YouTuber Jeffree Star just announced that he's broken up with Nathan – here's why the internet is freaking out

Sirena Bergman@SirenaBergman
Saturday 11 January 2020 19:45
news

When Jeffree Star posts a new YouTube video it's always a moment, but today's has blown up the internet, and not for happy reasons.

Here's what's going down.

Earlier this afternoon, he posted to Twitter and Instagram announcing a new video entitled "We Broke Up", and his viewers knew it wasn't clickbait.

In the 17-minute video, Star explains that he and his boyfriend Nathan are no longer together. Cue a collective meltdown.

Is this actually a big deal?

In many ways, it should be simple celebrity gossip. But when it comes to Jeffree Star, these things are a little more complicated.

He and Nathan had been together for more than five years, since the very early days of Jeffree's beauty career. In many ways, Nate is the most normal thing about Jeffree, who revels in his boujee Frankenstein image and drama-heavy online persona. Nathan on the other hand gives off chill, even-keeled, Michigan boy next door vibes.

But their relationship has always been unconventional. Jeffree identifies as male, while Nathan identifies a straight man, which has always made them an intriguing couple in ways that some see as postive and boundary-breaking, while others see as problematic. Jeffree has also often implied that his relationship wasn't monogamous, while also saying it wasn't "open". As we said: unconventional.

Jeffree himself is a polarising figure who makes his own rules as he goes along. This has gained him notoriety and die-hard fans, but also caused a number of huge controversies in his career - from allegations of racism to playing a key role in one of the biggest YouTube scandals in history.

Plus, he has 17 million subscribers who have pretty much unparalleled access to his wildly aspirational lifestyle. Safe to say, there will be corners of the internet that talk about nothing else for weeks.

Why are people freaking out?

For starters it was pretty unexpected. Despite (or perhaps because of...) their eschewing of relationship norms, Jeffree and Nate seemed like one of the most solid and genuine couples on YouTube. Not to mention the fact that his last video was a tour of the new house - sorry, we should probably say "enormous mansion" for accuracy - they had just bought.

For the past few days there have been rumours that something was going on, namely due to the fact that Jeffree (a serial Snapchatter) has been uncharacteristically quiet on social media, while dropping small breadcrumbs which kept everyone wondering...

This comes just after cancelled a series of events at the last minute due to "personal reasons". Obviously, the speculation began.

His video was also hugely emotional, discussing the death of Nate's grandfather last year, as well as the loss of Drama and Daddy (two of their dogs) and alluding to mental health issues. For a figure that rarely commands much sympathy, people really do seem to be here for Jeffree today.

At the time of writing, the video was posted just under two hours ago, and already has half a million views and over 100,000 comments. Suffice to say, people have thoughts.

What does it mean for Jeffree?

Unlike some influencers for whom their relationship is a huge part of their personal brand (hi, Zoe and Alfie!), Jeffree has largely kept his lowkey. He has explained before and reiterates in the break-up video that Nathan never wanted to be famous, which is why he appears on camera pretty rarely for an influencer's significant other.

As a result, it seems unlikely that his viewership would decline in the way in can do for some YouTubers who make a big life change. Some have even suggested it could be good for his career...

Plus, Jeffree has built an empire way beyond his AdSense revenue and even beyond his own make-up line (which, by the way is valued at $75m). He also owns merchandising company Killer Merch, an entire shipment and fulfillment center, a number of real estate properties and a cannabis company.

In short, Jefffee will probably be fine - professionally at least. We have never gone through a break-up while having tens of millions of dollars in the bank, but we assume it still hurts pretty badly.

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