August 11, 2022

The Emma Chamberlain Effect

By Bobbie Adelson

I would like to say my biggest flex is watching Emma Chamberlain’s youtube videos before she was famous when she was just a 17-year-old girl living in San Francisco that enjoyed going on car rides to get coffee. Now, she is almost 21 years old and probably one of the most popular and well-known influencers. She is gen z’s “it girl” and basically decides what is trending in fashion.

She basically taught us how to express ourselves with clothes even if some people think it’s ugly. She was known for some outrageous styling, but she loved it and that was all that mattered. Unlike other influencers, she was not flaunting more expensive pieces and instead showed the fun and importance of second-hand clothing. from “dad” sweaters, vests, shoelaces around your shorts, oversized jeans, to chunky doc martens, she basically changed how we see clothes that are labeled unappealing. She single handily made flare yoga pants cool again. Her style is instantly recognizable, and in my opinion, she hasn’t had a bad outfit. She also is so real about mental health. She talked a lot about her anxiety and depression on YouTube and on her podcast. She uses her humor a lot to mask it, but it feels so real and comforting knowing that she too has bad days. She reminds us that nobody’s life is perfect, even if it seems like that on social media.

After blowing up on youtube and basically every other social media platform, Emma was the biggest name in fashion, and probably the biggest influencer. She was named one of TIME magazine’s “25 Most Influential People On The Internet” in 2019, with The Atlantic dubbing her “the most talked-about teen influencer in the world”. She is now an ambassador for Louis Vuitton, attending all their fashion shows and events. She opened her own coffee brand, which is delicious might I add, and is dating an up-and-coming singer named ROLEMODEL. Her biggest accomplishment: being a red carpet host during the 2021 and 2022 Met Gala. She’s been on the covers and YouTube videos for Vogue and modeled for Calvin Klein. Kendall Jenner says she’s her favorite youtuber and Jack Harlow said he loves her.

Emma at the 2021 Met Gala.

I think her appeal comes from how honest and open she is. She’s funny and natural, and when she talks on camera it’s like talking to a friend on facetime. Everyone either wants to be her or be her best friend, including me. Social media can be so toxic and fake sometimes, but Emma makes us feel a little more comfortable about being ourselves. The Emma Chamberlain effect is real, and she is changing the game.

10 thoughts on “The Emma Chamberlain Effect

  1. This is such a great blog post! Emma Chamberlain is such an interesting case study of an influencer because her career trajectory is very different than many other influencers. Thinking about her coffee brand, many other influencers have tried to launch similar merchandise brand extensions, but have not had the same success as Chamberlain. She has been able to go from YouTube to now being able to have the agency over her career to stop making videos, but still stay relevant and influential solely on what she has already built. Typically influencers have to stay in the public eye to retain an audience and relevancy, but her brand has grown to more of a celebrity level where she has autonomy now.

  2. I found this article incredibly interesting because I actually knew Emma well before she became famous and seeing where she is now, blows me away. I went to high school with her and we cheered together for a short time. I agree that she has become incredibly influential even from the start. I loved hearing about her videos at practice because she wasn’t trying to be anything for anyone; she was just herself, which is why her fame grew overnight. I remember being at school and talking about how many subscribers she had because no one had ever been that successful before in our area. In my school, so many girls were trying to be YouTubers, but Emma was the only one who actually made it and it was because she encouraged being completely yourself, messy bun no make up sweatshirt vibes. Of course, I feel slight envy seeing her at the Met in Cartier, but honestly, I feel so happy for her that she actually made it and stayed herself through it.

  3. Hey Bobbie! You did a great job synthesizing why Emma Chamberlain is such a major success in the fashion and social media industries. Chamberlain is a prime example of the power of social media right now. She created her youtube channel because she needed an outlet, and a few years later she is a name that almost every person our age knows. Social media is incredibly powerful, and Chamberlain has handled her success extremely well. To my knowledge she has never been cancelled because she is largely unproblematic. As you mentioned, this is largely due to her funny and natural demeanor.

  4. Bobbie,
    The fact that Emma began her journey vlogging her coffee trips as a high schooler, and is now considered one of the top influencers proves she is great at what she does. Her comedic style and openness is admirable. It is really great to see young people with such a large following talk about mental health. Emma is also a great example of how popular influencers have become over the last decade, and how much they really do influence society.

  5. I really enjoyed reading about the details of Emma and her journey that she herself has worked for. You van tell that she hasn’t taken the fame for granted as she continues to be her original self. I think that this is a perfect example of how influencers in general can change and influence brands and followers they are associated with. Really incredible!

  6. This is so well written! I love Emma Chamberlain, and I, too, have been watching her since the beginning. It’s been so great to watch her journey from being a 17-year-old high school kid living in San Fran to owning her own house in Los Angeles while being one of the internet’s biggest celebrities. I agree that Emma is so successful because of her authenticity and honesty, which is hard to find in the influencer industry. She has been successful on YouTube and in her business endeavors as well, which can be very hard to do as an influencer. I do have to say it’s sad she is stepping away from YouTube, but prioritizing mental health and her business ventures will allow her to be more successful in the long run!

  7. Hi Bobbie,
    I just wanted to say I really enjoyed reading your piece! I haven’t grown to watch Emma Chamberlain on Youtube but now watching he videos with Vogue I have grown to lover personality and aura. I’m not sure about her being the “gen z ‘it girl'”, just because I haven’t heard much talk about her since the Met Gala interviews but I also can see her occupying that title because know else comes to mind. Overall, amazing writing and giving background of who she is and how her style impact everyone.

  8. Hi Bobbie,
    Your blog post was a great read, and I liked that you picked one influencer in particular. I don’t know a lot about Emma Chamberlain before she started appearing at the Met Gala, but your blog has made me interested in learning more. She seems like a nice person, and I agree that it’s important to feel connected to the influencers you follow. I liked the way you laid it out by talking about her younger years to where she is now.

  9. I love seeing Emma get recognition! She has such a hold on what is in style. She has more of an impact than society gives her credit for.

  10. Hi Bobbie, I think this blog post did a great job of summarizing Emma’s journey as such a popular influencer and how she has made a lasting impact on the internet. I have not watched her content but I am familiar with her popularity and influence when it comes to fashion or being relatable and creating this new genre of influencers who can be more quirky and relatable instead of coming off as overly edited or fake.

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