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James Charles (Internet personality)

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James Charles
James Charles.png
Charles in 2018
James Charles Dickinson

(1999-05-23) May 23, 1999 (age 20)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationYouTuber, makeup artist, Internet celebrity
Years active2014–present
Net worthUS$12 million
YouTube information
Subscribers16.2 million[1]
Total views1.7 billion[1]
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2016[2]
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2017[3]
YouTube Diamond Play Button.svg 10,000,000 subscribers 2018[4]
Updated August 11, 2019

James Charles Dickinson (born May 23, 1999) is an American Internet personality, beauty YouTuber and make-up artist. In 2016, he became the first male ambassador for CoverGirl.

Personal life

Charles is from Bethlehem, New York, and graduated from Bethlehem Central High School in June 2017. He is openly gay.[5][6]

As of 2019, his net worth is estimated to be US$12 million (£9 million).[7][8]


Charles is most known for his YouTube channel focusing on makeup, which he launched on December 1, 2015. At its highest point (May 6, 2019) his channel had 16.6 million subscribers. It currently has 16 million. His channel also has over 1.7 billion views on YouTube. On May 11, 2019, he became the first ever YouTube personality to lose over 1 million subscribers in 24 hours.[9] At the 8th Streamy Awards he won the award for best channel in the Beauty category.[10]

On October 11, 2016, at the age of seventeen, Charles became the first male spokesmodel for cosmetics brand CoverGirl, working alongside brand ambassador Katy Perry.[11][12][13][14][15][16]

In 2017, Charles walked the runway for MarcoMarco's Six 1/2 collection during Los Angeles Fashion Week.[17][18]

In 2018, Charles collaborated with Morphe Cosmetics to release an eyeshadow palette. In January 2019, he was invited to Birmingham, England, to open the company's second UK store, where over 7,000 fans showed up to see him, causing parts of the city centre to come to a standstill.[19][20]

In March 2019, Charles did the makeup for Iggy Azalea's music video shoot for “Sally Walker”. He also made a cameo appearance in the video.[21]


Ebola joke

In February 2017, when Charles was 17,[22] he was criticized after tweeting a joke considered offensive about Africa and Ebola. He later issued an apology saying: "I am extremely sorry for what I said. There are no excuses. No one owes me forgiveness, but I've learned a lot from the experience. I hope that the people who might look up to me will be able to learn from my mistakes and not repeat them."[23][24]

Origin story

In March 2017, YouTube make-up artist Thomas Halbert posted screenshots of previous conversations with Charles where Charles admitted his story regarding his rise in notability was falsified. Charles originally claimed he had his high school prom photographs retaken with a ring light,[25] however the conversation revealed that he had actually edited the photographs.[26]

Comment on trans men

In April 2019, Charles said that he was not fully gay, and a 5.5 on the Kinsey scale, saying that "there have been girls in the past who I've thought were very, very beautiful. There's also been trans guys in the past, too, that I was really, really into for a moment in time." These comments created controversy, and some claimed they were transphobic.[27] Charles apologized shortly after, releasing a statement saying that his comments were unintentionally transphobic, though that was not his intent, and that he should have chosen different words to convey what he meant.[28]

Tati Westbrook controversy

On May 10, 2019, long-time collaborator Tati Westbrook uploaded a 43-minute long video titled “BYE SISTER ...” to her YouTube channel heavily criticizing Charles. In her video, Westbrook accused Charles of disloyalty, “manipulating people's sexuality”[29][30] and “using... fame, power and money to play with people's emotions”.[8] After this, Charles set a YouTube record for losing over 1 million subscribers in less than 24 hours. It continued to fall from 16.6 million subscribers around May 6, 2019 to a low point of 13.4 million on May 15, 2019, recovering somewhat in the days that followed. Westbrook's subscriber count increased by over four million over the same period.[31][32] Charles later uploaded an 8-minute response video titled “tati”, addressing the issues raised by Westbrook and apologizing to his fans and both her and her husband. This video received mostly negative feedback, with the video becoming one of the 10 most disliked videos in YouTube history.[7][33] On May 18, 2019, Charles made a second, 41-minute, video addressing the comments made by Westbrook, entitled “No More Lies”.[34][35] It presented evidence appearing to refute many of Westbrook's accusations and led to renewed support for Charles and criticism towards Westbrook. Soon after its posting, Charles regained a million subscribers and Westbrook lost two hundred thousand.[36][37] Westbrook later removed the “Bye Sister” video from her YouTube channel.[38] The saga sparked analysis relating to cancel culture, the alleged toxicity of YouTube's beauty community, stereotypes of gay men being predatory and profits made from online 'drama'.[39][40][41]

The week following Charles' subscriber drop, on May 21, 2019, YouTube announced that they would abbreviate subscriber counts across the platform.[42] While the official announcement made no mention of the Charles vs Westbrook feud, many commentators speculated that it was a direct response to recent community obsession over subscriber counts, as seen in feuds such as this one and PewDiePie vs T-Series.[43]


Year Title Notes
2017 Apologies in Advance with Andrea Russett Episode: “James Charles”
Zall Good Episode: “James Charles”
Shane and Friends Episode: “James Charles”
2018 The Secret World of Jeffree Star Episode: “Becoming Jeffree Star for a Day”
2019 Strahan & Sara

Music videos

Year Title Artist Notes
2019 Sally Walker Iggy Azalea


  1. ^ a b "James Charles Detailed Statistics". Social Blade. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  2. ^ "jamescharles Monthly YouTube Statistics -". Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  3. ^ "jamescharles Monthly YouTube Statistics -". Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  4. ^ "jamescharles Monthly YouTube Statistics -". Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  5. ^ "Meet The First Ever Male CoverGirl, James Charles". Huffington Post. 2016-10-11. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  6. ^ WITW Staff (2015-11-24). "Meet CoverGirl's 1st 'cover boy' — a high school student – Women in the World in Association with The New York Times – WITW". Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  7. ^ a b "James Charles loses a million subscribers in a week". 2019-05-12. Retrieved 2019-05-12.
  8. ^ a b "YouTube star James Charles loses 2m subscribers after row with fellow vlogger". Sky News. Retrieved 2019-05-12.
  9. ^ "jamescharles YouTube Stats, Channel Statistics -". Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  10. ^ "Streamy Awards 2018: Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  11. ^ Neeti Upadhye. "CoverGirl Features First Male - Video". The New York Times. 40.755978;-73.990396: Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  12. ^ "CoverGirl Announces Its First Male CoverGirl Spokesmodel". 2016-09-05. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  13. ^ Cady Lang (2016-10-09). "CoverGirl Appoints First Male Spokesperson, James Charles". Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  14. ^ "Meet CoverGirl's first-ever CoverBoy, James Charles". Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  15. ^ Andrews, Travis M. "CoverGirl's first CoverBoy: 17-year-old YouTube sensation James Charles". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  16. ^ Puglise, Nicole (2016-10-11). "CoverGirl names makeup artist James Charles its first cover boy". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-05-12.
  17. ^ "RUNWAY - Mens underwear - Mens Designer Underwear". Marco Marco.
  18. ^ WOWPresents (16 October 2017). "#MarcoMarcoShow Collection Six 1/2 LA Style Fashion Week "Day"" – via YouTube.
  19. ^ editor, Jim Waterson Media (2019-01-27). "Birmingham brought to standstill by YouTuber James Charles". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-01-27.
  20. ^ "City gridlocked after YouTuber visit". 2019-01-27. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  21. ^ "James Charles Turned Iggy Azaela Into a Drag Queen for Her New Single". 2019-03-01. Retrieved 2019-05-12.
  22. ^ Krause, Amanda. "YouTube beauty star James Charles is at war with his former mentor Tati Westbrook. Here's the story of his controversial past". INSIDER. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
  23. ^ "James Charles Responds to Ebola Social Media Controversy". Teen Vogue. February 17, 2017. Archived from the original on February 18, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  24. ^ Nast, Condé. "James Charles Tweeted About Getting Ebola in Africa and the Internet Is Dragging Him". Allure. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  25. ^ "James Charles on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  26. ^ (2017-03-02). "YouTube Beauty Guru Exposed for Lying About the Thing That Made Him Famous". Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  27. ^ "James Charles Says He's Not "Full Gay" Because He's Been Into Trans Men". Nylon. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  28. ^ "James Charles Addresses Ignorant Comment About Transgender Men After Facing Backlash". Seventeen. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  29. ^ "Here's Everybody Who Has Accused James Charles of "Predatory Behavior"". Distractify. Retrieved 2019-05-15.
  30. ^ "Don't ignore James Charles allegedly trying to turn straight men gay". AsiaOne. Retrieved 2019-05-15.
  31. ^ CNN, Harmeet Kaur. "YouTuber James Charles losing subscribers since feud with Tati Westbrook". CNN. Retrieved 2019-05-15.
  32. ^ CNN, Harmeet Kaur. "YouTuber James Charles has lost 1 million subscribers since his Tati feud". CNN. Retrieved 2019-05-12.
  33. ^ Capon, Laura (2019-05-12). "James Charles has lost 2million YouTube subscribers in 3 days". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 2019-05-12.
  34. ^ Grossman, Lena (2019). "James Charles Speaks Out Amid Tati Westbrook Feud: No More Lies". E! Online. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  35. ^ "James Charles brings out the receipts in his latest video on the Tati Westbrook feud". CNN Entertainment.
  36. ^ Ohlheiser, Abby (2019-05-20). "The new hot thing on YouTube is destroying someone else". Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
  37. ^ Lunning, Just (2019-05-18). "Tati Westbrook has lost 200,000 subscribers following James Charles' 'tell all' video". Newsweek. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
  38. ^ Boan, Daniel (2019-05-21). "A complete timeline of James Charles and Tati Westbrook's explosive feud that tore their relationship apart". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
  39. ^ Tietjen, Alexa (2019-05-25). "James Charles, Tati Westbrook and the Chaos of Cancel Culture". Women's Wear Daily.
  40. ^ Michallon, Michallon (2019-05-22). "Now it's over, let's talk about everything that's wrong with the feud between James Charles and Tati Westbrook". The Independent. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
  41. ^ Sands, Mason (2019-05-24). "The James Charles Scandal Was More Than The "Ugly" Beauty Community". Forbes.
  42. ^ Google Employee, Jordan (Team YouTube) (21 May 2019). "Early heads up: abbreviated public subscriber counts across YouTube". YouTube Help. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  43. ^ Pesqueda, Neena (22 May 2019). "UNCATEGORIZEDYouTube Will Soon Only Show Abbreviated Subscriber Counts. Will This Change YouTube Cancel Culture?". Rogue Rocket. Rogue Rocket. Retrieved 5 November 2019.

External links