10 Things You Didn’t Realize Happened In 2019

2020, amirite? That’s it, that’s the article.

I’m kidding! But seriously, have all years just gotten progressively worse, or does it only feel this way because of the 24-hour news cycle and advent of social media making it impossible to escape or stop talking about the bad news? Or is this the inevitable byproduct of capitalism, racism, environmental injustice, and fascism going unchecked and reaching a boiling point? Too deep for this article? Too deep for this article. If you thought the “Trump is going to tweet us into WWIII” phase of 2020 felt like forever ago, allow me to send you off the deep end by taking it a step further and reminiscing on huge cultural events that seem like they happened in another lifetime, but in fact, only took place in 2019. Get ready to go off a proverbial cliff.

Jordyn Woods Went On Red Table Talk

I remember it like it was both yesterday and 17 years ago: we were all in the office (a physical office, can you imagine?), gathered around the flat-screen TV, watching Jordyn Woods go on Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith to discuss her alleged tryst with Tristan Thompson. It was the kiss heard ’round the world: Jordyn, BFF of Kylie Jenner, smooching the baby daddy and ex of Kylie’s sister? It was a wild time. The memes. The jokes. The memes again. I miss it more than I miss some of my actual friends whom I haven’t seen in months.

Colton Jumped The Fence

Back when Colton Underwood was merely boring and not f*cking scary, we all waited with bated breath for the night he would finally vault himself over a fence in order to chase down the love of his life, Cassie Randolph. In retrospect, perhaps that should have been a sign this man did not exactly have a healthy attachment style. Anyway! Back in March 2019, The Bachelor viewers finally saw that long-awaited fence jump that Chris Harrison had been teasing out all season. Can’t believe we were actually looking forward to this at one point in our lives. But if I could somehow fence jump myself out of this universe, I definitely would.

Area 51 Raid

What I wouldn’t give for aliens to come to abduct me right now and take me away from this hellscape, tbh. This time last year, thousands of people RSVP’d to a Facebook event expressing their intent to storm Area 51. Nobody really did, because the event was made as a joke—although a few people did show up. What happened to them? Has anyone followed up or were they just wiped away from existence by the government? Anyway, looking back on it, I think we should have just gone for it and raided Area 51. Honestly, it’s not too late! Whatever could happen surely can’t make things any worse, right?

Justin & Hailey’s Wedding

 

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1 year ago we had the best wedding. Wish I could live this day over and over 🤍🕊

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It feels like these two have been married for decades, what with their constant Instagram PDA and general parent-like wardrobe aesthetic, but you would be wrong in thinking this marriage has been on the books for that long. That’s right, friends, Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin only actually had their wedding in September 2019 (though they did have a courthouse wedding exactly one year before that, in 2018). When time is a complete social construct, it’s easy to forget that I have cans of black beans in my pantry that are older than this marriage.

College Admissions Scandal

Ah yes, remember a time when rich people would actually be punished for their crimes? It was not actually so long ago, merely the faraway time of 2019, when Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman, et. al. got busted for participating in an elaborate (and if you ask me, stupid) scheme to get their kids admitted to colleges under false pretenses. The charges were made public in March of 2019 and the sting was called Operation Varsity Blues. We got so much from this, including Olivia Jade’s fake rowing pictures, Lori Loughlin’s every attempt to justify her very much illegal actions, Felicity Huffman’s joke of a jail sentence, and probably the inevitable Netflix and Hulu documentaries. Do you think Olivia Jade will play herself in the fictionalized adaptation for HBO?

Bradley & Gaga’s Oscars Performance

2019 oscars

Okay, to be fair, A Star Is Born was big in 2018 technically, since The Oscars take place in February. But still, who else can barely remember a time when you could have 100 people in a room, regardless of whether or not 99 of those people believe in you? I shudder at the thought now. As does the time Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga basically had sex on stage with their eyes while performing the breakout hit from the movie they starred in together. It feels like 5 years ago, but it was really more like one and a half.

Series Finale of ‘Game of Thrones’

Yeah, the series finale of Game of Thrones completely sucked, but you know what’s even worse? The series finale of American democracy. I really wish the biggest thing we had to complain about was investing years in a TV show that completely sh*t the bed on its ending. Even though Game of Thrones only ended in May 2019, I for one have enjoyed this extremely blissful period in which I stopped having to pretend like I cared at all. Honestly, I wish it had ended sooner.

Miley Cyrus & Liam Hemsworth’s Divorce

 

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ROCK THE BOAT ❤️ 🇮🇹 ❤️🇮🇹

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…And Miley’s subsequent Hot Girl Summer journey. We have yet to see anything like the utter messiness of Miley and Liam getting divorced after basically pulling a decade-long “will-they-won’t-they” on the general public, and then Miley gallivanting around Italy with Kaitlynn Carter, who had just divorced from her ex, Brody Jenner. It was a media circus that we were all living for. Ugh, those were fun times.

The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Won The World Cup

Jesus f*cking Christ, look at how much can change in a year. In July 2019, the U.S. Women’s Soccer team won the 2019 FIFA World Cup, and we were all “girl power!” and “goals!” and “Megan Rapinoe is bae “. Now, we’re all “Make The Handmaid’s Tale fictional again” and “please don’t confirm a Supreme Court Justice who basically walked straight out of Gilead” and “should I get an IUD?”

Trump Was Impeached

Yeah, that only happened in December 2019. And thank goodness it taught him a much-needed lesson on not overstepping your power, denouncing white supremacists, and gracefully conceding should he lose the general election come November. Oh, wait.

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Images: DFree / Shutterstock.com; Giphy; haileybieber, mileycyrus / Instagram; Ed Herrera / Getty Images

Lori Loughlin Will Plead Guilty In College Admissions Scandal

Guys, it’s the end of an era. Over a year ago, Operation Varsity Blues, a college admissions scam implicating Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, their daughter Olivia Jade, Felicity Huffman, and about 50 others, broke. Well, a lot has happened since then. Felicity Huffman was sentenced to and served her 14-day sentence. Other parents were ordered to pay hefty fines. But the lone holdout in all this was Lori Loughlin, who seemed determined to assert her innocence at all costs. But that evidently didn’t last, because on Thursday, news broke that Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli had agreed to take a plea deal. Alexa, play “End Of The Road” by Boyz II Men.

The US Attorney’s Office in the District of Massachusetts said Loughlin and Giannulli have agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges. As part of the agreement, Loughlin will be sentenced to two months in prison and Giannulli will be sentenced to five months, subject to the court’s approval.

Giannulli and Loughlin were accused of paying $500,000 to get their two daughters into USC, a scheme that involved bribery and fake rowing pictures. But the plea deal comes as a bit of a surprise, considering as recently as two weeks ago, Loughlin was clinging to her innocence more tightly than I’m clinging to the foolish hope of having any semblance of a summer this year. In January 2020, they asserted they “did NOT bribe the former Senior Associate Athletic Director Donna Heinel,” according to TMZ, reasoning that though they paid $500,000, it could not have been a bribe because they made the check out to USC. They also argued, “USC invites donations like the ones Lori and Mossimo made to the school” as an “institutionalized form of admission for a price, and in no way, shape or form bribery.” They also planned to argue that they never submitted fake rowing photos of Olivia and Isabella to get them on the USC crew team, though they definitely did take the photos.

Basically, their whole plan was to put all the blame for bribery on Rick Singer, the ringleader of the whole scheme, and claim they were simply making a hefty donation to USC, not a bribe. Sure, like when I drink three glasses of wine, I’m not binge drinking, I’m wine tasting.

Two weeks ago, a judge denied a motion to dismiss the charges against Loughlin and Giannulli, which alleged that the government had botched the investigation and failed to turn over certain evidence in a timely fashion. But now, she’s taking the deal, and with it, some nominal prison sentence that she probably won’t even serve half of. Honestly, I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get to see her dressed-up “affluenza” plea play out in trial. But I can’t wait for the movie adaptation of this whole scheme!

Images: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

The Shortest Celebrity Jail Stints Ever

Surprise, surprise! On Friday, Felicity Huffman was released from jail after serving 11 days of her 14-day sentence. In case you live under a rock, the former Desperate Housewife was put behind bars for paying $15,000 in the college admissions scam for her daughter to cheat on the SATs and boost her test scores. Yeah, the SATs are hard AF, but obviously this isn’t okay. It’s good that she got punished for what she did, but do 11 days in jail even really count, though? 

To celebrate Felicity’s freedom after her truly grueling sentence, we decided to take a look back at some of the shortest celebrity jail stints of all time. It’s no big secret that the criminal justice system in our country is f*cked up, so yeah, these celebs probably got some special treatment. It sucks, but are you surprised?

Nicole Richie: 82 Minutes

Nicole Richie wins for shortest time in jail, like, ever. In 2007, she served 82 minutes in jail while five months pregnant, and was released due to overcrowding. I feel like it’s really irresponsible and stressful to be put in jail while you’re pregnant, especially if it’s that crowded and people can accidentally squish your pregnant belly? Idk, I don’t really know what jail is like. It is important to note that she wasn’t pregnant yet when she got arrested for a DUI, which would have been like, double irresponsible. Still not a great look tho, Nicole.

 Lindsay Lohan: 84 Minutes

I’ve loved Lindsay Lohan since her Dad’s 26-year-old fiancé wanted to ship her off to Switzerland (oh wait, that wasn’t real?), and no matter how messy she’s turned out to be, I’ll always be by her side. Everyone remembers LiLo’s downfall after being one of the biggest movie stars of the early 2000s, and this jail sentence was at the peak of it all. She was arrested for—you guessed it!—drunk driving and possession of drugs, and was released early because of—you guessed it!—overcrowding. I feel like the mani pedi LiLo got for her court appearance probably took more time than she spent in jail. Hopefully she took the whole 84 minutes to think about her actions and turn her life around, but considering some of her more recent erratic behavior.

Khloé Kardashian: 3 hours

Before the age of selfies, before iPhones existed, before Instagram and Snapchat were a thing, Kim Kardashian did something that would turn out to be one of her most iconic moments. I will never forget the legendary moment when Kim wouldn’t stop taking pictures of herself while her sister, Khloé, was going to jail. Ultimately, Khloé was in jail for only three hours for violating probation from a DUI arrest, and people only remember it because of Kim’s self-obsessed selfie taking in the car on the way there. Kris Jenner saying “Kim, would you stop taking pictures? Your sister’s going to jail” honestly needs to be written on my grave. Of course, Khloé going to jail for three hours has turned into an entire paragraph about Kim. Ugh, Kim is such a selfish attention whore, and I absolutely love her for it.

Shia LaBeouf: 1 Day

Shia LaBeouf seems kinda random now, but he was in Holes, which was one of my literal favorite books/movies growing up. Although thinking about it now, I’m starting to realize that a plot about a boy being wrongfully sent to a brutal camp where the camp warden forces him to mysteriously dig holes is kind of abusive and f*cked up. Anyway, Shia went to jail for a single day for being really drunk in a hotel lobby. Apparently, he asked a bystander for a cigarette and when the person refused, Shia started swearing and yelling loudly in public. When the police told him to leave, he became aggressive toward the officer and ran to a nearby hotel where he was arrested. Don’t you kind of feel like one day in jail is a solid punishment for being an asshole?

Paul McCartney: 9 Days

Paul McCartney is massively famous for being a member of The Beatles, but there was one time in 1980 when he was also a massive dumbass. That year, he went to jail for nine days for being caught in Tokyo with half a pound of marijuana—at the airport. Paul, why the f*ck were you bringing marijuana to the airport? Well, obviously he didn’t care that much about going behind bars, because when he was released, he used his mugshot photo as a cover for his album. Thanks, jail!

Obviously, going to jail or prison is nothing to take lightly, but luckily for these celebs, their fame pretty much negated any actual effect it could’ve had on their careers. We’re still waiting to see what Lori Loughlin’s sentence will be for the college admissions scandal, but I have a feeling her treatment won’t be much different from any of these people.

Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (2)

Felicity Huffman And A Dozen Others Plead Guilty In College Admissions Scandal

Well, it seems not everyone involved in the college admission scandal spent their court hearing signing autographs and treating it as a chemistry read for a new ABC sitcom (tentatively titled Crash Course in my mind). Felicity Huffman, along with a dozen of the other parents that are involved in this scandal, have pleaded guilty on counts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Is it just me, or is this the first time we’ve heard about Felicity Huffman since the scandal came out? Kudos to her publicist, you hid her well.

Just a reminder that this was not a one way street and that some people on the college side actually were involved. For example, Michael Center who is the former (shocking) men’s tennis coach at University of Texas at Austin, pleaded guilty for the same chargers. He accepted over $60,000 grand in cash and a $40,000 donation to ensure a student was accepted and recruited. Why have I been lying to my friends all my life for free? Also a reminder: Felicity Huffman didn’t come up with this plan, Rick Singer did. He’s the owner of a for-profit Newport Beach college admissions company and was the one helping these parents cheap and dupe their kids way into elite schools so I guess they could be more like Blair Waldorf?

Back to Huffman, who does have top billing on this scandal (until Aunt Becky makes her plea): her charges are due to the fact that she paid $15,000 for a Harvard graduate to correct her daughter’s SAT answers, increasing her score by 400. (I’m praying my parents didn’t do this for me, cause if so, they really should get a refund). The conspiracy charge came from the notion that she was planning on doing the same thing for her younger daughter. Fans of William H. Macy will be happy to know he was not charged, but it was suggested that he was in the know about what was going on. Shameless, am I right? (Sorry).

Because of her clear criminal record, and also probably because of her amazing IMDB record, her sentence is low and should be around four to 10 months — but I don’t know… a blonde actress with an Emmy, she may just have to clean up the streets of Calabasas for a few weeks. God bless our system!

Here is her full statement:

I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I have done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions.

I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community. I want to apologize to them and, especially, I want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly.

My daughter knew absolutely nothing about my actions, and in my misguided and profoundly wrong way, I have betrayed her. This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life. My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty.

Now, onto some of the lesser-known participants in this scandal. One parent, Jane Buckingham, actually wrote a book called “The Modern Girl’s Guide to Sticky Situations,” giving us Countess LuAnn level lols for writing a book they’d never know they actually needed. She not only cheated the system by having someone take her son’s ACT exam, but she also… cheated her son by giving him a copy of the ACT at home for him to take while sick so he would think he took it honestly? Honey, hate to break, but if your son believes that that’s how exams, work, he shouldn’t go to USC.

While there’s less information on these other parents, here’s a list of all the other names who have also pled guilty, because why not drag them just a little bit? Augustin Huneeus, Gordon Caplan, Peter Jan Sartorio, Stephen Semprevivo, Devin Sloane, Gregory and Marcia Abbott, Robert Flaxman, and Marjorie Klapper – consider yourselves dragged.

This is just the start of the chargers that should be coming through this week, and all charges should be wrapped up by Friday (unless Olivia Jade and Lori have a meet and greet scheduled).  

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4 Secrets Nobody Tells You About Applying To College

In light of Loughlin-gate, colleges everywhere are being heavily scrutinized for how they admit students. Which, hi, they should be! I worked for a university’s admissions office for four years, and I was absolutely horrified by what these celebrities were able to get away with. *cue Grandpa voice* In my day, it didn’t f*cking work like that. Or maybe I just wasn’t aware of that part? In any case, if you don’t have rich parents willing to commit fraud, go to prison, and waste a quarter of a million dollars on you because you’re too stupid/lazy to do it the right way, let me help you out. I have some expertise in the area of applying to college that I don’t think a lot of people are aware of. These tips apply to both undergrad and grad school, and even if they don’t work for you, doing these things definitely won’t hurt. Remember, you’re an Elle Woods, who busted her ass to be smart enough for Harvard even though her daddy could have def written her a check. Don’t be an Olivia Jade. Nobody else will tell you these secrets about applying to college—not your guidance counselor, and not one of those giant books that list every stat of every college in the U.S. that your mom forces you to pore over (or was that just my experience applying to college?). Either way, you are welcome.

1. You Need An Edge

Let’s say you did everything right. You studied hard, got good grades, and took standardized tests six f*cking times for the same relative score. (Just me?) The problem is, there are thousands of other people exactly like you who are also applying to college. Same classes, same programs, same grades, etc. So why would they pick you over them? This is where your edge comes in. It used to be enough to have a 4.0 and high test scores, and now that’s somehow the basic standard. So especially if you’re below that threshold, you need something that makes you better/different than those identical kids. For me, it was my artist portfolio, because I went to film school for animation. Grades and test-wise, I was perfectly average for my school, but being a pretty good artist pushed me to be more competitive. If you have no talent in anything (sorry), find something else to do. Do a ton of community service, especially if it’s related to your major. You can help organize some kind of charity event that you can brag about later. It’s even better if it’s relevant to your field. Like, if you’re applying for psychology, maybe volunteer at a clinic, or try to get some research gigs to pad your resume. Whatever it is, try to come up with something that makes you better than average. Your edge can also be that your daddy bought a building (ugh), but let’s hope the school at least cares that your grades are good enough to actually attend the school, too.

2. They Keep Track of Contact

This is a weird one that I’m not sure every school does, but a lot of them do. Plus, it can’t hurt. Schools keep track of how many times you contact them to gauge your interest. It reflects poorly on admissions if they send out a certain number of acceptances and most people choose somewhere else. They really like to say sh*t like, “Oooh sorry, we only have a acceptance rate.” Whatever. Anyway, they are way more likely to accept you if you seem super stoked to go there and are, in their eyes, a guaranteed acceptance. This is why you have a way better chance of getting in (it’s like 30% higher) as an early decision or early action applicant. Early decision means it’s binding (if they accept you, you have to go) so only do this for your top choice, but early action means you still get to choose, so apply early to every school that offers it. In addition, contact them as often as you can without making it weird. You have to have legit reasons. Email admissions and tell them this is your first choice school if it is. Use all of your stalking skills for good (for once) to contact the head of your program. Tell them how much you want to be there for specific reasons (that you then list out). Go on a tour at the campus. Set up an interview if possible. Anything that is attached to your name will be logged, and this can very much be your “edge” when it comes down to you and an identical student. You showed more interest than Generic Good Students A-Z, so hopefully they’ll cancel each other out.

3. You Can Go Straight To Professors

Furthermore, stalking your future professors can also count as contact. But again, like, respect their privacy and don’t be creepy about it. What I mean is if you really want to go to this school, figure out who will be teaching you in whatever department you think you might want to major or take classes in. Did one of the head professors write a book? Read that f*cking book and email them about how much you loved it, and you can’t wait to learn from them for these reasons, and you’ll be applying in Fall 2019 so please look out for you. Did a professor work on one of your favorite movies? Same thing. Ask if they have tips for your portfolio for your application. No one does this, so they’ll probably be flattered and forward your email to the department head/admissions committee with a recommendation. If they never respond, no big deal, it didn’t do any harm. Unless of course you called their personal cell phone or showed up at their home. Don’t do that.

In all seriousness, though, cold emailing people is a useful skill you should start learning before college, because you have to do the same sh*t for jobs in the real world, only then they call it “networking”. The sooner you start practicing, the better you’ll get at it.

4. They Check How Dumb Your School Was

This one I found both funny and offensive. Admissions offices weigh your GPA based on how well your previous school is ranked, similar to how you get a weighted credit by taking an AP class. I went to an okay public school, where I graduated with a 3.8 GPA. My friend got into the same college as me with a 3.0. I was like, um, why and how? It’s because he went to a highly ranked college prep boarding school in Connecticut or some sh*t. His 3.0 was weighed higher than my 3.8, because I went to a dumb school and he went to a very rigorous program. This is important to know, especially when you’re up against identical students with perfect grades from better schools. If your current school is not ranked super high, your grades need to be even better, and you’ll need that edge even more. Don’t be discouraged, though. I turned out fine, and I still don’t even know basic geography.

Hopefully these tips will help you out before you start sending out applications! It’s never too early to start contacting people and planting those seeds. Do you have any more advice to people applying to school? Let me know your secrets in the comments!

Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (4)

Here’s How Olivia Jade Is Reportedly Handling The College Scandal

It’s been weeks since news of the celebrity college admissions scandal broke, and it’s still one of the biggest stories in the news. While I’m not surprised that any of this stuff was happening behind closed doors, the scandal has still been shocking for different reasons. First of all, I never thought I would be this invested in the life of a teenage YouTuber. I hate to admit it, but I care deeply about what’s going on with Olivia Jade. In the past couple of weeks, there have been dozens of stories and rumors going around about Olivia and her family, and it’s tough to keep track of what’s going on. Let’s do our best to run through the most important Olivia Jade stories that have been going around.

First off, Olivia allegedly isn’t talking to her parents, and is staying with her model boyfriend, Jackson Guthry. Olivia’s friends are apparently urging her to reconnect with her parents, because they maintain that Aunt Becky and Mossimo were just trying to do what’s best for her. I feel like if her parents really wanted to do what’s best for her, they made a few small mistakes. Like, maybe they should’ve let her develop a work ethic on her own, and also maybe they  shouldn’t have committed felonies that would end up humiliating her publicly and ruining her career. But then again, her mom does duck face in pictures, so maybe she went to the Regina George’s Mom School of Parenting, and just didn’t know any better. She probably paid half a million dollars to get in there, too.

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USC, brand partnerships, her entire empire—done for. Olivia Jade is in complete "crisis mode," while Lori Loughlin is in "seclusion." Link in bio for their new reality since their lives took a complete 180°. (?: Instagram)

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Olivia’s own friends might be the only ones who are supporting Olivia’s parents, because her parents’ friends are reportedly distancing themselves because they’re “so disgusted.” Um, I’m sorry, but buying your kids a college degree is far from the biggest scandal in Hollywood. I wonder if all these rich people were as quick to react when their friends got #MeToo’d. But Danny Tanner is standing by their side, and I’m sure Uncle Joey is too. I bet they think the whole thing is despicable, but based off Full House, they’ll take whatever they can get in terms of friends. John Stamos has yet to make an official statement, and the Olsen twins probably don’t remember who Lori Loughlin is.

It’s reported that Olivia feels like she’s a victim in the situation. Look, the way society works these days is that every week, we find a new witch to burn at the stake for the sake of entertainment, and to feel better about ourselves. Right now, Olivia and her parents are said witches. I’m sure a lot of people would disagree that she’s a victim, but she didn’t even want to go to college in the first place—her parents actually made her do it. She wanted to focus on her beauty brand, and is now losing deals left and right. Love her or hate her, she actually worked to build her brand, and now she’s watching it crumble. If she really didn’t know what her parents were doing, I actually sort of buy that she’s a victim here.

Olivia and her sister have also reportedly dropped out of USC because of “bullying.” I totally buy this, because I would probably do the same thing if I was in their situation. USC said they were resolving whether or not the students involved in the scam should stay or go on a “case-by-case” basis, but they are claiming these girls haven’t dropped out…? Wait, what? So my guess is that Olivia Jade and Bella leaving is more of a “You can’t fire me because I quit!!” scenario to save face.

The media is also doing whatever they can to unearth past info on Olivia and Bella (oh, that’s her sister we keep forgetting about, BTW!). Bella apparently was on the lower spectrum of the average expectations for students admitted to USC but there’s no word on Olivia’s grades. However, this rando YouTuber said she went to the same school as Olivia Jade for ONE WHOLE WEEK, and while they never spoke at all, she’s pretty sure Olivia didn’t do that well if she was off making videos and mingling at NYFW instead of doing six hours of homework every night. Okay, chill. There’s no way you were actually doing six hours of homework every night in high school. Let me just say again that this chick never even spoke to Olivia Jade. Does breathing the same air as a celeb mean that you’re an accurate resource for their personal life? If so, stay tuned for my upcoming YouTube video where I talk about whether or not Kylie will be friends with Jordyn again, because one time my cashier at Urban Outfitters modeled with them for Yeezy, so I apparently have the authority to talk about it.

Ok it’s been 2 weeks where is Olivia Jade’s apology video

— CJ (@chaneljanssen) March 24, 2019

So we don’t really know about Olivia’s high school accomplishments, but she did say on a radio show that she loves when teenagers DM her for advice on applying to college. First off, young, impressionable, innocent girls, here’s your college admissions life hack: TALK TO YOUR COLLEGE COUNSELORS, NOT A YOUTUBER MAJORING IN COMMUNICATIONS. While this is distressing, I’m more surprised that Olivia actually reads those DMs. I thought they’d be lost amongst requests from guys who live in their moms’ basements berating her looks or asking for feet pics, but I guess she actually sees (and reads?!) those DMs from her fans. I can barely bring myself to respond to people from my college or randoms messaging me on LinkedIn trying to ~network~. Either she’s a really good samaritan who would deign to give BS college advice (which I doubt) or she doesn’t even engage with said DMs but is trying to make herself look relatable and wholesome by saying she’s DMing these fans.

Since the scandal broke, Olivia and Bella have been lying low—no social media posts, no paparazzi shots, nada. Bella’s profile is on private, and sources close to Olivia Jade claim she says that she’s also “staying off social media.” And by “staying off social media,” I mean she’s probably only posting Instagram stories using the close friends feature. THE STRUGGLE. My shrink always says to me, “Instagram isn’t reality, it’s just a highlight reel.” But what could Olivia possibly be highlighting right now? She won’t even go out in public. However, her boyfriend’s Instagram comments section is lit with zingers like “How much did Olivia Jade pay you to get in her?” Maybe be a good boyfriend and turn off the comments for Olivia’s sake, dude.

Sources are also claiming that Olivia Jade’s application for a trademark request got rejected because it had poor punctuation. Um, okay. I believe Olivia filled out that trademark request herself as much as I believe she filled out her own college applications (she didn’t). She’s said before that she has an assistant (again, WHY do you need college?), so I’m sure someone else filled out the thing.

Live look at Olivia Jade filling out legal paperwork:

The rejection also said the request was too vague about what beauty products she wanted to hawk. They wanted her to be more specific than just saying “concealer” and “lip kits.” As someone who uses her fingers to apply makeup, I don’t see how much more specific you can get, but YouTube beauty gurus are in a league of their own. I’ve seen these makeup tutorial videos. They’re so complex, and involve such finesse that I’m pretty sure these influencers could have been asked to paint the Sistine Chapel if they were alive back then. Meanwhile, I’m wearing mascara from CVS and haven’t bought foundation in like, a year.

Okay, glad we’re finally all caught up on Olivia Jade. I definitely deserve an edible and a nap after writing an essay that involved more research than Olivia Jade ever did during her time at USC. I’m still impatiently waiting for her or someone from her family to make a public statement, but until then, rumors and TMZ reports will have to do.

Images: @enews / Instagram; @chaneljanssen / Twitter; Giphy (2)

I Grew Up With The Wealthy & Connected—Here’s Why The College Scam Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone

I’m a person who’s followed celebrity news since I was a kid (like, I had subscriptions to Us Weekly and PEOPLE in fourth grade), and even I did not anticipate the celebrity college admissions scandal blowing up like it has. When the news first broke, I was like, “Perfect. Now that Aunt Becky is relevant again, I can segue more easily into the story about how two women at Friendly’s said I was a dead ringer for her when I was 16.” Also, if we’re being honest, I would drop $500,000 just to not have to endure the embarrassment of having a child who unabashedly calls themselves a “YouTuber” and “influencer.” But beyond that, I was pretty unfazed about the news, because where I grew up, people have been fleecing the college system for years.

Full disclosure: I come from a WASP-y family. I was raised to not take that identity seriously, but to actually find humor in it. That led me to writing satire for a society website called Guest of a Guest, where I make fun of the culture and the people who try so hard to swindle their way into it all the time. I even make fun of myself for falling prey to it: I actually made the GofG list of “Most Pretentiously Named Socialites,” my dog is literally related to the Kennedy’s dog (plus I had relatives that worked for that administration), and I attended a boarding school at which my family boasted a really long legacy (although I only lasted a year). But thank god my family encouraged me to form my own identity, because otherwise, that would’ve made me the biggest douchebag. (I’m still a douchebag because I make snarky remarks about celebs for a living and literally highjacked an article about this scandal to talk about how someone once said I look like Aunt Becky, but at least I’m not wearing a cashmere sweater draped around my shoulders while doing it.) My parents and grandparents would be disappointed if I was too lenient on the WASP identity because it’s tacky and lame to go into superfluous details about that lifestyle, but for the sake of illustrating how common it really is to game the college admissions system, I’m willing to risk sounding gauche, because it does need to be aired out.

First off, I’m proud of the family I come from, because while we were all given a great education, my grandfather taught us humility and the importance of a good work ethic. For the record, my family never once tried to buy their way into schools they didn’t deserve a spot at, and I am grateful they didn’t. Having access to great education and other perks is wonderful, but my parents really wanted to instill in me that there’s so much more to life than going to a name-brand undergrad program straight out of high school.

But I grew up surrounded by and summering with a lot of ritzy prep school kids who didn’t share the same beliefs (even the fact that I use the word “summer” as a verb is a huge tell). So I guess that makes me a ritzy prep school kid as well. I took a gap year after high school and did a program abroad, and the very first day of my program, I talked to a girl who went to an elite New Hampshire boarding school (I’ll let you figure out which one), and she made it very known that she was attending Harvard in the fall. We took classes at a tutorial college and she would skip class and refuse to do homework because, “I’m going to f*cking Harvard.” Ok, Elle Woods.

But some things she said would make me seriously side-eye. This chick was all too open about how lavish her family’s lifestyle was and how liberal her dad was with his AmEx (only later on, he got tried for embezzlement). Ok, whatever. But one big piece of info she kept quiet about? Her grandfather was the president of a foreign country. Yeah. So I had to wonder if she got into Harvard solely on her own merit.

did any one else just assume that celebrities paid to get their kids into college and are shocked that it’s actually illegal

— jaboukie (@jaboukie) March 12, 2019

This is not just me being salty—Harvard literally admitted that they let in wealthier people in hopes of getting more money from them, as if they need it. I even recall asking my parents how the hell our neighbors got all three of their kids into Harvard. Sure, they went to a really great New York prep school, but they also let the Harvard squash coach stay in their guest house for the summer.

I have tons of anecdotes like these, but I’ll save the rest for my book. When I was having dinner with my parents after this whole story broke, I went into the conversation thinking it was funny as f*ck that these people were finally getting called out so publicly, while my parents were disgusted. Huh?

I brought up the story about my neighbors, and my mom said, “That’s different. Those kids are smart.” Is it different, though? It’s just using your privilege, wealth, and access to get what you want. Maybe overt wire fraud isn’t involved, but your hands are not entirely clean.

Now that the Hollywood Bribery Ring has been busted, the only thing helping rich kids get into college are legacy admissions, private tutors, board member connections, unpaid summer internships, interview coaches, and a lifetime of Ivy-bound grooming!!!

— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) March 12, 2019


What’s even funnier to me is that my parents were outraged by Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman paying someone to falsify their kids’ SAT scores. I don’t see the big difference between that and donating a building, or giving free lodging to somebody who works at the school. And whether you’re committing blatant fraud, or just throwing money to get your kid into a school you’re not confident they could be accepted to on merit alone, you’re doing a disservice to your child. Like, I know a girl whose dad is a higher-up in finance, and he secured her a job where he works, along with an elite education. When it came time to take the CFAs, she couldn’t pass the test, even after her third time. So she wasted her time and energy (and Daddy wasted his money) on a career she wasn’t cut out for, and she had to endure the humiliation of being fired from a company at which her father is a huge mover and shaker. I’m confident she’s not the only story like that. I mean, Olivia Jade barely went to class at USC after her mom spent hundreds of thousands (and risked prison time) to scam her way in! Do you think she was really going to graduate with honors and a set career path in anything but makeup videos? No. An elite education, a trust fund, and two brain cells to rub together can’t ultimately guarantee you success.

Job interviewer: Tell me about your time at USC
Olivia Jade: pic.twitter.com/qzDMWsyVxK

— Betches (@betchesluvthis) March 15, 2019

But ultimately, what I think should be on trial here is the antiquated education system that American society shoves down our throats. This stifling structure should be questioned because only a small percentage of kids actually thrive in that environment, and it’s sad that parents are wasting money to force their way in. It’s a detriment to their kids’ personal growth, and pretty much everyone’s personal growth, that we all think graduating college by 22 and adhering to a suffocating system like that is the only way to be successful in life. The VP of Google (F*CKING GOOGLE) even said that having a high GPA or going to an elite school has never been an accurate litmus test of whether or not you’d be a promising employee there (yet they funnel in Ivy League grads with 4.0’s so…what the hell?). But until we realize that it really does not f*cking matter where you go to undergrad, wealthy, connected people will continue to finesse their wealth and connections to get what they want—just like they do in every other facet of society.

Images: jaboukie, bessbell, betchesluvthis / Twitter

The College Admissions Scandal Isn’t Funny, It’s Infuriating

By now we are all far too familiar with the college admissions scandal involving Desperate Housewive’s Felicity Huffman and Full House’s Lori Loughlin (aka Aunt Becky). The two celebs were brutally and rightfully roasted, shots were fired, memes were made, and the trash fire that is the internet blazed on (though perhaps with one less YouTuber.)

Just as a quick recap: the FBI (yes, that one) recently indicted 40 people in a huge college admissions scam, where parents were doing things like paying to bolster their children’s SAT scores. You know, just some casual fraud. And while the whole story blew up due to celebrity involvement and some absolutely clickworthy details (like how photos were edited to make it look like these kids were on sports teams that they were not lololol), the entire mess is actually less scandalous than it is inevitable. How? Great Q. Because what happened here is one of the many outcomes of a broken education system in the US, where those with privilege and money are able to create opportunities for themselves that others aren’t. It’s a system that rewards people with money and leaves behind people who dare to be born without it. And yes, what happened in this “scandal” is hella illegal, but the most disturbing part about it is that it’s not that far off from how the legal system works. Moreover, the fact that these people thought in their right minds that they could use their money to get their kids into colleges over other hardworking students makes sense when you look at how we have built the college admission process.

did any one else just assume that celebrities paid to get their kids into college and are shocked that it’s actually illegal

— jaboukie (@jaboukie) March 12, 2019

So let’s take a deeper look at just how fucked up this system (take a shot every time I say system) is, shall we? From the moment parents enter their children into school, privilege already plays a major role. Areas where people with higher incomes live have more money to fund their schools, and therefore better education systems. Race comes into play here as well, as many non-white neighborhoods lack the resources to build up their schools.In just one recent example of how this works, the New York Times ran an exposé on NYC’s “elite” high schools (think Gossip Girl) and found that of nearly 900 students admitted to Stuyvesant High School this year, only seven of those students were black. Seven. So, from day one, being white and being wealthy will put you ahead. That is lé fucked.

By the time kids get to a college application, the system has already made the playing field uneven. Those who could afford to live in a district with good schools are more ready to move on to college. And then there’s college tuition. As you may have heard from Bernie Sanders and/or me at the bar the day my loan payment is due, college tuition is BULLSH*T. The tuition is too damn high! And aside from college costing an insurmountable amount of money for most families, it also creates a situation where people who come from lower income families cannot attend college. And if you’re thinking, “Well they can just get a scholarship! or financial aid!” think again. Scholarships and financial aid are not things you can just *get.* You have to work really damn hard for them and neither are guaranteed, so this again creates a system where those who are less fortunate literally have to work harder to get the things that rich or well off people get while making YouTube videos in their dorm. Again, that is…loco.

And now we arrive at the topic of filthy rich parents using their money to get their kids into schools they wouldn’t be able to otherwise attend. It’s no secret that certain families that hold legacies at Ivy League schools often make large donations, and because of that the schools let their kids in, even when they are not smart enough. *cough George W. Bush cough*  Yet again, wealth and privilege are two of the requirements when it comes to easily getting into good colleges. And where there’s wealth and privilege, there’s racial injustice as well. And that’s not to say that people of color are never wealthy (of course that is not true), it’s just the reality that white people created a system where we are on top, and because of that it’s much easier for us to obtain/maintain privilege.

When you take all of this into account, it actually isn’t that wild that these celebrities assumed they could pay their kids’ ways into college. That’s how the whole system works; if you have money, you have power, and you have the right to get what you want. I mean, what they did was completely heinous and illegal, and the photoshopping part is objectively hilarious, but it’s really not that far off from what is legally allowed. In the end, what’s the difference between paying $500k to a fake SAT proctor and paying $500k to put your name on a building if the result is the same? You get your C-student into an Ivy, while hardworking, exceptional students struggle to afford their safety school. America’s education system is broken, just like the criminal justice system, and just like many others in this country. They need reworking and revolutionizing, and the time is now. Wow, am I…running for president?

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Images: Giphy (3), Twitter (2)