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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, March 4, 2024

Emma Chamberlain takes YouTube hiatus, reveals mental health struggles

Emma Chamberlain is pictured holding a Chamberlain Coffee mug.

Emma Chamberlain has been YouTube’s ‘it’ girl for the past four years since beginning her career on the platform at the age of 16. Chamberlain grew a large following for her honest, upbeat vlogs documenting a variety of different aspects of her life. From taking fans behind the scenes at major fashion events in the world, such as Louis Vuitton fashion shows and the Met Gala, to cooking vegan meals in her home kitchen, Chamberlain’s content has consistently been entertaining and engaging. After four years of uploading videos almost every week, Chamberlain has decided to take a break from YouTube.

Chamberlain has not published a video on her YouTube channel since Dec. 14, 2021. Many fans were concerned as to what caused this sudden halt in content. Rather than publishing a YouTube video to discuss her lack of posting, like many popular YouTubers do when they decide to take a pause or end their channel, Chamberlain decided to address the questions and concerns about her YouTube career on her podcast, “Anything Goes,” (2020–), in an episode titled, “the truth about youtube.”

Many things prompted Chamberlain’s break from YouTube, the main cause being constant pressure, which started to take a toll on Chamberlain’s mental health.

“The pressure to be a weekly YouTuber, 365 days a year, is unrealistic, yet it’s the standard,” Chamberlain said in the podcast episode. “It is the standard that YouTubers hold themselves to but yet it is an impossible thing to keep up mentally.”

To cope with the burden of uploading weekly videos, many popular YouTubers have started to hire editors to edit their videos for them. Chamberlain stated that, for a period of time, she was against hiring an editor but eventually caved due to her demanding workload. However, when Chamberlain stopped editing her own videos, she started to enjoy YouTube less, as she realized that part of her love of YouTube was editing her own videos and putting them together herself.

Feeling obligated to upload weekly, Chamberlain felt some of the content she was putting out was rushed and not up to the standard she holds herself to, which added to her reasoning to take a break from YouTube.

“I don’t ever want to put something out into the world that I’m not proud of,”Chamberlain said.

Additionally, Chamberlain stated in the podcast that there is a lack of privacy with YouTube.Chamberlain’s content is mostly vlogs that document moments in her daily life, from getting ready in the morning to shopping at Trader Joe’s. The issue with vlogs, according to Chamberlain, is you constantly have to be on camera and filming yourself. Even when Chamberlain was having a rough day, she said she felt she had to put on a happy face and film content for her subscribers, which meant her mental health often came second to her career. The lack of privacy and necessity of being on camera also opened the door to a lot of criticism, with people making negative comments about her appearance daily, further damaging Chamberlain’s mental health.

Since the start of her break from YouTube, Chamberlain has been enjoying time to herself and discovering what her life is like without YouTube.

“After stepping back from YouTube, I am in a better state mentally than I’ve been in the past four years,” Chamberlain said.

Although Chamberlain is taking time away from YouTube and focusing on herself, it does not mean she is not still busy with her work outside of YouTube. Chamberlain posts weekly on her podcast show, “Anything Goes,” and is the founder of her own coffee company, Chamberlain Coffee.

Chamberlain stated that she does not feel pressure to post weekly on her podcast, unlike her YouTube channel.

“I can record my podcast at any time of the day, no matter what I look like, in the comfort of my bed, and nobody can see me,Chamberlain said.

Chamberlain admitted she does miss filming content and posting on her channel, but she understands herself enough to know this break is necessary.

“I need to give myself at least a few months before I can revisit it and decide what I am going to do next with YouTube,"Chamberlain said.

YouTube is not something Chamberlain wants to abandon, as she appreciates and enjoys the creative freedom it allows for. However, Chamberlain wants to make personal changes to how she approaches YouTube.

“I never see myself leaving YouTube for good, but I definitely see myself leaving the way I used to do YouTube,Chamberlain said.