Okay. This is 100% personal opinion and I am stipulating that at the start because this is going to sound like a really negative post.
Usually I don’t like singling anyone out specifically because… while I can be negative person overall, I don’t want to be a bully. I just want to be realistic about the world. With all that being said, there are some things I wish to say.
The internet has been ‘abuzz’ the past week, since Youtube ‘Sensation’ Shane Dawson dropped the trailer for his series titled ‘The Beautiful World of Jeffree Star’ and oh my goodness, do I have a lot to say.
First and foremost: make no mistake – this is an advertisement. This series, each ‘epsiode’ (the first of which that has been viewed more than 13 million times already) that Shane Dawson has put together, is a bought and paid for infomercial by Jeffree Star.
Jeffree Star is renowned for being a tumultuous, racist asshole who stirs up drama, treats people like trash and stays relevant by creating chaos on the internet. I’m sure he’s extremely self-aware of his image and the character he portrays on the web and I bet he wanted people to see ‘another side of him’, a ‘softer side of him’. What’s the best way to do that? Stage a friendship with one of the most popular Youtubers ever… one known for being ‘down to earth’ and ‘honest’.
Okay, now let’s get into the nitty gritty of my thoughts.
I don’t understand why Shane Dawson has 22 million subscribers. I really don’t. While he comes across as a nice enough dude, but I really don’t buy his ‘schtick’. He plays himself out to be this ‘down to earth, honest, self-deprecating, falsely humble’ dude who frequently says he’s not wealthy (those is estimated net worth is greater than 10 million) and pretends as though the things he’s doing he’s not making money for. He’s like the guy next door. He says something and people eat it up because he just seems so likable. But honestly, I’ve never understood it. He’s the king of click-bait and it all seems like a persona, and not real. (That’s a 100% personal opinion)
Shane has this massive platform in which he could really do something amazing with. Instead, he’s the guy who makes fat jokes in front of a youtuber who’s famous for her struggles with an eating disorder, who’s clearly still struggling with her eating disorder. He frequently uses his platform for showcasing problematic youtubers who have made their millions on the backs of taking advantage of vulnerable, naive viewers that don’t realize what genuine assholes they are. (Jake Paul, Jeffree Star, Tana Mongeau and so on and so forth)
And of course, this is my speculation, but I am betting that each one of those series’ and episodes he’s created for these problematic youtubers were all bought and paid for. Think about it. Just using this Jeffree Star series as an example… we’re supposed to believe that Shane Dawson has been following Jeffree Star around for 9 months to make a video series for him… for free? Why? Jeffree Star isn’t that interesting of a subject that spending nine months making a web series for free seems worth it.
Shane just happened to make a Conspiracy theory video about a Youtuber, who had never told her true story, that just so happened to fall in line with her book coming out? Well that’s either a coincidence, or a bought and paid for advertisement for her to publicize her book. And what better place to publicize your book than on a popular Youtube platform with more than 22 million followers…
Back to Jeffree.
Jeffree Star is a problem. He’s racist. He’s a bully. He’s made his millions on the backs of treating people like shit and then saying over and over and over again ‘I’m staying out of it!’. H claims the discrimination card and then he discriminates. I remember when he referred to women as gorillas. I remember hearing him use the N word on camera. People say he still likes to use that word. Jeffree has been using Youtube for years to systematically destroy ‘the beauty community’, and take down anyone who he perceives to be a threat to his youtube success or to compete with his cosmetic sales.
Literally, if you go through his ‘feuds’ to see who he’s tried to ‘ruin’ over the years, he has no one left but Shane for which to collaborate with. This is his last ditch option to make himself look like a good guy.
And, if you see how the first episode of this series has been reviewed in the media, (and I mean real, legit media) all people can focus on is “is there a softer side of Jeffree Star we’ve never seen before? No. There is not a softer side to Jeffree Star. But, by media stopping to ask that question, he’s achieved exactly what he wanted with this series. This is an act being played out for a camera to try and make Jeffree Star seem like a nice person. Because if he’s a nice person people will follow him on youtube and buy his products thinking he’s not the asshole that he’s always been. Because if Shane Dawson, the boy next door, makes Jeffree look like a good guy then it has to be true, right?
Much like Instagram influencers only posting a perfectly curated portrayal of ‘a beautiful life’ to their instagram pages, this series is a perfectly curated portrayal of who Jeffree Star wants you to think that he is. He knew when the camera was filming and he knew who he had to portray himself to be whilst the camera was filming.
Make no mistake about it – this series is an infomercial and I’m just not buying it.
**Point of note: I have NO PROBLEM with Shane making these bought and paid for series for his youtube channel. If he wants to make that money, good for him. But, I think that he should be being honest with his audience. Transparency is something lacking on Youtube… especially with those who have larger followings.