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