Opinion | Emma Chamberlain’s wealth doesn’t decrease her relatability

Emma+Chamberlain+at+Paris+Fashion+Week+on+Oct.+5%2C+2021.+Columnist+Matthew+Lozano+argues+that+people+should+not+question+Chamberlains+reliability+based+on+how+her+rise+to+fame.+

Photo courtesy of Patou Cornette/Wikimedia Commons

Emma Chamberlain at Paris Fashion Week on Oct. 5, 2021. Columnist Matthew Lozano argues that people should not question Chamberlain’s reliability based on how her rise to fame.

By Matthew Lozano, Columnist

When it comes to who Emma Chamberlain is, many things come to mind. Wikipedia describes her as an “internet personality,” and she is also known to me and many others on the internet as a YouTuber and influencer.

Regardless of how you describe her occupation, you cannot deny the level of success she has garnered in the brief time she’s been on the internet.

Many attribute the level of popularity and success she has gained to her relatability. Upon starting YouTube, she was just a normal teenager who showcased doing typical, everyday things like getting coffee or going grocery shopping. 

Through these vlogs came her charismatic and naturally humorous personality that many viewers gravitated toward, and arguably related to more so than the activities she partook in.

Though, as her fame grew exponentially, people criticized her relatability. How can she pretend to be a normal teenager showing her relatable life when it was hidden behind a curtain of wealth and lavishness? 

The rising narrative placed on her shifted from being one of likeability to resentment. 

Now at 21 years old, after recently displaying her newly finished home in Los Angeles, many viewers immediately drew attention to the even greater deal of wealth she accumulated. With this, and the many other costly centerpieces Chamberlain exhibits in her content, critics claim the average viewer can’t possibly relate to her in any facet.

But with almost everything Chamberlain does now — from being an ambassador for Louis Vuitton and Cartier to going to a new city in Europe every month — it’s going to cost money that a lot of viewers could never imagine spending. If you’re still trying to relate to her as a person and are noticing that this is the disconnect, of course, you will struggle to find common ground.

But when it comes to an influencer or YouTuber wanting to demonstrate relatability to their audience, you must think of intent. 

The arguable goal for Chamberlain is that she wants to connect with her audience while doing something that could be unattainable to them, and she achieves this through her personality, one of the few details that didn’t drastically change in comparison to her fame or wealth. 

In an interview with Vox in 2020, she responded to the criticism she had received due to her rising success, stating, “But I’m still the exact same me that I was when I started my channel, if not a more mature and a better person.”

And for lifelong supporters of Chamberlain, this is obvious. Her level of success has risen dramatically and her style of content has shifted to accommodate for the maturing that came with that. But what remains constant is the one thing true supporters value most — who she is as a person. 

Her charisma, humor and everything else that makes her Emma are what supporters are most drawn to, not her affluent lifestyle.

And it can be jarring for people to see an influencer doing something unrelatable while still expecting her audience to relate. But, while exhibiting the extravagances she is able to indulge in, her character and creative expression are what remain true; viewers can still find comfort in this as they navigate the parts of her they wish to relate to.

With that, you don’t have to relate to Chamberlain or any influencer, for that matter. At this point, you don’t have to care at all. But for those who were once fans, understand that she may not be all that different now, as you can try and appreciate her content for more than just her content. 

Appreciate her for being Emma.

 

Matthew is a sophomore in LAS.

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