This isn’t my usual style of post but I have way too many opinions that I want to share and open up conversation as I know that A LOT of people have been watching this series (the reaction was absolutely insane) and will also have their viewpoint that I am so eager to hear. If you haven’t heard of what I am talking about then you have probably been living under a rock for the past fortnight, but heres a quick briefing. Shane Dawson (who we will get to later) has created a 5 part youtube series where he goes into the life of Jeffree Star in an attempt to show subscribers who he is, why he has the amount of wealth that he has and if he really is the huge character that the world sees.
Jeffree Star is… well… I’m not actually quite sure how to describe him. He has a lot of titles to his name but makeup artist, makeup brand owner and youtube personality are probably his most current ones (although he has been a myspace star, musician and many other things during his time in the spotlight). What I do know about Jeffree Star however is that he is an incredibly controversial character and everyone has an opinion on him, whether thats in a positive light or not. There is no denial that he has had his moments where people are in their full right to hate on him (racial comments etc) but if you want to look into that then be my guest. Everyone has an opinion and I am so glad that so many people’s viewpoints have changed after this past fortnight because he is a lot of things but in my opinion he really isn’t a monster.
If you haven’t seen the series then please click on the links below before you read this post (and please watch them regardless of your opinion on anybody involved):
Part 5 (Trigger warning in this episode if this is something that effects you)
Personally I have always had respect for Jeffree Star and so if you are wanting this post to be all about how my opinion has changed then this isn’t for you. However despite never hating him, there are definitely points in the series that shocked me and all I want to do is talk about it. The cover photo is from the day that me and my best friend met Jeffree and Manny as I thought it was fitting (click here for the full post) but apart from that I want just my words and my opinions, as its not very often I do that. Its a long post but I do like it.
I feel like I have rambled a lot in the introduction so lets get into the actual series. I need to take a moment to fully express how much I admire Shane Dawson and his recent videos. I have actually been watching his videos on and off for a few years, particularly his conspiracy theories which I love and have always found so interesting. He has been someone in my subscription box for a long time but he has never truly stood out to me until recently, where to put it bluntly he has completely changed the youtube game. I think that most people (including me) are coming to realise that he really is the youtube god who is putting out truly award winning content that could go as far as having a Netflix documentary series (please make it happen). This post is obviously about the Jeffree Star series but if you do have time I would highly recommend the Tanacon series as well, which I also throughly enjoyed. He has given the people exactly what they want, raw content that isn’t overly edited and overly polished but instead pure information, with a bit of entertainment thrown in there as well. I love the purity of his videos, he could have quite easily taken a full filming team but instead he has captured everything he needed with a few cameras and a very small group. It makes it more real and even down to the shaking of some of the clips just makes it for me, it is just the perfect amount of ‘home video’ whilst still being thoroughly planned and exactly what youtube needs. It makes me so happy that youtube has taken almost a full circle, it started off as raw videos then moved to high production and high resolution but is now slowly regressing back to the rawness that made everyone love it in the first place.
I wasn’t really sure where to include this opinion but I do need to share it. Part 4 was my least favourite of the 5 episodes as I feel that it didn’t need a whole episode and as much as I loved the makeup lab scenes, I do feel like they could have been included alongside the warehouse part. Shane Dawson and his makeup line is something that I want to open up conversation about as I really do not know how I feel. In one breath I feel like it would be super cool to see a product from start to finish, filmed in ‘Shane Dawson’ style and it would make a nice recognition to the series that has caused such a huge reaction (plus I do think an illuminati based palette called conspiracy would just be an incredible concept). However, in another breath I do not feel that money and resources should be put into someone that doesn’t have a clear passion for makeup. I know that Shane does respect the makeup and drag world and that is not what I am trying to say, but I feel that the opportunity could be much better used on a smaller makeup artist who has dreamt of having their own range etc. I feel that although it would be a cool collaboration between the two, in the long run there would be someone who would appreciate it a lot more (both financially and purely for the experience). What is your opinion?
Jeffree is always someone that has fascinated me and for so many different reasons. His work ethic is something that I have always admired and I am a huge fan of the quality of his brand. Some ‘celebrity’ makeup brands are very highly priced and not high quality (Im looking at you Kylie Jenner) but I do own a lot of Jeffree’s products and liked them. As someone who is quite into the business side of, well everything, I was particularly blown away by the warehouse and makeup lab scenes. I can’t quite comprehend how he has built that up and I equally can’t believe that he has never shown that to his viewers. Something that I particularly liked was the filming and editing of the flat scenes in part 5. I absolutely loved how they captured ‘the same shots’ in both houses and it really did show just how far he has come in such a short space of time. The whole documentary was inspiring to me but I think having them clips side by side just shows that if he can build himself up from that flat where he had nothing and was in debt to his current house with hundreds of millions in the bank, then anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it and work for what they want.
You never know what is going on behind the camera and I think that Shane Dawson showed that behind the huge house and designer handbags there is actually someone that works their arse off for what they have. Yes… I do appreciate that a hot pink personalised Lamborghini for $350,000 is a new level of rich but he has worked for it and nobody has the right to hate on him for that in my opinion. He has built his brand from the ground, and although previous fame has certainly been the catalyst to his success he has done a bloody good job of managing and growing his empire. If I had that much money would I have hundreds of designer handbags? Probably not but good on him for spending his money on what he wants and not letting peoples opinions stop him from doing whatever the hell he likes. That is the first reason why I fell in love with Jeffree, because he has no fear to not follow the crowd and instead do whatever makes him happy, and its clear that despite all of the hate it has worked in his favour. I doubt any of his ‘haters’ are strolling around a Hollywood mansion, head to toe in Gucci and having to make the choice of what hot pink car to drive around today. I think thats my point proven.
It was incredibly cool to see behind the scenes of his day to day life but in my opinion I think that the main thing to take from the documentary is that Jeffree Star is a character and that is all he ever will be. There is a personality deeper than the hot pink wonderland and I highly doubt that he walks around acting in such a flamboyant manner all day every day, but people naturally believe that because it is all that they see on snapchat and youtube. He created a character as part of his brand and although I definitely think that there are huge parts of his real personality in the “Jeffree Star” character, it is very much an alter ego. I am incredibly happy that Shane captured snippets of what the real Jeffree is like and although there were definitely ‘character’ moments (especially in part 1), there was also moments where you could see a personality for the first time. Have you ever seen super strong and sassy Jeffree Star who isn’t phased by all the hate cry? Well now you have… and that is the main reason why I was completely hooked by this documentary.
Which leads me onto the final scene, which I watched about an hour prior to publishing this so my opinion is very raw and I’m not sure I will be able to fully articulate them as I am still in a state of shock. It was hard to watch and it was something that I didn’t expect to hear but I am so glad that Jeffree finally felt able to open up and really share some of the moments that have happened in his past. Obviously I fully appreciate that we still don’t know everything and we never will but it was heartwarming to see a different side to him for the first time and actually open up and who he was and how that has made him into who he is. I found out things that I never knew about him (such as the story of his father) and things that he has never shared (such as his scars and mental health journey). For me, I think it further explains why the character of Jeffree Star is so extravagant and flamboyant, as it was a defence mechanism to get as far away from his past and what he once was as humanly possible. It was bittersweet to hear the story of why his whole body is covered in tattoos (I thought it was purely just for artwork and something that he liked) but I do think it is a good to symbolise the change between who he is and who he was, almost like the name change to Star. Its a really little thing but I adored how the very final credit scene was ‘the world of Jeffree Star’ as opposed to ‘the secret world of jeffree Star’ after he has been so open to the camera, it did make me smile.
Jeffree Star does have a past with racism and although you can work on forgiving someone, there is no way that actions like that can be forgotten. I am very happy that it was addressed though and both Jeffree and Shane didn’t overlook the topic in search for a more positive image of Jeffree, but instead they talked about it because the bottom line is that it is the main reason why Jeffree is demonised by so many people. There is no justification for what was said (especially not blaming depression which is something that didn’t sit right with me during the conversation) however equally times do change and what was rude 13 years ago is illegal now. Im not standing up for him and I do feel like the apology video last year was solely to protect his brand but when it was first said he didn’t expect so many people to see it and I bet he certainly didn’t expect for it to stay with him for the rest of his life. Times change and people change, and I think that is what the series was trying to prove. Although whether Shane did a good job of changing your viewpoint is aways going to be a matter of personal opinion.
So that is my opinion. I am so glad that I have got to talk about this and PLEASE give me your opinion on the series as all I want to do is talk about it. The first and last episode were definitely my favourites, which is good because I think that it started and ended with a bang. I do hope that Jeffree and Shane remain close friends after this as although they are a pair that I wouldn’t have thought would be close, towards the end of the series you could definitely see the friendship shine through and both of them feeling more comfortable around the other. As far as Shane goes, I really hope that these 5 part series remain a huge part of his channel and he looks into the lives of other highly contested online personalities. I would love to see Marina Joyce but quite honestly I would watch Shane do a series like that on anyone as I think they are just so fascinating and I love his style.
As always thank you so much for reading this and always supporting me, even when I post things that are compelled out of my usual style (like this!).