Unless you have been unplugged for the last two weeks, then you understand what the title of this blog is referring to. James Charles is a 19-year-old beauty guru on YouTube with (previously) over 15 million subscribers. He rose to fame when he was announced as the first male face of the beauty brand “cover girl.” He has had previous blips in the enthusiasm of his stardom with his ebola scandal and how much he has been charging for a tour.
Tati Westbrook, also a YouTube beauty guru with over 7 million subscribers, has served as his mentor since before the debut of his cover girl ambassadorship. She has recently released a video appropriately titled “goodbye sister” ( a play on James’ catchphrase and term for his fans). This feud started over James lying to Tati and endorsing a pharmaceutical brand, sugar bear hair, which is a competitor for Tati’s brand, Halo Beauty.
Now that you have a tiny backstory to why this feud started, let’s get into why it is important. In the video Tati released she talks about why the endorsement of Sugar bear hair upset her, but that isn’t why James is canceled. She revealed that James is a predator of sorts. I know the term predator is a bit extreme, but we have to hold everyone accountable for their actions. She revealed that for most of their friendship after stardom, James has been using his “celebrity” status to try and persuade straight men that they are, in fact, not straight. This was revealed when she told an anecdote from her birthday party that James attended that she was disgusted for the way he talked about what he wanted to do [sexually] with their waiter, and how when Tati told James to stop because the waiter was straight Charles relied with how it doesn’t matter, he [James] is a celebrity.
In today’s world, the #metoo movement and the empowerment of women coming forward from sexual assault is a heated, very prominent topic. The reveal of a well-loved beauty guru being a sexual predator is a big deal. This statement from Tati allowed other people targeted by James in the same fashion to come forward. People such a Jay Alverez, Grayson Dolan, and many more have spoken about or exposed James for doing essentially the same thing to them. This is not ok, and many people have already taken action.
This is important because we need to talk about not only discrimination against women with the #metoo movement, but also that there is no single gender/ gender identity being targeted by people like this. Yes, it is important for women to talk about their experiences and share the horrible things they went through, but it is also happening to men. We need to hold our social media icons just as responsible for acts like this as we do Hollywood executives. We need to hold all people everywhere accountable for their actions.
I think this whole situation is a step in the right direction for us, as a society, to reevaluate how we weigh the severity of sexual assault as well as who we chose to make famous and idolize. Question everything, do your research. This is a horrible thing for those involved, but I am glad it has come to a head and started a whole new conversation.