More than two years since she became an internet star—by threatening bodily harm to an entire studio audience on an episode of Dr. Phil—Bregoli, the 15-year-old musician now known as Bhad Bhabie, has reached a state of volatile equilibrium. On the way, she has surprised the world with an undeniably strong rap debut, has garnered criticism for cultural appropriation, and has gotten into a well-documented dispute with a Brooklyn nail salon. But Bhabie has never been better. “I’ve really grown up,” says Bregoli, surrounded by the dozen or so crew members filming her Snapchat docuseries Bringing Up Bhabie. “Everyone is always going to say something about me, but at the end of the day, it works for me.”
Despite her infantile pseudonym, there seems to be no mother to Bhabie’s style. When pressed, she refuses to cite a single influence or mentor (“I want to do my own thing”), and although she confesses that Los Angeles has made her homesick for her native Florida, she adds that there is no one she would call her friend in either state. In a media landscape that loves nothing more than to hate, Bregoli is considered both refreshingly outspoken and insufferably petulant. Her music itself, which flows like a concentrate of 20 years’ worth of Lil’ Kim and Nicki Minaj clap backs, is simply an extension of this personality cult.
But more than the songs or the attention, it’s about the glam. “That’s all I spend my money on,” she says, confirming a boast she once made to TMZ that she devotes the majority of her liquidity to her manicures and eyelashes. Often larger than her eyes themselves, Bregoli’s falsies are like Venus flytraps planted to guard the windows to her soul. Her acrylic nail extensions are another form of hater-proof armor, as menacing as they are expressive when snapped at the lens of a video camera. When asked what her favorite manicure is, she does not hesitate: “ombré,” a steady fade from dark to light, with nothing complicated in between.
Hair: Shelby Swain using Oribe
Makeup: Sophie Haig
Production: Eugenia Gamero
Photography Assistant: Arthur Balyan
Fashion Assistants: Colette Miller, Indiana Piorek
Production Assistant: Kelly McNaught