If there is a community on YouTube that fights more than BeauTubers, I’ve yet to encounter it. According to E!, the latest drama involves four parties: Jackie Aina (3.1 million subscribers), Patrick Starr (4.4 million), Manny MUA (4.8 million, you may remember him as part of the great Laura Lee/Jeffree Star drama of 2018) and newcomer/YouTuber/Instagram influencer Chelsie Worthy, best known for creating the “traptorial” style of makeup tutorial back in 2017. (Yes, you read that correctly. It’s a distinctive editing style not unlike a Musical.ly or TikTok vid, in which the makeup artist, also known as a MUA, gets ready while lip-syncing.) With me so far?
Over the weekend, Patrick Starr posted a traptorial-style video using a new Jackie Aina x Anastasia Beverly Hills palette. Worthy saw the clip and retweeted it with the caption, “Damn this is heartbreaking. I was a Patrick Starr Stan. This is the ugly industry we are in, though. I have NEVER been welcomed or wanted and this fully solidifies that. It’s never “groundbreaking” until “someone else” does it.”
The next day, Manny MUA posted his own “traptorial” video on Instagram, including a caption that “shouts out” Worthy. (According to E!, the original caption shouted out another influencer, which fans took to be a dis towards Worthy.)
Worthy wrote on a since-deleted Instagram post:
“The beauty industry has made it PAINFULLY CLEAR that I’m not what or WHO they are looking for despite me being the person who CREATED this ENTIRE editing style. From gate I’ve been made to feel like I DONT BELONG from the very influencers I once looked up to or have admired. Social media has caused me to look at myself so differently, despite working SO hard, I’m still made to feel like I’m nowhere good enough.”
Even though Worthy did not mention Jackie Aina, the latter took it upon herself to respond in yet another deleted Instagram post: “NGL [not gonna lie] when I saw Patrick’s video I wasn’t getting traptorial vibes from it at all, and I reposted it because I saw he used my palette in a really unique way...” she wrote. “I 100% understand what it feels like to be overlooked and slept on and I want you to know that I have, and will continue to, support you @wvrthy and your content no matter what. You DO have a unique style, you ARE an originator.”
It’s obviously a traptorial? Anyway, Worthy wasn’t here for it, and claimed to be hurt by her response in a thread of now-deleted tweets:
Aina deactivated her Twitter not long afterward. According to E!, Aina responded yet again in a deleted Instagram post, explaining that she is not the “verbal punching bag of the beauty community... I’m not the security watch dog of social media and black women already carry enough weight 24/7.”
So, what now? And what does this mean? Essentially nothing, but also that Worthy should be given credit where credit is due. However: it’s clear that “traptorials” are an obvious extension of both Musical.ly/TikTok and beauty tutorials, and so if Worthy hadn’t started posting them in 2017, someone else surely would have. In a saturated market where more and more aspiring Beauty YouTubers crop up, it’s a challenge to stand out, so I feel for her. In this case, too, it’s worth noting who has the power and fame. Justice for Worthy, or something. I’m going to take a nap.