From the diaphragm and annunciate ladies. Aye, Aye… you in the back, spit out that dayum gum! In five-part harmony.
All together now.
Since I am saved, washed in the blood of the Lamb but not yet delivered from all of the sins which so easily beget me, I thought I would let Millie Jackson’s FU Symphony speak for me.
Jeffree Star. Brah... go’head. You are racist. Period. And if you follow him. You are racist too. And if you are Black and like Jeffree Star, you can’t be racist, but you can be dumb as hell for buying his products.
I don’t know much about Jeffree Star or his cosmetics line for obvious reasons - I Buy Black. But I do subscribe, follow and enjoy (on occasion) the beauty content from my fellow Black Youtubers. They seem to be in a bit of a tizzy about some Twitter beef between YouTubers Jeffree Star and Jackie Aina.
Jackie Aina was blocked by Jeffree Star.... blah, blah, blah
Uh huh. Oh hell naw... Jeffree Star called her a rat.
A lil bit of background for those who are unfamiliar with the parties involved. Jeffree Star from what I could gather got his start on MySpace as a singer/songwriter. Fast forward, his brand and following is HUGE - he now has a cosmetics line. Jackie Aina, in her own right, with millions of YouTube followers who subscribe to watch her makeup tutorials, is dominating in a space that is defying beauty norms concerning women of color on the video platform that is riddled with colorism.
Mr. Star is no different than most “influencers”… black, white, brown, yellow, freckle-faced or red-bone; the only color influencers care about is green.
So why is anyone surprised that Star, described as a "misogyNOIRist, racist, elitist, violent, and a problematic mess", has made racial comments… Apologized… then attempts to drag a fellow YouTuber who happens to be a Black woman who stated that does not prefer to use his products because he has made racist comments? Forget that!
The real question: Why does the Black community continue to condone and financially support this type of behavior?
One answer: Lack of consciousness.
If you have a conscious, you would literally consider how money spent purchasing Jeffree Star’s products as a personal preference or to review on YouTube is used to firm the foundation on which his platform sits.
Another answer: YouTubers, including WOC, condone this mess for “views”.
Black YouTubers want what all YouTubers what…
We want sponsors. We want advertising revenue. We want free product to review. The only way to make that happen is to make partnering with a vlogger worth a major brand’s time and money. Businesses partner with bloggers/vloggers who have thousands of followers and thousands of “views” – people watching our YouTube videos. *As with all things, there are exceptions to every rule; small platforms can land collaborations with leading labels too – we ain’t talking about them right now.
To get the “views”, common practice among YouTubers is to create content that people will watch. This often times means talking about what is “trending”.
Trending can come in the form of a popular “challenge”, a popular hashtag, or simply by reviewing a a popular product. Most are trying to become popular by following the crowd. That has got to be exhausting.
Bottom line, people only treat you the way you allow them to treat you. These racist allegations are not new to my understanding, but what has Jeffree Star lost upon being called out? Not a dayum thing. So what incentive does he have to change his behavior if you continue to buy his products or watch his videos?
Beauty vloggers have the collective power to silence the Jeffree Star brand by creating more content that features Black owned cosmetic lines.
Instead of tweeting about being disappointed because a popular YouTuber is racist – do the logical thing and STOP BUYING THEIR PRODUCTS AND STOP WATCHING THEIR VIDEOS. Word.
It sounds so simple, yet getting Black people to buy black is like pulling teeth. So while you are pissed off and I have your attention, here are some BLACK OWNED Beauty Brands you should consider. The first seven products are participants in the Ultimate Black Love Gift Guide, a coupon book with 70 discount codes that do not expire until February 12, 2018 from Black Owned Business. Get your copy for $3.99 here.
Liquid Courage 30% off - discount only found in the Ultimate Black Love Gift Guide
Viola Fox 20% off - discount only found in the Ultimate Black Love Gift Guide
Shie by Shakiara 30% off - discount only found in the Ultimate Black Love Gift Guide
Darker Shade of Ebony
20% off orders of $20+ - discount only found in the Ultimate Black Love Gift Guide