I am emotionally quite old and know very little information about YouTube personalities from the post-“Shoes” era, and yet for the last two days I’ve been fascinated by the ongoing feud between YouTube beauty blogger James Charles and fellow YouTube beauty blogger Tati Westbrook.
For those of you who have not spent the last two days watching YouTube response videos to the YouTube drama and/or don’t care about any of this, here is the backstory:
A few weeks ago, James Charles, the 19-year-old vlogger, social media star, makeup artist, and model with millions of YouTube subscribers, allegedly shaded Tati Westbrook, a 37-year-old vlogger and social media star with her own strong following on YouTube, by doing an Instagram video for Sugar Bear Hair beauty vitamins.
Westbrook, who essentially mentored Charles in his early vlogging days, recently launched her own line of beauty vitamins, Halo Beauty, and after throwing some lowkey shade of her own on Instagram, on Friday Westbrook posted a 43 minute video titled, “BYE SISTER” that, among other things, accused Charles of being an extremely petty influencer diva, and also of sexually harassing servers at restaurants. (I highly recommend watching the whole thing, perhaps instead of tonight’s Game of Thrones, which, to be fair, will probably suck.)
Though Charles apologized to Westbrook, this fallout from this DRAMA has been VICIOUS, with beauty vloggers and people who follow beauty vloggers weighing in worldwide on Tati vs. Charles. It’s so vicious, in fact, that according to CNN, someone had the good business sense to make the above live-count showing Charles’s YouTube subscribers, who have been abandoning the vlog ship in droves thanks to what I have dubbed #Sistergate. Charles’s count was at about 16.5 million before “BYE SISTER” dropped—as of Sunday evening, it’s at just over 14 million.
Meanwhile, Westbrook’s subscriber count has seen a sizable bump in the wake of the Madness, going up from a meager 5.9 million followers to about 8.7 million by Sunday evening. It is very dramatic!!!!
Again, I truly have no horse in this race, but I have been watching this subscriber count video for about as much time as I spent bingeing Younger two weeks ago, in part because I appreciate a good internet scandal, in part because I dig the fun background music, and in part because the person who posted the subscriber count video also included their own live subscriber count, and I respect the hustle:
Please do take this ride with me.