For those who have known me for the past couple of years, you may notice a large shift in my likes, dislikes, appearance, personality, language, and even my mannerisms. This shift is due to a couple different factors, one of the biggest factors is Jeffree Star (for those who don’t know him, look it up), and the second-factor being drag queens and the LGBTQ2+ community.
To understand these changes, you must know where I am coming from. Growing up, I was introverted, bullied, and being a bully, fat kid with no friends, low self-esteem and no confidence what so ever.
I missed middle school to go to a special school, for children with discipline problems (if you knew me back then, that is an understatement), and was thrown in high school, feeling like I was mentally behind 4 years (maybe even more) which didn’t help any of my issues. I graduated high school being labeled as an outcast, which this attitude continued throughout my 4 years at community college, where I had more interactions with my instructors than my peers. I then moved to Lethbridge to continue my education, still having the same issues including issues of mental health and illness (which didn’t help).
During my education at the University of Lethbridge, I slowly began to focus more on my mind than anything and made a few temporary friends through my classes (those of which I don’t even talk to anymore).
On May 29th, 2018, I made a bet with my mother that if I could lose 50 LBS by December could go with them to Mexico (free of charge), I won the bet and could focus a bit on my appearance, and my mental health, but it wasn’t enough.
Early in November 2018, I came across a Facebook post of a Genderless male dressed as a female known as Jeffree Star that the world was obsessed with, and decided to check it out. My first thought after watching one of his videos was “A train wreck: horrible to watch but you couldn’t stop looking”. So, in the interest of my own curiosity, I check out the Shane Dawson series: The Secret World of Jeffree Star, to which I found it quite fascinating, and my; what my parents and family call my obsession began.
Here was this fashionable, androgynous, flamboyant individual that had so much confidence that to some may be confused as ego, and oh ya he was rich (but I wasn’t concerned with that.
In the first episode of the Shane Dawson series, I enjoyed that fact that Jeffree he had so much controversy and negative opinions about him, but that didn’t stop him from living his life and being himself (which I have always struggled with) which is totally relatable in my eyes.
The second Episode, allowed the viewers to get a glimpse of the controversy, negative opinions and labels that people have continuously applied to him, which (again) I could definitely relate to. The labels that I perceived prevented me from growing and hindered a lot of who I was and what I could accomplish in life. Being told that you can’t do this because your too fat, too dumb, because of your mental illnesses; it was self-limiting in all aspects.
The third episode showed a humorous side although Jeffree is a make-up mogul, he doesn’t take himself too seriously, and enjoys having fun, making jokes and again just having the confidence to be himself while ignoring all the negative shit that could (but doesn’t) consume his life. He was able to show his caring and giving side by buying his friends gifts, which is something I always strive to do (whether I can afford it or not).
The final episode is where I really established a connection with Jeffree star. In the final video Shane and Jeffree visit Jeffree’s old stomping grounds, to which during a moment, Jeffree reveals his struggles with mental health. His father committed suicide when he was 10, and because Jeffree was so different and felt so alone, he started cutting himself as a coping device. He would wear bagging clothing that would cover up his entire body so that people couldn’t see the scars, he continued cutting himself, and used tattoos as not only an art piece but as a way to hide the scars, almost as a way to deal with his mental health issues, where he successfully stopped cutting him about 4 years ago.
Although I wasn’t cutting myself and I didn’t have a parent commit suicide, I too struggle with similar issues of mental health and felt alone, which made him even more relatable. Here a person who had so much trauma in his past, and was able to conquer it while having the courage to live as their true authentic self which he reminds people through social media. For example, Jeffree’s snapchat or rants (as he would call them) offered so much guidance and inspiration of how to deal with one’s problems in life, Jeffree’s snapchats have talked about so many issues that people face every day or he discusses things that people are too scared to talk about from removing toxic people from your life, how to be fearless and take a risk, how to be a better person by blocking out all the negative things that people say, the importance of self-care (if you want more examples, to check out his snapchat) these videos gave me hope, inspiration and guidance that look forward to it every morning, I even went to the extent to draw the Jeffree star Cosmetics logo on my pill bottle lid that contains my anti-depressants I dubbed it my Daily dose of Jeffree, which served as a reminder to deal with those mental health issues daily, or when I am struggling at the gym, I imagine Jeffree pulling up in one of his cars and coming to my gym, which somehow gives me a second wind to keep going. I have enough thought of to go as far as to think about getting a Jeffree star Approved logo tattoo symbolizing that I am Jeffree Star approved.
For the people who know me before this all started, I never wore make-up, and the only times I did wear make-up was for my graduations. But that has all changed because of Jeffree Star and the connections I feel I have with him, I started getting into makeup and caring about my appearance (although my parents say different and think I am wasting my money and time). When I first started with makeup it was just to have more of a connection with Jeffree, but it became so much more. When I used make-up, I started to feel like I could be creative again (which was something I was always told I was) it was colourful art that I created and wore on my face, but then I started to get a lot of compliments and I liked the positive attention I was getting from world. When I wore makeup, my face looked snatched but my clothing didn’t match, so once again I was focusing on improving my appearance, thereby improving my confidence and self-esteem, and before I knew it I was watching Jeffree star make-up tutorials and entering the make-up world. When I went to Calgary on multiple occasions I made it a point to stop at Sephora to buy and explore the wide array of products and colours that I could use. Growing up fat, I could never go into a store that skinny people were shopping at, I had go to special plus size stores like Pennington’s or Addition-Elle to find clothes which made me excluded. This was the first time that I could go into the same store as skinny people and purchase the same items, I felt included.
As my makeup world began to expand, I found myself going to Sephora or other make up stores and being able to talk to people about make-up or brands without feeling dumb or isolated that I didn’t know what I was talking about (which I felt before as I didn’t know about pop culture or things of that nature so I felt like I couldn’t contribute to the conversation so why try)
Because of this new-found knowledge and confidence, it opened up more doors than I ever could have imagined. In December of 2018, I went to a baby shower where I was able to take the confidence and knowledge to expand my social circle. I met my partner in crime Alysen, and we talked makeup and Jeffree star, which lead to talking about drag queens, to which from that she invited me to a drag race viewing party, where my social circle was flipped on its head. Through this one interaction that was first built upon topics of Make-up and Jeffree star, I met Jorgen, Vance, which lead to meeting, Pam, Sheena, Hannah, Lane, and opened me up to the world of drag queens and the LGBTQ2+ community.
In the world of drag queens, you have these male performers or fashionistas who dress up and perform as females, creating an alter ego. The confidence that they displayed was so admirable and desired. These queens had the most amazing, colourful outfits, displaying these wild personalities, they had their own slang (henny, girl, yasss, yass queen, ect…) and mannerisms that I slowly started to absorb it (despite the objection of my family and parents) it brought out my flamboyant side, a side that I was always afraid to show.
Through this newly found social circle, personality reveals and newly adapted mannerisms, I felt like I was a part of a community, liked I belonged to something, which one something I always observed but never could obtain till now.
New doors were opening for me, doors that I didn’t even know existed. Because of the confidence that I was gaining and with the idea of Jeffree by my side, I took a risk and applied myself to the professional world. I applied for a job of Master trainer of the Inquiring minds workshop for the mental health commission of Canada. And much to my shock they gave me the position (without even an interview). This new position opened more doors, where I was sent to Toronto (on their dime) to train and realized that I was the youngest trainer, while everyone else had master degree, PhD’s and years of experience, this gave me the ultimate confidence boost, showing me that I had a point of view and something to offer.
Because of all these changes, I have been able to grow personally, mentally, socially, professionally and gain strength and confidence in myself, to which I am now influencing others. I have connected with more people and built relationships using topics of Jeffree star, Make-up and drag queens, than I ever have in my whole life. Even to the extent that people come to me to talk pop culture, Drag Queens, Jeffree Star, and even ask for make-up advice (which makes me feel really good like I have something to offer or show)
Some people have called these changes and mannerism things like “just a phase or not necessary” but without these influences (or obsessions by some — you know who you are) I wouldn’t have grown as much as I have this past year, so… Thank-you Jeffree.
Listed below are some of my favorite Jeffree star snapchats: