Tati, Tati, Tati.

I seriously hope someone is taking care of James Charles right now.

That might make me sound overly sympathetic for someone who ruthlessly and unashamedly pursues young men for sexual reward. For someone who, on multiple occasions, has unwittingly exposed himself to be a narcissist. For someone who - to the outside world at least - appears to be motivated by money more than kindness.

He might be the most hated man on the internet this week, but still, the fact remains: I hope James is under the watchful eye of a minder. That his family is close by. That there's still a friend left who hasn't turned their back on him because it's suddenly fashionable to do so.

I've watched both James and Tati Westbrook on YouTube for about a year now. I'm not sure if it's procrastination, or fascination (or a powerful concoction of both), but I generally sit down to observe James and Tati dutifully apply makeup to their Perfect Rich Person Skin at least once a week. Before this month, I considered both influencers to be talented, warm and funny; clearly a little wrapped up in the bizarre world of YouTube, but personable all the same.

That's why I've watched the drama/tea/bullshit of the last two weeks unfold with increasing horror and nausea. Firstly, I struggled to grapple with a 37-year-old woman publicly eviscerating a teenager in a 43-minute video. Then I tried to swallow the fact that millions - millions - of people gleefully picked up weapons and swung them at the carcass of a fallen beauty king with all the force they could muster, laughing and retweeting as they wiped away the blood splatters.

In the space of a few days, James Charles went from being one of the most powerful people in the international beauty industry, to being a pop culture piñata.

The festering cultural resentment towards influencers over the last 12 months has become a widespread, powerful detestation. After years of shiny cars and paid trips to the Maldives, we've collectively turned our annoyance for the ordinary people who struck zeitgeist gold into something much more toxic. We don't just find these people irritating anymore. Now, as soon as we are given the chance, the perfect opportunity, we hate them. We hate them with so much red, hot anger, we want them to bleed and bleed badly.

Is this a defence of what James Charles has done? No. I'm not here to convince anyone that James is The Best Person of 2019, because I don't think he is. It's entirely likely that he's acted rather poorly, and that the true extent of that poor behaviour is yet to be realised by the public.

But. But.

As James Charles hides, I do think it's worth asking: what does this past week say about us? About the true state of the internet? Of online influencers? What does it say about Tati Westbrook, who never uttered a word of James' supposedly damaging behaviour until the very second he failed to push her beauty supplements to the masses?

Unfollow James Charles if you so wish, but there is a way to hold someone accountable without cancelling them.

Bad behaviour is like a tumour - it needs to be treated and removed. But to do that you need a scalpel, not a machete.

Mich xxx

Emma Hackett