Kim Kardashian, Jeffree Star, Makeup, Racism and Apologies

    1. Kim Kardashian
    Photo Credit: Kenny Servera/THZ Library

Jeffree Star built his career on being a talented makeup artist and drag queen and making entertaining YouTube videos that include makeup product reviews, rants and tutorials. He has also built his career, it seems, on controversy.

Last year, Kat Von Dee startled Star’s fans and her own by making the sudden and public announcement that she was severing both professional and personal ties with Star. She made an initial post on Instagram, which has since been deleted, and then uploaded a video to her YouTube, explaining her decision.

Star unsurprisingly, responded.

Kim Kardashian is the latest woman to find herself dealing with Star’s controversy.

In a recent series of  Snaps on Snapchat, Kim K promoted her new line of makeup by doing color swatches of her powder contour and highlighter, showing the color gradations on her forearm as is standard Internet practice. Her swatches, however, weren’t necessarily up to standard and she got predominantly light-hearted criticism for the posts. Twitter users commented that the products looked chalky and powdery, didn’t match her skin tone well, and even looked sloppy compared to the makeup experts who typically create such posts across the Internet.

Kardashian responded to the criticisms  with a video, in which she states: “Guys I have a huge fucking pimple right here [on her chin], I know the fucking comments about my awful swatches are stressing me the fuck out, I know. I didn’t know how to fucking swatch, get over it.”

The video, like the majority of the comments, were in fairly good humor.

That is, until Jeffree Star got himself involved.

Cosmo writes: “With over 5 million subscribers and the most viewed Kim Kardashian Contour Sticks review video on YouTube, Jeffree Star has the ability to make or break a brand.”

Star’s responses to Kardashian’s swatches weren’t necessarily meaner or nastier than other people’s, though he did make several separate Tweets about them and he does have, as mentioned above, a very significant social media following.

He said her swatched makeup looked “like chalk,” that he’s “never a fan of finger swatches” and would have to try the brand out himself for his own verdict, adding that it “doesn’t look great so far.” He encouraged his followers to watch Kardashian’s videos and give him their “honest opinions” and ended by stating: “them swatches were rough y’all!!!”

With her own army of fans, especially on social media, Kardashian was well defended against such a visible attack, the kind that could destroy her makeup line’s chances of success.

Just as they did when Kat Von Dee publicly announced that she was severing ties with Star last year, Internet sleuths were quick to resurface the “receipts” on Star’s previously controversial behavior.

Star responded to initial criticisms by clarifying his statement:

The biggest bombshell revealed during the Kat Von Dee feud was video of Jeffree Star yelling racial and sexist epithets at strangers on the street as well as being generally abusive and hateful. The main video that circulated last year, and which was resurfaced in light of Star’s new “feud” with Kardashian, is compiled of clips estimated to have been filmed between 2006 and 2009.

TRIGGER WARNING FOR RACISM AND MISOGYNY.

Some of the stand-out quotes from the videos follow:

“I win by having diamond rims, and you win by being a poor Mexican.”

“Shut up, you fucking n**** bitch!”

“You stupid ape.”

“Will you beat that n***** up for me?”

“She’s a fucking n*****! You’re a n*****, you fucking ugly-ass bitch! Fuck you, ho!”

“She’s a fat, ugly bitch, you stupid cunt!”

And he even threatens someone: “Bitch, I’ll kill you like Anna Nicole, you fucking skank bitch.”

Star has also posted videos, which seem to have been removed, of him stating that he should “splash…battery acid to lighten [a black woman’s] skintone.”

Star became defensive on Twitter about some of his racist and misogynistic comments, stating that he “is human” and that he was “a stupid 19 year old who thought it was cool to be ‘shocking’ BUT: there was no hate in [his] heart.”

He finally posted an emotional apology video to his YouTube in early June of this year addressing the video and his racist and sexist behavior.

“Those videos were 12 years ago and I look at them and it just makes me sick to my stomach because I don’t know who that person was. In these videos I say some really disgusting, vile, nasty and embarrassing things.”

He adds: “The past can never be erased. It is always going to be there.”

When it seems like he may start to make excuses for his behavior by saying that he was depressed and “angry at the world” when the videos were made he clarifies: “But does that make it okay? Absolutely not.”

Despite that, Kardashian’s defenders were quick to resurface Star’s racist past once again.

Kardashian then defended Star to her fans, drawing ire onto herself.

“I see you being so petty,” she says in a response video, “bringing up things in his past whre he was you know, negative, but he’s also apologized for those things and I get the serious deal if you say racial things but I do believe in people changing and people that apologize I will give them the benefit of the doubt.”

She stated that she appreciated Star’s honesty, she wants to be able to believe in people when they say they’ve changed “for the sake of” her children, and that she understands when people want to forget “the negative things they did in the past” because she does, too.

Star applauded Kardashian for being able to “take real feedback.”

Twitter was not having it.

One person said that they didn’t care how Kardashian felt about Star because “his apology wasn’t for her to accept.”

Others agreed, stating that as a white woman she has no place “telling us to forgive Jeffree star for being racist.”

Others pointed out the difference between having a “negative” past, as Kardashian termed it, and being overtly racist, sexist, threatening and offensive.

Kardashian, who is married to Kanye West, a black man, and who has biracial children, was further criticized for “telling [people] to ‘get over’ someone making racist statements bcuz ‘he said sorry.’”

While her first response video included the statement “I don’t defiend racist people,” Kardashian released another video Tuesday morning apologizing for defending Star and his past.

“I really wanted to apologize to you guys and my fans for defending a situation yesterday that I really didn’t know enough about. “I just feel a bit naïve and I do want to really apologize for me feeling like I had the right to say, ‘Get over it,’ in a situation that involves racism. I don’t really feel like I have the right to speak on that.”

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