Three Reasons Why ‘Bye Sister’ Was A Terrible Idea is an editorial piece written by The Angry Marketer and shared with The Ugly Writers under the theme One Step Forward Two Steps Back this month of August.
And Why Dramageddon 2.0 Should Be A Case Study In How To Do Business…Anywhere.
I don’t want to wade too deeply into the ‘tea’ of Dramageddon 2.0. There are enough resources online that will point you in the right direction of what that thunderstorm was all about. Cosmopolitan has an entire timeline dedicated to what really happened from beginning to end that is a simple read and I suggest you avail yourself of the basic facts before you continue reading this.
I just wanted to jump on here really quickly to highlight what is now completely obvious.
‘Bye Sister’ was a TERRIBLE IDEA.
I would even go so far as to say an UNNECESSARY IDEA.
But you may not care about makeup or the Beauty YouTube world so I don’t expecting you to be yelling ‘PREACH’ at your screen as you read this.
I wouldn’t have cared if Tatiana Westbrook hadn’t gone viral in 2019 with a READING for the eons. And I probably wouldn’t be thinking about it again if I hadn’t become more interested in makeup (it’s funny how fascinating things are when you can finally do them) in the last six months.
But apart from the spiraling drama, this saga offers us some classic ‘what not to dos’ at all corners that as bloggers and online business owners we would do well to pay attention to.
1. It Was Planned and Recorded on an Emotional High
I’m going to need you not to laugh when I tell you that this all started out because of vitamin gummies.
Why? Are you? Laughing?
Tatiana Westbrook only made ‘Bye Sister’ after James Charles’ was caught (and that’s putting it lightly since he never actually hid it) promoting a rival hair supplement to Tati’s hair supplement on his Instagram story. She was hurt and she acted in the realm of that hurt.
We all acknowledge that a human is behind many large social media brands. We know. BUT the issue is her brand’s channel was used to deliver a personal, highly emotional message on three separate occasions (as of today) which is in most cases a big NO.
Simply because when you are emotional, your ability to filter what you say goes OUT of the window. You say and do things that more often than not brings more harm to a situation. That’s how brands get in major trouble.
There is now no way to separate the two and now your brand is synonymous with what is slowly becoming bad publicity based on apparant erroneous allegations dispensed when emotions were high.
2. It Ruined a Potentially Mammoth Business Relationship
For context, James has 19 million Instagram followers. Tati Westbrook has only 2.7 million. The unspoken rule of (excuse my potential partcipation in misogyny) ‘Bros before hoes’ wasn’t enough to keep James from not promoting the rival brand and Tati was (and in hindsight somewhat rightfully so) upset.
But, there was never an agreement in ink as far as we know.
And I’m so sorry to all the Care Bears out there but the ‘power of friendship’ and ‘loyalty’ are not legally binding in a court of law. She burned what was still a potential bridge long after the rival brand rode all over it and torched the money trail too. Because, guess what? At the end of the day, one, James has a lot of influence even after the rival brand ad, two, Tati’s brand may not be effective for everybody. People need range and for as long as James is unsigned, he should have been able to utilize said range. Both can be good brands.
In the business world, you need as many allies as you can to further your cause. It helps if you are remain on the good side (where ethically possible) bigger brands/personalities in the name of community
3. It Was Fuelled In Part By Rumours
The hair supplement dig was definitely the foundation of the gripe. BUT the allegations of James Charles’ alleged inappropriate behaviour were the STARS. Now, Tati does talk about personal experiences that she had with James but they were only lent credence by rumours fed to her primarily by another content creator and makeup guru – Jeffree Star. (There were other people who she cited but the video has been privated and I can’t remember everyone she mentioned off hand.)
The allegations, while it made for good drama, were extremely serious in nature and as we now know from what has transpired since then with James’ second video on the issue and Tati’s third, they were just that – rumours.
Hurt individual plus potential information that enables their hurt so that they don’t feel so bad about themselves can result in a major firestorm and potential image damage. I also shouldn’t need to tell you that it could have ended in a potential lawsuit for, at the very minimum, defamation. Lawsuits never look good no matter how big your brand is.
Doing thorough research is IMPORTANT.
What happened with Dramageddon 2.0 is a story in several themes – ethics, law, community, ‘rules of community’, emotional intelligence…the list goes on. The overarching theme, of course, is business and its appropriate ettiquette because at the end of the day both Tati and James make money off of their channels as well as their respective product lines.
I may be militant in expecting more of a business-like approach from Tati and James’ ends to the drama. BUT that is only because the business world as it is still does not allow sufficient room for humans to be human and I’m looking at it from that end.
I think we can use this incident to measure, re-examine and readjust the boundaries that are so firmly planted to allow leeway for humans to be human. Because if you believe for one second that companies are looking at these two waaaayyyyyy differently, you don’t know the world, loving. As to whether it is positively or negatively, I cannot say BUT there will be entities on both sides.
It can help us explore the nuances of community in its truest sense and it can even help us evolve how we relate to our allies so that we can form business practices that fit the age.
And to end on the theme of humanity, I pray Tati, James and even Jeffree find nothing but healing and peace. Everyone is hurt. Everyone is broken a little right now. But for healing to come, there must have been an illness or a hurting. I hope everyone comes out stronger and better for this.
I missed you, Ugly Writers.