Jeffree Star is one of the most famous beauty gurus on YouTube, with over 18 million subscribers, and an eponymous makeup brand that is valued at over $1.5 billion. Star is known for his flashy wigs and otherworldly makeup looks, with people often not knowing much about Star or where he comes from, which might leave many wondering about Jeffree Star’s ethnicity.
Jeffree Star is white, but his ethnic roots are unknown. Star has never publicly disclosed information about his ethnicity or heritage.
Read more below about Jeffree Star’s childhood and family, the roots of Star’s original surname, and the difference between race and ethnicity.
Questionable Kin and a Long Lineage
Jeffree Star was born Jeffrey Lynn Steininger Jr. on November 15, 1985. Star’s father committed suicide when Jeffree was six, leaving Star to be raised by his mother and grandparents.
Star had a tumultuous childhood, and eventually fell out with his birth mother, not speaking to her for a decade, and having his aunt through marriage, Laurie, pose as his mom on social media in the interim. All of this compounded the issue of Jeffree’s roots, with fans not knowing what was real and what wasn’t.
You can watch a video about Star’s confusing lineage in the YouTube video below.
Despite the confusion, Star’s family tree can be traced from Jeffree Star’s late father back to the mid-1800s, with one of Star’s ancestors being born in Germany and ultimately immigrating to the United States and settling in Missouri. However, based on the records, there is no way to prove that German is part of Star’s ethnicity, though it is likely.
Another point in favor of Star having German roots is his surname of Steininger. Though Jeffree legally had his name changed to Jeffree Star at some point in his career, his family’s true surname has German or Bavarian beginnings.
The surname of Steininger can also be found in Austria, and was a name often given to stonecutters, due to the German word “stein” meaning stone. Though there is nothing conclusive, it again points to Germanic origins for Star’s family.
Race vs. Ethnicity
Given that people cannot definitively gauge Star’s ethnicity, most people would simply describe the makeup mogul as “white.” However, many people are confused as to whether or not white is actually an ethnicity, with some considering it a race instead.
The U.S. Census Bureau defines race and ethnicity as two distinct categories, with race being a self-identification of social groups and ethnicity determining whether or not someone is of Hispanic origin. Some researchers deem these definitions as too rigid and confusing, and it seems like people in general have a different understanding of whether or not they are being asked about the color of their skin, their country of origin, or their ancestry.
The Endless Urge to Learn Your Ancestry
Regardless of the perplexing distinctions of race versus ethnicity, finding out one’s ancestral roots via DNA testing has become a huge industry in the past few years. Everyone from celebrities to the average Joe are rushing to take the test and find out their family’s origins.
Not only that, but several television programs focused on genealogy have hit networks, oftentimes showing celebrities finding out surprises about their origins and family histories. In addition, DNA testing can even be done on the family dog or cat, and with so many different tests available to the public, people have a wide array to choose from, depending on the information they want to know.
Most at-home DNA tests begin with a cheek swab or saliva sample, which is then mailed back to the company for testing. The sample is analyzed by a lab, and then once digitized, uses algorithms to find common patterns; the results are sent to the person’s home address or email, often including easily readable charts and graphs.
Even though the public may never officially know Jeffree Star’s true ethnic origins, it’s clear that Star has the ability to trace his lineage far enough back, as well as the means to have DNA testing done, should he ever want to know about his ancestral roots.