- selected by Dazed Beauty
Josephine Lee – better known by her handle, Princess Gollum – is not your average Instagram It-girl. In a feed flooded with artfully sculpted arches, the model and Dazed Beauty community member stares out, arrestingly eyebrowless from under a hacked-at, grown-out, jet-black mullet; the antithesis of the typically sun-kissed influencers that usually hail from her home city of Los Angeles. Yet the Korean-American’s unconventional beauty clearly resonates, amassing over 113,000 followers on the platform and leading to jobs for Opening Ceremony, MAISON the FAUX, and Milk make-up, to name a few.
Growing up with extremely conservative Christian parents convinced Halloween and Harry Potter were bad influences, Lee’s irreverence now is shaped by an adolescence spent learning to bend the rules and make her own world, a space to express herself freely. “I want everyone to feel like they can 100 per cent be themselves,” she says.
For Lee, this means combining extremes. Like her internet moniker itself, her aesthetic blends contrasting elements – of the grotesque and Gollum-like, and princess prettiness.
Manifesting through distorted goth clown faces and extreme horror movie worthy make-up looks (complete with IRL nails!), or becoming a CGI avatar for Dazed Beauty’s inaugural print artefact, Issue Zero – her feed is a testament to how she loves “finding beauty in the places that are the hardest,” turning conventional ideals on their head. Where next? Perhaps a second go at her teenage years: “I would love to be in a high school Netflix show,” she says.