Beauty Guru Drama: Jeffree star vs Manny Mua, Laura Lee, Gabrial Zamora and Nikita Dragun
We are all drama llamas
As a beauty community, drama intrigues us. Many channels have profited upon the desire to ‘expose and report’ all the juicy gossip that floats around the beauty community. These ‘drama channels’ will investigate and comment on all the mishaps that surround YouTube ‘Gurus’. Maybe it is our voyeuristic nature or it is a case of enjoying other people’s epic mishaps (I talked about Schadenfreude in my Body Shaming post). We love it when the rich and famous fall off their gold pedestals. The public revels in this fall from grace as they see people ‘with everything’ prove that they are like us, human and open to making mistakes.
Why do beauty gurus bring so much drama?
Like anything that plays out on social media, beauty guru’s open themselves to a certain degree of public scrutiny. They base their career’s upon their image and what they represent; presenting a lifestyle for fans to identify with, admire and covet. They create a platform for people to relate to, or in most people’s cases, aspire to recreate.
When I first started watching YouTube; void of ‘beauty guru obsession’ sucked me in. I admired people like Jaclyn Hill, Tatti Westbrook and Zoella Suggs.
After a few years, I began to grow tired of the continual pushing of makeup products and bland content. I came to realise that these gurus did not represent my life, nor did I aspire to be like them. I now choose to follow more lifestyle vlogs and have a few lesser known, but still highly talented makeup artists on my subscribed list.
The Queen Bee of Beauty Guru’s
One guru that I did not watch, but always followed purely for the drama that surrounded him was the infamous Jeffree Starr. As a person, he intrigues me with his outspoken attitude that is different from my character. He has always courted controversy; with famous feuds with Too Faced and Kat Von D played out on social media for all to see.
Jeffree Starr is undoubtedly one of the most talked and hyped of our Beauty Gurus. His makeup company is goingfrom strength to strength and I can personally recommend his liquid lipsticks. After years of aggressive outbursts and a spectacularly famous falling out with friends Manny Mua and Laura Lee. It seemed that things had calmed with him and he has started to open up more to YouTubers like Shane Dawson and reveal more of the ‘real’ Jeffree. It appeared things could not get any better for him.
The picture on Twitter
A lesser-known beauty guru, Gabrial Zamora, shot into the beauty communities attention with a photo of him and his friends. Manny Mua, Laura Lee and Nikita Dragun were flipping their middle fingers to the camera with the caption ‘B**** is bitter because without him we’re doing better’. Manny and Laura liked the post before it caused a storm of drama. The whole beauty community knew that they were referring to Jeffree.
As fans of Jeffree swamped Zamora’s Twitter in anger at this statement. Gabriel retaliated by bringing Jeffree’s racist past into question. This was a bold move that came to bite him on the behind further down the line.
‘Imagine Stanning a racist? I could never’
(stan = STalker + fAN, originally from the Eminem song Stan)
This opened up the floodgates for people to find something to counteract the accusations and they found it in multitudes. Gabriel Zamora himself, exposed by his own racist tweets from 2012 calling a person the N word. Then, Laura Lee’s tweets from 2012 surfaced, including many racist and body shaming comments. Perhaps, the worst of all were the comments found on Nikita Dragun’s page about child abuse. The community was quick to turn on these three guru’s, as well as Manny and unsubscribed in their thousands.
The shady bunch
This group of YouTuber’s were losing subscribers in their droves. Nicknamed ‘The Shady Bunch’ by people in the community and calls for apologies and explanations were circling around the web like predators hunting their prey. Gabriel Zamora was the first to bring out the apology banner; apologising for the photo and apologising personally to Jeffree for what he said. He also made an extremely revealing tweet saying “Sorry Jeffree Star. It has been an eye-opening 24 hours” which hints that there is more going on behind the scenes.
This comes just after guru Manny Mua disassociated himself with Gabriel’s words and posting that the group were not bullying, but simply recreating a Kim Kardashian photo. He goes on to say that the photo was nothing more than fun and he had not read the caption.
Was he alone?
Having, weighed these tweets up, I find it hard to believe that Gabriel acted alone and the rest of the crew were innocent. My theory that the group were in fact, being malicious and did direct it at Jeffree is further cemented in one of Jeffree Stars Snapchats. Jeffree is angry at the fact only one of the four had apologised. He goes on to call Gabriel a ‘sacrificial lamb’. This indicates that Gabriel took the full blame for the incident but he did not work alone.
I highly doubt after going on a night out with three friends who dislike a particular person that they would not talk about him. Gabriel would have to be a messed up person to simply put the picture up that implicated three other people in feelings of hate.
Unfortunately, the company you keep can influence your perception of others. Imagine you did not fully know a person but your best friends hated them, would that sway your opinion?
Tell me your truth?
This theory was partially proven when Gabriel Zamora posted a video that would finally answer some of the questions behind the incident. In his video ‘My Truth’ he explained that, although he acted alone in posting the malicious photo and caption. The feelings of hatred where there for Jeffree. Yet, the other three worried it would not look good from a PR point of view.
Gabriel then went onto target Manny Mua, indicating that he is not as sweet as he presents himself to be. He details the incidents after that tweeted picture and reveals some of the shady actions of Manny towards others, including his best friend Laura Lee. He also goes to say that although Laura acts out of stupidity, she is not malicious, unlike Manny.
Gabriel also discussed how he apologised privately to Jeffree Star who told his side of the story of the ‘Jeffree/Manny/Laura breakup’. He insinuates that he is now better informed on the situation and now questions Manny’s version of the dispute. At this point, Gabriel points out how manipulative Manny is; throwing his own best friend Laura under the bus when the whole Jeffree split happened. Manny appearing to walk away with little damage to his career while Laura suffers.
In the spotlight
Being in the public eye has its perils. As a guru/influencer, you present yourself up for public scrutiny. Knowing how quick people are to judge you and your behaviour; why do they do it? There are people that thrive on the attention and acclaim that life in the spotlight holds. Any blogger, YouTuber, actor, writer etc. will tell you that the one thing they desire for exposure for what they do and congratulated for it.
Some people, not having the recognition of the whole world, might seek to expose themselves to the general public to gain acclaim. This might be through being a controversial figure or by shock value. After all, negative attention is still attention. Perhaps Gabriel saw this as an opportunity, while Jeffree Star was in such demand, to escalate his own career. I feel that we will never learn the truth.
Social media can bring out both the best and worst of humanity. On the negative side, people can never run away from the things they have posted, they will always be there in one form or another. It enables a larger amount of people to judge you for who you are and for your actions; this can be both beneficial and soul destroying. It can also show how human we are; making mistakes, having disputes and losing friends or respect for someone.
The sad part of friendship
The sad thing about friendships is that they are not etched stone; you cannot predict the changes that could occur. Having been around for Thirty Seven years I have learnt that even some of the most amazing friendships can become estranged. As a person we are constantly evolving and changing and serving our own needs in life; sometimes friendship will suffer as a result.
I personally feel sadness for all the guru’s involved, particularly Jeffree who did not start anything. People’s friendships destroyed right in front of the public’s eyes which makes me sad. These people will never view each other in the same way again; it may strengthen some bonds but sever others. Losing the gift of friendship is not a good situation.
Your actions have consequences
‘You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequence of your choice’. Perhaps Gabriel should have considered the consequences before posting the picture up on Twitter. Maybe his friends should have dealt with the situation differently. This one picture on Twitter has caused so many consequences for the four guru’s involved and for Jeffree Star as well.
We have all been in a similar position; you post furiously on social media after you have felt angry or disgusted by an incident. As a species, we are so quick to react to the environment around us and things that happen. I have found myself in this position many times and have sometimes suffered due to my negative reaction. I do not believe that there is a human on this planet that has not done something similar to Gabriel.
Whether it is posting an angry Facebook status, making jokes about someone you do not like or judging people without knowing the whole situation. The consequences of your actions are there forever but that does not mean you cannot learn from them and grow as a person.
Mistakes are lessons
I hope that a valuable lesson can be learn from these mistakes. The whole situation should make us question what our core beliefs and values are. What lengths would you go to for notoriety and acclaim? Would you intentionally hurt other people? Would you sacrifice your friendships?
I personally believe we should focus on being both kind to ourselves and to others. We need to be compassionate enough to realise that mistakes will happen and the consequences should teach us a lesson.
What do you think of all this guru drama? Should gurus refrain from posting things about friendships on social media? I would love to know your thoughts in the comments.
Ciao for now beauties xx