The Unlikely Beauty Icon with Patrick Starrr

In his own words, Patrick Starrr is a “Youtuber, makeup lover, brother, son, friend, and human.” And what a beautiful human he is! For our latest Muse feature, Amant had the privilege of photographing Starrr and seeing the brilliance & beauty that has taken social media by storm. In 2014 he created the persona of “Patrick Starrr” as a method of sharing his passions and perspectives with the world. Building his online audience to millions in only a few short years, Starrr leads with vulnerability, humor, dedication, and artistic flair. Crushing old models, he redefines what beauty is all about.

Growing up in rural Florida as a first generation American to Filipino parents, Starrr learned to entertain himself while developing his creativity. Rather than feeling isolated by his differences, as a teenager he began reaching out to others with similar interests, believing in his passions as a boy who loved makeup and beauty.

An advocate for unique expression, vulnerability, and acceptance among all people, Starrr says “makeup is one size fits all.” And so is Beauty.

Patrick Starrr encourages his fans to go for their dreams while motivating them to truly be themselves, regularly reminding them that “the world opens up when you do.”

Below is Amant’s interview with this unique beauty icon.

Amant: How is it for you being a “Beauty Icon”?

Starrr: I don’t see myself as a beauty icon. I see myself as an aspiring icon…I’m learning as I’m growing. There isn’t any sort of degree to what I do, as far as excellence. There’s always something changing within my industry, and being online has helped me project a voice to millions of people.

Amant: Usually on a photoshoot there’s the hair person, a makeup person, the stylist. But here, you’ve done it all. Tell us about your artistic vision.

Starrr: The “Patrick Starrr look” comes from anything that I love. So I’ve just made it work. Without all of this, I’m just a regular filipino man that loves beauty. I adorn myself with these things because these are things that I love. I love wearing makeup because it comes off — everything comes off at the end of the day. And I love celebrating beauty.

Amant: Adornment is a lot different than covering up. A lot of people are trying to cover themselves up [with makeup] vs. accentuate and adorn. What’s the difference between covering up & adornment?

Starrr: There’s a difference between adorning yourself and covering yourself. I think it’s all about the power of perception. Some people choose to see people as covering themselves up, and some people choose to see others as adorning themselves. I feel it’s a matter of understanding the person & the situation; where the person is coming from. I really believe in the power of perception, and I feel that’s also a sub-definition of beauty: “how you see yourself? To what extent do you see ‘adornment’ vs. ‘covering up?’”

Amant: Growing up, you spent a lot of time alone in nature with your thoughts. How do you think all that time alone helped you become more creative?

Starrr: I grew up on 5 acres of nothing. Just grass and trees. A little lake in the back, and a lot of time to myself. So I feel growing up as the oldest child & as oldest brother, I had a lot of time to think by myself. I didn’t have much influence growing up; I had just me, myself, and I. I had TV & some really slow dial-up internet. I had a lot of time to reflect and ask who I was & what I liked. I developed a taste for beauty & fashion, and celebrating makeup and beauty. As a boy.

“Growing up… I had a lot of time to reflect and ask who I was & what I liked. I developed a taste for beauty & fashion, and celebrating makeup and beauty. As a boy.”

Amant: We’ve talked before about being an “unlikely beauty icon.” Can you dig into this a little bit more?

Starrr: I never expected to be “Patrick Starrr” on Youtube, on Instagram, on social media, on the red carpet — getting photographed for being me –, because I’m not the typical beauty [stereotype]. I’m a man, I’m plus-sized, I’m filipino, I’m gay. You would think I would have all these things working against me. But I shifted my perspective and said, “hey, this is what I’ve got, let’s just make something out of it!” And I decided to put myself online and captivate an audience… I feel in a sense I’m like a Robin Hood of “power of the people”, because it’s not your typical beauty. I’m able to use my platform to celebrate unconventional beauty.

Amant: If you think of your audience, if there was one message you have for the young people, the kids, around their unique expression, what would it be?

Starrr: My advice for younger boys and girls  — and even parents & adults that are still wanting to find who they are & have a thirst or craving to find more of themselves —  is to surround yourself with people that love what you do, or do what you do. Growing up, I loved makeup, but it wasn’t until I was 19 that  I found makeup counters, other artists, and photographers. And I realized, “there’s a place for me. They like putting on makeup, like me.” And if you at home are watching or wanting to find yourself, get out there! Life opens up when you do. Be vulnerable. Saying hello is free, and being nice is free. It doesn’t cost a thing; you don’t have to pay a tuition to learn these things. It’s just simply opening up to life so you can find out for yourself who you are, what you were meant to do, and simply, how to live.

Amant:  Could you speak to the beauty that‘s beneath the makeup? I’ve seen you in front of the camera, and it seems like a feeling generated from inside of you.

Starrr: I think for me, beauty isn’t beneath the makeup — it’s beyond the makeup. For me, beauty means “true self”: finding who you are, being happy, & being balanced. And just breathing. Having a heartbeat is beauty. Being centered. Being happy. Being sad. Being mad. It’s all human nature. If you can be essentially happy with yourself, that’s beautiful to me.

“I’m not the typical beauty [stereotype]. I’m a man, I’m plus-sized, I’m filipino, I’m gay. You would think I would have all these things working against me. But I shifted my perspective and said, ‘hey, this is what I’ve got, let’s just make something out of it!'”

Amant: Do you still struggle with feeling insecure sometimes, and if so, how do you move through it?

Starrr: To this day, at 27 I still find myself insecure sometimes. I have these mental battles with myself. But then I find myself [by] keeping busy. Not to distract, but to find more of a purpose to [move past] those insecurities. Not to cover them up. Instead of just moping about or being depressed, I’m going to do something beneficial for me! It’s moving forward. Tomorrow’s a new day, you can’t fix what’s happened… There are certain situations that I face, whether it’s through body issues, (since I am plus-sized and I see myself comparing myself), or relationships… There’s always that big “D” word: “Doubt”. We’re always doubting ourselves. So instead, I connect with myself through my work, through my passion, through my online community. [I do it] for my family: for my mother, my brothers, my father… I know that’s my purpose.

Before “Patrick Starrr” I was a son, and then I became a brother… And that’s what keeps me grounded. I was birthed with those roles: those roles were given to me. And “Patrick Starrr” came after. So if I do find myself doubting myself or feeling insecure, I dive into other things, to stimulate my thoughts and forget about it.

“Having a heartbeat is beauty. Being centered. Being happy. Being sad. Being mad. It’s all human nature. If you can be essentially happy with yourself, that’s beautiful to me.”

Amant: Imagine a revolution of Love in your lifetime. What would you want that to look like?

Starrr: I feel an open, happy line of communication between the human race. I know I’m asking for a lot, but just to be accepting, to be equal. It’s very ‘dog-eat-dog’ right now, and I would want people to just be openly accepting. I said to myself last night – I did a little music video inspired by Mariah Carey, which is on my Youtube channel – and I was like, ‘wow, I picked a lot of people to be in this video’. How lucky are we to celebrate this diversity in our country, where we’re able to express ourselves, lip synch, dress the way that we want, but also be able to breathe and live and sleep and eat… I would want everyone to be happy and to identify with themselves first before identifying through others I feel like that’s where hate comes from: it comes from ignorance. From not knowing and not exploring. [By making] judgments before finding out truly who people are.

Amant: What has helped you develop self-trust?

Starrr: I feel like self-trust is self-worth, self-value. Understanding what you’re worth. But in order to build that value, you have to go to work… Learn from other people… Trusting other people has helped me trust myself. It’s like that trust exercise where you depend on people, you know – the one where you fall and people catch you, ‘trust me’ – that is the way I exercise my trust and my self-worth.  And if it doesn’t work, I now know what doesn’t work. If someone doesn’t catch me when I fall, “ok, I’m not trusting you.” And that builds your strength for your mind, your body, and your soul.

Amant: We talk about self-love a lot, but what does being your own lover mean to you?

Starrr: If you were to just close your eyes and find your own true self without being influenced by anything – when you lay in bed in the dark and your eyes are shut, and you’re just in your thoughts and you’re happy at the end of the day – that’s self-love. So when I go to bed, I ask, “Is everything ok? Am I good?” It doesn’t matter if I look good, it doesn’t matter if I’m plus-sized or brown or white, or turban, no turban, makeup, no makeup. If you can be happy, blind, that’s self-love to me.

Amant: What’s your vision for how you want your work to create change in the world?

Starrr: I want my work to motivate people, as others have motivated me. I think that’s an innate instinct that I have. It’s something that I do. If I see great photography, I’m like, “I want to try to emulate that photo”. Like America’s Next Top model, or something fun, or that runway walk – “I want to emulate that” – or that makeup look, “I want to emulate that”. That workout – “let me try that to lose some weight!”

I want to motivate people through my work to be beautiful, to be happy with themselves, whether it’s through makeup or surrounding themselves with good people, (because people that view me also see my relationships with my great friends that I’ve made in LA). My family, my mother – people love my mother – she has nearly 30,000 followers online just from being an accepting mother – so I feel people could relate to that in a sense, and be motivated to find themselves.

“Life opens up when you do. Be vulnerable. Saying hello is free, and being nice is free.”
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