James Charles (internet personality)

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James Charles
James Charles (2019) (cropped).png
Charles in 2019
James Charles Dickinson

(1999-05-23) May 23, 1999 (age 21)
Years active2015–present
Net worthUS$12 million (2019)
YouTube information
Subscribers21.8 million[1]
Total views2.6 billion[1]
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2016[1]
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2017[1]
YouTube Diamond Play Button.svg 10,000,000 subscribers 2018[1]

Updated: September 15, 2020

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. In addition to his YouTube channel, Charles has also gained traction on the video-sharing platform TikTok.

Personal life

Charles is from Bethlehem, New York, and graduated from Bethlehem Central High School in June 2017. He is openly gay.[2][3]

As of 2019, his net worth is estimated to be $12 million.[4][5] In 2020, he purchased a $7 million mansion in Los Angeles. It is 9,800 square feet with six bedrooms and ten bathrooms.[6]


Charles is most known for his YouTube channel focusing on makeup, which he launched on December 1, 2015. It currently has 20.7 million subscribers, making him the #1 most subscribed beauty guru. On May 6, 2019, his channel had 16.6 million subscribers, and on May 11, 2019, he became the first ever YouTube personality to lose over 1 million subscribers in 24 hours.[7]

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.[8][9][10][11][12][13]

In January 2019, he was invited to Birmingham, England, to open Morphe Cosmetics' second UK store.[14][15]

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.[16]

In April 2020, Charles confirmed that his YouTube series Instant Influencer would premiere on April 24, 2020. The series aims to find the next "beauty influencer", with Charles as the host.[17]


General media

In February 2017, when Charles was 17,[18] 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."[19][20]

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.[21] Charles apologized shortly after, releasing a statement saying that his comments were unintentionally transphobic and that he should have chosen different words to convey what he meant.[22]

Tati Westbrook controversy

On May 10, 2019, long-time collaborator Tati Westbrook uploaded a 43-minute long video titled "Bye Sister ..." (stylized in all caps) to her YouTube channel, heavily criticizing Charles. In her video, Westbrook accused Charles of disloyalty, "manipulating people's sexuality"[23][24] and "using ... fame, power and money to play with people's emotions".[5] 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.[25][26]

Charles later uploaded an 8-minute response video titled "Tati" (stylized in all lowercase), 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 most disliked videos in YouTube history.[4][27] On May 18, 2019, Charles made a second, 41-minute, video addressing the comments made by Westbrook, entitled "No More Lies".[28][29] 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.[30][31] Westbrook later removed the original video from her YouTube channel.[32] 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".[33][34][35]

The week following Charles's subscriber drop, on May 21, 2019, YouTube announced that they would abbreviate subscriber counts across the platform.[36] While the official announcement made no mention of the 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.[37]

On June 30, 2020, Westbrook posted a video on her YouTube channel detailing the events that led up to, and occurred after her "Bye Sister ..." video, where she claimed that Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star manipulated her into making the video against Charles.[38]


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2016 The Ellen DeGeneres Show Himself Guest appearance
2017 Zall Good Himself Guest appearance
2017 Shane and Friends Himself Guest appearance
2017 Apologies in Advance with Andrea Russett Himself Guest appearance
2018 The Secret World of Jeffree Star Himself Episode: "Becoming Jeffree Star for a Day"
2019 Nerdy Nummies Himself
2020 Nikita Unfiltered Himself Episode: "James Charles Confronts Nikita"
2020 Instant Influencer with James Charles Himself Host; Season 1


  1. ^ a b c d e "James Charles Detailed Statistics". Social Blade. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  2. ^ "Meet The First Ever Male CoverGirl, James Charles". Huffington Post. October 11, 2016. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  3. ^ WITW Staff (November 24, 2015). "Meet CoverGirl's 1st 'cover boy' — a high school student". The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "James Charles loses a million subscribers in a week". May 12, 2019. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "YouTube star James Charles loses 2m subscribers after row with fellow vlogger". Sky News. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  6. ^ James McClain (February 14, 2020). "James Charles Buys $7 Million L.A. Starter Home". Variety. Retrieved July 11, 2020.
  7. ^ "jamescharles YouTube Stats, Channel Statistics". Social Blade. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  8. ^ Neeti Upadhye (October 12, 2016). "CoverGirl Features First Male - Video". The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  9. ^ "CoverGirl Announces Its First Male CoverGirl Spokesmodel". Cosmopolitan. September 5, 2016. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  10. ^ Cady Lang (October 9, 2016). "CoverGirl Appoints First Male Spokesperson, James Charles". Time. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  11. ^ "Meet CoverGirl's first-ever CoverBoy, James Charles". USA Today. October 11, 2016. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  12. ^ Andrews, Travis M. (October 12, 2016). "CoverGirl's first CoverBoy: 17-year-old YouTube sensation James Charles". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  13. ^ Puglise, Nicole (October 11, 2016). "CoverGirl names makeup artist James Charles its first cover boy". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  14. ^ Waterson, Jim (January 27, 2019). "Birmingham brought to standstill by YouTuber James Charles". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  15. ^ "City gridlocked after YouTuber visit". January 27, 2019. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  16. ^ "James Charles Turned Iggy Azaela Into a Drag Queen for Her New Single". Out.com. March 1, 2019. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  17. ^ Rearick, Lauren (April 1, 2020). "James Charles' New Reality Show 'Instant Influencer' Finally Has A Release Date". Nylon. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  18. ^ 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 July 26, 2019.
  19. ^ "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.
  20. ^ Nast, Condé. "James Charles Tweeted About Getting Ebola in Africa and the Internet Is Dragging Him". Allure. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  21. ^ "James Charles Says He's Not "Full Gay" Because He's Been Into Trans Men". Nylon. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  22. ^ "James Charles Addresses Ignorant Comment About Transgender Men After Facing Backlash". Seventeen. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  23. ^ "Here's Everybody Who Has Accused James Charles of "Predatory Behavior"". Distractify. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  24. ^ "Don't ignore James Charles allegedly trying to turn straight men gay". AsiaOne. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  25. ^ Harmeet Kaur. "YouTuber James Charles losing subscribers since feud with Tati Westbrook". CNN. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  26. ^ Harmeet Kaur. "YouTuber James Charles has lost 1 million subscribers since his Tati feud". CNN. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  27. ^ Capon, Laura (May 12, 2019). "James Charles has lost 2million YouTube subscribers in 3 days". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  28. ^ Grossman, Lena (2019). "James Charles Speaks Out Amid Tati Westbrook Feud: No More Lies". E! Online. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  29. ^ "James Charles brings out the receipts in his latest video on the Tati Westbrook feud". CNN. May 18, 2019.
  30. ^ Ohlheiser, Abby (May 20, 2019). "The new hot thing on YouTube is destroying someone else". Washington Post. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  31. ^ Lunning, Just (May 18, 2019). "Tati Westbrook has lost 200,000 subscribers following James Charles' 'tell all' video". Newsweek. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  32. ^ Boan, Daniel (May 21, 2019). "A complete timeline of James Charles and Tati Westbrook's explosive feud that tore their relationship apart". Business Insider. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  33. ^ Tietjen, Alexa (May 25, 2019). "James Charles, Tati Westbrook and the Chaos of Cancel Culture". Women's Wear Daily.
  34. ^ Michallon, Michallon (May 22, 2019). "Now it's over, let's talk about everything that's wrong with the feud between James Charles and Tati Westbrook". The Independent. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  35. ^ Sands, Mason (May 24, 2019). "The James Charles Scandal Was More Than The "Ugly" Beauty Community". Forbes.
  36. ^ Google Employee, Jordan (Team YouTube) (May 21, 2019). "Early heads up: abbreviated public subscriber counts across YouTube". YouTube Help. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  37. ^ Pesqueda, Neena (May 22, 2019). "YouTube Will Soon Only Show Abbreviated Subscriber Counts. Will This Change YouTube Cancel Culture?". Rogue Rocket. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  38. ^ Andrews, Travis. "Shane Dawson will not be able to make money on YouTube, after his apology for offensive content". The Washington Post. The Washington Post. Retrieved July 1, 2020.