A few decades ago, James Charles’ talent as a makeup artist would not have been well celebrated because of the beliefs held by many people. However, in this generation where occupations are not gender-sensitive, anyone can be whatever they want to be provided that the passion and fuel to drive these talents are provided.
James is one of those who have busted the long-held myth of females being the only gender that is attracted to the affairs concerning makeup. He has even gone ahead to publicize his talent on YouTube, garnering millions of fans and subscribers in the process. As a result of his many successes, James has been tapped to serve as an ambassador for several beauty brands. He has also developed his apparel line. It has, however, not been all smooth sailing as the YouTuber has courted controversy several times.
From a Basement Make-Up Studio to Being an Instagram Star
The American internet personality may not have gotten far in life if his parents, who named him James Charles Dickson upon his birth on May 23, 1999, didn’t support his dreams.
James comes from a family of four which includes his dad, mom, and a younger brother named Ian Jeffrey. He grew up in the New York town of Bethlehem and started experimenting with makeup at a very young age. Thankfully, his parents were liberal-minded people, and rather than recoiling from the fact that their son loved beautifying himself, they instead choose to support him and set up a makeup studio in their basement for him.
Utilizing this basement, James perfected his makeup skills and soon extended his services to his friends and classmates, charging them a token of about $10-$15. His peers heaped praises on his work and this encouraged him to share his talent with the world.
In the year 2015, a 16-year-old James Charles set up his eponymous Instagram account and started posting his work online. His brand of dynamic and transformative makeup, which resulted in different personalities, resonated with the online community and he racked up over 400,000 followers within just one year of creating his account. His number of followers has since grown to 19.8 million and the young man has also extended his influence to YouTube where his channel has about 20.6 million subscribers, making him the most followed beauty guru on the platform.
The Proceeds of James Charles’ Astonishing Career
James Charles’ fame has transcended the online community and seeped into the traditional entertainment world. He has done makeup sessions with superstars such as Kendall Jenner and Zendaya. He has also been invited to several Hollywood events, such as the Met Gala, and has appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Just a year after joining Instagram, James earned the honors of being the first male ambassador for a cosmetics brand known as CoverGirl. He received this honor on October 11, 2016, and even though the exact amount of the deal was not revealed, it must have been in the seven-figure region given the heavyweights that have held that position in the past like Tyra Banks, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift.
Apart from CoverGirl, James Charles has also partnered with other brands such as So Lashy! by BlastPro Mascara, Morphe, Lilly Lashes, and Laura’s boutique. Fans can use his name to get discounted prices at these brands and he in turn gets a cut of the profit for his troubles.
James is also the owner of a personal brand known as Sisters. The brand includes an apparel line that carries branded casual items of clothing such as hoodies and pants. There is also a nationwide tour tagged The Sisters Tour in which the beauty/make-up influencer does meet-and-greet with his fans. Tickets for these tours don’t come cheap and range from $53 to as much as $500 for the VIP segment.
All these ventures have rewarded James Charles quite well as he now has a net worth estimated at $12 million.
The Several Controversies That Have Rocked James’ Career
The YouTube community is one that is riddled with drama and controversies and James has gotten a fair share of his own. These controversies are mostly related to issues of sexuality and to better understand them, it is important to note that the YouTuber considers himself mostly gay but with some tiny heterosexual tendencies. He, therefore, rates himself 5.5 on the Kinsey scale (heterosexual-homosexual rating scale) which translates into predominantly homosexual and only incidentally heterosexual.
Back in April 2019, James Charles was doing a video titled The Truth…… My Crush Does My Makeup when a friend asked him about his sexuality. He accepted that he wasn’t fully gay based on the fact that he had been with girls as well as transmen in the past.
These comments caused a huge uproar in the LGBT community as the YouTuber seemed to be implying that transmen weren’t really men and as such, his sleeping with them made him heterosexual to a point.
Many fans accused James of being transphobic and he issued an apology video on Instagram live. He apologized for implying that the experiences of trans men and women aren’t valid and clarified that he had only been referring to genital preferences in his comments. Following the whole transphobic saga, James managed to stay out of trouble for about a month before he became involved in another drama.
in attempt to explain the very complex concept of sexuality (& mine) in my vid today, I unintentionally implied that my trans brothers & sisters arent valid. this is NOT what I was trying to say. you are valid in your identity!! I apologize & should’ve chosen my words wiser!😞🏳️🌈
— James Charles (@jamescharles) April 12, 2019
Allegations of Manipulative Behaviour
This time, it all started when James Charles’ long-time friend and fellow beauty YouTuber, Tati Westbrook, posted a 43-minute video that was cheekily titled Bye Sister. On it, she accused him of disloyalty for promoting a rival hair product company over hers. She further accused him of having behavioral problems and routinely using his fame, power, and money to play with people’s emotions.
According to Tati, James had a habit of tricking straight men into thinking that they are gay and then threatening to ruin them if they don’t offer him sexual favors.
Such weighty allegations did not go unnoticed and in a matter of days, James Charles lost millions of subscribers on his YouTube and Instagram accounts. Many of his fans also took to social media to show themselves vandalizing his beauty products as well as branded apparel. The fallout did not stop at this juncture. Celebrities such as Kylie Jenner, Shawn Mendes, and Miley Cyrus stopped following him online while Swedish singer, Zara Larsson, tweeted that the beauty influencer had messaged her boyfriend privately despite knowing the fact that he was straight.
In response to the whole brouhaha, James initially issued a video titled Tati in which he apologized for disappointing his friend, her husband, and his fans. He then made another video in which he brought forward evidence to prove that Westbrook was mostly lying. This helped him to regain some of his lost followers and since then, Westbrook has been on the defensive. She even did a video in June 2020 in which she stated that it was two other YouTubers; Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson, that made her lie against Charles. Dawson, however, denied her claims and labeled her manipulative. Charles has meanwhile stayed quiet as his former detractors take shots at each other.
A Look at James Charles’ Love Life
James Charles is single at the moment but this has not stopped the romance rumors from swirling around him. Back in February 2020, some sources suggested that the YouTuber was dating Twitch star, Tfue. These rumors further gained traction after the duo spent Valentine’s Day together in Florida, jet skiing. It later turned out that there was nothing between them save for just that one date.
it never hurts to shoot your shot pic.twitter.com/n5x3roidKY
— Tfue (@TTfue) February 16, 2020
Fast forward to July 2020, James was linked with Tik Tok star Noah Beck. The beauty YouTuber had participated in several videos done by Noah’s group, Sway Boys, and one of the members posted a video titled ‘Noah Beck is Dating James Charles’. This of course raised the insinuations that the two were an item but Beck, however, said that even though he loved James, he was straight.