Content creators lose reliability as they move up the social ladder and into higher tax brackets.
Many content creators gain notoriety by portraying themselves as a trustworthy person who struggles with things like everyone else.
However, when you stop being a regular person and transform into someone worthy of being invited to high-end award shows, how you handle that transformation is what keeps your fans invested.
Emma Chamberlain has steadily climbed the ladder of internet fame, from instant YouTuber to hosting a podcast to interviewing the likes of famous actors and Olympians.
More recently, she has been recognized as a mainstream celebrity with her Met Gala appearance to her Aritzia brand collaboration.
These accomplishments are considered an official mark of fame by a majority of people. This removes her almost entirely from the content creator label and elevates Chamberlain above the rest of the influencer crowd.
With her whole image evolving from quirky girl-next-door to red carpet fashionista, she’s always managed to retain an essential element of her personal brand: relatability.
However, there is a tension created when you start to force relatability on your audience when meeting celebrities, living in a mansion and wearing high-end clothes is not something a common viewer might understand.
It is becoming increasingly common for content creators to train parasocial relationships with their audience, as casual social media platforms like TikTok and Snapchat become more prominent.
Parasocial relationships are what keep a fan engaged and more likely to spend money on content creator collaboration, food recommendations, and overall being a consistent supporter.
These emotion-based relationships are slowly blurring the necessary boundary between audiences and celebrities. As these boundaries blur, it becomes more likely that audiences will demonize content creators when they inevitably get it wrong.
People like Chamberlain have massive platforms because they market their relatability in such a captivating way. It’s easy to come back to her content, and she has a way of clicking with her viewers again and again.
Lately, however, she has been criticized for being increasingly disconnected from her material objects.
In an episode of his podcast, “black beast,” she calls her Apple Watch a burden. In some of her other podcast episodes and other posts, she complains about living in her multi-million dollar mansion.
His fanbase has grown increasingly weary of these sentiments, and these cases are discussed on platforms like Reddit. and Twitter.
Many fans echo that Chamberlain is no longer relatable or that she complaints are based on situations that arise only from an extreme monetary privilege.
If Chamberlain hadn’t constructed her image of being the funny, normal girl who just became famous, chances are she wouldn’t be so persecuted for these disconnected takes. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, who grew up in the celebrity-filled city of Beverly Hills, aren’t as often criticized for unnecessary complaints about their lives.
Chamberlain is a prime example of a relatable influencer losing touch with their fan base.
The change in the public’s perspective on him cannot be expected to happen to all related influencers in the future and it is something both parties need to be prepared for.
Leo Coombs is a freshman biotechnology student who can be contacted at [email protected]