Category is: freshly permed eyelash realness and seventeen-year-old popstar Madison Beer is coming through. Not only are her dark lashes ascending toward the soaring ceiling of her under-furnished mansion but her peach-colored acrylic nails, which she just had done on Melrose Avenue, are tip-tapping on the glass table of her under-heated kitchen as we sit down for our first, and sadly, likely to be only, kiki.
Beer skyrocketed to fame after Justin Bieber found a YouTube video of her, aged 13, full of nerves and hormones, covering Etta James’ “At Last.” She was a star, and Bieber tweeted as much, and when the Biebs tweets, record execs pay heed. Beer signed to Island Records within the year, and Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun took on the budding songstress. Since, she has teased out a few singles to great acclaim, and the forthcoming debut album is, shall we say, highly anticipated.
We are joined by one of Beer’s closest friends, overnight Instagram celebrity Kelsey Calemine. She’s the girl Lucy Hale posted about last spring claiming that Calemine was a combination of what Hale and Kylie Jenner’s offspring would look like (if that were possible). One article in Galore magazine and Calemine now has over one million Instagram followers.
Calemine tells me how she and Madison became close – “She basically found a photo of me on Tumblr and then shared it to her Instagram and she was like ‘Who is this girl I’m obsessed with her!?’ and then she found out and tagged me and then she slid into my DMs and said ‘Let’s get married please!’ and I was like ‘OK!’”
I’m only in my first minutes of our kiki and I’m tiring quick. I realize I am lightyears behind these prodigies of teenage gab. Everything they say darts out of their ballet slipper-pink lips. Lips that in their photographs tend to rest purposely and pouty. Forget Hale and Jenner, I’m realizing that the two could pass as doppelgängers of each other.
Calemine continues their girlfriends origin – “Literally months later I was at the flea market on Melrose, and Madison ran up to me and was like “KELSEY!” and I was like “HI!” and at first I didn’t even know who she was and then I realized it was Madison and then she literally kidnapped me and took me to the aquarium and then we had a sleepover and then we became best friends.”
The rest, of course, is herstory.
When it comes to selecting friends Beer prefers a few golden Sacagawea’s over a fistful of zinc pennies. She holds her female friends close in her figurative coin purse but keeps them off of her seven million-strong Instagram.
Beer explains – “I’ve gone through so many groups of friends since moving to Los Angeles that I don’t like posting photos with them because a month later they might not be friends anymore.”
I can tell that Beer knows that Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes. I can tell that she has sashayed-away many past friendships, like any teenager, floating from squad to squad until she finds one that screams ‘shantay, you stay!’ Right now that group is the trio of Beer, Calemine, and their third doppelgänger, Sahar Luna.
No tea, no shade, no pink lemonade but in her past year of nearly three-hundred Instagram posts she has not yet featured her two close friends.
“I don’t like to publicize my friendships until they are really my friends. Like I said, I only have a few of my so-called best friends,” Beer says.
Before interviewing Beer, I was curious who she might like to be friends with. Naturally, I looked at who she followed. There was, of course, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna, but what surprised me (and led me to this most marvelous kiki) was her love of female impersonators.
As soon as I mention the kweens she follows, she gleams a “YAS” and talks even faster.
“I think it is incredible how drag queens exude so much confidence, can be sexual, but inside can sometimes be, or used to be, insecure people. I’m always inspired by drag queens,” she says before letting out a “HIEEEE!” quoting one of her favorite kweens, Alaska Thunderfuck 5000, who has long acrylic nails, big lashes, and speaks nasally with exaggerated clicks.
Beer and her trio will continue to serve body-ody-ody in foxy selfies, they’ll rock ferocious fashion, and they’ll beam as the likes flood in. They’ll navigate the music industry, Hollywood, and top modeling agencies. But like any well versed kween, I pray they learn that at the end of the night, it’s okay to snatch off that wig, untuck, and cease performing. Can I get an amen?
Written by Miles Griffis
Photographer: Frederic Auerbach for Opus Reps
Stylist: Santa Bevacqua
Hair: Loui Ferry for Opus Beauty using Number 4 Hair Care
Makeup: Harriet Hadfield for Opus Beauty using Charlotte Tilbury
Manicure: Emi Kudo for Opus Beauty using Chanel Les Vernis
Digital Tech: Danny Luna