We are halfway through Black History Month (BHM), and I feel like asking my white friends to lend me their Karen energy because I’d like to speak to the manager about a return.
I ordered this BHM as a celebration of Black contributions to the culture, arts, politics, and function of the United States and the North American continent. Instead, we’ve received the marginalization, erasure, and disrespect of those very same achievements. I’m not saying that we should get a bonus month to make up for it. But doesn’t it feel like somebody (white) should be fired for this?
At the lighter but most blatant end of the scale, let’s talk about the epic snub of Beyoncé for Artist of the Year at the Grammys. Winner Harry Styles topped off the shit sundae of this embarrassment with a cherry of oblivious self-regard when he said that “people like me” don’t usually receive these awards. Sir, you are a white cishetero man, and – all offense intended – you were three years old when Beyoncé signed her first recording deal.
It was outrageous. It was demeaning. It was flagrantly offensive to ignore a masterpiece of an album that revived and modernized a musical style created and defined by marginalized people after a quarter-century career of absolute bangers every. single. time.
It’s not just that I am a Beyoncé stan (though what else could any of us be). It’s the refusal to recognize how powerful, impactful, and incredible she is as an artist because she’s a Black woman buoyed first and foremost by Black women.
But, ok, that’s only culturally disrespectful. So Beyoncé doesn’t get a justly deserved award that implies she will never be good enough to win over the white establishment. She’s still selling out stadiums and taking our rent money and securing a meaningful legacy through her art. It’s not enough to throw the whole month away, surely? It’s not like Black history is being actively erased, right?
In Florida, weeping pustule and governor Ron DeSantis has effectively suppressed the teaching of Black history in his state via the hellacious Stop WOKE Act — with repercussions across the country.
In Florida, teachers are terrified to share even basic facts about the centuries’ long history of racial oppression in this country, whether it’s the basics of chattel slavery or the widely documented reality of segregation. But leaving the state’s children embarrassingly uneducated wasn’t enough for DeSantis, who coordinated with the College Board to eviscerate the proposed AP African-American History course that will be offered to students across the county. Gone are the Black queer theorists and thinkers; gone are the titans of racial self-reflection. Instead, I guess Black students can learn that their ancestors were happy and noble under oppressive regimes — if they’re even mentioned at all.
There is something deeply perverse in preventing Black speakers and scholars from telling our own stories in our own words during the time specifically set aside for that purpose. It is the only four weeks on the calendar when Black people are given permission to take up space in a society that usually demands our invisibility. That temporary presence in the discourse — on our terms, in our voices — has been instrumental in creating the progress that empowered Black people to fight for abolition, to endure the horrors of Reconstruction and Jim Crow, to stand up for our civil rights, and to reshape U.S. politics by being the driving force behind the first Black man to hold the presidency. Losing access to our moment to speak up and speak out isn’t just going to quash what Black people have already done, but what we still aspire to.
It’s here where I have to get into the heaviest and most heartbreaking event to mark this month: the funeral of Tyre Nichols.
The darkest parts of Black history – the fear, the uncertainty, the deprivation, the blatant and terrifying disregard of our humanity – is not history. It’s still happening.
As Tyre’s and other new names are added to the painful litany, the importance of Black History Month comes back into focus. In gathering to memorialize Tyre Nichols – his hopes, his dreams, his kindness, his impact, and all of the people left behind – we are reminded that we still have work to do. And not just Black people. All of us still have work to do to ensure that Black people feel safe and cherished, loved and venerated, respected and free.
That is the Black History Month I asked for: one where we are doing the work of making this nation a better place for Black people — by extension, everyone else.
So, to be clear, y’all have two weeks to fix this. And if you’re not sure where to begin the dismantling of centuries-old structural racism and pervasive, violent anti-Blackness…. Well, getting Renaissance World Tour tickets for your Black friends isn’t a bad start. (You can always find me @gothamgirlblue, to be clear.)
We’re all fascinated by celebrities. We study their every move: what they wear, what their skin care routine is, what they eat.
As dietitians, we know that nutrition can be overwhelming and it’s easy to look to celebs for diet advice. After all, they look fabulous, and if it works for them, shouldn’t it work for us? (Aside from the fact that they have a trainer, dietician, and probably an unlimited food budget, we mean.)
Unfortunately, celebrities can fall victim to diet culture just like the rest of us, and they usually aren’t the best source for nutrition advice. Not to mention, they’re working in an image-focused industry that prioritizes looks over health. So maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t take their diet advice after all. Need proof? Here are some trending celeb diets that may do more harm than good.
Adele’s Sirtfoods Diet
First question: what are sirtuins? Silent information regulators, or SIRTs, are enzymes that regulate pathways in the body that may boost metabolism and reduce inflammation. The creators of the Sirtfood Diet claim that certain foods like blueberries, kale, and dark chocolate contain antioxidants that increase SIRT activity, thus helping you burn fat more effectively. Apparently, you can lose seven pounds in seven days by following the Sirtfood diet.
Sound too good to be true? It is…
There is some evidence that SIRTs may benefit your metabolism, but the research on SIRTs is actually stronger when it comes to aging and longevity. More importantly, there is no research that specific foods activate the SIRT enzymes per se. Yes, some antioxidants in food stimulate SIRT activity, but it would take an exorbitant amount of those foods to make this happen—much more than you can reasonably eat in a day.
Another kicker: the first phase of the Sirtfoods diet requires a pretty extreme calorie restriction: 1,000 calories a day for three days, mostly coming from juices. No thanks.
RD verdict: Even if SIRTs help burn fat, we probably can’t enhance their activity by eating normal portions of so-called “sirtfoods”. Any weight loss you see on this diet is probably from limiting your calories and eating nutrient-dense foods. While the Sirtfoods diet is rich in healthy foods we love, it’s basically a calorie restricted Mediterranean diet repackaged and sold with another name. Good thing the Mediterranean diet already exists, doesn’t rely on intense calorie restriction, and has proven benefits.
The Kardashians’ Flat Tummy Tea
The creators of Flat Tummy Tea claim that it “aids in the detoxifying and digestion process”. This word “detox” is used a lot in diet culture, but what does it really mean?
Your kidneys, liver, and digestive systems metabolize and help eliminate harmful substances from your body, also known as detoxification. While some herbs may help to support these processes, your organs are pretty effective at doing them on their own, so you really don’t need a tea to do what your organs were built to do.
Another important caveat: one of the main ingredients in this tea is senna leaf, a potent laxative that can actually alter your gastrointestinal motility and potentially do irreversible damage if used in the long term. Eek! That’s not detox—that’s diarrhea. Pass.
RD verdict: The best way to get a flat tummy, if that’s one of your goals, is by eating a whole foods diet, limiting alcohol, controlling your blood sugar with regular, balanced meals, drinking lots of water, and eating foods that are rich in fiber and probiotics. While you’re at it, add in 30 minutes of movement per day and voilà, a flat tummy—no harmful laxatives necessary.
Beyoncé’s Master Cleanse
The Master Cleanse, also called the Lemonade Diet, is a liquid-only diet consisting of four ingredients: water, lemons, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. Proponents of the Master Cleanse (which also include celebs like Michelle Rodriguez and Demi Moore) claim that the specific combination of these ingredients helps detoxify the body and support weight loss. Spoiler: any diet that promotes you consume nothing but a lemonade mix for days on end is not going to be good for you, and if you need more convincing, check out this account from a brave soul who tried it.
RD verdict: While it might be true that short-term liquid fasting gives your digestive and detoxification systems a little break to work more efficiently in the future, a liquid diet usually leads to binge and overeating which taxes your detox systems even more!
Yes, there’s some evidence that spicy foods like cayenne pepper may slightly boost your metabolism, but any weight loss you see from doing this diet is likely from the severe calorie restriction from not eating. If you have enough willpower to drink this concoction, why not adopt a healthy diet and get more exercise? It’s more effective and sustainable for long-term weight loss and supports overall health.
The hard truth about celebrities is that they look fabulous because they have the money for chefs, personal trainers, and dietitians to help them eat and exercise for their personal and professional weight goals. They are not qualified to give nutrition advice, but if asked, most of them will tell you that the secret to feeling and looking great is not a fancy tea, but a healthy, balanced diet with regular exercise.
Vanessa Rissetto and Tamar Samuels are registered dietitians and co-founders of Culina Health, offering nutritional coaching and a science-based health and wellness education. Taking the complicated diets, numbers, and more out of nutrition, Vanessa and Tamar simplify healthy eating ideals and plans in order to stop stressing about food and start living life. Vanessa has over ten years of experience as a RD, and currently serves as the dietetic intern director at New York University. Tamar is a RD and National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach, with a unique and holistic approach that integrates functional medicine, positive psychology, and behavioral change techniques.
Images: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com
If there’s only one thing this country can agree on right now, it’s that we’re all obsessed with Tiger King. Oh, that and stained sweatpants are officially business casual, so I guess we can agree on two things. Look at 2020 bringing us together! Now, there’s a lot to talk about with Tiger King. Obviously Carole Baskin fed her second husband to the tigers, even OJ agrees, and he’s hesitant to call anyone a murderer even
when he did it in the face of overwhelming evidence. And obviously, we could talk about the music videos, and the haircuts, and the throuple, and the murder-for-hire plot, but we’ve already done that. What I’d like to talk about today is Bhagavan “Doc” Antle. Yes, that sex-cult leading, Steve Martin in Baby Mama-looking motherf*cker that was actually born Kevin. The whole time I was watching Tiger King, I couldn’t believe that places like his existed and that there were so many psychos in America hoarding and breeding big cats. But it turns out, Doc Antle is super popular, and not just with regular people that are stupid enough to put their head inside a liger’s mouth. He’s popular with celebrities that are that stupid, too! So, without further ado, let’s take a look at all the celebrities that Doc Antle knows.
Call the police. pic.twitter.com/RYjUl8layu
— Ξvan Ross Katz (@evanrosskatz) March 30, 2020
By now you’ve surely seen this image floating around the internet. Doc Antle did indeed provide the animals for Britney’s epic 2001 VMAs “I’m a Slave 4 U” performance. Do we think that performance is what inspired Doc to get some sex slaves of his own? If that performance wasn’t convincing enough, I don’t know what would be.
You guys, BEYONCÉ has been to Doc Antle’s “safari” in Myrtle Beach. This woman, who does not let herself get photographed or filmed ANYWHERE without her consent, let someone take a picture of her with animals that have been kept in captivity their entire life for the sole purpose of making their owner a rich and famous man. Lol. Doc probably led that cub right to the gas chamber after it met Beyoncé, knowing it could die happy having met her.
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@loganpaul helping us spread the message….Save The Tiger, Save The World❗️🐯 The tiger stands as the last great sentinel of the forest, if we lose the tiger we will lose a piece of ourselves forever. But if we save the Tiger we could save the world, in order for the tiger to survive it needs clean clear skies, pristine lakes and rivers, wide open spaces, plentiful prey animals, and most importantly it needs you, people who care! Therefore if we save the Tiger, we save the world.
Well OF COURSE a problematic YouTuber would hit up a problematic zoo. I mean, when you film a dead body in a suicide forest and make jokes about it, everything else must seem harmless. He really is the best celebrity ambassador for the Myrtle Beach Safari. It’s like Jennifer Lawrence and Dior, Serena Williams and Nike, George Clooney and Nespresso, Logan Paul and the site of an alleged sex cult and tiger cub euthanizing. What a perfect match!
Look, I don’t pretend to know much about boxing. The only thing I’ll pay to view is the latest Jane Austen adaptation (what up, Emma!). But, apparently this dude is really famous, and must have seen that Mike Tyson had a tiger in The Hangover and thought it was a requirement.
Naomie is from Southern Charm on Bravo and if you’re not watching, you should be. Naomie is being dragged on the internet for hitting up the Myrtle Beach Safari (which is fair), but to give her some credit she did apologize and said she didn’t realize how much harm she was doing. That’s more than most of these celebs have said about it. Oh, and turns out the picture she’s getting shamed for is in Thailand (still not cool). If you want to see the one from the Myrtle Beach Safari, it’s here.
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💰1,000,000🏆 💥WINNER💥@marquisegoodwin with @kodyantle and I and tiger Man Durg. Congratulations on the win ✌🏻❤️ Marquise Goodwin pursued his Olympic dream three years ago. On Saturday, the 49ers wide receiver was celebrating winning a different kind of gold. Goodwin defeated Panthers defensive back Donte Jackson — and earned the $1 million prize — in the final of the inaugural 40 Yards of Gold pay-per-view event in Sunrise, Fla. Goodwin edged Jackson at the tape by five one-hundredths of a second❗️🎥 @nickb_photos
Marquise Goodwin plays for the San Francisco 49ers and even competed in the long jump in the 2012 Olympics. That’s cool Marquise, but I don’t think even you could jump far enough if that tiger decided he had an insatiable taste for human flesh. On Marquise’s own Instagram account he posted a picture with his wife and the tiger, but since he posted it after the show came out, which means he clearly doesn’t care that he participated in animal abuse, I’m showing you guys the one of him in the water with two freaks. Enjoy!
Drew Barrymore & Annie Leibowitz
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Beauty and the Beast. Photo series we did with @drewbarrymore with photographer extraordinaire @AnnieLeibowitz and our lovely lion Aslan for @voguemagazine Challenges Humans are pushing African lions out of their habitats. This cat’s populations are steadily decreasing in the wild. In just two decades, Africa’s population has decreased 43 percent and it is estimated that as few as 23,000 remain. One of the main causes is the alarming rate at which they are losing their habitats due to expanding human populations and the resulting growth of agriculture, settlements, and roads. Human-wildlife conflict is also a major threat to lions. Due to habitat loss, lions are being forced into closer quarters with humans. This, coupled with decrease in their natural prey, causes them to attack livestock. In turn, farmers oftentimes retaliate and kill these majestic big cats. They are hunted by humans. Lions are being killed in rituals of bravery, as hunting trophies, and for their perceived medicinal and magical powers. #savethelionsaveafrica
I feel a little bad for the celebrities that worked with Doc Antle and his animals, because they most likely didn’t have a choice in the matter. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to feature them here. Hi Drew! This was bad! But Annie, you probably hired him. FOR SHAME. At least you got that money shot though, right?
Even celebrity chefs are not immune to the charms of a baby chimp, it seems. They may be cute, Bobby, but they can still rip your face off. And you need that face for tasting the menu at Bobby’s Burger Palace! I’ll only get one if it has your stamp of approval. Be more careful.
Rory from ‘Single Parents’
Poppy would never take Rory here! But Angie totally would, without approval. If you know, you know.
None of this was a good idea, Hayden, but especially not the part where you put the chimp’s ear in your mouth. I’m gonna need you to take a time out and think about what you did.
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#tbt to one of my many appearances on the @tonightshow_net with Jay Leno @_the_real_jay_leno_ and @kate.winslet.official on the show with some tigers and a giant liger 2002ish. . . . . . . . . . #AtMyrtleBeachSafari for the support of the #RareSpeciesFund #WildLivesMatter #TouchTheWildSaveTheWild #tiger #tigercub #savethetigersavetheworld
We all know about this one because we did see Doc rewatching this footage on Tiger King. And look, I’m not going to drag Kate Winslet into this because it’s not like she gets to choose who is on Leno the same night as she is, but also she did marry a man who legally changed his name to Ned Rocknroll, so her judgment is skewed at best. So maybe she is cool with animal captivity. As long as those tigers have a cool name!
This list of celebrities is actually only a small snapshot of all the ones that have known and worked with Doc Antle through the years, I just thought a list of 30 people might get tedious. I beg of you to go through his Instagram, which is a treasure trove of information and atrocities. Enjoy!
Images: Netflix; evanrosskatz/Twitter; myrtlebeachsafari (3), docantle (6), commentsbybravo/Instagram
It’s been a long f*cking decade, and it’s safe to say there are probably a lot of pop culture moments you’ve forgotten about. I mean, there are plenty of pop culture moments just from 2019 that you forgot about. We’ve talked a lot about the end of the decade, from rounding up the most impressive celeb glowups to the least impressive fashion trends we all succumbed to, but this list might just be the most fun yet. There’s nothing better than a good celebrity scandal, so I put together the craziest ones you forgot about from this decade. There’s one for each year, so enjoy this nostalgic time with some batsh*t crazy celebs.
2010: Miley Cyrus’ Bong
9 Years ago the iconic video of Miley smoking salvia was leaked! Which was your reaction?! 💥 pic.twitter.com/686MhHVAT6
— Miley Cyrus Updates (@MileyUpdates) November 28, 2019
As we near 2020, it’s honestly insane that Miley Cyrus started this decade as a teenager who was still best known as Hannah Montana. In 2010, she began to change her reputation with Can’t Be Tamed, but she really turned heads when a video of her smoking a bong hit the internet. I can’t even believe this was a big deal, but I guess 2010 was a different time. While it turned out to only be salvia (lame), Christian mothers everywhere were horrified, but the rest of us finally realized Miley could hang.
2011: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Love Child
Way before Ben Affleck had an affair with the nanny, Arnold Schwarzenegger was busy doing even worse sh*t. In May of 2011, Arnold and Maria Shriver announced that they were separating after 25 years of marriage. The next week, news leaked that the separation was spurred by Maria finding out that he fathered a child with their housekeeper 14 years earlier. Arnold admitted it, but failed to mention that he only told Maria after she confronted him with the information. Not a good look, Arnold. The love child was born just DAYS apart from Arnold’s last child with Maria, making the whole thing even more gross.
2012: Halle Berry’s Exes’ Fight
Ah yes, this one is really deep from the pop culture vaults. On Thanksgiving of 2012, Halle Berry’s then-fiancé, Olivier Martinez, got into a fist fight with her ex, Gabriel Aubry, at her house. The fight likely had something to do with the custody battle over Halle and Gabriel’s daughter, whom Halle wanted to move to France full-time. The fight ended with Gabriel Aubry both hospitalized and arrested on battery charges, so I think it’s safe to say it wasn’t a happy Thanksgiving. After two years of marriage, Halle and Olivier got divorced in 2015, but at least she got him to fight for her while it lasted. The literal dream.
2013: Paula Deen’s Racism
I don’t know why we were all so surprised that an older white woman whose main personality trait is being from the south was racist, but alas, this one hurt. After years of a successful Food Network show and other business ventures, Paula Deen’s cooking empire came crashing down when she admitted in court documents that she used the N-word in conversation. Yeah, hard yikes to that. She also apparently wrote that she wished her husband could “witness a real Southern plantation-style wedding, complete with waiters acting as slaves.” UMMMMM, yeah, what the f*ck?! She lost her book deal, TV show, and product lines, and she definitely deserved it.
2014: Solange & Jay-Z’s Elevator Fight
The fact that Jay-Z cheated on Beyoncé still makes me viscerally upset, and apparently Bey’s sister Solange had the same reaction. After the 2014 Met Gala, security camera footage leaked of her kicking Jay in an elevator, and nothing has ever made me happier. Beyoncé later referenced the incident in one of her songs, saying that “of course sometimes sh*t goes down when it’s a billion dollars on the elevator.” A relatable scenario, for sure. We don’t technically know that the fight was about the cheating, and Jay said in an interview that “before and after, we’ve been cool,” but like, sure Jan. I’ve cut my siblings’ significant others off for like, buying them a sh*tty Christmas present; it’s not just gonna be “cool” if you cheat on my insanely beautiful, talented, brilliant sister who is the mother of your child.
2015: Rachel Dolezal
In a decade full of messy behavior, Rachel Dolezal might just be the messiest. She was a total nobody until, one day in 2015, her story went completely viral. Dolezal was serving as President of her local NAACP chapter when a small issue came up: she was telling everyone she was black, but that was a lie. Though she was born to white parents, instead of walking it all the way back and apologizing, Rachel maintained that she “self-identifies” as African American (not a thing), leading her to get fired from her jobs, and get clowned on the whole entire internet. In the years since, she’s changed her name to Nkeche, gotten charged with welfare fraud, and starred in a Netflix documentary that really just made her look worse and made her kids resent her. What a mess.
2016: Kim’s Paris Robbery
Whether you’re a Kardashian fan or not, there’s no denying that the Paris robbery was a really scary moment. While staying in Paris, Kim was robbed at gunpoint in her hotel room, where she was tied up and put in the bathtub. The thieves stole $10 million worth of jewelry, which is a good reminder to all of us that you shouldn’t travel with millions of dollars in jewelry. Kim like, basically doesn’t wear jewelry anymore because of this, and started being more careful about geotagging, so you could actually say this is one of the most influential moments of the decade. Just saying.
2017: Kendall’s Pepsi Ad
Remember when Kendall Jenner solved racism and inequality with one simple Pepsi commercial? Good times! I think everyone audibly gasped the first time they saw this commercial, which made light of a powerful social justice movement about police brutality and killing unarmed POC to shill soda. The reaction to the ad was swift and strong, and Pepsi pulled it almost immediately, but not before it went intensely viral. I’m sure someone (or several people) were fired over this, but I’m still not sure why anyone thought it was okay in the first place.
2018: Who Bit Beyoncé
the closest we ever came to world peace was when everyone just wanted to figure out who bit Beyoncé
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) December 27, 2019
I really hate to drag Beyoncé into this list again, but we can’t not talk about how weird this was. Last year, Tiffany Haddish randomly told a story about Jay-Z’s album release party, in which she said that a mystery “actress” was being extra and “bit Beyoncé in the face.” For the days that followed, the whole of society basically stopped, as everyone tried to figure out who the culprit could be. Ultimately, sleuths deduced that it was Sanaa Lathan, and Tiffany Haddish ultimately confirmed this conclusion. I still don’t know why this became a thing, but wow, what a time to be alive.
2019: Prince William Cheating
I really don’t feel like this got enough attention. Earlier this year, there were fairly credible rumors about Prince William cheating on Kate with one of her good friends, and we barely even talked about it! How is this not a bigger deal?? Probably because the royal family is getting ready to serve me with an injunction as we speak, but still. You probably don’t even remember the name Rose Cholmondeley, partly because it’s the longest, most confusing last name ever, but an alleged royal mistress (who was also Kate’s friend) deserves more attention! This alleged affair also sparked conspiracy theories that the whole “Meghan and Kate don’t get along” narrative is merely a cover-up for what’s really going on. Next season of The Crown is gonna be amazing.
The next decade will no doubt bring more dramatic af celebrity scandals. I’m just hoping, for the sake of content, that somebody will take one for the team (me) and pull another Tristan Thompson/Jordyn Woods.
Images: mileyupdates, betchesluvthis / Twitter; Giphy (8)
This morning, the nominations were announced for the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards, which means awards season has officially begun. As expected, many of this year’s biggest stars cleaned up in the top categories, with Billie Eilish and Lizzo included in all of the big four categories, and Ariana Grande and Lana Del Rey scoring their first Album of the Year nominations. Lizzo is the artist with the most nominations this year, which is undeniably well-deserved. Even “Old Town Road” got a Record of the Year nomination, which is a good thing, because I was gonna riot if Lil Nas X got snubbed.
But even though the nominations went according to plan for a lot of major artists, there are some others who are probably rage texting their managers/agents/publicists right now. Some of them are more surprising than others, but here’s who got snubbed in this year’s GRAMMY nominations.
Over the course of her career, Taylor Swift has basically been the teacher’s pet of the GRAMMYs. She’s won 10 awards, including two for Album of the Year, but this wasn’t really her year. For her new album, Lover, she came away with three nominations, including one for Song of the Year, but missed out on Album and Record of the Year—the two biggest categories. Considering that her last album, Reputation, only got one nomination, this is still an improvement, but it’s a far cry from 1989, which got a total of 10 nominations for all its songs.
Another year has passed, and Halsey has still never gotten a GRAMMY nomination for her own song (she’s been nominated twice as a featured artist). After “Without Me” became her biggest solo hit to date, I felt sure that this would be her year, but it wasn’t meant to be. Her next album will be out in January, and her songs “Graveyard” and “Clementine” missed the eligibility window for this year’s awards, so I’m sure she already has her prayer candles lit for next year.
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello
Despite “Señorita” being one of the biggest songs of the year, and their intense awards campaign of making out in public places, Shawn and Camila fell flat in this year’s GRAMMY nominations. They were nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, but weren’t included in Record or Song of the Year. Maybe now they can give their PR stunt of a relationship a rest?? Shawn was also probably hoping for nominations for “If I Can’t Have You,” which didn’t happen. Sad!
Okay, so maybe I was foolish to hope that the Jonas Brothers were going to get an Album of the Year nomination, but I’m a little surprised that “Sucker” didn’t sneak into Record of the Year. Like Shawn and Camila, they were only nominated for Pop Duo/Group Performance, which I guess is a small victory. If you had told me a year ago that the Jonas Brothers would be noninated for a GRAMMY in 2020, I literally wouldn’t have believed you. Still, I wanted more for them. Oh well, they’ll always have their Teen Choice Awards surfboards.
If you didn’t remember that Beyoncé released an album this year, low-key same. But her The Lion King: The Gift album actually got four nominations. For anyone else, this would basically be a dream scenario, but Beyoncé isn’t like anyone else. Along with last year’s joint album with Jay-Z, this is the second year in a row that Bey hasn’t gotten noms in the big four categories. I’m not saying The Gift was her absolute best work, but Beyoncé isn’t used to being relegated to the genre categories.
Ed Sheeran’s collaborations album had about 100 famous people on it, but the GRAMMY nominations voters weren’t impressed. He was nominated for Pop Vocal Album, but literally nothing else. Even Justin Bieber’s appearance on “I Don’t Care” wasn’t en0ugh for a single nomination. Now that Ed is taking an 18-month hiatus from music, I guess he’ll be absent from the GRAMMY nominations for the next couple of years, but it looks like the voters won’t even miss him that much.
This year’s GRAMMY Awards are on January 26th, so you have a couple months to make your final predictions. Personally, my bets are on a Lizzo sweep, but who knows if all the old people who actually vote for this sh*t will do what they should. And honestly, it’s not like it matters all that much. Cheers!
Feminism is, at its core, a relatively simple concept. Merriam-Webster defines it as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” Unless you’ve been trapped in a bunker since the 1950s or serving in the two highest offices of the United States, you’ll probably concede that this is a good idea. Yet according to a survey by GenForward, less than 20% of participants belonging to any racial or ethnic group self-identify as feminist, with most saying they “don’t identify as a traditional feminist, but support women’s rights and equality.” This cognitive dissonance is even more glaring when we look at celebrities’ interpretations of the term. Given their power and influence, it also makes it that much more disappointing. Below are five famous women who at one point or another have refused to identify as feminist, despite very clearly supporting feminist ideas. Celebrities—they’re just as clueless as like us!
1. Taylor Swift
When asked in a 2012 interview with The Daily Beast whether she considers herself a feminist, Taylor Swift said, “I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.” So adorable. While this is a lovely way to think, it presupposes, incorrectly, that feminism is a movement fueled by the hatred of men. On the contrary, feminism is about uniting men and women and putting them on equal footing. Luckily, Taylor has since changed her tune.
2. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus skirted around the issue in a 2014 interview with Elle by saying, “I’m just about equality, period. It’s not like, ‘I’m a woman, women should be in charge!’ I just want there to be equality for everybody.” Miley’s concept of feminism suffers from a similar flaw in logic as Taylor’s: it assumes that the movement is about uprooting men and taking away their power. However, it’s not an either-or proposition. Both men and women can and should have opportunities to be in power and “in charge”. Crazy, I know.
3. Susan Sarandon
Susan Sarandon, actress and occasional problematic person, had this to say about identifying as a feminist in a 2013 interview with The Guardian: “I think of myself as a humanist because I think it’s less alienating to people who think of feminism as being a load of strident bitches, and because you want everyone to have equal pay, equal rights, education, and health care.” The “humanist” response is a popular one with celebrities and, IMHO, a bit of a cop-out because it doesn’t acknowledge the reality that we live in a world where women are the more disadvantaged sex. Even worse, it perpetuates the false notion that all feminists are militant, combat boot-wearing, bra-burning wenches who want to burn down the world and render men obsolete (though I’ll admit I’m down for the combat boots). Can we be angry sometimes? Sure. But some anger is more than warranted when we continue to live in a world where we’re paid 77% of what men make, account for only 25.4% of board members and 6.6% of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, are at a greater risk of rape and domestic violence, and have little to no autonomy over our bodies. Instead of being afraid of appearing angry, perhaps we should ask ourselves why we’re so uncomfortable with women being angry in the first place.
4. Sarah Jessica Parker
Ironically, the star of Sex and the City, a show that’s supposed to be all about female empowerment, declined to take up the term despite clearly espousing feminist views in a 2016 interview with Marie Claire: “I am not a feminist. I don’t think I qualify. I believe in women and I believe in equality, but I think there is so much that needs to be done that I don’t even want to separate it anymore. I’m so tired of separation. I just want people to be treated equally.” The problem with SJP’s response is that she’s guilty of the very thing she doesn’t like about the movement. Women can’t begin to achieve the equality she desires if she and other non-feminist feminists refuse to engage and separate themselves from the cause. There’s power and unity in numbers.
It may be hard to believe now, but there once was a time when the woman who closed out the 2014 VMAs by performing in front of a giant “FEMINIST” sign hesitated to accept the label. Just one year earlier in an interview with British Vogue, the one and only Bey said, “That word can be very extreme … But I guess I am a modern-day feminist. I do believe in equality. Why do you have to choose what type of woman you are? Why do you have to label yourself anything? … I do believe in equality and that we have a way to go and it’s something that’s pushed aside and something that we have been conditioned to accept… But I’m happily married. I love my husband.” The reference to her marriage and husband is strange as well as problematic, because it implies that a feminist can’t have a healthy and loving relationship with a man. Her aversion to labels sounds more like the Tuesday night musings of your run-of-the-mill f*ckboy rather than a compelling argument coming from one of the most powerful and innovative performers of our time. Without labels, we can’t identify ourselves and, in turn, effect meaningful change, something Beyoncé later realized and emphasized with her VMA performance.
It’s clear that when it comes to feminism, we can’t look to celebrities for guidance—not just because they often fundamentally misunderstand the term, but also because, like most things celebrity-related, it’s an exercise in distraction. Roxane Gay points out in a piece for The Guardian that, “We run into trouble, though, when we celebrate celebrity feminism while avoiding the actual work of feminism.” Identifying oneself as a feminist is a crucial first step, but it’s just the beginning of the conversation and work that needs to be done.
Images: Allie Smith / Unsplash; Giphy (5)
In this divided world, there’s one thing that almost everyone seems to agree on: Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter is a queen. She’s a one-woman cultural institution, and there are only a handful of people in the world that have the same clout as her. She’s an incredible vocalist, a skilled creative director, and an electric performer. It’s tough to find something negative to say about Beyoncé, but no one is actually perfect, and I’m committed to doing the tough jobs nobody else wants to do. So here we go: Despite all of Beyoncé’s talents, she’s objectively bad at Instagram.
Okay, so before the Beyhive ruins my life in the comments, please hear me out. (Please!) This is in no way a personal attack on Beyoncé, who I think is amazing for the reasons stated above, and then some. But what’s the point of loving someone if you can’t also recognize their flaws? If you ask me, that’s real love.
In her live performances, Beyoncé has a charisma that’s impossible to ignore. If you watched her Homecoming documentary, you know that she’s an absolute legend of a performer, and she thinks through every second of what she’s doing on stage. But the magnetic energy that she brings to the stage is replaced on Instagram by a presence that’s almost lifeless.
First, we need to address the lack of captions. While I’m a fan of a bold no-caption moment on an especially good photo, captions are a big part of what makes Instagram fun. Whether you’re a fan of puns, or you go for captions with a little more substance, the caption adds dimension to what is otherwise just another photo of you. Beyoncé is gorg, but we all know what she looks like at this point.
But aside from the lack of captions, the actual photo aesthetic of Beyoncé’s Instagram is a little puzzling. I’m actually a huge fan of Bey’s personal style in the last couple of years—in both everyday and formal situations, she’s figured out exactly what looks good on her body, while steering clear of the same sh*t everyone else is wearing. She and her stylist(s) are to be commended. But a lot of the photos she posts just don’t do these looks justice.
Here’s a recent photo, which looks like when you took prom photos at Melissa’s house, because she had the nicest deck:
Here’s another one that was presumably taken in her backyard. I can’t blame her—the hydrangeas are beautiful!—but the whole composition of this post is a giant question mark. What is this weird grainy, glowy spot in the middle? Is this a Polaroid situation, or did she edit the photo to look like this? And what’s up with the random flower petal border on the sides? This feels very 2010, just-got-an-iPhone-and-downloaded-every-editing-app-I-could-find. It’s a great outfit, but there are middle schoolers who are posting pics better than this.
I’m also not a fan of Beyoncé’s tried-and-true format of posting everything in threes. I guess it makes her grid look cooler, but it’s completely unnecessary. Bey has clearly learned how to use the carousel/slideshow feature, so why force us to see three different posts of her standing in her yard?
Here’s a screenshot of her grid from earlier this year:
In the above screenshot, you can see her three posts from Valentine’s Day. All three of the posts are carousels, but there are only a total of eight photos. Fun fact: you can include up to TEN photos in ONE carousel! Bey, you could’ve posted all the same sh*t in just one post! Just a handy tip for next time!
Despite all my gripes about Beyoncé’s Instagram, I don’t want you all to think I’m just being negative. Let’s spotlight one area in which she has shown growth. Thankfully, she’s moved away from these bizarre edits that she used to love posting:
While these are certainly more interesting than the dozens of photos of her chilling in the backyard, I don’t miss them. Sorry Bey, but I don’t need a cutout of your lips and sunglasses. These look like a final project of a beginner graphic design class, not the Instagram of one of the biggest stars in the world. Great job Beyoncé for moving on from these kind of posts, you’re gonna do amazing things someday.
Okay, now that I applauded Bey for leaving her Photoshop cutout phase in the past, I have to roast one last post:
Uh…okay? It’s not that normal for Beyoncé to wish someone a happy birthday on her Instagram, so this is interesting. It’s nice of her to post something, but like I said before, this is totally lifeless. Nothing says “I love and care about you so much” like a no-caption photos that just says “HAPPY BIRTHDAY OPRAH” with some random picture from her childhood. She didn’t even tag Oprah! This is like that one random guy from my freshman dorm who still writes “hbd” on my wall every year, and I have to look at his profile picture to remember who he is. And why is there fake duct tape on the photo? I have so, so many questions.
Overall, Beyoncé’s Instagram presence is really not that important. She could leave Instagram tomorrow, and it wouldn’t have any negative impact on her career. She’s a queen, and no weird filter on her outfit photos is going to change that. But I’m a little tired of people blindly worshipping her every post, when her Instagram is so subpar compared to the rest of the things she does. I love Beyoncé, but her Instagram is just not it. Feel free to drag me in the comments, but I said what I said!
Images: Shutterstock; Beyonce / Instagram (5)
Well, if influencers’ general existence has a tendency to make you feel poor, get ready to feel destitute. Yep, the Instagram Rich List is out to make you realize you’re not being paid enough for showing up to an actual office everyday. Just kidding. Kind of. For those of you who don’t know what the Rich List is, it’s a list of the highest-paid celebrities and influencers on Instagram gathered by analyzing and compiling internal and publicly available data. I think I speak for all of the people earning
under a million dollars nothing for posting a photo on Instagram when I say, “why, though?” See this abomination for yourself below. The top 10 celebs who earn the most from Instagram are as follows:
- Kylie Jenner – 140 million followers – $1,266,000 per post
- Ariana Grande – 159 million followers – $996,000 per post
- Cristiano Ronaldo – 175 million followers – $975,000 per post
- Kim Kardashian – 144 million followers – $910,000 per post
- Selena Gomez – 153 million followers – $886,000 per post
- Dwayne Johnson – 150 million followers – $882,000 per post
- Beyoncé Knowles – 129 million followers – $785,000 per post
- Taylor Swift – 119 million followers – $748,000 per post
- Neymar da Silva Santos Junior – 122 million followers – $722,000 per post
- Justin Bieber – 115 million followers – $722,000 per post
And here are, in order, the top five influencers who get the most money from one sponsored post. Yes. One.
- Elenora Pons – 35.7 million followers – $144,000 per post
- Huda Kattan – 38.1 million followers – $91,300 per post
- Cameron Dallas – 21.2 million followers – $86,600 per post
- Sommer Ray – 21.4 million followers – $86,600 per post
- Zach King – 20.4 million followers – $82,900 per post
Is anyone really shocked that Kylie Jenner makes more money for one Instagram post than I will ever make in my entire life unless I win the lottery or settle out of court for a serious slip-and-fall? Do we really need hard data confirming that influencers make a stupid amount of money to, like, hold a bottle of laxative tea and smile? I sure as sh*t am not surprised! Since I don’t really need to confirm what I already know, I’m going to go into the most shocking celebs and influencers who ended up on HopperHQ’s Rich List and why I’m surprised by them. The list is in no particular order.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
I’m sorry, what? I didn’t know that many people cared about soccer outside of the Bend It Like Beckham fanbase. (That’s the American in me talking.) Clearly, I’m wrong, because this beautiful man has 176 million followers and makes an estimated $975k per post. I repeat, what??? First of all, what is he promoting because literally 99.9% of his posts are just of him playing soccer? Every now and then he’ll post a pic of himself looking at a new pair of Nike cleats like they’re his newborn babies, but that’s kind of it. Also, not to bring this up, but I have to bring this up. Wasn’t he being charged with sexual assault until just a few days ago? How are/were so many brands happy to sponsor him without clarity on whether or not he assaulted a woman in 2009? Allegations or not, I’m still shocked that he makes this much on Instagram. Can someone please explain the rules of soccer so I can get in on this cash cow? Much appreciated.
2. Beyoncé Knowles
Honestly, the only reason I’m putting her on this list is because I always felt like Queen B is too good for sponsored posts. Then again, with 130 million followers (CR has more than she does?! Someone explain this!) I guess it makes sense to milk your queendom and demand money for posts. She makes an estimated $785k per post, which is less than Cristiano. *lifts jaw off floor* How on God’s green earth is this possible? Especially since Bey has a full-time job as a touring artist and as a deity, she obv doesn’t need the extra cash, so I’m wondering why she bothers with the influencer thing. It seems like she’s a tiny bit above that whole world. But, now that we know Beyoncé is not immune to Photoshop, it makes sense that she’s not immune to shilling either.
3. Eleonora Pons
I am proudly one of Lele’s 35.9 million followers and am genuinely happy that she makes a chill $144k per post because she’s as hilarious as she is beautiful. I’ve been a fan of hers since her Vine days, which is saying a lot. So, I’m not surprised brands are hitting up Lele left and right for #sponcon, but I am surprised she is on this list because it seems like she really doesn’t do all that much of it. I am scrolling really far back in her feed looking for a post that would earn her this kind of cash, and I truly can’t find one. But maybe that’s why her rates are so high—supply and demand and all that? (I took Microeconomics 101 in college, thank you very much.)
4. Huda Kattan
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Hi my loves ❤️❤️ I have been getting compliments on my skin and you guys know how far I’ve come! From cystic acne to large pores to unevenness, it’s been a journey! I have struggled so much with my skin my entire adult life because it’s super sensitive and everything breaks me out. I can’t wait to share more about my skin with all of you, my new routine has been a life changer. This video was shot back in 2018 and it’s so much healthier now @huda
If you like beauty, you know Huda. She has 38.2 million followers, which is roughly 38 million more than I have, so I understand why she’s an influencer in this space. Most of her feed is her own product, which makes sense, but is also precisely the reason I am confused that she’s getting paid so much for IG posts. Again, which brands are paying her for sponsorship? Because I feel like any other brands hitting her up for a sponsored post would be her competitors. She does post on her story reviewing other products, so I guess that could explain it. Either way, get that cash, girl.
5. Cameron Dallas
I honestly didn’t know who this was, and tbh I still don’t. Who is he? *Checks Google* Oh, he’s a Youtuber and Vine-r. Grool. Well, he has a casual 21.2 million followers and makes $86k per post, which I don’t understand since his feed literally looks like that of every Brooklyn hipster with the Huji app who ghosts you after four dates. He also has the kind of captions that I draft (but don’t post) when I get home from Ghost Donkey at 2am and think I’m being existential. For example, there’s a photo of him in a Balenciaga sweatshirt captioned, “Figure it out.” Am I missing something? What are we trying to figure out? Youths these days are so ~mysterious!~ Anyway, yeah. He’s a child walking around calling himself a personality and an actor and making bank for posting weird sh*t on Instagram. I don’t understand it and I won’t respond to it.
Images: camerondallas, hudabeauty, lelepons, beyonce, cristiano / Instagram