It’s not hard to see why people are fascinated with Kat Von D. The makeup megastar and tattoo artist is stunning, outspoken and a bit unconventional. Here’s a look back at some Kat Von D controversies that made headlines.
Her decade-long friendship with fellow makeup guru Jeffree Star went sour. Is competition an issue? In 2008, Sephora approached Von D about creating a makeup line and in 2014, Star launched his. Things between the former friends got catty again on social media in February.
According to Von D, graphic designer B.J. Betts never got paid for the work he did for Star, despite following up with the makeup guru consistently about his compensation. On July 16, 2016, Von D confronted Star via text and the battle began. Days later, Von D posted a picture of Star to her Instagram with a long caption where she states that she no longer wants to be associated to him in any way. Star responded with a series of tweets. “She never supported me or my brand and got distant when I launched mine.” he claimed.
MOMMY SHAMING MAGNET
Kat Von D — who gave birth in December of 2018 to son Leafar Von Drachenberg Reyes with husband, musican and writer Rafael Reyes — has also been mommy shamed pre- and post-birth.
Kat was also criticized for being vegan while pregnant and clapped back at mommy shamers with the post: “If you don’t know what it’s like to have people around you think you are ridiculous, try being openly vegan. Try being an openly pregnant vegan on Instagram, having a natural, drug-free home birth in water with a midwife and doula, who has the intention of raising a vegan child, without vaccinations.” Von D added: “This is my body. This is our child. And this is our pregnancy journey.”
This photo of husband Reyes holding baby Leafar wearing all black with black baby carriage generated some criticism on Instagram. While some followers loved it, others claimed that goth look was no way to present a newborn.
She has also come under fire for being an anti-vaxxer, after posting that she wasn’t planning to vaccinate her child when born. In a video posted to her YouTube channel, she addressed speculation that she is against vaccinations. “As a lot of you know, I have been getting a ton of hate over two different controversial topics, both of which are pretty hard for me to talk about, but I just really want to try my best to clear the air,” Von D, 37, said. “Just to set the record straight from the beginning, I just want to say that I am not anti-Semitic and I am not an anti-vaxxer.”
NOT A NAZI
In that same YouTube video she defended her self against claims of anti-Semitism. Von D has been called out for at least three separate alleged incidents, including for the photos of an ex-fiancé, Jesse James. “Out of every comment I’ve gotten, the ones that are calling me and family Nazis — those are the ones that really just don’t sit well for me,” she said. “If anything, they’re extremely offensive and super hurtful.”
Kat Von D was not your typical blushing bride in white when she married Reyes in 2018. When Instagram troll called her Heaven and Hell themed wedding “demonic,” she responded: “Your judging ways are not Christ-like at all.”
Von D also gave her Instagram followers a piece of her mind when she was criticized for an Instagram post for her “poor Spanish.” She wished followers a good night by saying “que duerman con los angelitos,” a slight variation from the popular saying in Spanish, “que sueñen con los angelitos” [may you dream of angels]. The proud Latina, who was born Katherine Von Drachenberg in Mexico to Argentinian parents, did not stay quiet: “Spanish was my first language,” she responded en Español. “I don’t need Google to wish you a good night.”
ALL IN A NAME
Some products of her makeup line have been boycotted due to their names. Von D was criticized for naming a lipstick Underage Red and her Basket Case Anti-Precision Eyeliner was also said to trivialize mental illness.
She spoke her mind about the Underage Red controversy in a Facebook post: “I clearly remember wearing a variation of this shade when I was 16 years old. I also remember the feeling of wanting so badly to go see a specific concert at this age, and not being able to get in to the venue because I was underage. Back then, I was already deeply in love with punk rock music, and although in the eyes of many (including my parents), it may have been inappropriate for me to be wearing lipstick. But i did. Underage Red is not a girly, pink shade. It is not a sophisticated, deep red either. It is an unapologetic, bold red. To me, Underage Red is feminine rebellion.”
THE DEFENSE RESTS ITS CASE
She also defended herself against the Basket Case eyeliner criticism, commenting on Instagram: “Capitalizing on mental illness: This by far, is such a big reach and you should be ashamed of yourself for such an accusation. I don’t think you realize how much harm you are actually causing by nitpicking a campaign that has nothing to do with mental illness.” Von D is by now well-practiced in the art of the rebuttal.