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The Heartfelt Apology That’ll Help Restore Your Faith in James Charles

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They say actions speak louder than words, but James Charles‘ apology is pretty darn meaningful. The 17-year-old faced a TON of backlash after making a joke about Ebola in Africa, and while he apologized and said he takes “full responsibility and will learn and do better” immediately after he realized he made a mistake, people were still pissed — the apology just felt forced and insincere, you know? Now, just over two weeks since the offensive tweet was posted, the male beauty guru took the time to give fans the heartfelt “I’m sorry” they deserve.

James recently returned from a school trip to South Africa and he apparently learned a lot while being away. Here is what he captioned a stunning picture he took on his journey:

A post shared by James Charles (@jamescharles) on

“I just spent the past 10 days in South Africa. In Cape Town, our first stop was to a local high school. I was nervous to visit after the recent events, however I was met with endless smiles and hugs from kids that came running from all over the school. Learning about the school system, education and their everyday lives was eye opening. After touring the campus, I sat down with a large group of kids and talked to them about my ignorant comment, which degraded their continent. The students made the conversation easy, informative and lighthearted. Being able to talk to these kids about my mistake taught me an important lesson about privilege, something that has always been a concept I didn’t fully understand. Through speaking with them, I became aware of the potential impact I may have — both positive and negative. I don’t want to be someone who takes advantage of this privilege, or be someone who is only self-aware. I was also given the opportunity to talk to the principal of the school about gender identity and acceptance, and we had a great conversation. The students aren’t allowed to wear makeup or have long nails and there’s a strict dress code at the school, but we talked about the importance of self expression. I realize how fortunate and grateful I have been to have the opportunities that I have — and to be supported by people all over the world and called out when I mess up. My ignorance allowed for me to make a massive error. I am extremely sorry for what I said. There are no excuses. No one owes me forgiveness, but I’ve learned a lot from this experience. I hope that the people who might look up to me will be able to learn from my mistakes and not repeat them. I recognize my position as an influencer and know that it is so important to be a positive role model for all, and how, in many ways, I have failed to do so. I am eager to keep learning and keep growing as a person. This trip has been one that I will never forget. From one school of Eagles to another, thank you Edgemead for such an incredible and humbling experience.”

We’re in no way saying that this statement makes his actions justified or accepted, but we think it says a lot that he was willing to think about what he did, admit to being wrong and come up with an obviously sincere note apologizing and promising to to better in the future. Many celebrities use the, “I’m sorry to those who I offended,” statement, but never actually own up to making a mistake.

You can say a lot of things about James Charles, but we think this apology shows that he’s making great strides to grow up and be a kindhearted, accepting human being.

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These male YouTube beauty gurus are TOTALLY underrated:

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