Tati Westbrook has always been a darling of the beauty community. She's known to be honest about the cosmetics she tries (ahem, never forget her MAC pizza cutter eyeliner review), not overly flashy as other influencers have been accused of being, and just a real around-the-way kind of girl. Westbrook is also an influencer who is part of the over-30 age group that's severely underrepresented in the beauty industry as a whole. But it's these qualities that have helped her earn her first 5 million YouTube subscribers.

Most important, Westbrook tends to steer clear of drama, and that's exactly why she felt the need to set the record straight (again) about why she went against her typical behavior to publicly call out her former friend James Charles. Apparently, Westbrook isn't too happy with the reaction, although much of it has been in her favor. She defended Charles against bullies in her most recent video.

First of all, Tati Westbrook wants people to know that she fully understands the power of social media and was aware that her original video would make a lot of noise. 

Westbrook simply believed she would be the one to receive all of the hate that she sees Charles (who has lost millions of followers in the days since her video was posted) experiencing.

"When I made that video, I thought that I would be the one that would take the hit. I thought I was going against millions and millions of subscribers and that my separate part of the internet — my 5 million — would be affected and that I would be the one losing subscribers for speaking up and that I was going against someone with a lot more power. I knew that fair well. I knew this would cause a lot of controversy. I know that, but I didn’t think it would get to this magnitude. I didn’t think it was possible.” 

Westbrook is taken aback by the online bullying she has witnessed since she denounced her friendship with Charles.

"I really do want the hate to stop," she said during her spiel. "I want the picking sides, the abusive memes, and the language, [and] all of that [to stop]. I really hope on both sides it can stop. That’s not why I made the video." 

To be fair, the memes have been pretty ruthless.

People have been counting and celebrating the subscriber plummet of James Charles' YouTube channel, which has lost millions of subscribers. "Anyway, congrats to James Charles for hitting 13 [million] subscribers. This is such a huge milestone and step towards influencer representation in the media," one critic joked. 

The joke is a play on James Charles' term "influencer representation," which is how he described his appearance at the Met Gala. Charles was roasted heavily for the comment, which made light of actual marginalized groups who need real representation in public spaces. Infuencers are not marginalized groups. They're privileged people with followers and brand relationships and money. 

That said, it's important to point out that criticism of Charles and his decrease in followers was happening before Tati Westbrook called him out on her YouTube channel. Drama channels on YouTube had already begun reporting that his subscriber count was decreasing by the thousands just days before Westbrook spilled the tea on their relationship. Her video just added another nail in the coffin and pushed that drop into the millions.

Still, Westbrook clarified in her latest video that this outcome isn't what she wanted.

Westbrook believed she was out of options when it came to communicating her concerns directly to James Charles.

"This was really a wake-up call and me trying to reach someone who I found completely unreachable," Westbrook explained. "I had been trying to deliver the same message so many times, because this wasn’t just about one thing, and I think a lot of you guys understand that." 

Westbrook also confirmed that she was mostly concerned about Charles not taking seriously the fact that he has a young fan base.

"It’s about someone who reaches across all platforms — 30 million people that are children, predominantly children — who is losing the ability to get honest more and more each day," Westbrook said. 

"[Who] I’m losing the ability to reach and say, 'Hey, I don’t have a contract with you. I am not your manager. I don’t earn from you. I am not taking anything from you. I am your friend and I’ve watched you from your infancy here on YouTube to what it’s become. And I care about you, and I think you’re in a lot of trouble, and I think you need to stop behaving this way because it’s going to go real bad if you don’t.' To have it be kind of shrugged off and laughed about is not OK. I really feel the last straw for me was the way I was treated and our relationship was treated." 

According to Westbrook, Charles' Sugar Bear Hair alignment just confirmed for her that their friendship had become one-sided. 

"There was just zero respect. It was all on his terms," she said about the Sugar Bear Hair incident. "That showed me that really there was never going to be any getting through face-to-face on the phone or all of that. This [video] was just a last-ditch effort for me to be really loud and vocal to really wake up someone that I really loved (and still do)...." 

Westbrook maintains that she does not hate James Charles and doesn't want to see him bullied.

“I want you guys to know I don’t hate James Charles. I don’t want you guys hating on him. I can’t even go online right now," she said while holding back tears. "It’s painful to watch someone that you have cared about be dragged and to know that this all started because of me. I don’t think anyone deserves that. People deserve a wake-up call. People need to be called out for their actions and someone has got to do it."

The influencer also revealed that she has tried to meet up with Charles since her video went live to communicate those thoughts to him as well.

"I was trying through YouTube to meet with James tonight… I wanted to meet in person in a safe space at one of the Google offices and just try to talk through things," she said. "I still feel like I need distance from the relationship, and I don’t think it will be repaired, but I wanted the opportunity to face-to-face tell him that I don’t hate him and I love him. I don’t think he’ll get that for a really, really long time, and I don’t think anyone will."

Westbrook shared that she didn't call him out to get subscribers. 

"And I don’t want you guys to subscribe. I don’t want you to feel sorry for me... This whole thing is not about me. It’s something else. It’s something bigger and I don’t need Team Tati," she said. "I don’t need any of that. But from multiple conversations of things that I have heard and from things that have been shared with me from my community and things that have been happening, it’s respect, honesty, and behaving in a way that I just do not agree with."

She also shared that if she could trade all of her new following in for things with Charles to go back to the way they were before the drama and betrayal, then she would. 

"I just want you guys to know that there is no celebration in what’s happening. And if I could give all of the new success back and the new subscribers back, I would. That’s not why I did this."

Sigh. It sounds like James Charles lost himself a really good friend in Tati Westbrook who understands the importance of correction and accountability. Let's all just hope that Westbrook doesn't continue to blame herself for Charles' predicament, and that Charles himself can learn from this situation too.