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The Cub

The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

The Evolution of Emma Chamberlain 

If you were on the internet during middle school then you know that scrunchies and iced coffee could only mean one thing 

Who is Emma? 

Chamberlain began her career at 16 on YouTube creating unfiltered and relatable vlogs of her teenage life. She filmed experiences such as getting her license, day trips with friends, and fashion advice. In every video she kept it real and let her personality come through making her feel like a friend and someone you knew.  She often-and still dons a hoodie and messy bun while she shares the emotions that come with young adulthood, not afraid to shed a tear. 

Though sometimes chaotic, Chamberlain lived, and still does, in sunny California and had an indie style and effortlessly fun personality that many young girls admired. Many of us wanted to be like Emma who “wasn’t like other girls” and listened to Mac Demarco and wore thrifted Levi jeans. 

As she began posting more her popularity grew and her followers rose, she began modeling for companies like Hollister and American Eagle and became the og VSCO girl. She began posting more on Instagram and her casual vlogs turned into her experience at Paris Fashion Week and Coachella. 

Not only had Chamberlain became an inspiration for many young girls but also motivated them to begin using photo editing apps such as VSCO and Instagram to share their lives through photos and videos and show their world their own unique personalities. 

YouTube became a full-time job for the now 18-year-old and Emma left high school in order to continue making content leading to the formation of the famous Sister Squad consisting of makeup influencer James Charles, and comedy duo Ethan and Grayson Dolan.

The Sister Squad took the internet by storm with videos of the group getting thousands of views and further propelling the popularity of these teens. The group would film makeup tutorials and go on trips around L.A. 

Dating rumors even began speculating between Emma and Ethan Dolan as the two were often caught by paparazzi and photos of the two spread across social media. 

During this time it seems Chamberlain gained most of her fanbase, Junior Delores Calvao says “I remember watching one of Emma’s videos titled the Vegas Road Trip featuring the Dolan twins and James Charles. From there it just seemed to have escalated quickly”. 

Throughout this time she never failed to make teen girls feel seen, even in her privileged lifestyle, and remained authentic to herself in her new found stardom.  

Only a year into the group’s start (2019) trouble began when James Charles began a feud with influencer Tati Westbrook due to his promotion of a vitamin brand that was in direct competition with Tati’ s. This led to Emma and the Dolan twins unfollowing Charles and videos of the group ceasing.

Shortly after this dispersal the COVID-19 Pandemic began and Emma videos began evolving to include more thematic and almost philosophical elements. Videos titled Learning TikTok dances at 3AM changed to Everyday is the same

During this time with everyone stuck inside Emma began to reveal more about personal struggles and challenges. We began to see Emma grow as a person and adult-like almost all of us had to, facing loneliness and lots of time on her hands she began focusing on her own happiness and mental health more. 

In February 2020 she began her podcast Anything Goes with episodes discussing topics such as failure, relationships, and fashion and offering her advice and perspective on each. Personally I enjoy tuning in, as a teen myself, to see what advice I could garner or something new I could learn, similarly Calvao says, “her unapologetic self and not living to please others has really guided her through her high school and teen years”. 

She also began her coffee company Chamberlain Coffee that focused on quality coffee and different accessories such as stylish mugs and tote bags. The company became incredibly popular on social media and among teens stuck at home who were looking for something new to try. 

Although not an avid follower of Chamberlain, Junior Samantha Grimaldi states “It is cool to see a 20-year-old start her own very successful company” and after trying the coffee at a friend’s house she thinks “It’s actually really good and flavorful”. 

A New Emma? 

As the Pandemic began to end around 2023 and into the present Chamberlain began posting far less on YouTube and further dove into focusing on herself and happiness. She focused more on her podcasts discussing specific lifelong struggles such as feeling like she’s not working hard enough and the burnout she was facing.  

After a break from YouTube she now posts a video once every few months and when she does videos feature mostly her travels to different countries and less dialogue than usual. She has taken the thematic elements of a vlog to a much further level and become more creative with her platform. 

Her latest videos feature beautiful and more meaningful shots of the places she visits and incorporates a mix of meditative and jazzy music into her scenes. Personally I find her new videos interesting and watching allows me to reflect on my own life while taking in the beauty of other countries and places.  

Chamberlain also recently began bringing guests onto her podcast such as her own parents to a variety of experts in order to deeper dive into topics such as friendship and life advice. Emma’s ability to interview all kinds of people and still educate the listener and leave them with something new shows her new maturity and newfound balance in life which has allowed her to fully dive into topics without the stress of creating weekly content. 

A Fashion Flip 

While always a trendsetter Emma has begun a fashion evolution that allows her to express herself more authentically and has definitely gone against fashion trends and norms. Emma has gone from dressing in fun casual outfits to more complex pieces such as wool sweater vests and sheer lace tops. She switched out casual bright-colored clothing to darker more purposeful colors and has begun to make a statement with the way she dresses. 

She also has become much more involved in the fashion community, taking part in runway shows of luxury brands and attending the Met Gala yearly.  She also discusses her fashion journey with her stylist and best friend Jerad Ellner on her podcast in an episode titled “my fashion soulmate, a talk with Jared Ellner.” 

This year particularly she spent a lot of time on her outfit to the Met Gala and became incredibly involved in the process, documented on Vogue’s YouTube channel. In interviews on the Met Gala red carpet and in the YouTube video the way she talks about fashion is much more professional and it is clear her knowledge has grown enormously since her teen years. 

This year’s look was far more intricate and professional than past years and incredibly on theme. She rocked a Jean Pual Gauliter gown constructed entirely of brown lace and sheer brown mesh, as well as darker eye makeup and a sleek bun. 

The Future 

I expect that Emma will continue posting on YouTube, but not for the rest of her life as she stated that she isn’t completely sure if she will want to pursue an internet career in the far future. I also see Emma diving further into fashion and can’t wait to see how her appreciation and style progress into adulthood. I hope to see an even more iconic look for Met Gala in the following year and more fashion advice on her YouTube and podcast platforms. 

Junior, Belen Molinari, believes Chamberlain will “branch off into different forms of media, such as acting and creating new bigger projects,” something I can also see in the influencers future. 

I also suspect that she loses a younger fanbase as she ventures into adulthood and begins to discuss mature topics that most middle schoolers won’t be interested in. I don’t believe she will lose followers, however, since many fans have seemingly grown up with Emma and find guidance in her as they approach adulthood.  

As Chamberlain remains somewhat mysterious about her next moves I am excited to see what the future holds for this fashion icon and YouTube sensation. 





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