Now it is time to delve into the specifics of how I plan to conduct my ethnographic research. Firstly, I decided to focus on one beauty guru in particular, in order to easily conduct research relating to a specific fandom. I have chosen to focus on Jeffree Star, who isan American internet celebrity, makeup artist, entrepreneur, and musician. He is also the founder and owner of Jeffree Star Cosmetics, of which, he subsequently promotes on YouTube, where he has amassed more than 10 million subscribers and over 1 billion views, as of 2018.
My choice to focus on Jeffree Star was cemented when my best friend invited me to attend an event, ‘Princess Polly Live Ft. Jeffree Star’. This event was an exclusive 90-minute live beauty event, featuring international makeup icon Jeffree Star, with guest appearances by Australia’s biggest YouTube sensations Michael Finch, Sammy Robinson & Cartia Mallan. Hosted by Ash London, the on-stage performance gave beauty lovers an insight into the world of Jeffree Star with an intimate 20-minute Q&A session, along with a live panel discussion and makeup challenge. Tickets were $80 each and 236 ticket holders had the opportunity to meet & greet Jeffree Star.
Before being invited to the event, I was not a fan of Jeffree star. Not for any particular reason, I simply had not been exposed to his YouTube videos as much as my friends had, however, I still knew who he was and was aware of his makeup brand and the type of content he produced. Thus, I thought attending the event would be a great idea for my ethnographic study.
I was inspired by a past project in in BCM241 that focused on fandom produced by Kristin Campbell, and as such, decided to use video and audio as my platform to present my findings. When I attended the event, I took my camera along and shot vlog style clips, keeping with the theme of YouTube beauty gurus. I included clips of myself, my friends, other fans, the products and merchandise available to purchase at the event, as well as exclusive clips from the Q&A session with Jeffree Star himself, in which, he discussed his social media success, which I thought would be perfect to include in my video.
Now that I have attended the event and filmed a variety of footage that shows the type of fandom surrounding Jeffree Star, I plan to sit down and film an autoethnography to include in my video. In this autoethnography, I will observe the footage and reflect on what I saw and experienced at the Princess Polly event. I also plan to reflect on my own attitude towards Jeffree Star and the other youtubers and discuss how my views of particular influencers have changed since experiencing them in real life as opposed to online. I will also interview other fans to gauge different perspectives.
Conclusively, I will produce a vlog style video that draws conclusions based on the fandom surrounding Jeffree star, and how it is, he managed to build such a large following, by way of social media. The video will include footage from the event I attended, as well as my own opinions and observations. I will also interview my friends who attended the event who were fans of Jeffree star prior to the event, in order to find out what it is that attracts them to someone who has made a living purely by posting videos on YouTube.