He also says Jeffree “replaced” him in a campaign after he expressed support for James Charles.
In the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement, many people in the beauty and fashion industry are empowered to tell their own stories of discrimination. Last week, beauty influencer Kameron Lester shared some of his own experiences. In an emotional Instagram Live, Kameron opened up about why he will “no longer support Jeffree Star, Jeffree Star Cosmetics, or Shane Dawson.”
In the video, Kameron tells the full story of his relationship with Jeffree. Though he once modeled in a campaign for Jeffree Star Cosmetics, the influencer says he felt tokenized. And many of Jeffree’s promises to help support his career weren’t followed through.
Kameron says he never felt it was a friendship. He said he always just felt like he was the ‘token black kid’.
From there, their relationship became uncomfortable for Kameron. In one situation he described, Jeffree asked about his affiliation with James Charles. This was only months before the publicized feud between him and Tati Westbrook took place.
Kameron talks about an instance when Jeffree asked him if he likes James or not. He was so shocked. Kameron told the viewers he was uncomfortable because there were people around him. And Jefree was so blunt.
Kameron claims James helped him with his career when he first got into the beauty space. He made it clear that he doesn’t have a problem with him. Kameron assured that he doesn’t support everything James does but he does not have a personal problem with him. He went on to say James helped him so why would he go against him? Kameron continued to say that Jefree said he does not owe him forever.
‘I felt always silenced’
The next day, Kameron says he witnessed a FaceTime call between Jeffree and Shane, in which Shane was “cursing” James.
He describes the incident saying he remembers when Shane Dawson called Jeffree and he was going off about James Charles. Kameron claims he was like cursing James out. He goes on to say how shocked he felt because he never saw Shane Dawson like that. The beauty boy claims that he just realised that day, Shane was not the person he was online.
After that experience, Kameron felt that Jeffree and Shane no longer wanted to work with him. And that they were conspiring to keep him quiet. In his next campaign, Jeffree cast Kameron’s ex-best friend, instead of him.
Kameron said he felt like Jeffree was trying to send the message in some way that he was replaceable as a black boy. He said he felt like this was a game. Even with Shane Dawson posting Kameron on his platform [last week], he felt grateful. But he claims he felt like it was to silence him. “To be like ‘we’re gonna keep giving you breadcrumbs and hanging you by a string and manipulating you so you can stay quiet.’ I felt always silenced.”
Kameron says he never spoke out about the experience before now out of fear. Explaining that he said he feared for his life. Kameron says he was so paranoid and so scared of Jeffree. He went on to say that he will no longer just be the token black person. Kameron assures he will no longer be the black boy that is there to make you look good or speak up for you, because it’s not reciprocated.
Neither Jeffree nor Shane have yet commented.