Beauty Influencer Kameron Lester Fears For His Life After Revealing Jeffree Star “Used” & “Manipulated” Him
Jeffree Star is no stranger to controversy – heck, there’s something new or something unearthed from his past that comes up every few months. This time, news of the beauty moguls problematic behaviour comes from a 23-year-old model who has worked with Star in his campaigns. 23-year-old Kameron Lester, who is a micro-influencer, has more than 56,000 Instagram followers and has ties to huge beauty YouTubers like Star, James Charles, and Shane Dawson. But, in a recent Instagram live session, Lester decided to take the leap and call our Star.
Addressing his choice to talk about the issue through a live session in Instagram, Lester clarified that he wanted to speak his truth, in a raw, unedited session that would not be monetized (he would have been able to make money from the video if he had posted a video on Youtube instead). In his almost half-hour-long live session (that is now on his Instagram profile) titled,
“Fear and Manipulation within the beauty community. Speaking my personal truth.”
Lester talks about why he no longer supports Jeffree Star, Jeffree Star Cosmetics and Shane Dawson – and it’s a real journey ya’ll so get ready for this.
Lester starts by explaining why he has not spoken up before. In a shaky voice, he explains that he has been fearful of using his platform to speak up for himself. However, he realised that he could not sit back and let the silence stretch on. He reiterates that what he’s about to talk about is his side of the story,
Everyone else has their own truth and they might perceive things differently and thats okay but this is my truth and this is how I perceive it and im literally shaking guys this is just so scary to even do um this is my truth.”
Lester explains that he once modelled for Jeffree Star Cosmetics, back in 2019. The campaign was for Star’s “Magic Star” concealer and setting powder. However, after the campaign and more recently, he’s been feeling like “something was off”. For over a year now, the young makeup talent has had to deal with stress, paranoia and fear over what would happen if he were to speak out against the powerhouse that is Jeffree Star. Nevertheless, Lester explains that while he is thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of something with Jeffree Star Cosmetics, he felt “tokenised” because Star failed to deliver on his promise to support his career.
The first thing was, you know, we were cool. I didn’t get any bad vibes from Jeffree. I did a campaign with him and I was very grateful – I am a very grateful person. I always will be grateful for the opportunities and the connections that I benefitted from Jeffree Star and Jeffree Star Cosmetics. But there were so many cons that it outweighed the pros.”
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Hi Babes! 💓😭🤯🙌🏾I had my FIRST EVER CAMPAIGN WITH @jeffreestarcosmetics and this has been huge for Me! I’ve only been doing makeup for 1 year now and the journey has been unreal! I want to thank you guys for always pushing me and supporting since day one. Every one of you are piece to my puzzle. My goal in this beauty community is to be one of the biggest boys in beauty and represent in a positive light always. Thank you @jeffreestar for this and for all the love/support. 😘 THIS IS MAJOR AND THANK YOU!!!!!! 😭🎉❤️ #magicstar #blueblood #jeffreestar #jeffreestarcosmetics #benefitcosmetics #benefitbrows #benefitclubpink #morphe #morphebabe #fluidity #champion #period #doseofcolors #buxom #lauramercier #tatchasilkcanvas #tatcha #hoolabronzer #tartecosmetics #abhxamrezy #anastasiabeverlyhills #blueseason #kameronlester
Lester went on to talk about the cons of being a part of Jeffree Star’s circle. The first instance that he brought up was when he joined Star in Houston to collaborate with Rich Lux. Along with them were a few other people and they were in a Louis Vuitton store when Star brought up James Charles.
There was an instance that [Jeffree] like asked me if I like James or not. And I was just so shocked – he was just like ‘do you like James?,’ like ‘do you like him’ and I was just so shocked and uncomfortable because he was such like a big powerhouse. I was uncomfortable, there’s people around me, and he was so blunt – just out of nowhere asked me ‘do you like James?'”
Lester went on to explain that Star’s random question put him on the spot because Lester has been on the receiving end of support from Charles since the beginning of his career in makeup.
James helped me with my career when I first got into the beauty space and tell my HIV story – like, he’s been very supportive of me.”
I fight everyday as a gay black boy that’s HIV positive to stand on my own and to have peace in my life. I will no longer be silenced or used as a stage prop. This is my real life. I am reminded every morning when I take my HIV Medication that I got into makeup to give myself
— Kam Lester (@kamm_lester) June 16, 2020
Lester went on to tell Star that, while he may not agree 100% with everything that Charles did, he had no problem with the ‘Instant Influencer’ host. But, it turns out that Star was not happy with his response. Star allegedly responded with,
“Well, you don’t f****** owe him forever.”
And that was what it was like for Lester for a lot of his interactions with Star.
I just felt like it was never a friendship, it was never a friendship in the beginning to start with, it was always just something like I was the kind of like the token black kid.”
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Just having some fun dancing with @jeffreestar and living our best lives! 💓🤣🔥😊ADD ME on @tiktok (@ kamlester) ———————————————— Leave a 🌈🌈🌈 in the comments! ———————————————— #justhavingfun #jeffreestar #jeffreestarcosmetics #tiktok #boysinmakeup #makeup #morphexjeffreestar #morphebabe
But why is he not supporting Shane Dawson?
Turns out, not long after this episode with Star, Lester overheard Dawson’s call with Star. During the call, Dawson was heard “cursing” about James Charles.
I remember Shane Dawson called and he was going off about James Charles and … just like cursing James out. And I was just kind of taken back, because I’ve never seen Shane Dawson like that and he was just going in on James. From there, I knew Shane Dawson wasn’t really the person he was perceived [to be] online.”
Lester continued by saying that, in retrospect, he should have known something “was brewing with James” after what happened with Star and Dawson. He wasn’t wrong because three months later, James Charles and Tati Westbrook had a very public falling out. As a result, Charles went on to lose 3 million subscribers in the course of a few short days. Despite the fact that the massive falling out happened over a year ago, Star has brought up the scandal on numerous occasions afterwards. As for why he didn’t say anything, Lester shared,
“I stayed silent because I wanted to protect myself. I wanted to protect my platform. Everyone told me not to say anything. Everyone was like ‘It would be a crazy move, it would destroy your career, every brand he works with you’re not going to be able to work with. You’re not going to have money,’ this and that. I was scared.”
Was his fear irrational? Not really. Considering how the combined number of subscribers that Star and Dawson – who is Star’s most frequent collaborator and with whom he designed their highly in demand Conspiracy palette – totals over 41 million. Lester has almost 60,000 subscribers on his Youtube channel.
Another instance where Kameron was made uncomfortable was at an event for Mmmmitchell, a makeup artist who works closely with Star. At the event, Lester mustered up the courage to talk to Star about his issues with Jakie Aina, another prominent figure in the beauty community on YouTube. Jackie has called out Star’s racist behaviour in the past and Kameron wanted for him to address it and apologise about it.
I brought it up to [Jeffree] and said, ‘It would really say a lot if you could apologize to Jackie and the community.’ He kind of shut it down and said, ‘She doesn’t deserve a f****** spot on my platform’. Which is understandable, and it is his platform, and he has all rights to do whatever he wants to do on his platform. I just left it at that, but I was definitely hurt as a Black boy and as a Black influencer who loves Jackie, that he was not trying to grow or amend that disconnect or wrongdoing he has done.”
Lester went on to say that it “got to a point” where he felt like he was “being used as a Black boy.” Lester said that he would defend Star on Twitter but never got the same treatment in return. When people went after Lester, Star would like some of the responses but never actually supported Lester.
I will no longer just be the Black boy that is there to make you look good or speak up for you, because it’s not reciprocated.”
It was the same for Lester with Dawson as well, who once shared his content but never again afterwards, after having made up the “quota” for black people representation on his profile and as a way to earn Lester’s silence.
I was grateful, but I felt like it was kind of to silence me and to say ‘We’re going to keep giving you bread crumbs and manipulate you and hold you by a string so that you stay quiet and you never speak your truth and talk about that situation in the hotel.”
Kameron says he never spoke out about the experience before now out of fear. “I fear for my life. I was so paranoid and so scared of this man,” he explained, talking about Jeffree.
I just want to clarify that I was on IG live and that was unedited and raw emotions. I did fear Jeffree that much. I was that paranoid. That was my honest emotions. He’s very powerful and I was that scared of him. Everything I saw behind the scenes terrified me and traumatized me https://t.co/duHLkg9KKu
— Kam Lester (@kamm_lester) June 11, 2020
“Moving forward, I will no longer just be the token black person. I will no longer just be the black boy that is there to make you look good or speak up for you, because it’s not reciprocated.” After the release of Kameron’s video, neither Jeffree nor Shane have responded to the issue. However, a voice memo that Jeffree Star allegedly sent to Kameron has been making its rounds on Twitter. In the voice memo, Jeffree is heard saying,
HAHAH Gurl, how much **** did you smoke today? I told you to grow out your facial hair and I checked on you after your breakup – it’s actually the last thing we spoke about. That is the most craziest, manipulative, most insane thing I’ve ever heard in my whole entire life … um … I know you’re upset – your boyfriend left you; he stopped loving you. Your roommate moved out … um … you attacked Fenty, they didn’t respond and now people are coming for you for supporting me so you tryna flip the script, to make up a bunch of lies, to make me the devil is so boring. Girl. Cute goatie, come back to earth.”
voice memo Jeffree Star allegedly sent to Kameron Lester following his IGTV video wherein he publicly cut ties with Jeffree. what are your thoughts? pic.twitter.com/ToL55mCOnI
— here for the tea (@HereForTheTea2) June 15, 2020
With the very personal and relevant details brought up in the voice memo, it’s not hard to believe that it was sent to Kameron/in reference to the situation with Kameron. In his Instagram live session, Lester clarifies that his intention is not to “bring Jeffree and Shane down” but to do what he feels he should have been doing from the start – which is to stop supporting someone who is known to have multiple troubling past accounts of racism.
I am not saying he is racist, but I do feel that race is involved in it. I benefited him and I benefitted from him, so it was a tic for tac situation, but moving forward I will no longer be the token Black person.