- by Helen Bolter
- Thursday, November 29, 2007
- Photo by: Shirlaine Forrest
Forget all your preconceived ideas about mannequin, rapper and self-proclaimed Queen of the Internet, Jeffree Star, because they’ll all be wrong. He has just completed a sold out mini-tour of the UK and, when Gigwise caught up with him at Camden’s Barfly, he was charming, well mannered and, even more shockingly, really nice!
Jeffree is the exact opposite of what you might expect: he is articulate, über-intelligent and has his head surprisingly well screwed-on. “I don’t really look up to anyone in particular, more I respect certain character traits…. I see people like Britney and Amy Winehouse and I.phpire NOT to be like that. I see other people’s mistakes and make sure I don’t repeat them.”
If you’ve been in a cave since 2003, or are not au fait with MySpace, you’ll have missed the rise of Star’s internet-celebrity status. Boasting 25 million, yes MILLION, hits in the last two years alone, Jeffree’s MySpace page is a hub of activity, shameless self-promotion and Jeffree-worship. His t-shirts are top-sellers and, in March 2007, his single went in at Number One on the iTunes’ dance chart, out-selling Justin Timberlake’s ‘What goes around comes around’.
“There were a lot of doubters” says Star, “because there are so many internet personalities around, but my single and merch’ sales are showing that I can translate into real money”.
He’s also proving all the doubters wrong with his live act. His Camden performance was slick and he seems so comfortable and natural on stage, it’s as if he is just meant to be there. He owns the stage with an incredible presence, strutting and posing whilst rapping his sexually explicit lyrics to an adoring crowd of cunt worshippers.
At 13 years old, he discovered his mother’s make-up box and Jeffree Star was born. Even from fifth grade, the bullies were naming Star a “gaylord”, “fag” or “cunt”. Jeffree adopted the latter insult as his nickname, getting all his friends to call him Jeffree ‘Cunt’ Star and beating the bullies at their own game. Now 22, Jeffree is still doing just that – his message to the many haters and homophobes who leave abusive and often religiously motivated comments on his site, is simple: “I am who I am, so fuck them. Basically they make me yawn.”
He goes on to explain: “It’s 2007 and they are still so backward. They should get over it. I always say if you’re being negative towards someone else, then you probably just hate yourself.”
Does he feel that he’s a role model for gay people or that he is standing up for gay rights?
“Not even just gay people”, says Jeffree, “it can be the fat kid or the kid in a small town, where everyone talks shit about them. They can look at my blog or hear my lyrics and see me doing my own thing and maybe be inspired to just be themselves, or gain strength from that.”
You could be forgiven for assuming that the dazzling photos on Star’s MySpace are airbrushed because it is, surely, impossible to look that perfect? In the flesh, however, Jeffree is just as other-worldly. 6 feet tall and with day-glo fuchsia pink hair, cheek bones you could slice an artery on and perfect make-up (applied by his own fair hand), Jeffree is stunning. He is very feminine and exquisitely doll-like with, paradoxically, a lot of tattoos. The tattoos are magnificent: he has portraits of Marilyn Monroe and JonBenet Ramsey (murdered, child beauty queen) on his arms; a portrait of Princess Di on one thigh and, most interestingly, a beautiful portrait of his mother on his other thigh, which he had done to celebrate her birthday. His mother is very supportive and he speaks highly of her. Maybe the strength of this relationship is where his stability comes from?