Culture

This Is Why Gen Z Is So Obsessed With Emma Chamberlain

By Chloe Plummer··  6 min read
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@emmachamberlain

Emma Chamberlain, a 20-year-old vlogger, fashion lover, and entrepreneur, is a common favorite internet personality for so many teenagers.

Emma has become the girl The Atlantic said is the “most talked about teen-influencer in the world” through her relatable personality, witty characteristics, and enviable lifestyle. She has accumulated a staggering total of 1.4 billion YouTube views, 10.9 million YouTube subscribers, 14.3 million Instagram followers, attended Paris Fashion Week four times, and recently attended the Met Gala last month. It seems as if there is no stopping her, as she also made Forbes’ “30 Under 30” this year, which is an incredible achievement. She is a trailblazer for so many teenagers in the 21st century, but why Emma Frances Chamberlain? 

The appeal of Emma Chamberlain is simple. Her honesty and earnestness towards the camera have enabled her to create a sense of intimacy and friendship between the viewer and herself. Emma’s candidness about her life is refreshing, and her vulnerability in her comedic vlogging style has allowed teenagers to fall in love with this internet personality. She has found the sweet spot of relatability and inspiration, thereby becoming a role model for teenagers around the world, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.

Cultivated Likeability

Emma Chamberlain has become a Gen Z household name and has created an empire which is so present in today’s pop culture. This is even more impressive as she only started posting videos in 2017. Emma told V Magazine that she started posting videos as she “needed a hobby and something to put my energy towards that was productive and fun.” Just after a year of posting her comedic vlogs, candid reviews, and cooking videos, she was awarded a Streamy in 2018 for Breakout Creator. 

As her career began to skyrocket and her subscriber count crawled into the millions, Emma dropped out of school and moved to the digital capital, Los Angeles. Despite moving and gaining more and more of a fanbase, she is still humble and grounded exactly like she was when filming short cooking videos in her childhood hometown of San Mateo.

As her career took off, Emma collaborated with other YouTube personalities such as James Charles and the Dolan Twins. Both of these accounts had massive followings of teenagers as well, so the cooperation with these creators further exposed her witty and charming personality to potentially millions of new followers. 

In the present day, Emma has curated an independent and original brand for herself. She’s a 20 year old who loves fashion, has her own coffee company, and is incredibly open with her fans. Over the years, she's touched on a range of topics relatable to teenagers, such as mental illness, eating disorders, or feeling burnt-out, through her videos and successful podcast, “anything goes.” Her approach to these topics always seems genuine and as if you’re talking to your best friend, which is invaluable and is in complete juxtaposition to some of the facades other content creators try to portray. 

Emma’s new editing style seems to be an attempt to break the stigma of the imagined perfect life of a YouTuber, recently titling some of her videos “QUESTION EVERYTHING,” “rotten,” “stinky,” and “jetlag.” Her frank style is only one aspect of her brand – her impeccable and constantly duplicated style is another huge segment of Emma’s rise to popularity.

The Power of Influence

It’s an understatement to say that Emma Chamberlain is the queen of fashion trends. Ever since her YouTube debut in 2017, people have loved her unique, fun, and reminiscent sense of style. From flared yoga leggings to claw clips, Emma has shown the world a new and exciting perspective on the world of fashion. Most teenagers have bought a clothing item that was first made popular by Emma (which is not surprising as Emma reaches every corner of the digital world, whether that’s Pinterest or Instagram). Thousands of people try to duplicate her iconic style. 

Emma’s sense of style harkens back to vintage and retro references. In her WHAT IM WEARING THIS SUMMER video, she explains that she “loves taking inspiration from California in the 1990s and earlier.” Vintage clothing has become such a major staple in Emma’s closet, and she sources most of her outfits through vintage and charity shops. This promotion of second-hand fashion is invigorating and has definitely caught on. Not only are teenagers finding vintage and sometimes one-off pieces, but the cycle of consumerism is also changing, and her influence is pulling teenagers away from the fast fashion cycle. 

The fashion world has caught onto Chamberlain’s popularity and shown their alliances with her, with Louis Vuitton making her a fashion ambassador for the brand, while Vogue had her conduct interviews on their behalf at the recent Met Gala. As Emma has grown up, she has gone from styling outfits for thousands of followers, to now being the face of one of the biggest fashion designers in the world.

She told V Magazine that “Working with Louis Vuitton has made me have a deeper understanding and appreciation for fashion houses and designers in general.” This association with massive empires such as these implies that’s she isn’t going anywhere. 

Emma Chamberlain Isn’t Stopping Any Time Soon

You may be thinking, Emma has conquered the digital world through her successful YouTube and social media platforms, and the fashion world through her involvement with major fashion players, so what is there left to do? Chamberlain has become a business mogul! She founded her very own coffee brand, Chamberlain Coffee, which is a perfect match for her coffee addition personality trait and allows her to capitalize on other caffeinated Gen Zers. Emma’s brazenness carries over her coffee brand, with one of the tag lines being “no bullsh*t, just coffee.”

The empire doesn’t stop with coffee. She also has a successful podcast called “anything goes,” where weekly she talks deeply about themes such as “growing up as an only child,” “the Instagram illusion,” and an “advice session,” in which she retells embarrassing and raw stories of her life. The podcast has been so popular, it has been number one on Apple podcasts in 50 different countries and has had a stream of positive and encouraging reviews. Once again affirming the fact that she is loved by so many because she is kind, raw, and someone whom every Gen Zer can see themselves in. 

Closing Thoughts

So, if you have never heard the name Emma Chamberlain before, I hope that this introduction to the 20-year-old vlogger encourages you to go and watch one of her videos, listen to her podcast, or simply appreciate the amount of influence she constantly has on teenagers all around the world. 

The important thing about Emma is that she isn’t afraid to bear all, frequently filming herself in tears or at her darkest moments. This, consequently, allows teenagers to know that it’s normal to have rough days and that you shouldn’t only just share the good parts of life. Through her content, she’s instilling valuable morals that every Gen Zer should have: that it’s okay not to be perfect because neither is the cultural phenomenon that is Emma Chamberlain.

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