Why was James Charles at the Met Gala?
First, you might not know who James Charles is, I’ll explain. He’s a famous makeup artist who makes money and got his fame from social media and YouTube. He is in the new “famous people” category called influencers. These are basically people who promote things over social media in efforts to get others to follow along or buy a product.
Next, you are probably wondering what the Met Gala is. This is a prestigious event in which all the A-list celebrities attend for a fundraiser in honor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City. This year there was over $15 million raised. It is hosted by Vogue and supposed to be one of the hardest events to get into. There’s a waiting list on top of a waiting list.
So again, why was James Charles there?
Surprisingly he got invited. He has some ins to being surrounded by the A-list group of celebrities. He was the first male face of Covergirl. But, that’s not what he’s really known for. He’s known as an influencer. So in conclusion, the people were mad, including me. When I go to watch an event such as the Met Gala, I’m there for the high fashion. James Charles is not what I would consider high fashion.
Charles tweeted out that evening “Oh yeah I’m at the Met Gala :’).” With replies from users saying things like “oh yeah go home,” and “Your outfit is so embarrassing.”
He later captioned a picture with this “My first met gala 🥺 thank you so much @youtube for inviting me and @alexanderwangny for dressing me! 💕 being invited to such an important event like the ball is such an honor and a step forward in the right direction for influencer representation in the media and I am so excited to be a catalyst. video coming tomorrow!”
This is where the anger truly began.
“Ah, yes. The historically oppressed and marginalized class, ‘influencers,'” said Fran Tirado, editor of Out magazine.
The idea that he felt as if he was some underrepresented influencer in the media was astonishing to me. In many ways it was a bash to the people who worked hard in the fashion industry and built up careers to even get looked at twice for the invitation list of the Met Gala, to have some YouTuber throw pity on himself.
Not to forget the off-theme, horrible outfit he wore to this reputable event. The Met Gala holds new themes for each year, and this year’s theme was “Camp.” It looked like the outfit he wore to Coachella, and to compare Coachella to the Met gala is unfathomable.
The backlash went so far it sprouted other mishaps for Charles. Influencer and former mentor of Charles, Tati Westbrook posted a video. In the video she goes off on Charles for nearly 40 minutes, redefining his whole career and why he is now “cancelled.”
After the video was posted Charles lost nearly three million YouTube subscribers, that’s a big hit considering that’s all his life is.
Column by: Ruth Nash