It’s no secret that the beauty world is teeming with rivalries, conflicts, and controversies. And with this, we can’t help but wonder—can the industry ever be at peace?
Many pop cultural scandals might have propelled to the mainstream headlines, but there is something quite special about entries from the beauty industry that makes them iconic. Take the infamous dramageddon as an example. Into that void comes the great war between Jeffree Star, Laura Lee, Gabriel Zamora, Manny Gutierrez, and Nikita Dragun—all who publicly aired their bitter feud online. It was nothing short of entertaining. However, it did change the beauty community forever.
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Shortly after, the beauty sphere entered the significant age of sistergeddon. All eyes were on Tati Westbrook as she detailed her fallout with former friend James Charles. “Oh my god, time and place,” the guru pointed out in her video. “And you did it at my birthday dinner.” Anyone who followed the explosive saga could easily quote all the shady confrontations and scathy apology videos. But behind all the messy interactions, it raised an important question: Why is the beauty industry obsessed with drama?
The war paint
The ever-evolving online sphere has seen a lot of slot-machine cycles of drama-feud scandals. But it’s nothing new. In the 1900s, the world witnessed one of the longest beauty rivalries between Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein. The conflict was rooted in the desire to earn the number one spot in the cosmetic business as both makeup titans strived to outdo each other in innovation and breakthroughs. Yes, it was chaotic, but it somehow managed to revolutionize the culture’s attitude toward beauty.
The homegrown scene has its saga of scandals, too. Of course, who could ever forget the feud between influential brand owners or the silent friction between content creators? The drama culture continues to thrive in every facet of the beauty industry. And while it can be exciting for fans, it has also overshadowed the means of a collaborative, inclusive, and supportive ecosystem.
The ugly culture
“When I first started [in] the beauty industry, I fell in love with the creators,” Bretman Rock explained his departure from the beauty community in a previous interview. “And it made me wanna do what I wanted to do, which was just share makeup and share my confidence with the world, share with people how to grow their eyebrows back, share with people how to contour, share with people my new favorite foundation, you know, and I don’t know why it got lost in translation when it just became a money industry.”
Even so, the content creator noticed how the drama culture changed the beauty environment negatively. “When did beauty become so ugly?” he questioned. “It’s no longer a beauty industry, beauty community—and I use the word community very loosely.” His sentiment raised questions for fans as to why there are so many scandals in the beauty industry. Is it personal or is it for relevance? Is it for money or is it because of the competitiveness within the industry? Who knows. But with the increasing notion of drama, can one still say that all publicity is good publicity?
Our point of view
Let’s be honest—beauty controversies are undeniably entertaining. However, it’s as equally problematic. The online sphere often sensationalizes feuds to an extent where validation is prioritized over solutions. And while social media has created a free space for the world to express oneself, the hype of drama-fueled scandals takes away the truth that handling and healing from conflicts need to be dealt with privately. At the end of the day, peace matters more than publicity.
So perhaps you’ll wonder—can the beauty industry survive without the drama? Absolutely. As mentioned in an article, beauty has positively shifted its focus toward creativity and self-expression, making now the perfect time to fully reclaim its sense of community. Invest in reviving the collaboration culture and creating more meaningful content. In the end, these are the things that truly make the beauty culture alive.
Featured Image: KIERAN PUNAY