Thursday, February 3

blog; An open letter to Michelle Phan.

Dear Michelle,

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.


Sincerely, me

44 comments:

  1. I have to say I agree with everything you said. I used to like reading her xanga way back then. until I saw the little lies, they just got bigger and people started to notice. if she just admitted to her faults, I may be able to take her a little more seriously...

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  2. @Sher: Yeah, not big on the whole, "I'm not making any mistakes, you're just hating!" deal she's got going on. I tried to check back on the FB thread where she posted the Twitpic link of the print screen, but um, it got deleted. I'm not really surprised. Now I'm just tired of her and am no longer willing to expend energy to care about what she does. Eventually she'll get her comeuppance via karma. I'll just be here, blogging.

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  3. Amen, my sentiments exactly! I LOVED her during her xanga days, but she has just changed so much. I finally had to stop taking her seriously after all the crap myself and fellow bloggers went through with her iQQU line... I really feel like we were the guinea pigs for her products. Quite disappointing (and frankly, disgusting) the way she turned out.

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  4. @ect: I almost bought into the IQQU craze; glad I didn't. Whew! Drugstore and homemade skincare for me! Or at least organic stuff made of fruit extracts, lacking in mineral oil. :)

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  5. I'm not even sure who Michelle Phan is, or why I read this (oh well, I admit it, rants amuse me). But something you said hit home enough to comment. Her actions weren't fair. Replying to someone's private question in public and making it a public issue is truly, too much.

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  6. @ee: Wow, didn't know anyone would still read this, but thank you for commenting! I admit, sometimes I just need to rant, but damn if she's kind of a bitch with this one. Just remembering the incident is enough to rankle me.

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  7. I have been a fan of Michelle for a very long time, however, now I do not see her in the same light as I did before! The fame has gone to her head and there is no need for her nasty-ness ( if that's a word ) towards others. I just felt the need to express my thoughts on the situation :)

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  8. @Amy: Feel free to express your thoughts at any time; I verily appreciate them. Anyway, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I think she really got swept up by her YouTube fame and it's made her a little unbalanced. The way she lashes out at people who disagree with her is pretty scary. :/

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  9. Glad I came across your blog..i have never susbscribed to michelle phan but had watched a few of her youtube videos in the past.. I didn't know anything about the way she treated some people,so am glad i read your rant!! I was only surprised to see her working more with lancome products on some vids, as you said, she was very much againt cosmetics that test on animals..and yes, lancome is a bad one.. Thanks for all the info..

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  10. @Jeanne: Thanks so much for reading and leaving your thoughts! It's sad that she's become really disappointing, but I feel worse that her more devoted viewers/fans don't see it because she keeps pulling the wool over their eyes. I'm disappointed in the Lancome thing, too, though I don't view Lancome (or any other cosmetics/skincare companies testing on animals) as an evil entity, but Michelle seemed to actually be somewhat passionate about animals. Oh well. :/

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Is it not evil what they do? It is! Animals do not need to be tested by cosmetic companies for their own selfish needs. There is no need for it, there are alternatives skin allergy tests for beauty products. ( I am not a Michelle Phan hater) I am a hater of cruel beauty companies! Those companies should be ashamed of themselves!

      For the people who think like you about them not being evil and (not saying you do.) even after knowing what goes on in the cruel beauty world and still continue to support those companies.. all I can express is sadness.

      Michelle Phan and many other beauty gurus (are just human) but it would be nice to see one of these huge beauty gurus stick by Cruelty free companies and give them support! Cruelty Free brands are way sexier than brands such as Lancome and the other cruel stuff!

      I'm a beauty blogger too and since 2012 I went cruelty free! Many of us are unaware at a point but we need to make a change once we understand the truth! NO more being naive!

      www.facebook.com/bwethepromoter

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    3. Hi, Ann. I do think it's terrible that there are still companies that test on animals, but what can you say about capitalism and turning profits? It's one of those sad realities in life that people have to exist with, and while it's not my personal cup of tea, I feel like openly hating on a company like that isn't the way to go about things. Educating others, proposing alternative solutions, striving for change...it sounds idealistic but I prefer those more peaceable actions to being angry.

      I do agree that those companies should be ashamed of themselves. There are plenty of other great companies who churn out great beauty products without having to test, and they're not small, independent labels, either. Hopefully, this idea continues to catch on, but like I said, this is just the reality we currently have to live with.

      I really do commend you on being completely cruelty-free. I'm trying to do the same, sticking to natural health and beauty care, but I still have some ways to go.

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  11. I completely agree with this!!!!! I don't watch her videos anymore for the same reasons...she just doesn't seem like a nice person. Even if she weren't famous, I don't think I'd like her very much.

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  12. @.mai: Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'd really dislike her if she were someone I actually knew and I saw her treating others the way she does. Lucky I don't know her!

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  13. This was brilliant. I love your writing style, you are very talented! I particularly like the section about getting "e-jumped", I laughed at that because I am currently on the receiving end of some her fans' poor attitudes and I don't really know why!!

    I adore your blog and will definitly come back to read more of your posts! I wish all the luck in the world with it. It really is fantastic!

    All the best,
    Voe.
    _______________________________
    http://lipstick-and-pearls.blogspot.com

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  14. WOW. I didn't know she did this. I just unsubscribed from he channel.

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  15. @Voe: I love your blog! It's so informative and I'm kind of glad that I found it. :) Please continue debunking the beauty myths and I love your homemade versions of popular beauty products! (I might try that Jurlique scrub.) Also, thank you for the compliments on my writing. ♥

    @Jen*: She's deleted the Twitter/Facebook stuff, and apparently asked for permission from the original sender of the message -- she gave her okay, I guess she was flattered to be acknowledged -- but it was still in poor taste. Thank you for reading! ♥

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  16. She was submitted on thedirty.com if that makes you feel better.

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    1. Thank you, but I kind of posted this and left it after that, lol.

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  17. Woah, this is a lot to take in. I had no idea who Michelle Phan was. When I watch her video, I don't really care about who she is but only of how she does her make up. And the instructions and video is clear; easy to understand. I never really bothered knowing about her until I have become so curious as to why people hate her.

    Her voice sounds forced and fake alright, but it doesn't really bother me because I am there for the tutorial, not for her. And about the products and animals thing, I really don't know. It would be sad if animals were truly used like that. I hope they stop that. As for the product she endorses, I never have to worry about their effect, because I can't afford them anyway.

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    1. And that's cool if your interest in her is passing and superficial. There's no problem with watching her stuff if they interest you, but I'm just not here for her ways. Last I hear she's got makeup out, so gotta admire the girl.

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  18. I'm not pro-Michelle or anything like that. I find it so funny that you wrote so much talking about how you don't like a person and wanting many people to agree with you, when you can spend that time doing something more useful for yourself. Honestly, who gives a shit? haha

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    1. Doing something useful for myself, like maybe writing a cathartic open letter?

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    2. Some people actually find it helpful to organize their own thoughts and feelings by writing him down. Keyboards are not reserved for adoring fancomments. Not to mention some people care about the online community and feel it's important that there are also level headed critical voices out there. I realize you yourself probably only do things that are useful for yourself, but that is generally not the norm.

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  19. I completely agree with you... I don't know how she uses copyrighted music without getting in trouble?

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    1. I think she generates so many views for them that they work something out.

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  20. Very well said. She just deleted my constructive criticism about her makeup brand. I thought that was very childish of her. I will never buy her products period. Her stuff is as pricey as the established brands that have proven quality. Ridiculous!

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    1. I heard about her new line! It's a shame she's still doing that deleting, thing; I wrote this a while ago and I thought she'd be better by now, especially since she is literally a brand. That's sad, but what can you do? Is it really that expensive? Last I checked she had a humongous palette out for like $80 USD.

      That's insane, by the way. Or maybe I'm just cheap.

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  21. what i can't stomach is seeing how many asian women obsess over makeup, will only date white guys, and who then put on that 'cute, giggling, sweet innocent'. She knows EXACTLY what she's doing in those videos (i.e.,'my boyfriend (WHITE btw) puts on my makeup', and then she asks him 'do you think I'm still beautiful (giggle giggle) without makeup'? Please. yawn

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    1. That is a completely different societal/cultural/something else argument right there. We could get into a whole other discussion about how and why this is an accepted way of thinking, but that's kind of a war zone so I won't.

      Not really digging the giggly innocent thing, either, if it's put on. But different folks, different strokes.

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  22. Oh my god, Michelle Phan is so immature.
    She blocked because she couldn't deal with the truth about herself. This may be an old post, but I'm positive nothing has changed...

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    1. The anonymous comment before you tells me that you're sadly correct. :(

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  23. I just recently unsubscribed from Michelle phan's YouTube, Instagram. And now I'm thinking of abandoning her Facebook page as well. I have known these things about her deleting comments and being immature about criticism towards her work through third party or the grapevine only. I'm the type of person who doesn't see people based solely on what others' opinions are about them....and I have personally not experienced Her actions first hand until now - and seeing her condone these kids/adults(?) fans of hers to talk and trash people who are just lending their honest, respectful opinion about her products BY NOT CALLING THEM OUT ON THEIR UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR BUT AT THE SAME TIME DELETING NEGATIVE BUT CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK is really something alarming. And now, I feel ashamed that I followed her and became her fan. Because that feels like I'm also condoning it. Which I'm absolutely not. :( I actually feel betrayed and I don't even know why. :((

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  24. Am i the only one that thinks her and her boyfriend aren't actually dating but there a publicity stunt couple set up by lancome? the whole fell in love in paris thing seems so cliche and non realistic...if you see michelle and her bf they seem super awkward, in the boyfriend does my makeup tag video unlike other couple videos they seem to not want to communicate or smile much. and in her eye tape tutorial at her house her boyfriend walks by in the background it looks soooo rehearsed and unnatural.

    edit: you also never see his belongings in the apartment.


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  25. I used to like her, well it was back then before i notice that she is faking everything. I personally think that she tries too hard to look cute and its creepy to see her each time she uploaded her photos. It is like she is fakinnng her smile to. Dont make me mention about her voice, because it is really truly undeniably annoying.

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  26. Hey! I stumbled across this post and it got me curious as to what incident you're referring to. Any details?

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  27. Hi, same person as before. I remembered about Wayback Machine so I have some more info than before (http://web.archive.org/web/20110207041016/http://twitpic.com/3vyt9l). No picture though, would appreciate knowing what the message said!

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  28. I always used to think that work is separate from personal life so as long as someone was doing a good job at what they do I would support them regardless of their relationships or family life or any other personal aspects. I used to watch her videos but I definitely believe I will no longer continue after seeing this. It's a completely different story when their actions regard their fans. That was disrespectful of her and I honestly think that she seems to be forgetting where she came from. Sometimes I feel like she treats her fans or other commenters below her. She needs to remember that the people she does things like that to are the reason why she's no longer that "poor girl" who lived on "foodstamps". If that was even true.

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  31. You do realize that you just spent alot of time writing a letter that Michelle is never even going to care to read, right? I couldn't even get through half of this letter without thinking that you have such a bullshit opinion. And on top of that, your research is lousy. But that's ok. I understand. In some cases, obviously like yours, people have no life and decide to spend it uselessly on the internet making other people feel bad so that they can feel important. Well I have news for you, honey. You are definitely not important doing shit like this. You aren't famous, you aren't cool, you probably don't even have a good job. So keep writing hater shit like this and see where it gets you in life.

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  32. Not everyone wants to be famous, cool and all that so she's not hating really. I could understand if she bashed with ultimate hates but she's just not. This purely just because someone need to tell someone as delusional as you the truth, the reality. You don't need to digest everything she wrote here. But.. wait. why are you here in the first place?

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