There lives a grand beauty and fashion community operating on YouTube through fashion tips, hacks, make up tutorials, make overs, and more. As we’ve always seen rivalries and drama between other YouTube communities, Friday’s run down showed that no man (or woman) is above the pit that sucks in YouTube personalities and defames, dethrones, and scandalizes their names.
On Friday, Youtuber Tati Westbrook shared a 43-minute-long video exposing her long-time friend and mentee James Charles. She started off by saying that she had put in a lot of thought to whether this video should be made public, but had come to the conclusion that it should, especially since its content outlines sexual harassment that was committed by her own friend, James Charles.
None of this came out of the blue. Prior to this, there had been several rumors, photographs, videos, and posts circulating the internet, alleging ill behavior on the part of James Charles. That said, though, those rumors and speculations only did harm to James Charles’s reputation to a limited extent. It wasn’t until his trusted and assumed confidante of a figure, Tati Westbrook, came forward and validated all of the afore-circulated accusations.
The question arises though why she kept quiet all this time having known what she’d known, why she was harboring someone guilty of “sexually harassing” straight men. Why did she pick this as her moment to throw James Charles under the bus?
Did Tati Westbrook expose a predator or did she harbour a predator until she felt under appreciated by him?
— Brokeryn Martell 🇱🇨🇯🇲 (@Quantum_King_) May 11, 2019
Before delving deeper, let’s line out the details on the main characters of this scandal.
The now 19-year-old boy gained fame almost overnight when in 2016 he got his senior year photos taken with make up on. Not only was he wearing some incredibly blended makeup, he also brought a ring light as seen in one of the BTS photos just for the sake of emphasizing his highlighter. Since then, he became the first male spokesperson for CoverGirl and his fan following on social media grew rapidly with 15 million YouTube subscribers at his peak. Heck, the boy even got invited to the Met Gala, an honor reserved for the highest end celebrities and performers. He celebrated the invitation by posting of it on Instagram and saying that it’s “a step forward in the right direction for influencer representation in the media.”
View this post on Instagram
my first met gala 🥺 thank you so much @youtube for inviting me and @alexanderwangny for dressing me! 💕 being invited to such an important event like the ball is such an honor and a step forward in the right direction for influencer representation in the media and I am so excited to be a catalyst. video coming tomorrow!
She’s a 37-year-old makeup Youtuber who also owns her own beauty multivitamin company called Halo Beauty (rival to Sugar Bear Hair which is endorsed by many high-end celebrities including the KarJenners). As James Charles puts it himself, Tati Westbrook has been “like a mother” to him. When he first started budding as a talented 17-year-old, she took him under her wing, even letting him do her wedding makeup which reeled in a lot of support and admiration for the talented young makeup artist.
A Timeline of Events
Biographies sorted, getting down to the events that led up to the mess that the two are in now, on the 22nd of April, James endorsed Sugar Bear Hair on his InstaStory, a company which mind you is the arch nemesis of the company owned by Tati Westbrook, Halo Beauty. According to him, he did this endorsement out of the fact that the company helped him out of a bit of a security issue at Coachella. Following this, the 37-year-old makeup Youtuber claimed that she felt “lost” and “betrayed” in her InstaStory. She said teary-eyed:
When you do so much for people in your life and they not only don’t return the favor, but they just don’t even see you. I feel really used.”
After this, James posted an apology on his InstaStory saying that he had not thought about the competition and he was very apologetic towards Tati Westbrook and regretted his actions. He clarified that he didn’t receive any money for the post and that he, himself, uses Tati’s vitamin brand daily. He said:
She has been like a mother to me since my first days in this industry. And has given me more love, support, resources, and advice than I could ever ask for.”
While this drama is unfolding, YouTuber Gabriel Zamora (also known as Dramageddon after the 2018 summer scandal and YouTube apology) weighed in calling Tati Westbrook’s reaction immature. He said:
All these videos are being made where James is being made out to be this horrible human being and I’m just confused as to what happened.”
Perhaps this really pushed Tati towards going full steam ahead against James Charles, because following Gabriel’s statement, she released her 43-minute-long video titles “BYE SISTER” (a play on James Charles’s signature vlog intro “Hi sisters!” In her video, Tati Westbrook spoke a confessional to her audience. She spoke about how she felt underappreciated by James Charles after all that she’s done for him. She was taken aback by his hesitation to promote her brand and his reluctance to collaborate on it. She used this video as a means to publicly and permanently sever ties and part ways with James Charles, saying that it was “painful to lose someone you care about, that you thought would be in your life forever, but the chapter’s closed.”
She spoke of his sexual harassment towards straight men, saying:
“Oh my god, you tried to trick a straight man into thinking he’s gay yet again. And somehow, you’re the victim. It’s really disgusting to manipulate someone’s sexuality, especially when they’re emerging into adulthood and don’t have everything quite figured out. You’re using your fame, power, money to play with people’s emotions … And you’re doing that to have them behave sexually in your favor even if they’re straight. And you know what, that’s not OK.”
Ever since this video came out, James Charles has been rapidly losing followers as Tati Westbrook’s fan following has been sky rocketing. Following her post, many influencers and other stars have been weighing in on the issue. Jeffree Star, for example, said:
There is a reason that Nathan banned James Charles from ever coming over to our home again. There’s a reason why I haven’t seen him since @GlamLifeGuru’s birthday in February. He is a danger to society. Everything Tati said is 100% true.”
With only a few days having passed since the Friday video upload, by Monday James Charles had lost 2.5 million subscribers in 3 days according to Social Blade. His exposer, Tati, meanwhile gained 2.9 million subscribers in the same time.
The Timing And The Intent?
With all the scandal delved and understood, as one Twitter user put out the question: “Did Tati Westbrook expose a predator or did she harbour a predator until she felt under appreciated by him?”
Given her timing with the Sugar Bear Hair endorsement against her own brand, it seems oddly fishy that she used this as ammunition against James Charles for the sake of saving face of her own brand, instead of coming out with a genuine message for the community against a serial sexual harasser. Had the latter been the case, she should have come forward months ago from when she quotes these instances of sexual harassment. The fact that she kept this under wraps until James Charles didn’t play by her rules and became an inconvenience to her speaks volumes of her intentions in doing so.
Like we said, no one is above the drama in the real of YouTube, not even these two now.