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Jeffree Star is first and foremost known as a beauty guru and the CEO of Jeffree Star Cosmetics, but he's also dipped in and out of social media controversy over the past few years. He's made several appearances in high profile feuds with other members of the beauty blogging community, and is known to take on the occasional rant now and then.
But Jeffree's turning over a new leaf, and first thing he's addressing is those long-running criticisms about racist and insensitive remarks he made in his youth. In a new video log, the MUA responds to both his original remarks, as well as the fans and critics alike who've brought up his past:
"This video is something that I feel like I owe to my entire audience": and from there, Jeffree gets deep into both the personal growth he's undergone in the past decade plus, as well as the professional visibility that's made him a social media icon - and, seemingly, a target:
"This video is mainly about something that is a really fucked up subject that I’ve had to deal with for a long time. And it concerns old videos that were filmed of me twelve years ago.
As I have joined the YouTube community, I have been subjected to a lot of drama, and I get it. I am a hot topic, I have always been outspoken, I am someone that looks different, and I realize with all that is going to come the negative. Every time I get into an online conflict or confrontation or some crazy feud... a lot of stuff from my past constantly gets dragged up. It’s been happening for years.
You know what’s fucked up? The past can never be erased. It’s always going to be there, and my past has been recorded, it’s been video’d and exploited all over the internet. Those videos were twelve 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.
The person who said those horrible, vile things... that person was depressed, that person was angry at the world, that person felt like they were not accepted, that person was seeking attention. I loved fighting anger with anger, and I didn’t know any better. Does that make it okay? Absolutely not."
Jeffree then spends some time arguing that "the intent behind my words back then was not about race. Racism does not live inside of me." That's certainly a statement, but ultimately, he insists that much of his lashing out was a result of his own intense experiences of being cyberbullied and harassed: "I fought back with anger, I fought back with rage, and it’s wrong."
In an interview with Allure, Jeffree elaborates on the message behind this mea culpa:
"I said those horrible things to everyone to get a reaction. I hate the 'r-word.' I think it’s so far from who I am but I’ve said things that are racist to women of color and other people so I get it. You see one moment and it’s literally when I’m 19-years-old. I’m 31 now and I look back at this and I think it’s so sad that I spoke like that. I'm just tired of being accused of something I'm not."
While he's making amends for past comments this time, that doesn't mean that Jeffree's going to change the foundation of his personality. Rather, he just wants people to see him for the flawed, talented, and trying human being he is, and that all people are:
"It sucks to be remembered for my drama just as much as my creativity and my artistry. Look, am I never going to get into another fight on Twitter? I can’t promise that. I’m going to defend myself and my brand and stand up for my friends, but I’m going to stop responding to people who try to stir shit with me and try to be the bigger person.
Either you’re down for that and you want to grow with me, or you want the drama and you can find someone else who does that."
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