The Emma Chamberlain Effect


     Emma Chamberlain. The name typically conjures an image of a brutally honest and realistic Youtuber who built her fame around her love of iced coffee, thrifting, and chapstick. Chamberlain’s caffeine-fueled sense of humor makes her a lovable public figure, but it is also the reason people fail to take her seriously. Most people wouldn’t deem a girl who dropped out of high-school at sixteen and pursued a career as an influencer to be ‘evolutionary’. However, upon a closer glance, false perceptions and underestimations begin to surface as one can clearly see the immense impact Emma Chamberlain has had on her generation. 


Mental Health 

     Since her earliest videos, Emma Chamberlain has developed notability through her complete transparency surrounding personal struggles with mental health. Some of her earliest subscribers may remember her ‘Get to know me tag’ which she uploaded 5 years ago. In this tag, amongst other videos, Emma shared her struggle with depression and anxiety, explaining how these factors led to her dropping out of high school at the end of her sophomore year. 

     Since then, Chamberlain has continued to share her continuous afflictions and maintenance of mental health. A lot of this discussion can be found on her podcast, Anything Goes, where Emma shares many observations and personal anecdotes/experiences. Even though she no longer uploads vlogs regularly, in her older youtube videos, you can notice her casually referencing her current mental states as opposed to hiding her hardships. 

     The reason this was revolutionary was because it changed the way influencers addressed mental health. While Emma obviously wasn’t the first celebrity to open up about her wellbeing, the way she went about it ultimately led to the relatability of the youtube community. It encouraged influencers to be more realistic and honest with their uploads, and the effect this had on younger generations was noticeably positive. A generation growing up on social media is bound to compare their lives with those online, and Emma ensured this comparison did not cause viewers to feel isolated when it came to matters of mental health.  



Emma’s followers have been increasing since 2017, and many young girls have wanted to look and dress like her. It all started when she began wearing teddy coats—the floppy, brown coats that were informal and comfortable—and once she did, everyone else did as well. After attending Paris Fashion Week in 2019 and appearing on the cover of Cosmopolitan in 2020, Emma has continued to be an influencer. Whatever  she wears eventually turns into a new fashion craze. Doc Martens, tennis skirts, crew-neck sweatshirts, cropped plaid sweaters, tank tops, and many more items are instances of this; the list is endless.

     She seems an odd choice to promote firms that emphasize physical attractiveness given her preference for sweatpants and indifference to cosmetics. Yet, Mae Karwowski, the founder and CEO of an influencer marketing firm, claims that her youth appeal and sincerity make her a perfect brand ambassador. “You need to capture the zeitgeist,” she advises.  “The thing about Emma Chamberlain is that she’s really cool, and fashion wants to be really cool.”



     Emmas’s old vlogs included an eccentric style of editing that many Youtubers later tried to imitate. In these vlogs, Emma’s unique way of speech was very apparent and special. She did things such as say certain words in a high-pitched voice, sing random parts of sentences, and emphasize being ‘awkward’ or ‘quirky’. She also employed certain phrases, such as “Spill the tea,” “Quirky,” and James Charles’ infamous “Sister.” While Chamberlain didn’t invent these phrases, her constant utilization of them boosted their not-so-subtle infiltration into the vocabulary of generation z. These phrases aren’t used as frequently anymore, but most probably recall their extreme prevalence throughout 2017-2019. 

     In addition, Chamberlain’s sense of humor is something most of her viewers echoed. Emma built a lot of her reputation around her constant banter and playfulness. She stood out due to the bluntness and honesty behind her jokes. She would joke about certain topics most would feel embarrassed to share, and this unapologetic openness inflicted admiration amongst her viewers. Her direct and candid sense of humor had an attention-grabbing shock value that soon found itself popularized amongst the younger generations. 


     In 2017, Emma Chamberlain was a 16-year-old high-school dropout posting her youtube videos for only a handful of people. As of 2023, at the age of 21, Emma Chamberlain has a net worth of 12 million dollars. She has accumulated a subscriber count of 12 million and an Instagram following of 16.2 million. She has her own coffee company, her own podcast, is a Louis Vuitton and Cartier ambassador, hosted the red carpet interviews for Vogue at the Met Gala, won multiple awards, been featured in big-time magazines, attended Paris fashion week, and has countless amounts of achievements and experiences that showcases her growth and fame. But Emma’s biggest achievement is something that goes beyond a physical experience; It is her cosmic effect on the upcoming generation.

    Most of generation Z, especially girls, grew up watching Emma Chamberlain. The majority of her audience is around the same as Emma, and since she started producing content as a young teenager, her viewers ultimately grew up alongside her. Teenagers found immense comfort within Emma’s videos because they were casual and amiable. Even as Chamberlain has grown in popularity, she still maintains this close relationship with her followers through her modesty. She never tries to flash her wealth or fame, and this becomes evident in her more recent vlogs where she loves to document and share her simple days at home. Emma Chamberlain has accomplished something very few celebrities have managed to: She has grown without becoming insatiable. She enjoys excitement while also emphasizing the value of simplicity, proving that Emma has matured without losing the qualities that make her Emma Chamberlain. 

     The simultaneous growth of Chamberlain and her subscribers paved the way for her relatability, strengthening her influence. In both physical and intangible ways, Emma Chamberlain has irrevocably altered the functionality of her generation. If you look for it, you will come to notice the Emma Chamberlain Effect all around you.