Let's get this out of the way. I'm not a "hater," an anti-fan, nor am I a jealous person. I'm too lazy to hate on people, I think anti-fans are terrifying (and Korean pop fandom continues to prove me right, unfortunately), and usually the only time I get jealous of people is when they're eating delicious food and I'm not. I like to think of myself as fairly ordinary, a girl-turned-makeup-junkie thanks in part to some of your videos.
But now that we've got that cleared up, I just cannot keep this quiet anymore. Michelle, the person you are now is a far cry from the person I came to know through YouTube and Xanga.
Frankly, I don't like you.
Some people complain that you've become a sellout; that ever since you've been signed on to Lancome, your code of ethics has been thrown out the window in exchange for lots of cash. Some people question why you -- who used to advocate the use of cosmetics brands that were cruelty-free -- are now the video makeup artist of a company who continues to test on animals. Others raise their voices against your videos, and how they've become more of a production and less of a tutorial. There are people who say that you've skimped on quality and replaced it with better editing, copyrighted music, and annoying facial expressions. As time passes, the complaints continue to grow: sometimes I type your name into a Google search engine and watch hits pop up about a whole bunch of things, from your face (plastic surgery?) to your personal life (your boyfriend). Even your religious beliefs get called into question. There's so much written about you, it's a little bit crazy. You've been called a liar, a thief, a cheater...well, there's more negative than positive out there, but I'm sure you've read and heard your fair share.
As for me, I tend to take everything I read with a grain of salt. You used to be all about being cruelty-free, but even before you signed a contract with Lancome, some of your favorite makeup came from companies that test on animals (Rimmel, Maybelline). I won't fault you for that, and I won't call you a sellout. I think you're inconsistent, but then again, who isn't nowadays? As for your videos...well, they're no longer my cup of tea, but if I don't like you, I don't watch you. Easy as that. I could care less about what you do to your face -- it's your face, you're the one wearing it, and way less about who you date -- girl, I don't even know you to disapprove of who takes you out to dinner. I'm not Christian, so I won't even touch on the religion thing.
So why don't I like you? Well, truth is, Michelle, I think you treat people like shit.
Occasionally, I find that you've uploaded a new video, and though you haven't made a video I've truly enjoyed for months now, I still check some of your work out if the screencap looks interesting. Usually, the video doesn't do anything for me, but that's not what keeps me on YouTube. What gets me is the comments, and your responses to people who -- before you delete their comments -- have sincere questions and critiques regarding your technique and application. I have seen you respond waspishly to people whose comments are sometimes as harmless as, "You didn't blend your blush/eyeshadow that well," and it kind of shocks me in a very bad way. For you to react so badly to simple critique -- and later call it hating -- isn't just bad form for a public figure such as yourself, it's also childish. If you only answered to comments in such a way maybe once or twice, I'd chalk it up to a bad mood or even a hormonal imbalance, but I've seen it happen on a handful of videos all uploaded at different times, so I can't even figure out your excuse for that one. You've become increasingly defensive as time goes on, and even though I can maybe see that all your negative publicity and the gossip has had something to do with it, you have no right to take it out on anyone and everyone who comments with something that isn't, "Michelle, you're fantastic!"
I have friends who have you Liked on Facebook, and so I sometimes check on your public page just to see what's going on. Ever since your videos stopped holding my interest, I no longer have your public page Liked, but I do get curious about your projects every once in a while. Usually I give your page a good scroll up and down, see a picture or two, and then go on my merry way, but lately you've done something that I just cannot condone -- and was the catalyst for this letter I am writing you right now.
Michelle, there is no excuse you can make -- nor your more zealous fans can make -- that would make showing someone's private/direct message to you public an okay thing. There just isn't.
No, really. No excuse.
I don't even want to ask how you thought this was amusing or even remotely a good idea. I feel like if I did ask you at your Facebook page, I'd get e-jumped like I was walking down a bad neighborhood's dark alley at 3am. But honestly? That was a bad move. Actually, I'll go one up -- that was a bitch move, and I hope you know it.
This person is (or was, now that this has gone down) someone who admired you during your younger years, and has recently been disillusioned, and simply wanted to take you aside and ask you a question. Maybe the question was silly, even stupid. If that was the case then your flippant answer might be acceptable. (Personally, I thought it was kind of snarky already.) What isn't acceptable, Michelle, is taking a print screen of this person's private message to you and posting it up on your Twitter, and then linking to it on your public Facebook page for all to see. Blurring out the person's name, or excusing your actions by writing, "This person's profile picture is that of a celebrity's, so they're anonymous!" doesn't make it better. Michelle, you took a person's concern for you and turned it into a public mockery, and you're letting your "fans" take potshots at this poor person and ridicule him/her at their leisure.
In addition to that, you've opened another proverbial can of worms for yourself, because seriously -- that's a bitch move. I can understand complaining about the constant, "We want the old Michelle! We want the old Michelle!" because yeah, that probably annoys you, but maybe to friends, or family. Doing this just shows that you care very little for the same people who have helped you become YouTube's #1 guru -- the subscribers, the viewers -- if they don't agree with you or express even the slightest bit of dissatisfaction with how you do your work. You are willing to let those people go hang, to be attacked (blurred-out names or not!) for expressing something negative about you, and you don't even bat an eye.
"But they're anonymous!" This isn't an excuse. That person, whoever he/she is, wherever he/she is, has probably seen their private message posted for all to see; he/she has probably read all the mean things others have written about them, and probably feels beyond terrible. I've read some of those comments and I feel bad; I can't imagine being in that person's shoes right now. Others are laughing at this person and are basically saying that this person's opinions don't matter because it's not completely supportive towards you. How cruel is that: "Your thoughts and opinions are insignificant." Why would you condone that? And before anyone starts an argument -- if she won't stop it when it's happening in her page, I'm going to assume she's condoning such bad actions.
You took a person who had honest concern for you and disrespected them in front of anyone willing to watch. I can overlook your ethical inconsistency, the gossip about your personal life (which isn't my business anyway), and even your way of doing business with IQQU -- I didn't even get that far into it, really -- but I cannot and will not overlook the way you treat other people.
Yes, Michelle, you are famous. Yes, you are YouTube's #1 Guru. Yes, you have a million-plus subscribers. Yes, you are traveling the world. You have done a lot of things at a young age, Michelle Phan, but that does not make you better than everyone else.
As a YouTube makeup guru, I find you so-so. As a person, I now kind of find you disgusting.
This is not the way you treat private messages to you.
Twitter and Facebook? That's overkill.
Do I hate you? No, because I care about you enough to want to tell you when you're doing something stupid because I want you to be a better person than how you are right now. Am I an anti-fan? Still no, but I'm no longer a fan. Am I jealous? I hate planes and I'm too lazy to make YouTube videos, so whatever you've got, I really don't care.
I just really do not like you.
Will you ever actually read this? Ha, most unlikely. My corner of the internet is sparsely populated and this blog is sporadically updated, so I doubt it. But I write this because 1) some things need to be let out, 2) someone needs to tell you that what you did really sucks, and 3) I want people to know what you've done. Is this a move against you? Yep, sounds about right. If you're going to treat fans like shit, you don't deserve them, and I want whoever takes the time to read this to know: they deserve better than you.
Michelle, I hope you realize that this was a huge mistake and that you learn from it. I hope you never do it again.
But it's not like I'll care whether you do or don't, because after this, I'm pretty much done. Live your life, but don't screw people over while you're doing it.