- In a recent YouTube vlog, beauty micro-influencer Michelle Grace claimed to have physically punished her 2-year-old daughter for breaking a discontinued Jeffree Star Cosmetics eye-shadow palette.
- The video, which has since been deleted from Grace's channel, was quickly met with intense shock, concern, and backlash online.
- Grace later defended her parenting on Twitter, calling her daughter an "intelligent toddler" who "knows right from wrong."
- But as clips of the video continue to circulate on social media, some are calling for intervention.
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In a recent YouTube vlog by beauty micro-influencer Michelle Grace, she claimed to have physically punished her 2-year-old daughter for ruining a Jeffree Star Cosmetics eye-shadow palette. Now, some are calling for Child Protective Services or even Star himself to intervene.
The video, which was titled "My Toddler Ruined My JSC Alien Palette|Now I'm sad…," originally appeared on Grace's YouTube channel, but has since been deleted. Grace has also disabled comments on all of her previous uploads. However, clips recorded by viewers (and Grace herself) are still circulating on social media.
"Y'all hear that right?" Grace asked in the upload. "My 2-year-old just got her a– beat because no matter how many times I tell her not to mess with my makeup, she never f—ing listens. I put it away so that she can't find it, and what does she do? She finds it. At this point, I need a frickin' safe with a combination on it to keep her out of it. She has ruined two palettes of mine and one of them is being discontinued. One second, my hand hurts. 'Cause I just beat the crap out of her. Not literally, but I taught her a lesson. Because I'll be damned if she's gonna walk all over me."
In the background, a child can be heard crying throughout the video.
"And I know a lot of parents might not agree with me," Grace continued. "But I don't normally — I don't normally spank my child, unless I really have to, and usually, it's just a pop. And it barely hurts. She cries for like, five seconds."
In a series of tweets, Grace later defended her decision to discipline her child. And in previous uploads about pregnancy and childbirth on her YouTube channel, Grace has spoken of her excitement to become a mother.
The Jeffree Star Cosmetics Alien palette is something of a collector's item in the beauty community. The palette was originally released as part of Star's 2018 holiday collection. However, it was discontinued earlier this year to, as Star explained in a tweet, "make room for all the new s— dropping in 2020." On eBay, an unopened Alien palette can be sold for upwards of $100.
Spanking and other forms of corporal punishment are incredibly polarizing practices in the US. Some adults see no problem with using techniques, such as spanking and paddling, in service of child behavior modification. In many states, it is still legal for teachers and principals to employ corporal punishment in public schools.
That said, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has made its stance on spanking clear. In an updated policy statement published in 2018, the group advocated for a ban on corporal punishment, as it "increases aggression in young children in the long run and is ineffective in teaching a child responsibility and self-control."
"In fact, new evidence suggests that it may cause harm to the child by affecting normal brain development," the statement added. "Other methods that teach children right from wrong are safer and more effective."
On Twitter and YouTube, fellow influencers, mothers, and beauty enthusiasts have alternately voiced concern, disappointment, and disbelief. The age of Grace's daughter, in particular, has been a point of contention.
Child abuse and neglect are defined with some degree of variation at the state and federal levels. In North Carolina, where Grace currently resides, state criminal code broadly defines "abused juveniles" to include anyone under 18 who is found to be the victim of human trafficking or whose caretaker inflicted or created a risk for substantial injury or does not provide proper care.
Still, it can be challenging to determine whether an act or scenario constitutes child abuse or neglect. National guidelines on the subject of discipline versus abuse acknowledge that parenting styles are informed, in part, by cultural context and ethnic differences.
Michelle Grace and Jeffree Star did not immediately respond to requests for comment. To report suspected child abuse or neglect, call or text the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453.
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