Just How Much Blackmailing and Backstabbing Is Bubbling Just Beneath The Surface of YouTube’s Beauty Guru Community?

YouTube’s current drama includes some familiar faces. James Charles, Tati Westbrook, Shane Dawson, and Jeffree Star are currently involved in a situation that threatens to unseat some of the content platforms’ most prominent stars, just a year after the same key players were involved in a serious round of drama. The beauty community on YouTube is significant, and while Westbrook, Star, and Charles are some of the niche’s biggest stars, they aren’t the only ones who are deeply entrenched in a highly competitive and, frankly, dark, environment. In fact, the beauty guru genre has drama brewing just beneath the surface at almost all times.

“Dramageddon”, “Dramageddon 2.0” and the current round of drama all revolve around Jeffree Star

Every year, a new round of trouble seems to crop up in the beauty guru community. In 2018, Laura Lee, Gabriel Zamora, and others were embroiled in serious trouble with Jeffree Star. Zamora started the feud when he posted a photo that was later revealed to be a dig at Star. The 2018 blow up concluded with a series of apologies that many fans found utterly insincere.

RELATED: YouTube Drama: Jeffree Star Announces He Is Not Cool With Tati Westbrook

In 2019, “Dramageddon 2.0” kicked off. The feud, which focused on Tati Westbrook and James Charles, escalated when Jeffree Star involved himself by posting a series of tweets accusing Charles of acting inappropriately toward men. Fans and fellow beauty gurus took sides, and the mainstream media even picked up on the story.

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Now, in 2020, Westbrook, Star, and Charles are once again involved in a feud. Westbrook took to YouTube to claim Star and Dawson manipulated her into creating the 2019 video that started “Dramageddon 2.0.” Before getting into the juicy details, however, she issued an apology to Charles for everything that transpired the year before. The situation is still unfolding.

NikkiTutorials was blackmailed into coming out

While Charles and Star have been embroiled in a ton of drama lately, they are not the only gurus who have had to contend with serious issues.  In January 2020, the content creator behind NikkieTutorials, Nikkie de Jager, posted a video announcing that she is transgender. In the emotional video, de Jager, stated that she always intended to share her experience with her followers, but had wanted to do so on her own terms. The reason for the video’s creation was heartbreaking. De Jager revealed she was forced into making the video when she did because she was being blackmailed.

RELATED: Will YouTuber NikkieTutorials Ever Reveal Who Her Blackmailer Was?

De Jager made the decision not to reveal who was behind the blackmailing, but that didn’t stop people from speculating. She even added an additional video to her channel, asking people to stop the speculation, as doing so was ruining lives. According to Pop Buzz, De Jager went on to state that the police had located the person behind the blackmailing.

Why does drama seem to follow beauty gurus?

While beauty gurus appear to be at higher risk of getting swept up in feuds, which often includes the publishing of receipts and calls to “cancel” the stars that fans think are in the wrong, there might be a good reason for that. YouTube, in general, is a highly competitive place, and the beauty guru genre is particularly saturated, which makes it even more competitive.

YouTube logo on December 4, 2012 during LeWeb Paris 2012 in Saint-Denis
YouTube logo | ERIC PIERMONT/AFP via Getty Images

Insider spoke with Pamela Rutledge, a media psychologist, about YouTube feuds. Rutledge suggested that entering YouTube is relatively easy and cheap, but gaining a following is absolutely not easy. Because people are continually joining the platform, existing creators are always in a battle to retain the attention of their fans. Rutledge argues that drama is a byproduct of the environment. In short, she hypothesis any YouTuber in a saturated genre can fall victim to creating or engaging in feuds for the sake of attention and influence.