taking a class in Voice and Diction. It’s one of those things that a lot of Mass Comm majors end up in, even though it’s never a requirement and rarely if at all pointed out by an adviser. The class is valuable to anyone in broadcasting, however, and you generally focus on exercises to correct all of the issues in speech you seem to feel you have; could be worth a look, or even something to practice on your own.

    In the end, you’re a lovely young lady with a distinct voice that seems often to be too hard on herself, and this is a shame. As someone above pointed out, what sets you apart from the other female reviewers is that you tend to have some real substance and are the most well-researched, exploring the material and making educated observations. I have nothing against Ms. Ellis or the others you classify as notably feminine, and I enjoy their material, but I enjoy it in the sense that it and many of the other reviewers on the site offer fluff pieces that are just witty commentary that don’t really require complete attention (yourself, Mr. Antwiler, and Mr. Lovhaug exceptions most of all). And in some ways, it could be disadvantageous that your material feels like it needs engagement and attention as opposed to just playing in the background in another tab, but if your goal is greater and greater production efforts, you’re well on your way towards that end.

  18. January 18, 2010 11:59 AM

    All righty, for the record, let me say that I have yet to make a comment on anyones blog from TGWTG, but your entry tugged at a little heart string of mine and I felt the immediate need to write a response.
    Sadly, if this superficial world had anything to say about it, no man, woman, or child would appear in any public medium if they weren’t all super models and that’s just pathetic. A voice should not have to be silenced cause someones opinion of their appearance is not pleasing to them. It’s amazing that we live in a day and age that is more accepting then in any other time, but physical beauty still hangs over us.
    So for everyone of those people who hide behind the face of internet ambiguity only to emerge with hateful words, I say let them try what you do and still continue forward even in the face of such unfair prejudice. Bet they couldn’t handle it, which is why they hide away like trolls instead of being awesome like you.
    All and all, I’m so glad to see you keep pushing through even with this kind of unfair criticism being dumped upon you. Keep up the good work and fighting the good fight!

  19. That Douche permalink
    January 20, 2010 12:16 PM

    You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. Tons of people like your videos. You have a very natural and down to earth charisma that helps people from both genders relate to you and feel as though you are talking to all anime fans and not just a specific gender.

    And as for your looks, there is nothing wrong with the way you look. You’re a very good looking woman. Don’t believe me? Just go to the “Is Marzgurl a hottie?” section of the TGWTG forum. It has pages and pages of guys talking about nothing but how hot they think you are. And there is nothing wrong with your voice either.

    People like you Kaylyn, they really do. All of us fans appreciate the work you put in your videos. We like your stuff because of what you have to say and because we respect your opinion. Keep up the good work and don’t be so hard on yourself! TGWTG picked you for a reason.

  20. Nephilim permalink
    January 25, 2010 10:49 AM

    I agree with the others here. Your videos are always informative and fun and you’re a nice looking girl.
    As for your voice. Nothing wrong with it. Plus I like you’re singing. Very nice.
    The only advice I’d like to give is to try and relax a bit more while talking. You sound a bit nervous at times.
    Just try and relax and be more comfortable in front of the camera.

    More power to you and don’t let anyone hold you back 🙂

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