Recently, a friend of mine compared twitter to a place where “former paragons are torn down to ruin by millions of hands fruitlessly clawing at their phone screens”. I haven’t taken that much acid so I don’t know if this is entirely true, but the sentiment rang with me for a while.
Twitter is a fine and terrible place, I freely admit.
140 characters can start a lot of drama.
What is drama, though?
1.a play for theater, radio, or television.“a gritty urban drama about growing up in Harlem”
2.an exciting, emotional, or unexpected series of events or set of circumstances.“a hostage drama”
Of course, we are focussing here on the second one, and yet, the definition of drama doesn’t seem to ring totally true, either.
If you’re anything like me, a person with a shady past, a number of years on the internet that is actually pretty high when you consider this wild frontier of the www, you may have tuned in this week to the latest from the dramz machine where in Kat Von D, America’s perenially hot and heavily tattooed babe announced the dumping of her friendship with Jeffree Star, a tall and dangerously beautiful drag queen makeup artist.
Both of the individuals involved in this drama are famous, they have more money from being heavily tattooed and highly stylized than I will ever have from a life that I have legitimately lead, studied for, from a career that helps people.
A lot of people get angry at this last point, and dismiss one or both of these people, dismiss them as crazy or ridiculous. I don’t feel that way. These two people have built careers and lives of their own on being pieces of art that happen to walk and breathe.
I’ve known Jeffree Star since the early 2003 era from a website called melodramatic.net. Jeffree was myspace famous, hundreds of followers due to having a beautiful stylized personage. Getting a like from him on your profile page was considered to be a medal of honor. I guess I had that going for me at one time.
I admired Jeffree then the same way I admire broken people now. When I see people with their beautiful hair that is so painstakingly cut with mom’s shears, with their tattoos and piercings, their stylized clothes.. they are beautiful to me.
I used to look at those people and feel like those were my people, the broken beauties. I felt a kinship with them. I don’t feel this way anymore.
As I have aged, I have become less concerned with this material aspect of life and have moved myself away from being a stylized person. I still have tattoos and piercings, of course, but my hair is no longer vibrant shades of pink or blue, and I shaved my dreadlocks off years ago.
What I still love and admire about Jeffree is that he acts as an image icon for many individuals. A lot of people get hope from him.
What I don’t like about him, is the ease with which he tears down fans, subscribers, and anyone who happens to get into his way. He has a practiced ease, the meanness in his smirk betrays this easily and readily.
Now, as I have told you about Jeffree, I will tell you about Kat.
I have a soft spot for Kat, ever since the early days of Miami Ink when she was a wild woman, drunk on whiskey and her own beauty, a tattooed pin up who was in short a mess. I have a soft spot in my heart for tattooed women with Motorhead shirts on, spilling whiskey into their purses. I have this soft spot, because that is me. Or it was.
Kat cleaned herself up, hosed herself off, and like a phoenix rose up to start her own shop, build her own brand and later, release a line of cosmetics.
Kat Von D beauty remains the only line of cosmetics that I bother to use on my face anymore. It’s the only makeup that doesn’t make me break out, that doesn’t cause a horrible rash on my skin, and happens to stay on.
Finding this out was a huge thing to me.
I was never surprised that these two beautiful people were friends. It seemed to make sense.
Earlier this week, Kat released a video:
and this was Jeffree’s response:
Now, I don’t much care either way on if these people are fighting.
But what I urge here is for people to take a step back and stop.
While we have been given two sides of a story here, we don’t have the whole story, the truth and probably won’t.
If you don’t want to support Jeffree, then don’t. Whether or not he stole artwork (and not to start some shit here, but it sounds like he did), this doesn’t discount from what he has done for people. For those broken people.
The kids who may be LGBT and look up to Jeffree.
Maybe this is something we should stop and think about.
I don’t condone Jeffree Star’s poor attitude, calculated meanness, or art theft in the slightest. I think that Jeffree has a microphone to the world and the world is listening. I hope one day he can use that voice to do more good.
As for Kat.. I feel very strongly that she stood up for something she believed in, and this is important. Being loud and vocal is a good trait to instill in young women. Right or wrong, she spoke up. That’s a wonderful thing.
What I urge here is to examine these people we put onto pedestals and examine why we feel this way about them.
I’ve seen a lot of shit slinging online from people who were not involved in this story offering opinions, taking sides, and generally engaging in what can only be called online bullying. Stop it.
Stop feeding drama.
Drama seems exciting because it is theatrics. But the thing is.. it’s not our drama.
My advice is to just sit back and examine who we choose to make our heroes and why, and to use critical thinking in assessing the reasons why we have these heroes, and if we should even call them heroes.
They’re just people.
The same sad broken people as we are.
I might be repeating myself here, but truly, just be kind to each other.
Kat Von D ended her video as a class act, saying she would be there for Jeffree if he decided to get his act together.
She offered him love.
What a fucking concept.
Now if only I could solve my problems with people who’ve fucked me over with such class.
Be kind, and stay spooky, kids!