I think it's safe to say that beauty YouTubers are the new-age celebrities. Their platforms are enormous, they influence trends all over the world, and whenever they mess up, it's first-page news. Well, this time, it's James Charles coming under fire. Not for racially charged posts as he and his peers have been guilty for, but for basically falsifying the entire thing that made him famous: his makeup ability.
It's starting to look like Charles is relying a whole lot more on programs like Photoshop and FaceTune instead of his talent to earn fame and notoriety, and the Reddit community is not having it. Let's see what PR statement he'll come up with for this one.
"This essentially is faking his skill level," one user lamented.
"I get the comments that are like, 'This is nothing new, we know he facetunes and photoshops!' but this isn’t like, making his nose skinnier or blurring a few pores. This isn’t minor touching up.
"This essentially is faking his skill level. It’s like someone hand-drawing a piece of art, but half of it was mirrored, so it looks perfect without any flaws, and the artist claiming it was not altered in any way and still claiming the ENTIRE thing is completely done by hand.
"He’s lying about his skill like this and that’s why it’s a problem. He’s trying to sell himself as a professional for his makeup artistry but this has gone beyond a few color touch ups. It’s just blatantly faking it. If he could do one eye well enough, he should just do the other! Nobody is perfect. Nobody gets their eyeliner wings EXACTLY the same size. Art has tiny flaws. Him trying to pass this off like there aren’t flaws and that he’s entirely perfect in his skill isn’t...cool...
"That’s why so many people have an issue with this. It’s not retouching. It’s faking skill that wasn’t actually done by him.
"Edit: I mentioned below, but I feel like I didn’t explain my point very well (sorry, ADHD brain). I have a friend who does body painting on herself, by hand, in a mirror. She would never paint something and then copy and paste through photoshop whichever half looked better, and claim she did all of it by hand.
Another commented, "If you take away the face tune he's average."
"I take it really personally too. I've been through two two year college courses and a three year uni course that's cost me over £60k to get to the skill level I'm at as an mua. And this guy comes along with no professionalism, a bad attitude and very average talent and everyone's fawning over him about how talented he is? No. It's literally all fake. His rise to fame and his 'skill.'
"Even people here who hate him say "he IS talented but..". If you take away the face tune he's average, and even if he was amazing it doesn't negate the fact that he's done some really shitty things. Sorry for the rant but it really annoys me haha ????"
"He’s got great photoshop skills," one user said. "Just be transparent."
"See if he was like 'I’m pretty awesome at makeup AND ALSO my photoshop skills are great!' that would be fine, in my opinion? I mean, he’s fantastic at photoshop, obviously. He’s got great photoshop skills. Just be transparent. There’s a market for people who can photoshop well just as much as there’s a market for makeup artists, lmao. You just gotta tell the effin truth at least if you’re going to change your looks this much."
This person made a very great point about just how young and impressionable Charles' fans are.
"We have to all remember, a VERY large chunk of his fans are children 13 years old and younger and he knows it. They think this is completely normal and don't care about him essentially photoshoping his entire face."
“I’m talented, but not as much as I want people to think" is the message one user thinks Charles is sending to his followers.
"Yes, it’s widely known that he enhances his photos/makeup in photos, but to basically only do half of your makeup and then just mirror it onto the other side with photoshop basically says, 'I’m talented, but not as much as I want people to think.'"
"He photoshops every insta pic to filth," this user noted.
"He photoshops every insta pic to filth. His whole following is built off a photoshopped picture lol. I don't get why people put up with it or think he's good at makeup for it. I'm sure most of his young girl fan base don't even know or care."
One Reddit user has seen firsthand the effect this high amount of photo editing has on young girls.
"I work in mental health. Specifically eating disorders which comes with body image and dysmorphia. Specifically teens. 10-17 year olds. They ALL know James and talked about his sisterhood.
"He literally plays right into these girls' treatment and how dissatisfied they are with their bodies. I see it firs hand. He influences them and is a part of the false reality that makes these girls doubt themselves."
"Instagram empires are built on lies, Photoshop, and FaceTune," someone else rightfully commented.
"Instagram empires are built on lies, photoshop, and Facetune. Not on honesty. Like it or not, this is the sad truth."
All in all, the internet is confused as to how Charles can feel comfortable with such heavy editing after being at the center of so many other controversies.
"A lot of the scandals James has gone through have been let sister slide but I don't understand why and how he thinks it is okay to fake this sort of thing. Why is this being recognised when there are many more talented people out there who don't feel the need to falsify their makeup skills. I'm sister sick of it."