As we approach the five-month mark on social distancing and quarantine regulations, it’s fair to say that people are getting restless. While many people understand that things can’t really go back to normal right now, others are getting more and more creative about how we can safely get out and do things in the age of COVID. This has led to a renaissance for drive-in events, which mostly just made me think of Grease prior to this summer.
Drive-in movie theaters around the country (yes, they still exist) have been doing solid business showing classic blockbusters like Jaws and Jurassic Park, and recently, many outdoor concert venues have reimagined their lawns as drive-in friendly venues. Earlier this month, Brad Paisley headlined a three-city “Live From the Drive-In” concert series organized by Live Nation, and they’ve announced more shows in more cities. These concerts went smoothly, but this weekend, a drive-in charity concert in the Hamptons proved that not all drive-ins are equally safe.
As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, the Southampton concert was headlined by The Chainsmokers, but it wasn’t just your average EDM show. The event was in support of numerous local charities including No Kid Hungry and the Children’s Medical Fund of New York. And in the name of raising money, tickets for the event came at steep prices—$850 for the cheapest package, all the way up to a $25,000 package that came with its own RV for the night. And opening for The Chainsmokers was none other than Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon (aka DJ D-Sol). Yes, really.
Not to knock DJ D-Sol’s um, skills, but it’s pretty clear who this event was catered to. With ticket prices like that, it’s no big surprise that the concert drew a who’s who of the Hamptons summer set. Notable attendees included major influencers like Danielle Bernstein and Melissa Wood, along with Conor Kennedy (American royalty and, more importantly, Taylor Swift’s ex). Even Arielle Charnas’ parents left the house for some much-needed EDM.
Besides the audience area being divided into drive-in spaces, event promoter In the Know Experience spoke to Buzzfeed and outlined additional precautions, including temperature checks upon entry, free hand sanitizer and masks provided to all concertgoers, and “dividers separating individual parties in the pit area.” Sorry, but you could not pay me enough money to be in a “pit area” right now. The concert happened on Saturday night, and it didn’t take long for a video from the show to make the rounds on Twitter, calling into question the safety of the event.
The Chainsmokers had a “Drive-in” concert in the Hamptons last night…looks like social distancing was strongly enforced 🤦🏻♂️….when NY gets the inevitable spike just blame these rich selfish white people
Via IG:adamalpert pic.twitter.com/yLe1XaE0hS
— Icculus The Brave (@FirenzeMike) July 26, 2020
The video is dark and very brief, so it’s hard to see exactly what the situation is, but that certainly looks like a packed crowd. Whatever precautions were taken, people clearly weren’t social distancing. One concertgoer told Buzzfeed that she “felt super safe and it was tons of fun,” but when it comes to this pandemic, feeling safe and actually being safe are not always the same thing.
Melissa Wood even posted an Instagram story on Sunday to clear the air about the concert. She said that guests had to fill out a “COVID-19 questionnaire” before purchasing tickets. But with tickets going on sale at least a few days before the concert, filling out a questionnaire in advance doesn’t guarantee safety.
Wood said that “each vehicle was parked in its own designated area,” and that she wore a mask the entire night, as did her “small group.” She finished her message by claiming that people “are unaware of what the event actually detailed.”
Despite what attendees may have said, those seeing photos and videos from the concert—including New York government officials—remained unconvinced. On Monday, New York State Health Commissioner H0ward Zucker sent a letter to Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, eviscerating him for the decision to let the event happen. Zucker wrote that he was “greatly disturbed” by images from the event, and said, “I am at a loss as to how the Town of Southampton could have issued a permit for such an event, how they believed it was legal and not an obvious public health threat.”
After that, it wasn’t long before the big guns came out, with NY Governor Andrew Cuomo slamming the event on Twitter. Cuomo stated that the videos show “egregious social distancing violations,” and suggested that the event was an “illegal & reckless endangerment of public health.” He said that the NY Department of Health will be investigating the event, and given what Health Commissioner Zucker already publicly said, I have a feeling someone’s getting in big trouble.
Videos from a concert held in Southampton on Saturday show egregious social distancing violations. I am appalled.
The Department of Health will conduct an investigation.
We have no tolerance for the illegal & reckless endangerment of public health.pic.twitter.com/gf9kggdo8w
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 28, 2020
In the last couple weeks, as New York has continued to reopen, Governor Cuomo has made it clear that he has little tolerance for those who do not follow the rules. Hundreds of restaurants and bars have been penalized for failing to comply with reopening protocols, with punishments including fines and suspension of liquor licenses. While COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed in much of the country, statistics in New York—once the epicenter of the pandemic—have held steady in recent weeks. These reopening guidelines, in addition to strict quarantine requirements for out-of-state travelers, offer the best chance of avoiding a major spike, so it’s easy to see why Cuomo is taking such a strong stance.
It’s like the new social media phenomenon of people saying “don’t worry, we followed all the rules!”, when the post clearly shows them following none of the rules. It’s a lazy way of trying to dodge criticism, and while seeing a handful of people justifying a social gathering is questionable, seeing 2,000 rich people packed together at a concert (and then claiming they were being completely cautious) is way more alarming. I guess those people should’ve just stayed in the back seat of their Rovers…
Images: agwilson / Shutterstock.com; firenzemike, nygovcuomo / Twitter; melissawoodhealth / Instagram
These days it feels like there’s no group with a bigger target on their back than influencers (aside from white men over 50, of course). There seems to be a new form of entertainment in the form of watching influencers being dragged online, exposed on accounts and forums dedicated to influencer muckraking, and labeled with the scarlet C: COVIDIOT.
We’ve witnessed many influencer scandals before, but our current quarantined status has turned influencer dragging into a digital gladiator ring, with accounts such as @deuxmoi and @influencerstruth exposing influencers and calling out markers of privilege. These markers include private travel (in the case of @tanyazuckerbrot getting criticized for leaving NYC on a private plane in the midst of the pandemic) and promotions of expensive clothing (in the case of @mamaandtata calling an $850 dress reduced from over $1,1000 a “steal” in a since-deleted post). These accounts also feature full dissections of past drama (like that between @ariellecharnas and @amandakloots, who haven’t trained together in years) and family backgrounds, often by culling information via unverified but assumed-to-be-true DM submission. Basically, a special counsel investigation of whose dad can pay for what, but told via screenshots and Instagram story fonts. I know because I’ve been devouring these accounts with a feeling that can only be described as glee, and also some relief that I don’t have extremely rich parents.
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Well as long as @tanyazuckerbrot had a private plane it doesn’t matter that she decided to leave NYC, right? 😏 Keep in mind, this is the same person who openly supported Arielle Charnas on her Instagram page. Two of a kind. #COVIDiot #pagesix #ffactor #covidiots #ariellecharnas #tanyazuckerbrot
In many cases, the criticism is well-deserved but more vitriolic than ever, so my question is: why now? Why this thirst trap? You might argue that it’s the influencers’ own tone-deaf behaviors that are the only cause of the recent draggings, and in some cases you’d be absolutely right. But in other cases, where what counts as a social distancing faux pas is a little bit unclear (the recent Morning Toast controversy over a family rooftop birthday that led them to mute their own Facebook group because of what they called “toxicity” comes to mind), the commenters have still been extra quick to wield their pitchforks with criticisms of privilege and accusations that the person thinks they’re above the rules, a murderer, etc.
If sunlight isn’t the antidote for coronavirus, it certainly is for influencers, because it finally feels like people are becoming aware of what has enabled the influencer industry from the start, which is a bubbly pink cocktail of privilege and entitlement. Or at the very least, people are starting to become unsettled by the status quo. Unlike florals for spring, it really isn’t groundbreaking that in order to become a top fashion influencer, you very likely started with a significant amount of financial subsidy from your family in order to fund the lifestyle required to photograph yourself in high-end clothing, and also that usually with family money comes access to connections. You know, rich people.
None of this is news and has been the reality since influencers became a “thing”. It’s not that hard to have great styles to photograph every day if you’re thin and attractive with a luxury wardrobe and a large bank account attached to it. I’m old enough to remember that’s how the earliest—and to this day, some of the biggest—fashion influencers stood out. I mean, no hate to these people for their given life circumstances, and it’s notable that many have adapted their platforms to spotlight causes and raise money alongside their favorite hair mask recs. Having worked in the media industry for years, I’m also fully aware that being an influencer is a legitimate full-time job, and that money and connections only get you so far. But still, let’s not pretend we hit a triple when we were born on third base, or that we’re just meeting our Bachelor in Paradise co-contestant for the first time when we hooked up in NYC three months ago.
The thing that’s changed is that now swaths of the general population are losing their loved ones and family members, being laid off, living in cramped environments or at home with their parents, dealing with an array of serious life stressors. When that’s your reality, it’s no longer a pleasurable experience to watch someone parade around their generational wealth-funded mansion in a pajama set that cost $200 (but 10% off with code RICHBITCH!), seemingly unaware of (or at least, unaffected by) the mass suffering going on around them. From watching the most boring era of their lives, you see the wealth that allowed these accounts to start and continue with a safety net. A lot of the time, influencers can take the “risks” to go out on their own (i.e. quit their job to become an influencer) that most people never could, and they are hardly risks anyway because in many cases they are well connected enough to ensure success, or at least enough success to convince yourself you did it all on your own.
For the audience, in the absence of having this for oneself, it feels good to be mad about it, especially when one of these privileged individuals makes a misstep that’s insensitive, unsafe, or even objectively wrong. They have it all handed to them, they should be perfectly considerate and self-aware of everything they have! If I were them I would NEVER act this way! There’s a whole showtune dedicated to this feeling: schadenfreude. And we feel it because we’re humans, and humans can be jealous, petty creatures, especially when manipulated by an internet algorithm designed to rile us up because what the f*ck else are we supposed to do, our jobs??
At the same time, as humans we also have a desire for things to feel “fair”, and it’s the extreme contrast between our experiences that may be the source of so much internet anger—especially when everything about this virus and the havoc it is wreaking feels so unfair. We’re more likely to lean into this anger now than ever, when we can’t go about our plans to do things that help us feel like we’re a little better or more aspirational than we really are. When we’re all stripped down to our most basic lives, it becomes obvious that our favorite “relatable” influencer was actually not relatable at all.
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I’m sorry, what? “They took a road trip for some much needed air.” So @kendalljenner traveled 478 miles on a road trip to Sedona because she needed some fresh air? Because LA isn’t sunny and 75 every day and you live in a mansion where you have plenty of outdoor space! They are the epitome of horrible humans. Hey @suns @nba – are you okay with one of your players breaking the rules like that? #COVIDiot #kendalljenner #kardashians @people @usweekly @pagesix @espn @nba
Unlike the average person’s life, it appears on social media that influencers’ lives have barely changed. Same sh*t, different OOTD. Same skin care, different wrinkles (due to the fact that botox is not yet deemed an essential service). It also doesn’t help that they can’t seem to help but continue to post everything they do, when reading the room would be better than reading a Kindle book for the sake of posting it on Insta story.
People are suffering right now, and they’re craving the connection that social media once promised us. We don’t want discount codes (although discount codes happen to be influencers’ most material contribution to my life), we want real human contact and empathy. Since no businesses are open, it’s become so much easier to appreciate nature, just being outside in sunshine and open air, having a simple interaction with friends and family we haven’t seen and still can’t hug. That’s the page it feels like most people have gotten on, while many influencers appear to be on another planet. Or maybe just on their private flight from Palm Beach to East Hampton that they just couldn’t help but flaunt for the hate-views.
This article has been updated to more accurately reflect the nature of @deuxmoi’s content
Images: Rob Kim/Getty Images for Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet; influencerstruth / Instagram
How many days have we been quarantining? I stopped counting weeks ago—it got too depressing—but it’s officially been long enough for a public figure to be canceled, take a few weeks off of social media, then make their PR-approved reappearance into the public sphere. You love to see it. Or do you? I don’t know anymore. Of course, I’m talking about Arielle Charnas, the fashion influencer who was universally dragged last month for her bizarre choices after testing positive for COVID-19.
After a couple weeks of confusing posts, sh*t hit the fan for Arielle when a Twitter thread breaking down the timeline of her actions went viral. The issues centered around her decision to travel with her family from New York City to a rented home in the Hamptons while she was likely still contagious. There’s a lot more to the story, and I recommend reading this article for a full refresher, but none of it made her look great.
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After the backlash became too much to ignore, she took to Instagram on April 2nd, with a written apology post so long that I still can’t force myself to make it to the end. Actually, I’m not sure “apology” is the right word, because it reads more like an extended justification, but I think that’s what the intent was. Along with that post, she addressed the controversy in a series of Instagram stories of her hysterically crying.
Anyway, since those posts on the 2nd, it’s been radio silence from Arielle Charnas, which was probably a smart move. To her credit, she didn’t turn off comments on her “apology” post, and some of them are… intense. Arielle definitely made some dumb decisions, but I think anyone would need a break from social media after that.
On Friday afternoon, the three-week drought came to an end when Charnas posted a photo with her two kids. For the record, it is very cute, and I would expect nothing less. In the caption, she thanks her followers for “letting me take time to reflect”, which is a classic celebrity apology go-to. I love when celebrities say sh*t like this because it’s like, what’s the alternative—her followers go to her house and demand that she post something? Don’t get me wrong, I would be hiding out after getting virally shamed too, I just love that it’s always rebranded as if it’s done by choice.
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We missed you guys so much!! Thank you for letting me take time to reflect and be with my family. It has opened my eyes in so many ways both personally and professionally and it is this growth that I am extremely grateful for. Can’t wait to reconnect with you all – love you guys. 🤍
She continues, saying this time “has opened my eyes in so many ways both personally and professionally and it is this growth that I am extremely grateful for.” Ah yes, the textbook sentiments of eyes being opened and painful growth and, above all, gratitude. Arielle finishes by saying that she “can’t wait to reconnect” with her audience, and I don’t doubt that at all. Imagine being a professional Instagram personality stuck inside your house, and for three weeks you can’t even post on Instagram? That sounds like absolute torture.
It’s pretty clear that this relatively short Instagram caption was crafted within an inch of its life by a PR team, and that’s pretty much what I would expect. It’ll be more interesting to see, in the coming weeks and months, if Arielle Charnas actually seems to change anything about her content, or how she lives her life, or if she’s just saying what a publicist told her to. It will be equally interesting to see if this scandal will continue to put her future actions under a microscope, or if our collective memory span is too short to hold people accountable for prolonged periods of time. Only time will tell, and at this point, it’s not like I have anything else to pay attention to.
Images: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Fossil; ariellecharnas / Instagram (2)
As we’ve seen time and time again, celebrities and influencers don’t really know what to do with themselves right now. Most of them are just losing their minds with boredom in their palatial homes, but some of them just can’t get their sh*t together. Most of us have now been social distancing for well over a month, but certain public figures have still traveled major distances during that time. Some of them have had good reasons, while others have been more questionable, but all I know is that I would not want to get on a plane right now.
For some, it’s a matter of staying on vacation a liiiiiittle too long. I mean, we all remember how Kristin Cavallari and her family were chilling in the Bahamas for nearly a month. And this week, Tom Brady was spotted working out in a closed public park in Tampa—despite the fact that he was in Costa Rica with his family when the CDC started tightening guidelines.
But while those travel decisions are certainly questionable in the current climate, we need to talk about some influencers who have done exactly what we’re not supposed to do right now. Of course, the most-dragged public figure during all of this has probably been Arielle Charnas, who famously left NYC to go to the Hamptons after testing positive for COVID-19. From her attempt to cover up the actual timeline, to her comically bad apology, she’s the worst offender here. But she’s not the only influencer who’s f*cked up in the past month.
On March 28th, Naomi Davis (aka Love Taza), an NYC-based blogger and mother of five with almost half a million Instagram followers, posted this picture of an RV. In the lengthy caption, she explained that her family had left NYC the day before to head “out west so we can have a little more space.” Okay, hmm. She further explained that the family had been “diligent about self-quarantining”, and by choosing an RV, they would be able to cook and sleep there, so they wouldn’t be exposing anyone else.
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***PLEASE LOOK FOR MY UPDATE IN MY COMMENT BELOW.💛*** If you zoom into this photo in front of that big old white thing (which is the top of an RV Camper), you’ll see our family of seven as little dots just a few moments before driving out of New York City yesterday (Friday). My heart is breaking for what is happening in New York where I live and around the world right now. And after two full weeks in the apartment, we made the family decision to drive out west so we can have a little more space (namely some outdoor space for the kids) for a little while. While we’ve been diligent about self-quarantining and social distancing in New York City, we want to make sure we still stay away from others during our trip (even though no one in our family has had any symptoms, you could always be asymptomatic). For this reason, we decided to rent an RV in order to avoid hotels and people and just eat and sleep in the RV on the way. Hopefully a little change of apartment scenery will be just what we need – for everyone’s physical health, for my headspace which is spiraling lately – and for our kids’ own mental health. This situation is serious everywhere and I am sending my love and prayers to you wherever you are. More on my stories. 💛 (and photo from our friends who caught us packing up on the street outside an apartment window and texted us! Thank you so much for this photo, Weinbergs!)
While I totally understand what Davis says in her caption about mental health, the situation we’re dealing with right now is bigger than any one person. Of course her family wanted “a little change of apartment scenery,” and guess what? SO DO I!!! But the thing is, if you’re carrying the virus, no matter how careful you try to be, there’s simply no way to travel across the country without potentially exposing other people. Does the RV not need gas sometimes? Will the family of seven never need to stop for groceries? I get that their intentions are good, but as tough as it is, right now is the time when you just need to stay in your apartment.
Many of the comments on Davis’ post were critical of her family’s decision to leave the city, with people begging her to listen to government advice against traveling. Interestingly enough, the family has yet to return to NYC, but they haven’t been in their RV, either. According to comments on Davis’ post from Easter, it looks like the family is in Utah, and they’re definitely inside someone’s house. Good job, you officially failed at quarantining!
Another influencer who didn’t quite get the point of quarantining is Alissandra Maffucci, aka Inspiralized. On March 30th, just a few days after Naomi Davis left New York City, Maffucci also got sick of being stuck at home in New Jersey. She peaced out to Florida with her husband and two kids, two days after the CDC specifically told people in the tristate area to refrain from nonessential travel. Needless to say, her decision (and her detailed posts about it) sparked backlash, and she ultimately spoke to The New York Post about her family’s decision to head south.
She told the Post that, because her family lives in a high-rise building with “hundreds of people,” they “felt like lives were at risk.” Okay, yes, as someone who is also quarantining in an apartment building in an urban area, I can agree that this is stressful. Maffucci talks about how even things like getting deliveries and taking out the trash are potentially exposing them, and that’s true. But that doesn’t mean leaving is risk-free.
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She continued digging herself deeper, telling the Post that “I think our decision is actually saving lives.” Okay girl, I’m just not buying that, and I’m not the only one. On her posts about her family’s move, the negative comments started pouring in, ultimately causing her to limit comments on some of her posts. Referencing this decision, Maffucci told the Post, “I do not welcome negativity. I got a lot of criticism from people saying I am promoting something that the government is saying don’t do. What I say is that we are all individual adults.” Wow. That’s basically the same line spouted by anti-vaxxers and people attending these social distancing protests, and I can’t wait to see how that works out for them.
But mommy bloggers aren’t the only notable people who have broken quarantine protocols on social media. Late last month, Vanderpump Rules star Lala Kent went on a “quarantine road trip” for her fiancé Randall Emmett’s birthday. Emmett shared lots of pictures of the the RV he rented as a birthday present to himself, saying that he was “gonna drive it out into the wilderness”. I don’t have a complete itinerary of where they went, but he posted from an RV campsite in Malibu, which I’m pretty sure doesn’t fit any definition of “wilderness.” As we saw with Naomi Davis, some people seem to think that renting an RV is the perfect solution to traveling during the pandemic. But like I said before, there’s just no way to drive across the country without making potentially harmful contact with others. You just can’t, and at a time like this, why would you even try?
Unsurprisingly, some of the bigger names in Bachelor Nation have also made some very questionable travel decisions of late. Remember at the beginning of all this, when we couldn’t go an hour without hearing from Tyler Cameron and Hannah Brown’s Florida-based Quarantine Crew? That was fun while it lasted (though I’m not sure it ever technically counted as quarantining), but Hannah left a few weeks ago. Matt James shared on his Instagram story that Hannah and her friend Marshall drove home to Tuscaloosa on April 1st, in order to “ride this thing out with their families.” Like I said before, this is an understandable desire, but the timing seems less than ideal.
But other Bachelor stars have made even more questionable decisions. As we’ve discussed, Peter Weber has been with Kelley Flanagan in Chicago since late March. He flew there from California around March 27th. If this had been some sort of emergency, or essential travel, that would be one thing, but considering that Pete was texting another woman two days before, I think he could’ve just stayed with his family in LA. And then, last week, Reality Steve reported that Victoria Fuller had traveled to Iowa to spend the week with Chris Soules. Flying across the country to hang out with a dude?? In this pandemic??? Look, I have guys I DM with that I’d love to see right now too, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to put myself and others at risk!
Obviously, there’s nothing fun about the situation we’re in right now, but things aren’t going to get any better if we don’t do what we’re supposed to do. Of course I’d rather be on the beach right now, but I’m not about to go to Florida and potentially harm a million other people just because. Also, I don’t want to go to Florida because like, Florida, but that’s a whole separate issue. For now, just stay at home, and try to stay as sane as possible.
Images: Sean Zanni / Contributor / Getty Images; taza, inspiralized, randallemmettfilms / Instagram
By now, we’re all deeply aware of the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and hopefully we’re all taking precautions to stop the spread of this deadly illness. While many celebrities and influencers have used their platforms to spread awareness and contribute financially during this time, there are others who just don’t seem to get it. Of course, there have been tone-deaf posts, and some social distancing failures, but no one’s recent behavior is as baffling as that of Arielle Charnas, also known as Something Navy.
Normally known for her Nordstrom clothing brand and her huge social media following, Charnas is often a lightning rod for controversy, and especially so in the last two weeks. The backlash began on March 16th, when she shared her experience of getting tested for COVID-19, despite acknowledging that she did not meet the standard criteria to receive a test. From there, things have gotten pretty complicated, and everyone is trying to figure out WTF Arielle is doing.
In a meticulously documented Twitter thread, writer Sophie Ross called into question Charnas’ “dangerous and bizarre behavior surrounding her COVID-19 diagnosis.” Let’s go through some of the most important questions, and then I’ll try to piece this all together into some kind of coherent timeline.
From the beginning, people took issue with Arielle getting tested, and for how she documented the experience. She shared on Instagram that she was feeling sick, but her symptoms seemed mild, and not all of them even lined up with COVID-19. She also said that her doctor had told her to “quarantine herself” and stay home rather than seeking treatment (which she obviously did not listen to). The CDC also states that most people with mild illness “are able to recover at home” and don’t need to be tested. But instead of following that advice, Arielle Charnas posted that she “called up a doctor friend” who agreed to test her at his urgent care facility—without her even getting out of her car. She documented the whole process on her Instagram story, and also tagged the doctor who gave her the test.
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In the Twitter thread, Sophie Ross notes that Charnas got dragged for all of this, including a New York Post headline “Influencer Uses Personal Connections To Get Coronavirus Test.” Well, they’re not wrong. Along with angry tweets and comments, she was also called out by outlets like Diet Prada and The Daily Mail for flaunting her privilege and “cutting the line” for a COVID-19 test. While Arielle later claimed she did not use her privilege and paid for her test like everyone else, the fact remains that most people in the U.S. are not able to call up their doctor friend and get a COVID-19 test despite showing mild symptoms, at worst.
As you probably know by now, Arielle tested positive for COVID-19 a couple days later, but that’s not where this story ends. There are approximately one million questions surrounding Arielle’s behavior in the two weeks since her diagnosis, mostly involving her questionable quarantine/isolation period. On her posts in the past couple weeks, she’s gotten tons of comments with genuine questions and concerns about her behavior, and she’s mostly ignored all of them. Now, she’s turned off the comments on most of her recent posts, but Ross’ Twitter thread has tons of screenshots, and there’s a lot to at least call into question.
In the past week, the biggest questions about this whole situation regarding the Charnas family’s move from their New York City apartment to their Hamptons house. While traveling isn’t advisable right now even if you’re showing no symptoms of COVID-19, it’s especially problematic if you know for a fact you have coronavirus. The timeline is important here, so let’s break down what’s actually been going on.
Arielle hosts her daughter Ruby’s fourth birthday party at the Museum of Ice Cream in New York City. In a blog post about the party, she writes that guests “were able to play on swing sets, climb monkey bars, play basketball, and mingle with Disney princesses,” and that they also “dove into the sprinkle pool.” Sounds sanitary! Pay attention to this date, it will be important later.
Arielle posts on her Instagram story that she’s felt sick for the “past two days,” and shares her symptoms. She also says that her doctor advised her to “quarantine herself” and not come in for treatment. She says that she doesn’t meet the New York requirements to get a coronavirus test.
Later that day, she says that her friend, Dr. Deutsch (whom she tags), says that he’ll test her at his urgent care clinic. She documents the whole experience, as she gets swabbed without getting out of her car. She says that she tested negative for the flu.
When BuzzFeed reaches out for comment later that day, Arielle says “We aren’t commenting further on Covid … but appreciate the note. Stay safe!!” She shares on Instagram that night that her fever has gone down and she’s feeling better, but she won’t have test results for a few days.
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Despite telling BuzzFeed that she won’t be “commenting further on Covid,” Arielle shares on Instagram on Wednesday morning that she has tested positive for COVID-19. In a lengthy Notes app post, she says that she is “following the guidelines of the CDC,” and that in addition to continuing to “quarantine/self-isolate”, she will “get in touch with the family and friends that I’ve been in close contact with over the past 2 weeks.” That better include everyone from the Museum of Ice Cream, because Arielle was there just nine days before she got tested.
In the post, Arielle also gives an update on the status of her family. She says her kids “aren’t showing any symptoms,” but that they’re “watching them super closely.” She says that her husband Brandon “is also unwell and resting with us.” This would suggest that the kids and husband are the only people around Arielle—remember that. As Sophie Ross points out on Twitter, “it seems strange that a COVID+ person wouldn’t completely self-isolate”, but during this entire period, Arielle Charnas clearly makes no effort not to be in close contact with her kids.
In an Instagram story, Charnas announces that she and her husband are symptom-free, and have left their NYC apartment to spend some time at their Hamptons home. She says that they “felt better around the ninth or tenth day,” and “now at day 14 we feel perfect.” First of all, day 14 of what? This is only eight days after she was diagnosed with COVID-19, which means she could be contagious for another week, at least. And according to a study from the American Thoracic Society, half of patients “treated for mild COVID-19 infection still had coronavirus for up to eight days after symptoms disappeared.” The authors of the study urged that we should “treat the asymptomatic/recently recovered patients as carefully as symptomatic patients.” With this eight-day figure in mind, that means that if Arielle felt better on day nine, she should have waited until at least day 17 before leaving her apartment.
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The next day, Charnas shares a photo of herself out for a walk in the Hamptons with one of her children. For someone without coronavirus, this wouldn’t really be a problem. But that’s the difference between social distancing and isolation. If you know you have the virus, you shouldn’t be leaving your house for any reason. Of course, that ship already sailed when she traveled from the city to the Hamptons, but even still. Even though Charnas hasn’t had symptoms for nearly a week, she could very well still be contagious!
Another piece of this puzzle is Arielle’s nanny. On Saturday, Arielle went live on Instagram from her Hamptons house, and seemed to accidentally show her nanny in the shot. Naturally, this raised a lot of questions. Remember how, in Arielle’s initial announcement about her diagnosis, she specifically made it seem like she was only with her husband and kids? So when did the nanny show up?
Arielle attempts to clear this up on Sunday, responding to a comment saying, “my nanny and I got sick together unfortunately and she hasn’t left us since.” If this is true, I guess it’s good that she didn’t leave to go somewhere else, but how convenient for Arielle that her nanny has to work even while she has coronavirus! But then Arielle ends her comment by saying “but she’s perfect now too!” Which… no. If she and her nanny got sick “together,” it’s definitely been less than two weeks since their last symptoms, so no one here is “perfect.” Sure, the symptoms might have gone away, but that doesn’t mean Arielle and her nanny are not still contagious.
While there are a lot of questions here, it seems that, at best, Arielle Charnas has made some strange and careless choices in the past couple weeks. If I had to guess, she probably won’t address most of the specific questions that have been raised, and she’s already gone back to posting her normal lifestyle content. If you want a complete rundown of all the sketchiness that’s gone down, check out Sophie Ross’ Twitter thread—I literally couldn’t stop thinking about this last night. Stay safe everyone, and don’t go to your Hamptons house right now!
UPDATE: After receiving tons of backlash, Arielle finally responded to all the criticisms levied against her in a very lengthy Instagram post. It’s basically a Notes App screenshot apology, but using a slightly nicer-looking app. I’m not going to comment on every aspect of the apology, but here it is if you’d like to read the entire thing.
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Like, it’s good that Arielle is apologizing and attempting to clear up some of the ambiguities in her timeline and explain why she did some of the things that she did. However, there are still a couple of things that don’t quite add up.
In the seventh picture in the carousel, Arielle claims that she and her family self-quarantined in their Manhattan home for 14 days after the onset of symptoms on March 13. The only problem? According to Ross’s timeline and other outlets, the Charnas family left for the Hamptons on March 26. She even Instagrammed from a place that definitely doesn’t look like Manhattan on March 26th. Yes, it’s technically only one day short from Arielle’s 14-day claim, but it just shows that her timeline is not quite adding up.
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Also unacknowledged in Arielle’s lengthy apology is the person who supposedly must have come to the house to set up their internet.
At the end of the day, we are all fully aware that information about COVID-19 is changing by the day, and humans make mistakes—but usually those mistakes don’t involve endangering the lives of others. When you base your livelihood around oversharing your lifestyle with millions of people, you should take extra care to act responsibly. And if you do willingly broadcast your own irresponsible actions and get called out on it, come with a proper apology, because rest assured everyone will have the receipts.
Images: Sean Zanni / Getty Images; diet_prada, ariellecharnas / Instagram
‘Twas a dreary hungover Sunday when I decided I needed a new workout to help drag my ass out of bed. I had seen The Sculpt Society tagged in a bunch of Victoria’s Secret models’ Instagrams (yes, I’m a masochist for following them), which led me to try it myself.
The workout started with a dance cardio routine (have I humble-bragged that I was a dancer yet? I was totally in my element), went into some arm exercises with light hand weights, transitioned into some leg and ab sculpting using sliders, and then finished with a leg/butt routine that absolutely killed me (in the best way possible). Despite my nausea from the 3+ margaritas I’d had the night before, I left the class feeling super accomplished—without that icky sense of “I hate that I just paid to have a psycho in leggings and a bra yell at me.”
Megan Roup, the founder of The Sculpt Society, is fortunately NOT a psycho in leggings and a bra. Working as a professional dancer and fitness instructor for six and a half years, Megan saw a gap in the dance fitness space. “There was so much intimidation around it. I thought, it doesn’t have to be like that!”, explains Roup. “I wanted to create a safe place that feels warm and welcoming and like you’re part of a community.” After a ton of hard work, certification training, and practicing rounds of sequencing on her boyfriend (he must have a great ass at this point), The Sculpt Society was developed. Models, influencers, and celebs like Arielle Charnas (who Megan credits as her “big break”), Elsa Hosk, Devon Windsor, Shanina Shaik, and Morgan Stewart became fans, and the class took off from there.
But don’t let the fact that legit models are taking this class scare you—Roup is constantly reminding everyone that “there are always ways to modify to feel successful.” Any exercise can be made easier, and you can always use lighter hand weights or no weights at all—so it’s completely customizable for whatever level you’re at.
Me: I mean, I’ve never had to modify since I’m a hard-o but I’m sure it’s a great option for other people.
Also me: Can’t remember the last time I used the ankle or hand weights.
Since all the people, models, and influencers I just mentioned are
cooler than you kind of intimidating, I had to question if The Sculpt Society was really staying true to its roots of being an approachable workout class for women at all different fitness levels. Roup totally gets this, though, which is why she likes to highlight people of all shapes and sizes on her social media accounts. “I don’t want to perpetuate one way to look,” she explains.
Love that, thank you! Like, do I want to look like the Victoria’s Secret models you train? Yes. Is it going to happen for me? Hahahhah, no. (I like bread too much.) So, I love that Roup features people like Hunter McGrady both on social media and on her new app where you can take The Sculpt Society workouts ANYWHERE. I personally started with the 7-day free trial and am now paying the $19.99/month to continue. It’s the best workout that I can do right in my living room with zero equipment necessary. Lord knows no matter how many New Year’s resolutions I’ve made to go to the gym in the winter, it’s not happening and it’s really time for me to face the music and find a better solution.
You can experience The Sculpt Society for yourself at Energi in NYC, Studio B in LA, and of course on the app. (Sidenote: Megan told me that she filmed all the routines for the app in two days only. Those are 10 hour days. Can you imagine being strong enough to literally workout for 10 hours and not being able to cheat a workout because you’re being filmed? The horror).
No matter how many times I take the class, I still feel my muscles working so hard throughout it and am usually sore the next day. I know what you’re thinking, “this betch (me) is just weak AF,” but calm down, Roup actually relates. She said she is “dying” every class too, and for that, I applaud her because I truly cannot imagine how many times she’s taken/taught her own class since its inception three years ago. I’ve also gotten comments that my butt looks bigger since I’ve started, so there’s no turning back now! Appreciate you, The Sculpt Society.
Images: thesculptsociety (2), meganroup / Instagram
As a proud non-influencer with less than 600 followers, I’d just like to say that I truly think most influencers are full of sh*t, as are most of the products they get paid to promote. Take, for example, literally everyone under the sun who shills Flat Tummy Tea, which is proven to A) not work and B) give you violent diarrhea. Fun! For whatever reason, I get the feeling that most of these people care way more about the paycheck than the results of whatever they’re promoting. But because I don’t want to be 100% cynical, I tested out a few products that my four favorite influencers swear by. Some of it was great, and some of it wasn’t, but here are my honest thoughts about some influencer-approved products.
If you’ve read any of my beauty articles before, you know that I am a big fan of natural and/or plant-based products, so I am seriously loving the Arielle Charnas-approved haircare company, Briogeo. If you’re a sucker for chic packaging, this brand is def for you. Secondly, and more importantly, it legit changed my hair for the better. I usually think that no one, including my scalp, will notice when I switch up my hair product game, but I actually did see a difference when I started using Briogeo. Because I am an absolute glutton, I bought like, eight products all at once after I found out my girl
Becky Arielle with the good hair uses the brand. Because I’ve gotten my hair colored, I always look for something extra moisturizing, so I got the Don’t Despair, Repair shampoo and conditioning masque, which literally smell like a Le Labo perfume (in other words, amazing). I also got the Be Gentle, Be Kind kale and apple conditioner and Curl Charisma rice amino and avocado leave-in defining crème. Gag-worthy names aside, the products are incredible and made without sulfates, silicons, parabens and cruel treatment of animals. I know this sounds like an #ad, but Briogeo has no idea who I am, and my 500 Instagram followers def don’t care. I did, however, recommend this to my biggest fan, my mom, and she just placed her first order. Look at me, I’m influencing people!
Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Shampoo
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It’s February, the month for me when New Years resolutions become less of a concern and I become easily sidetracked because I have Netflix issues. I bought this big ass whiteboard to keep me on track and continuously manifesting every day! @liveowyn helps me stay focused and full while running around the city crushing my to-do list ✏️ I have a really bad memory so I’m definitely a visual planner What do you do to plan stay focused? Do you use apps??? #plantbased
When I think of what an influencer should be, I think of someone like Elyse Fox. This powerhouse founded Sad Girls Club, which, like, hello, great name, and she’s a charismatic voice for a community who needs one. SGC is an online and IRL community of women supporting each other to address mental health, and the organization’s first order of business is to remove the stigma surrounding mental health. That is a mission I can definitely get behind. Elyse is also stunning and just had the literal cutest, smooshiest baby boy I’ve ever laid eyes on.
Anyway, because I think so highly of Elyse, I don’t think she’d ever promote a brand she didn’t completely believe in. So when she posted a badass video of her with her OWYN drink, I bought a few bottles. OWYN stands for “only what you need”, and they’re protein drinks made without a bunch of crap you can’t pronounce. The drinks are also 100% plant-based, which, as we’ve already discussed, I love. I bought the Turmeric Golden Mylk and the Cookies & Cream drink. As you can imagine, the former didn’t taste amazing, but it did feel like I was drinking my way to a healthier liver, which was in dire need of a substance that wasn’t tequila. The latter just tasted like cereal milk, which I was and am always down for. These drinks are expensive af, so unless you’re, I don’t know, an influencer who gets them for free, I don’t recommend having one every day. I have one on days I wake up hangry or feel extra gross from bad decisions. I would also just like to say that as filling as these are, they are not substitutes for meals! Meals need to be chewed, not sipped.
OWYN Turmeric Golden Mylk
If you are an Refinery29 fan, you know who Mi-Anne Chan is. If not, start reading. She’s a video producer and beauty writer at R29 and tries out literally every beauty trend ever and lets her followers know what the deal is and whether or not we should do it. Mi-Anne jumped on the non-toxic beauty train and tested out Sundays Studio, New York’s wellness-inspired nail salon that uses only vegan, cruelty-free products. Also, they’re 10-free, which means the polishes don’t have any of the 10 most harmful/toxic ingredients, such as formaldehyde, toluene and camphor. For reference, most decent nail brands these days are either 5-free or 3-free. So Mi-Anne tried this place out, which made me want to try it out, because I would trust this woman with my life. Or, if not my life, at least with my face/skin.
The second I walked into the salon, I could tell that Sundays isn’t just a nail salon, it’s like a full-on meditation station that also happens to understand the importance of a good mani/pedi. As your nails are being painted with pure health, you’re listening to a guided meditation and getting a five-star spa quality shoulder massage. I’ve never felt more in love than I did in this moment. Seriously. The best part is that you aren’t destroying your nails or animals’ lives and you walk away with a fresh manicure (and what I’m convinced was a brain transplant, because I am not naturally so happy and positive).
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**WINNERS!!! @danionyourdome @crystalmathew @etmacintyre @theresaclare @casandracrespo THANK YOU FOR WARMING MY HEART WITH YOUR SWEET MESSAGES! I AM SO LUCKY TO HAVE READ THEM** i reached out to @humnutrition a while ago because i was so genuinely satisfied with their products. i know this platform can be isolating and overwhelming with stuff people tell you, you NEED. so i put together a box of my favorite products for my first giveaway – that way 5 people can try for themselves. the box contains Hair Sweet Hair gummies, Moody Bird (for PMS), OMG! (supports skin, heart and body with omega-3), Daily Cleanse (removes toxins) and my favorite Skin Heroes pre/probiotic. in order to win, go follow @humnutrition and in honor of Skin Heroes, send a message of love to your personal hero in the comments. i will announce the winners Monday morning! xoxoxox
I first heard about Pia Arrobio when Glossier used to make those “Get Ready with Me” videos. Pia had the most decadent, fabulous beauty routine by far, and I instantly fell in love with her and her feed. She is like the definition of L.A. cool (read: not obnoxious/trying to be an actress) and her new husband is disgustingly attractive. So, there’s that. She recently did a post about HUM Nutrition, which make beautifully packaged supplements and, as a supplement addict, I had to give these bad boys a try. So I got the Hair Sweet Hair gummies because I’m a child, but I also got Beauty zzZz (fancy melatonin), and Pimp My Calcium. The supplements, in my opinion, are great. Now, be aware that you won’t actually see or feel the effects of supplements after taking just a few. My doctor compared the supplement game to working out: you won’t see the effects of your SoulCycle classes after taking three—you need to make it part of your routine. Supplements are the same way in that they need to really become a part of your system to start working. So I got two months’ worth of each supplement and the one I really loved was the Beauty zzZz. Yes, it’s essentially just melatonin, but there was something so calming about these pills that I felt like I was taking an all-natural Xanax. The hair gummies didn’t have a huge effect on my hair, which may just be because my hair is already incredibly thick. As for the calcium, my bones feel great, I guess? But, I would def order again. Thank you, Pia. As always, I love you.
HUM Nutrition Beauty zzZz
Trust influencers who don’t seem like they’ll do literally anything for money. Also, maybe do a minute or two of your own research before blindly trusting the people whose entire lives take place on a platform famous for being fake.
Images: Daily Nouri / Unsplash; Sephora (2); HUM Nutrition; piabaroncini, ariellecharnas, mianne.chen, elyse.fox / Instagram
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