It’s only been a few days since James Charles and Tati Westbrook officially put their feud to bed, but it looks like people are moving on like nothing happened. Tati is probably still on her
vacation digital break, but James Charles was spotted out and about on Tuesday evening at the hottest party in Hollywood: the launch of Kylie Skin.
Before we dive back into the world of YouTube drama, let’s talk about this party for a second. As is customary for a Kardashian party, Kylie Jenner’s skin care launch was a huge ordeal that probably cost more than you make in a year, and everything was millennial pink to match the Kylie Skin branding. There was a roller skating rink (complete with skate-up bar), a life-size glass magazine cover to pose behind, and lots of foods that are definitely good for your skin, like French fries, ramen noodles, and some pizza that looked like Fyre festival rations.
Watching Kylie’s Insta story, it seems like she was genuinely having a great time at her party, and there has never been more of a mood than Kylie Jenner roller skating to “Old Town Road.” The guest list included Kris Jenner (obvi), the three Kardashian sisters (no Kendall), and a somewhat surprising appearance by Caitlyn Jenner. But forget about the family, because the most important guest at this party was obviously James Charles.
— Nektarios Kefalas (@nek_kef) May 22, 2019
James didn’t post anything about the party on his social media, where he’s still just posting random things about being positive. Instead, James was spotted in the background of a video on Kylie’s story. James was at the party with fellow YouTubers Nikita Dragun and Gabriel Zamora, and in the video Kylie is screaming like a banshee to get Nikita’s attention. If you’ll recall, Nikita is the one who posted her Coachella texts with James to support his story about the vitamins. Gabriel also played a whole hand in the drama, and his accusations thrown at Tati were part of the reason she made her initial “Bye Sister” video. It’s all very complex, but basically these three have stayed tight through all the drama.
Here’s a video from Nikita’s story of them showing up to the party together:
What makes James Charles’ presence really interesting is that Kylie Jenner was one of the many celebrities who unfollowed James on Instagram amidst the fallout from Tati’s original video. As of this morning, Kylie still isn’t following James on Insta, but she isn’t following Nikita or Gabriel either, so who knows how much that actually means. Clearly Kylie’s following list wasn’t what they used to make the guest list here.
Kylie Jenner was far from the only famous person to unfollow James Charles after the Tati drama. Kim Kardashian, Demi Lovato, Halsey, and Shawn Mendes were just a few of the famous unfollowers, and none of them have re-followed him yet. While I’m sure e would love for Kim K to follow him again, clearly he’s doing okay in the mean time. Better than me at least, because somehow my invite to the Kylie Skin party got lost in the mail. Sad!
So does this mean James Charles is making a comeback? Honestly, probably, yeah. He’s already gained back about half of the subscribers he lost in this whole fiasco, and his diehard fans never left. It might be a few weeks before he’s back to his normal routine of posting makeup tutorials on YouTube and ass photos on Instagram, but he’s definitely on the way back up. Woo hoo, I guess.
Images: @kyliejenner, @nikita_dragun; @nek_kef / Twitter
Last week, I delved into a corner of the internet that I never thought I would be writing actual articles about: beauty YouTube. Turns out, all the people sitting in their houses making eyeshadow tutorials have many, many skeletons in their closets, and there’s basically always a scandal going on. By now, you probably already know the basics of the feud between Tati Westbrook and James Charles, but there have been important updates.
Since the last article I wrote about these two clowns, both of them have posted followup videos, and there’s been a shift in the public opinion about the whole situation. First of all, Tati came out with a video last week titled “Why I Did It.” She’s basically like the OJ Simpson of hair vitamins. The video is 18 minutes long, and it’s basically her saying that she’s not back, and she needs a break, and she’s sorry, and she would give all the new subscribers back if she could.
So I’m calling bullsh*t on that, because I work at a social media company, and the difference between having 5 million subscribers and having 10 million subscribers is a lot of cold, hard cash. I believe that she didn’t think things would blow up like this, but everyone likes popularity. And there’s nothing like a YouTuber announcing that they’re “not back” in the form of an 18-minute video. These people are buffoons, and I’m loving every second.
Then, on Saturday, James Charles finally broke his silence, delivering a 40-minute video that is basically a point-by-point takedown of all the allegations against him. Like my dad gearing up for tax season, James Charles has kept literally all of the receipts, and he was prepared for this. He addresses the Coachella vitamin accusations, remaining adamant that it was a last-minute deal. This claim has also been supported by another YouTuber, Nikita Dragun, who posted texts from James Charles about arranging security at Coachella. There’s a theory that those texts are fake, but I really don’t have time to get into that right now.
In his video, James Charles also addresses the allegations about his predatory behavior with straight men. In the specific case of Sam, a waiter who made a video about his encounter with James, James proves his point with text receipts, explaining that Sam told James he was bisexual the entire time, and that the encounter was consensual. He says that he and Sam have already worked things out on their own, and he’s backed down from his accusations against James. James also rightfully criticizes the many people who have reacted to Tati’s video in a homophobic way.
James Charles also goes after Jeffree Star, another mega-successful YouTube beauty guru, who has been on #TeamTati since the beginning of the feud. Jeffree and James used to be friends, but now Jeffree seems dead set on canceling James. This is pretty ironic, considering that Jeffree Star has a well-documented past of saying racist and otherwise problematic things. Like I said before, all of these people have skeletons in their closets.
In the wake of James Charles and Tati’s most recent videos, the roles have been reversed from a week ago. Now, James has started to regain subscribers, and is back above 14 million. For everyone complaining about “cancel culture,” this is not what it looks like when someone gets canceled. Tati, meanwhile, has started to lose subscribers, and if she’s not careful, she could fall below 10 million less than a week after getting there in the first place. I hate how invested I am in all of this.
It seems like the videos are going to stop for now, but all three of the involved parties (Tati, James Charles, and Jeffree Star, if you’re having trouble keeping up) took to Twitter to address the recent developments.
I'm working on not reacting out of anger & working through patience for what this right thing to do is. ??❤️ I remind you all… as I remind myself to do what you can to lead with kindness.
— Tati Westbrook (@GlamLifeGuru) May 18, 2019
First, Tati explained that she’s “left town on a digital break,” which sounds like an extremely unnecessary way of saying that she’s on vacation. This is melodramatic from top to bottom, and I especially love the part about “lies & half truths.” There’s a reason these people all have millions of fans; they’re entertaining as hell.
Here’s what James Charles had to say:
I’m literally begging all of you. The internet has seen enough negativity in the last few weeks. Text your friends and tell them you love them. Give someone a compliment (but don’t be too forward)! Appreciate what you have and those around you. ❤️ love you all
— James Charles (@jamescharles) May 18, 2019
First of all, of course we shouldn’t be sending hate to anyone. But I do have to roll my eyes at the tactic of preaching positivity right after posting a video the length of a Gossip Girl episode calling out your ex-friends. Okay bitch, we get it, you think you’re right.
Finally, Jeffree Star closes things out with another giant helping of melodrama:
Everyone keeps asking me for my RECEIPTS…. I have so much to say and some really sad, disgusting things to show you guys. James Charles tried to mass manipulate you all today. When I show you the proof and WHY I tweeted that tweet about him, you will all finally understand.
— Jeffree Star (@JeffreeStar) May 18, 2019
These people are honestly insane. Can’t wait to get sucked into another 40-minute video where Jeffree Star shows us the sad, disgusting things he knows about James Charles. And then the day after that, someone else will probably expose something bad that Jeffree did, and the whole vicious cycle will just repeat until we get hit by an asteroid. Hopefully it’ll be soon, we need to be put out of our misery.
UPDATE: While I wrote this on Sunday morning and then went about my day, the YouTube beauty community continued to self-destruct for the rest of the day. Before you all flood my DMs asking me to explain what’s going on, here’s the update to the update on the drama that none of us truly understand.
After all that other stuff went down, Jeffree Star finally came out with his own video addressing the James Charles/Tati drama. Like I said before, Jeffree Star is problematic af, but it’s fair for him to address the accusations that have been directed at him.
In the video, Jeffree apologizes for some of his aggressive tweets from the past week, and he also says that he doesn’t hate James Charles. Blah, blah, blah. Jeffree specifically says he’s not going to spill tea or come for James, so it’s a pretty boring 13 minutes.
In addition to Jeffree’s video saying that he won’t fuel the fire (too late), Tati interrupted her ~digital break~ to come back to Twitter and post my absolute favorite type of content: a Notes app statement.
— Tati Westbrook (@GlamLifeGuru) May 19, 2019
If you don’t have the patience to read that entire thing, it’s basically Tati apologizing again and saying that she would very much like to be excluded from this narrative. Despite all the insane drama that she essentially started, I feel like she’s right to say she wants to move on. At this point, there’s nothing else that could possibly be accomplished from Tati, Jeffree, and James making video after video throwing receipts in each other’s face. At a certain point, you have to agree to disagree and just move on.
We finished off the evening with one last tweet from James Charles, saying that he’s on board with Tati and Jeffree that it’s time to move on, and promises not to speak about this further.
Thank you @jeffreestar & @glamlifeguru for your sentiments. I am on board to move on, will not speak about this further, but do hope to speak in the future when we’re all ready. This week was awful for all of us and I ask that the community focuses on positivity moving forward ❤️
— James Charles (@jamescharles) May 20, 2019
Basically, they all want everything to be sunshine and rainbows and eyeshadow palettes, and I’m sure they’ll all go back to making their normal videos soon. That’s all well and good, but you know it’s only a matter of time before one of them f*cks up again and we have to do this sh*t one more time. Deep down (or not so deep down), they all have a trashy side, and it’ll always come out.
Images: Shutterstock; glamlifeguru, jamescharles, jeffreestar / YouTube; @jamescharles (2), @glamlifeguru (2), @jeffreestar / Twitter
When it comes to pop culture, sometimes there’s just too much to keep up with. No matter how much you love celebrities and entertainment, everyone has certain blindspots. For example, I’ve watched over 600 episodes of Real Housewives, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve only seen like, five episodes of Friends. Nobody’s perfect. This weekend, it’s become clear that many people share the same blindspot: YouTube drama.
The YouTube community is constantly full of drama and feuding, but the dynamics can be very complicated to understand. By far, the messiest corner of the internet is Beauty YouTube. The most popular creators are called “Beauty Gurus,” or BGs, because this is a whole thing. Basically, 80% of BGs have said/done/tweeted problematic things, and there are constantly feuds happening based on one person dragging another for sh*t that they’ve probably all done.
T0day, we’re focusing on two Beauty Gurus in particular: James Charles and Tati Westbrook. James is a 19-year-old who has had a meteoric rise in the last two years, culminating in attending the Met Gala this year. Last week, he had 16.5 million subscribers on YouTube, which is actually insane. Tati Westbrook is a married woman in her 30s, and she’s been in the YouTube game for a long time. When James Charles was first coming up, she mentored him, and he even did her makeup at her wedding. Before this whole thing started, Tati had 5.9 million subscribers. Nothing to be ashamed of, but James had obviously eclipsed her in popularity.
It’s important to note that James Charles already had a history of saying some problematic things. A couple years ago, a tweet joking about getting Ebola in Africa went viral, and he was issued one of my favorite non-apologies of all time in response.
— James Charles (@jamescharles) February 16, 2017
In case you didn’t read til the end, James called Africa a country. Yeah. After going to the Met Gala last week, he also posted about how it was a major moment for “influencer representation.” Ah yes, influencers, the great oppressed minority in our society. In case you can’t tell, I’m not a huge fan of James, but that’s neither here nor there.
So here’s where the feud started. A few weeks ago, at Coachella, James Charles posted an ad for Sugar Bear Hair vitamins. This really isn’t anything out of the ordinary for an influencer, but it kicked off a mountain of drama, and that’s where Tati Westbrook comes into the picture. The thing is, Tati has her own hair vitamin company, and Sugar Bear is her main competitor. She was obviously hurt by her friend endorsing her competition, and she posted a two-minute Instagram story that was essentially a subtweet about when friends hurt you.
James’ explanation for the Sugar Bear endorsement was a little strange. He said that there was a security issue at Coachella, and at the last minute, Sugar Bear swooped in and offered to give him a security team in exchange for an endorsement. Um, is that how these things work? Tati obviously didn’t buy it, saying that the contracts for these things are all done in advance, and that there’s no way there would have just been an extra security team hanging out at Coachella.
The feud simmered for a couple weeks, but things finally boiled over on Friday, when Tati posted a 43-minute video basically dragging James Charles to hell. Obviously the vitamins were a part of it, but she got into some other sh*t that’s a little more sinister. She called out James for his predatory behavior toward straight men, saying that he talks about getting what he wants because he’s a celebrity. She also said that the way he openly talked about sex in front of her and her husband, as well as his own mother, made her very uncomfortable. She also called out James’ mom for not being in LA with him, saying that she needs to come take care of her son. The video was brutal, but Tati stayed very calm, and seemed pretty rational in all the things she was saying about James.
The video instantly went viral, and hours later, James posted a video of his own. It’s an 8-minute apology, where he basically owns up to all the things that Tati said, and doesn’t try to come back at her at all. Compared to his normal videos, where he’s talking a mile a minute and throwing in all the catchphrases humanly possible, the apology is a shocking departure. James’ video quickly became one off the most-disliked videos in the history of YouTube, as thousands of Tati’s angry fans flooded James’ channel.
In the aftermath of Tati’s videos, there have been some pretty monumental shifts in the dynamic. James has lost over 2.5 million subscribers, while Tati has gained over three million. There’s even a live YouTube stream showing their subscriber numbers side by side, and thousands of people have been watching it at all times. Jeffree Star, who is one of the biggest names in the YouTube beauty community, came out in strong support of Tati’s message in a now-deleted tweet:
Jeffree has done his fair share of problematic things in the past (read: racist tweets and videos), so it’s a little ironic that he’s calling James Charles a “danger to society,” but his words still carry a lot of power in this community. James Charles has also been unfollowed on Instagram by lots of famous people, including Kylie Jenner, Shawn Mendes, Kim Kardashian, Halsey, and Demi Lovato. Obviously, the message has gotten out that James isn’t a good person to be associated with right now, and they’re jumping ship left and right. Pop singer Zara Larsson even tweeted (then deleted) a statement corroborating Tati’s claims about James going after straight men, saying that he’s slid into her boyfriend’s multiple times.
As of now, neither James Charles nor Tati Westbrook have made videos since Friday, and they haven’t posted on social media, except Tati saying that she wouldn’t be posting a video on Monday like she usually does. Honestly, her reasoning is pretty hilarious, considering that this is a situation that she created.
There won't be a video tomorrow. My heart is still too heavy. I feel like I need to remind you that we can hold truth & inspire change without grabbing onto hate. Honor your blessings, don't abuse them. Celebrating pain will only bring it to your door. love you guys, see you soon
— Tati Westbrook (@GlamLifeGuru) May 13, 2019
I’m sure she’s had a stressful weekend, but she also just needs a few days to figure out what she’s going to do to entertain her three million new subscribers. Her issues with James Charles seem to be legit, but you still have to wonder about the exact motives for taking him down in such a public, thought out manner. It’ll be fascinating to see what moves both she and James make next, but I have a feeling this is far from over.
So there you have it, welcome to a day in the world of beauty YouTube. Do you need a nap now? Because I do; all this sh*t is exhausting.
Images: Shutterstock; jamescharles, jeffreestar, zaralarsson, glamlifeguru / Twitter; Glamlifeguru, Jamescharles / YouTube