Who is Emma Chamberlain? The vlogger is unabashedly herself online

Emma Chamberlain joined YouTube in 2017 as a way to push back against the narrative that influencers lead perfect lives. Wanting to give teenage girls and Gen Z a realistic vlogger, Chamberlain has since amassed millions of followers.

But that doesn’t mean her stint as a social media darling has been without controversy. Keep reading to learn about Chamberlain’s upbringing, net worth and past problematic incidents.

Who is Emma Chamberlain?

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The 19-year-old from San Bruno, Calif., was born on May 22, 2001. She is an only child, and her parents got divorced when she was only 5 years old. A former competitive cheerleader on the California All-Stars Pink cheer team, she moved to Los Angeles after dropping out of high school her junior year.

She has 9.64 million followers on YouTube, 11.2 million followers on Instagram and 8.7 million followers on TikTok as of writing. 

How did Chamberlain become a YouTube sensation?

You might call it a combination of experience and instinct. During Chamberlain’s sophomore year of high school, she and her friends started to look for trap rap remixes of Christmas songs on SoundCloud. They’d choreograph dances and make videos of the funniest songs they could find.

It turns out, Chamberlain was a natural video editor who knew instinctively how to emphasize the funniest moments in each skit.

“I felt like that made my friends and I laugh a lot more when I was emphasizing these things,” Chamberlain told the New York Times. “Rather than us just having to catch it while watching and then it doesn’t really land as much because most people aren’t going to notice the funny little things that I would notice.”

In 2017, by the end of her sophomore year, she launched a YouTube channel. Part of what made her so prolific was her teenage boredom.

“It was summertime,” Chamberlain told Cosmopolitan. “I didn’t want to do my summer reading. I had to tap into other new territories in my brain because I was so bored. So it was like, every day, I was making videos.”

The YouTuber’s first big hit was a dollar-store haul where she shared interesting finds; as of writing, it has over 4.3 million views.  

“That was apparently a YouTube trend at the time, and it ended up working in my favor,” Chamberlain told W magazine.

But it was really her fresh takes — and her unabashed honestly in general — that set her apart online.

“It just didn’t feel like there was enough intimacy on the internet, and I wanted that,” Chamberlain told In The Know. “I was like, ‘I’m just gonna be me, whether that’s cute or not, I’m gonna be that.’”

How much does Emma Chamberlain make?

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It’s estimated that Chamberlain’s net worth is $3 million. According to the social media analytics firm SocialBlade, she makes up to $70,000 a month from her videos alone. That doesn’t include Chamberlain’s sponsorship deals with brands like Hollister or Louis Vuitton or the earnings from her coffee company, Chamberlain Coffee

Why are some people mad at Chamberlain?

Like many social media influencers, Chamberlain has come under fire for problematic behavior. For instance, she shared a photo that demeaned Asian people in June 2020.

“It’s come to my attention that some thought I was posing in an insensitive way in my recent Instagram post,” she wrote on Instagram as a way of apologizing for the photo. “That was not my intention at all and I’m so sorry to those who were hurt by it. I love and appreciate you all so much.”

In 2018, she also made a transphobic tweet about Caitlyn Jenner and gave quite the half-hearted apology about it.

Most recently, she deactivated her Twitter following President-elect Joe Biden’s win. Users discovered Chamberlain was allegedly a registered Republican and believed the deactivated was because she voted for Donald Trump.

Chamberlain took to her Instagram Story to address the matter — sort of. She wrote, “I really don’t like to engage in any internet drama/lies. But today is a very big day. Today is a day to celebrate. I really don’t want to spend today defending made up facts about me. I hope we can all come together today, celebrate and love each other. The future is very bright.”

If you enjoyed this story, check out this guide to all the diss tracks from major TikTokers.

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