What Actually Happened Between Kim Kardashian and Jeffree Star?

What started as shady critiques about the new KKW beauty prod quickly became a conversation about Kim K and Jeffree Star excusing racism. We break down how it all happened

It started on Monday when Jeffree Star made some shady critiques of Kim Kardashian West’s “struggle swatches” of her new product, and quickly turned into a social media backlash when Kim (confusingly) responded by excusing Star’s past racist comments. Like everyone else, we woke up the next morning not entirely sure how it all progressed. The story continued to develop yesterday, culminating in an apology from Kim. And we *think* we’ve finally figured out who said what when, and to who. Here goes:

The swatches

Kim took to Snapchat and Instagram at the beginning of the week to show off the newest KKW Beauty product, the Powder Contour and Highlight palette, launching on August 22. She swatched each of the three kits: Light, Medium and Dark/Deep Dark.

Kim K and Jeffree Star feud over Kim's struggle swatches, pictured here

Makeup fans and artists were not impressed with the streaky, chalky quality the product appeared to have based on her demo—and many spoke out, including Jeffree Star.

Despite his problematic past—Jeffree Star has been accused of racism, misogyny and transphobia—he counts more than 5 million subscribers on his YouTube channel alone, and remains a prominent voice in the beauty community. It didn’t take long for his critiques to reach back to Kim—which *gasp* resulted in a stress zit.

Kim K and Jeffree Star feud gives Kim a stress pimple

“This is an awful angle but I just want you guys to see this pimple here,” she says to the camera. “You’re stressing me the f-ck out. Okay guys, I get it, I didn’t know how to f-cking swatch powders at the beginning. I’m learning.”

Kim’s fans fight back

Kim went on to have her makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, teach her how to swatch on her Insta Stories, while he gently teased her for her serious struggles.

She insisted that she wasn’t worried about the negative feedback affecting the reception of the actual product. “Just wait ’til you guys get it,” she said. “You’ll be pleasantly surprised. I’m not worried.”

Still, there were lots of Twitter users that fully agreed with Star’s initial impressions of the swatches.

But her fans were not having any of the negativity, and blamed Star for all of it, coming after him and citing his problematic and racist past as a reason to disregard his critiques.

Then Kim defends Jeffree (???)

Kim caught wind of the backlash against the celeb MUA, and tried to call her fans off, saying they were being “petty” by “bringing up things in his past when he was, you know, negative.”

“He’s apologized for those things,” Kim stated, referring to the statement Star made in June, when videos from the early aughts documenting his verbal abusive and blatant racism resurfaced online.

“I get the serious deal if you say racial things,” Kim continued, “but I do believe in people changing, and people that apologize. I will give them the benefit of the doubt and accept that people change and move on. I know better than anyone that I hate when people bring up my past or mistakes I’ve made in the past; so let him live.”

“Everyone get off his ass and let’s not be so negative. We’re all in this together, there’s room for all of us. Love you, Jeffrey,” she finished.

Maybe Kim was simply trying to get her fans to omit any negativity from her mentions; but it’s also possible that she was trying to get her fans to forgive and forget Jeffree’s messy racist past because he has previously been an avid supporter of her KKW brand.

Social media gets lit

All of this happened just days after Charlottesville, which makes Kim’s dismissal of Jeffree Star’s violently racist behaviour and language even more confusing and problematic. Social media was quick to point this out.

Kim apologizes

Late in the evening yesterday, Kim returned to her Story once again, this time to attempt to clarify her earlier comments.

“I want to make one last thing clear,” she said. “I do not defend people that are racist and I’m very against it; but if someone claims that they have changed, I would love to give them the benefit of the doubt. And I pray to God that they do change, for the sake of my children and my friends, so I wanna give [Jeffree Star] the benefit of the doubt, but I do not support people that are racist and that’s why I so appreciate that he apologized and was really honest about the things he said in the past.”

But what Twitter was quick to point out is that Kim Kardashian West may be married to a Black man, and have Black children, but she is white. Therefore, she does not get to speak for people of colour, and she does not get to accept apologies about racist comments on their behalf.

The backlash must have made an impact, because she returned to Snapchat and Instagram again to apologize for her earlier statements.

“Hey guys, so I really wanted to apologize to my fans for defending a situation yesterday that I really didn’t know enough about,” she said. “And I just feel a bit naive, and I do want to really apologize for me feeling like I had the right to say ‘get over it’ in a situation that involves racism. And I just don’t really feel like I have the right to speak on that.”

“I really really really am sorry,” she continued. “From the bottom of my heart. I’ve always been about positivity, I’ve never been a negative person, so my whole thing was, hey guys, I don’t want to see negativity in my timeline or my mentions, let’s just move forward, let’s just be positive and move past this.”

Still, many aren’t sure that any of these apologies are enough: Kim’s or Jeffree’s.

Jeffree thinks everyone needs to get TF over it

Sick of being @-ed by angry members of the beauty community and contacted by journalists for comment on the Kim K “feud,” Jeffree returned to Twitter once again to rant about being the subject of scrutiny when there are “more important things” to worry about.

Of course, there are people who definitely feel that they have time to worry about Jeffree Star AND the President—and that the two issues are inextricably linked: racism doesn’t just come from the top, it’s everywhere.

Kim KW’s Blackface Backlash + More of the Kardashian’s Tone-Deaf Ways
Hey Kim Kardashian: Materialism Isn’t Your Problem—Apathy Is
Kim Kardashian West Creme Contour Kit Live Review