The beauty influencer world is one of the biggest, most popular communities on the internet. Millions of people from all over the world subscribe and follow these “influencers” on YouTube, Instagram, and other social media platforms not only for beauty tips and advice, but for their personalities and a never-ending source of drama. A public feud that took the internet by storm in May of this year began when YouTube beauty vlogger Tati Westbrook posted a video directed at fellow YouTuber James Charles in which she publicly ended their friendship. For some context, her channel at the time had 5.9 million subscribers and James had 16.5 million. Tati was 37 years old and James was only 19. The two had been friends up until this point. Tati helped James start his YouTube career. In fact, they were such good friends that James did her wedding makeup in 2017.
To understand what caused the drama (although, “understand” might not be a strong word), we need to go back to April 2019. James Charles posted a 10-second ad to his Instagram story promoting Sugar Bear Hair, a vitamin and supplement brand, because they had given him last-minute artist pass tickets to Coachella. This was a problem for Tati because she owns her own vitamin brand called Halo Beauty, and Sugar Bear Hair is her main competitor. She posted a video on her own Instagram of herself crying, saying that everybody “uses” everybody in the beauty industry. James posted an apology, but clearly, it wasn’t enough. The tension increased when Gabriel Zamora, an influencer with less than a million subscribers and a friend of James, posted a makeup tutorial in which he defended James and criticized Tati for being passive aggressive and called for her to make a video talking about it. Well, she definitely heard him.
On May 10th, Tati posted “Bye Sister…” and the chaos began. James is known for calling his followers “sisters,” so anyone in her audience would immediately know that it was about him. In the 40-minute video, Tati publicly ended their friendship for reasons beyond the Sugar Bear Hair situation, although she did say it was “inappropriate” to promote those vitamins to a teenage audience. She said that after his apology, he became obsessively worried about his reputation and pushed her to accept his apology online. She also said that James had never thanked her and her husband (who is also named James, just to make things more confusing) or the hours of work they had put into building his career. The situation became very serious when Tati accused James Charles of coercing straight men into doing sexual acts with him. That video is now deleted, but it had 50 million views. Are you confused yet? Well get ready.
Later that day, James posted an 8-minute video called “tati” in which he apologized again but didn’t offer much explanation. He wasn’t wearing any makeup and looked tired and upset. That video has also been deleted, but it also had over 30 million views. James’s video did nothing to stop the storm that was coming to him. The internet took the opportunity to absolutely tear him down without taking any time to find out if anything Tati said was true. Countless memes were created and shared on every possible platform (examples of which are below). People were destroying his eyeshadow palette. There was even a live subscriber count with James and Tati’s numbers side by side that updated every second James broke the record for most subscribers lost in a day – 3 million – and Tati reached 10 million.
One week after “Bye Sister…”, Tati posted another video that has also been deleted asking her fans to stop the hate and that she didn’t post the original to get subscribers. She also announced a hiatus. The next day, James posted a video called “No More Lies” in which he stood up for himself and did his best to prove that all her allegations were false, including text message screenshots. The 40-minute video is the only one from the entire situation that is still uploaded and has 47 million views. The internet soon moved on, as it always does, but James is still trying to bring his career back to what it was. There were a lot of other YouTubers who were contributing to the drama, but for the sake of length, I won’t try to get into all that.
So why did this happen? The authors of these videos are YouTubers who have millions of people in their audience, most of whom are teenage girls. Tati has some older women in her demographic because of her age, but the vast majority of those who keep up with the drama are teenagers. It is ironic that these videos were posted to beauty tutorial pages, because they didn’t have anything to do with makeup. However, these kinds of situations are nothing new to the beauty world – there is always someone getting “cancelled.” It’s also important to realize that James is half Tati’s age. She has been on YouTube for years and learned the lessons that everyone learns when they’re young before she ever sat in front of a camera. James is not a child and did choose to talk freely about things like relationships and boys online, but he didn’t have the luxury of keeping his immature statements out of the press. Tati used his mistakes against him because she felt like he betrayed her when he posted a 10-second ad on his Instagram. It’s hard to say what the purpose of “Bye Sister…” is because if I don’t give her the benefit of the doubt, I’m doing the same thing that she did with James.
I think that this situation is actually similar to Hank’s story. There are some major differences, mainly because Tati and James are very famous and personally knew each other before the drama started, but I think there are similarities at the core. Adria Richards publicly called out Hank and his friend for saying something inappropriate, just like Tati did to James. The internet decided not to consider flaws they have that are similar to James’s and Hank’s and tear them down as much as possible. Hank’s career was seriously damaged by the tweet, and so was James’s (although Hank doesn’t have the luxury of diehard fans who will be loyal no matter what). It all comes down to one person being upset with something someone did, and taking it to a public platform instead of having a real-life discussion. Everyone loses in the end. Even Tati – despite her new followers, she took a long break from YouTube and social media because of how heavily the situation weighed on her. Everyone learned a lesson, but they learned it the hard way.
For my design, I decided to go with a simple theme. I used a font that is technically all caps, but the "capital" letters have a floral decoration on them. I chose this because it has a fairytale quality to it, and this play certainly felt like a fairytale. Nature is also a very important theme in this play. I liked the all caps because it makes the letters stand out against the photo background. I knew I didn't want a solid color background because I think it is less interesting to look at. I picked the photo because it looks like a storm has just passed over the ocean, which is perfect for the setting of the play. I chose that over a photo of an ongoing storm because the most important part of the play is what happens after it has ended. I also liked that it has a little color on the horizon, because the set of the play was very colorful.
I made the homepage as simple as possible because I didn't want to add any unnessessary content over the photo. This is also why I didn't add any color behind the navigation bar. The content page has the white background so that the text is as easy to read as possible without completely erasing the picture. I kept the navigation bar at the same place on both pages so that the entire website feels more unified and is easy to navigate.
I wanted to make the picture the most important part of the website design because it automatically brings the audience to the island world of The Tempest. The contrast between dark and light represents the theme of vengence and forgiveness in the show. I think it also makes the website look unique and interesting, which will translate to the viewer as the show being an interesting thing to read about.
I built this site using mostly code from the tutorial, such as the border. The only section that I copied and pasted in was the navigation bar because I could not figure out how to code that by myself. That was the only element I couldn’t guess the code for. Another technical difficulty I had was making the border the right height because I floated the image on the home page, but didn’t have much text, so the picture was going out of the border. To fix it, I made a section in CSS for only the home page and gave it its own height. For such a simple fix, I spent way too long trying to figure out how to do it, but it was rewarding when all three of my pages finally had perfectly sized borders. What made the website look much better was the color scheme, which I got on Pinterest, and the font, which I got on Google Fonts.
I think the final result fit my vision for the website pretty well because I knew not to plan for anything too fancy since I’m a beginner. I knew that choosing nice colors and fonts would be easy, so I relied on those to make my website look nice. Even if I knew everything about coding, I don’t think by website would be very different because I like the minimalist look. I like websites where everything you need is on the home page, so maybe I’d add sections with links all down the front page. I would also have a nicer looking navigation bar!
A mode that I definitely used in my website is the visual mode. I knew I couldn’t rely too much on code to make it visually appealing, so I spent a good amount of time picking a nice color scheme and a good font. This helps my website look more professional even though the code is very basic. I chose greenish blues and a light yellow for the colors because they’re not too harsh and are nice to look at. The other important mode that was important was linguistic mode because I used this website to talk about how I love to write, so if the language was sloppy, it would make my website not effective at all.
Two design principals that were important to the finished product were contrast and proximity. I wanted all three of the pages to look unified and complete, so they all had the same colors and fonts. I made the navigation bar yellow instead of blue so that it would stand out and it was at the top of the page so it was easy to find. I gave the pages a border so that everything would appear contained and closer together. Alignment also came into play when I made my photos to the left of the text instead of above or below it. This connected the two elements together. These principles help my website look more complete and well-made even though the code was not complicated or even very long. It also helps the audience focus on the text of the website, which is important because the website is all about my writing. If they were distracted by poor or even lazy design, they wouldn’t be reading my words.
For this post, I picked the Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project because so many of the other websites listed were really well done, and I wanted to look at one that could be improved. It was created for people interested in learning about how Shakespeare is performed specifically in Canada, so Canadians would be the main audience. However, it is still a resource for anyone of any nationality to learn about how Shakespeare is performed on a national level, or anyone who wants to learn more about Canada at all. There is a whole page titled "Canadiana" with several links to sites with information about Canada that does not pertain at all to Shakespeare or theater (although many of those links are broken). When considering the author of this website, a group at the University of Guelph, is funded by the Canadian government, it makes sense that they would want to include things about their country. There is also a page about Canadian theater, but that includes all theater, not just Shakespeare. I could definitely see how this could be useful for understanding the cultural and historical context in which the plays are bring performed. Then, there is a page about Shakespeare in general, not just how his works are performed in Canada. There are over 20 links on this page, and the information seemed a little overwhelming.
What is confusing to me is that there is both an online anthology and a searchable database. The database has more plays and information than the anthology, and I’m not sure what the difference is supposed to be or which plays get left out of the anthology. The database is very difficult to navigate with only three search filters: “Confirmed Canadian,” “General Reference,” and “Neither.” If someone was looking for a specific performance, they would have a lot of trouble if they didn’t know the exact title and director. There are also interviews, essays, and bibliography.
As far as the design of the website goes, I think the homepage looks outdated and confusing. There is a weird, cheesy graphic behind the main body of the page that definitely doesn’t need to be there. They also made the title two different colors, but I think it should be one because “Canadian” and “Project” blend into the background. The links to the actual Canadian Shakespeare productions are on the side bar, while the extra background information on Canada and Shakespeare is on the main navigation menu – it should be switched in my opinion.
I like their idea of including information about Canada to help give cultural and historical context for the plays in the database. Because our database is specifically for plays performed in Nashville, it might be worth considering to add some information about the venue, the people who worked on the play (if they're from Nashville), and what the audience might have percieved the play. I think we don't need a page with general information about Shakespeare. To me, that is more work for something people probably won't be looking for - if they want to know who Shakespeare was, they would look on a wikipedia page. I also think we should not make out background black like they did, or really make any of the same graphic design choices. We also need to make sure that the most important links are in the correct location on the page so that they are easy to find.