- Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
- On Monday, James Charles released a new advertisement for his namesake line of beauty products sold at Morphe.
- In the photo, he’s dressed like an elf and positioned on a vanity next to an eye-shadow palette and setting-spray bottle.
- Though Charles’ face was seemingly altered to resemble an elf, some social-media users believe his body was also heavily edited, while others have praised the image.
- The YouTuber openly speaks about his use of photo-editing technology and has made YouTube videos about it in the past, while many other influencers are known to alter their images.
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James Charles is being accused of editing his body in his latest makeup advertisement.
On Monday, the social-media star took to Instagram and Twitter with a new campaign image for his namesake eye-shadow palettes and brush set sold at Morphe. In the photo, he’s dressed like an elf, shrunken down in size, and positioned on a vanity next to an eye-shadow palette and setting-spray bottle.
“SISTER ON A SHELF,” Charles wrote on Twitter. “One of my favorite photos EVEERRRRR hahahaha happy holidays babes!!”
SISTER ON A SHELF ????????❤️ one of my favorite photos EVEERRRRR hahahaha happy holidays babes!! pic.twitter.com/f5cSLFWI0z
— James Charles (@jamescharles) December 2, 2019
While Charles has not yet responded to the photo-editing accusations, sources close to the YouTuber told Insider the images came from a standard promotional shoot.
People are now comparing the campaign image to behind-the-scenes shots shared on Charles’ Instagram
Shortly after Charles shared the campaign image on Monday, he also shared some behind-the-scenes videos on Instagram. The clips were removed from his story after 24 hours, though some people have reposted them on Twitter.
Omfg I’m shook pic.twitter.com/BEmTU1Cl0q
— ???????????????????????????????? (@fuckimlonelyy) December 2, 2019
Many people shared the clips enthusiastically, while others pointed out that Charles doesn’t look exactly the same in both sets of images.
love you but why reshape your body and completely change your face? this is supposed to be about the makeup james not about the photoshop… pic.twitter.com/SwLgXpsXvz
— lexx (@lipstick__lexx) December 2, 2019
People were quick to question Charles’ appearance in the two photos
While some people on Twitter suggested that Charles used an editing app like Photoshop or Facetune to alter the image, others felt the YouTuber could be promoting unrealistic body standards.
They photoshopped the crap out of you didn’t they ????????
— Jamie ???? (@Jamie_Blur15) December 3, 2019
I mean face understandable because he wants to look like an elf, but the body reshape is completelly unnecessary
— Aly Torres ???? (@kittymeikup_) December 2, 2019
On the r/BeautyGuruChatter subreddit, some people said Morphe should be held responsible if the photo was retouched, while others argue that influencers typically have a say in how they appear online. Redditor SophieKins wrote: “Working as a retoucher, influencers definitely give their preferences/directions and approval on their photos.”
Though on Instagram there was some criticism of the photo, Charles mainly received an influx of supportive comments from his followers on the platform.
“This is iconic,” one person wrote.
“Omg this is the cutest thing ever, I love the fit,” another person commented.
Charles has previously spoken about his use of photo-editing apps
In March, Charles admitted to editing “all” of his photos when a Twitter user asked if he had retouched an image of his eye makeup.
“I photoshop all of my photos,” he wrote at the time.
No? Lmao I photoshop all of my photos. It didn’t photograph the way I wanted it to so I flipped one eye to the other ????????♀️ still looked amazing in person
— James Charles (@jamescharles) March 20, 2019
He also commented on his use of photo-editing tools in 2016 and 2017.
“The point of retouching is to enhance what’s already there, NOT to edit on makeup,” he wrote in April 2016. “You’re not a MUA [makeup artist] if your fav product is photoshop,” he added.
The point of retouching is to enhance what's already there, NOT to edit on makeup. You're not a MUA if your fav product is photoshop…
— James Charles (@jamescharles) April 23, 2016
“I photoshop my pics just like literally every other social influencer,” he wrote in a later tweet in June 2017. “Y’all are tired & can’t swallow your pride to admit I’m real.”
I photoshop my pics just like literally every other social influencer, y'all are tired & can't swallow your pride to admit I'm real ????????♀️ https://t.co/iHaXgbPxi7
— James Charles (@jamescharles) July 19, 2017
Many influencers and YouTubers alter their photos before posting them online
YouTuber Nikita Dragun, for example, frequently uses Facetune, and even made a video with Charles about their photo-editing skills.
YouTuber Tana Mongeau is also open about her use of photo-editing apps. In November, she even encouraged fans to alter photos of her in the style she likes.
“i feel like my instagram fan accounts started to notice i only repost facetuned pics and they all slowly started to facetune me like i facetune myself and it was just this unspoken thing in my fandom hahahahahahahahahahahaha Y’ALL GOT MY BACK,” Mongeau wrote on Twitter.
i feel like my instagram fan accounts started to notice i only repost facetuned pics and they all slowly started to facetune me like i facetune myself and it was just this unspoken thing in my fandom hahahahahahahahahahahaha Y’ALL GOT MY BACK
— Tana Mongeau (@tanamongeau) November 2, 2019
Travel influencer Tupi Saravia, on the other hand, previously faced backlash when her followers realized she had edited the same batch of clouds onto many of her photos. She previously told Insider that she’s open with her fans about how she edits her images, and was the first to “joke about the clouds following me around the world.”
This travel ‘influencer’ spookily has the same clouds in every photo. ???????????? pic.twitter.com/uYzXhTiRJp
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) August 28, 2019
Representatives for Morphe did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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