I never thought I would opt to take a bullet of makeup directly to the face, but that is unfortunately the better of two evils when you live in the same reality as a racist, narcissistic, and sexually abusive beauty blogger.
In today’s episode of Vile People Doing Increasingly Vile Things, beauty YouTuber Jeffree Star has teamed up with Beretta, a firearms manufacturer, to create the Jeffree Star Cosmetics gun. Yes, actually, the influencer and one-time owner of a now-defunct brand called “Lipstick Nazi” who has also publicly joked about splashing battery acid on a Black woman is now in possession of a personalized gun that appears to have been dipped in a tin of bubblegum pink paint, and the makeup-guru-to-gun-salesman pipeline is now unfortunately a thing.
Upon seeing this tweet, I was sincerely hoping that a “cosmetics gun” might just shoot pigmented powder out of a barrel at my face somehow (like this Homer Simpson creation) to cover my blemishes, or perhaps that this was another of episode of that Sacha Baron Cohen show, which convinced actual Republican congressmen that giving guns to toddlers was a good idea. But no, that is a very real, lethal gun, and someone with 16 million subscribers and a history of violent threats is feeding it to his followers like a baby bottle of purple drank.
Star unveiled the “one of one” pink pistol in a 13-minute video on YouTube, in which he travels decked out in Louis Vuitton to Tennessee to visit the Beretta factory (which I’m willing to bet is extremely not unionized). On his way to the facility, Star yaps, “If you don’t know what Beretta is, baby, it’s one of the most iconic manufacturers or firearms in the world,” and he also boasts that the company “supplied weapons for every major European war!” Upon unboxing the firearm as if it were the latest KKW fragrance, and not an actual weapon, Star squeals that this day is a “literal dream:” “...like Christmas, New Years, and my birthday put together.” Wow, happy for you, and deeply sad for anyone affected/murdered by this firearm.
Lethal weapon-loving conservatives are sure to message this new product as an aspirational future worth pursuing: Imagine a better world, where every kid fulfills their sense of patriotic duty with a customizable gun!! The last thing we need in the middle of a mass shooting epidemic is a concerted effort to pinkify the manufacturing of guns. Next thing we know, the She-EOs will have pronounced the gun part of their daily self-care routine. First, collagen peptides in their daily green juices; next, twenty minutes of positive affirmations and the manifestation of a lot of fucking money, as they tuck their diamond-studded guns into their Chanel bags. We’re alive and ready to tackle the patriarchy!
If only we could dip rising gun violence and death tolls in pink paint and consider it “iconic.”
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have already been at least 158 mass shootings in the United States since the start of 2022. There is no worse time to do what Juul did for cigarettes by getting sparkly pink guns in the hands of impressionable youth in states without any meaningful gun control measures.
The gun is a symbol of masculinity pushed to its most violent, most abusive limits. The gun has also long been a symbol of the far right’s vested interest in the sort of star-spangled freedom that secures God-given “rights” in exchange for American lives. And now, apparently, conservatives have passed the baton—er, weapon of mass destruction—to Jeffree Star, the newest glammed-up symbol of glamourized violence.
You can cover up a blemish with a bit of concealer, but no amount of makeup in the world will conceal the humanity’s ugliest desires as personified by one Jeffree Star. Perhaps he’d be better suited over on Parler.