Why YouTube Star Emma Chamberlain Considers Influencer Culture ''Disgusting''

YouTube star Emma Chamberlain on why influencer culture is "disgusting."

By Pamela Avila Jan 07, 2020 11:38 PMTags
Cosmo magazine, Cover, Emma ChamberlainPhotos by Eric Ray Davidson

This YouTuber isn't here for the term "influencer." 

Gracing the cover of Cosmopolitan's February 2020 issueEmma Chamberlain is using her platform to speak her truth on why she'd rather the public not use the term "influencer" because it's "kind of disgusting." 

The YouTube star, with 8.5 million followers and counting on Instagram, tells the publication, "If someone is calling me an influencer, they're saying that my job is to influence, and I don't think that's true. I prefer to entertain and be a friend. I don't want to influence." 

The 18-year-old California native also opened up about the importance of not taking herself too seriously. "I mean, I make fun of YouTubers and I am one. I think of it as, Why not play into it? If you can't beat them, join them?"

Chamberlain uploaded her first video to her YouTube channel in 2017 and since then, she's only seen an enormous uptick in her subscribers—over 8 million and counting—and total views—over 957 million and counting. 

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Despite her rising success, however, Chamberlain has also had her fair share of struggles with mental health and body image issues. 

"It's a bloodbath," she said of the image-obsessed culture she found herself in when she began creating content in the City of Angels. "Living in L.A., if you're at an unhealthy weight, that's normal. That's really, really, really a mindf--k, for sure."

Photos by Eric Ray Davidson

Because of what she's been exposed to ever since she began her Very Online career, Chamberlain has positioned herself in the list of social media influencers that refuses to advertise weight-loss products or anything of the like. 

She tells Cosmopolitan, "Like, your grind is your grind, and I'm not going to get in the way of that. I just think that growing up on social media gave me eating issues as a kid. I literally have struggled with that my whole life. Almost every person I've met has had some form of an eating disorder. I mean, I've had... I don't want to trigger anyone, but so many." 

Chamberlain, who launched also launched a weekly podcast, Stupid Genius, last year, also discussed her issues with body dysmorphia and the negative effects of the face-altering apps like Facetune. 

"I've been fully not at a healthy weight and I thought I was obese multiple times. It's awful," she went on. "My whole family was telling me I looked terrible. They were like, 'You look like you're dying.' I was like, 'I think I look great.'" 

Since then, the young social media star has vowed to not feed into using "photo manipulation software" because none of her fans and followers "need to think I look like that. I look the way I look." 

You can read the full interview here now. The issue will be on newsstands on Jan. 14.