If you’re constantly on Instagram, Youtube, and Tiktok, you must have encountered James Charles at least once. He’s a 21 year-old American Internet personality, beauty Youtuber, makeup artist, and one of today’s biggest Gen Z influencers, alongside Kylie Jenner and company.
Early last year, a huge sum of people on the Internet were quick to detach their associations with James Charles, as his older peers and mentors attempted to cancel him. Not long after, he cleared his name from alleged problematic behaviors after he posted a response video, and was even defended by prominent Youtube star Pewdiepie on a separate video.
If anything good came out from the drama he was involved in, it’s that his Youtube channel now has over 20 million subscribers.
The influencer culture was probably first introduced or made mainstream by the Kardashians, which seemed ridiculous at the time. And when James Charles was invited to the Met Gala in 2019, people who were only familiar with the old A-list scratched their heads. It makes me wonder, just how much do we not know about the influencer culture today?
Thanks to millennials who paved the way, we now see millionaire Gen Z’s whose livelihood is being themselves and doing whatever the hell they want on social media. Some even go as far as prioritizing it over college. And why not if you’re earning just as much as what regular jobs would pay? And with your own time in your hands? Fire.
It all sounds so ideal and alluring, and that’s probably why we personally know at least one person in our lives trying to be one. But just what does it take to succeed? I say a huge bag of luck!
Watch this video of James Charles featuring what a busy day looks like for him as an influencer:
For someone like James who seems to be successful at what he does, we see someone who has turned playing to work. Smart, strategic, quick, and charismatic—he is definitely acing the influencer game. With his popularity growing even more, it seems fitting that Youtube Originals decided to give him his own reality series “Instant Influencer,” where he hosts and mentors a group of Gen Z’s competing to be the next big influencer.
I find episode 3 fascinating in particular. It’s equally disturbing and amusing, with the mini-challenge having to make an apology video over an assigned “mistake” they have to apologize for. It highlights the many things that are behind what is supposed to be a simple sorry: how you look like, how you sound like, and how much tears you’ll be shedding.