As we’re all very aware, this is not a normal summer. As we do our part to minimize the spread of coronavirus, that means the majority of travel plans are not really an option right now. Depending on the situation where you live, you can hopefully plan some COVID-friendly weekend getaways—provided you follow state quarantine guidelines—but with a U.S. passport not worth the paper it’s printed on, your big international trip just isn’t happening this year.
We’ve all had to make massive adjustments this year, but if the hellscape of 2020 has proved anything, it’s that celebrities are not just like us. In March and April, most celebs were staying home like the rest of us, making cringeworthy PSA videos and entertaining us with concerts on Instagram Live. But nearly six months into the pandemic, celebrity behavior is a very mixed bag. While some are still hunkering down, others are a little too determined to get back to their normal lives.
While celebrities’ access to things like private planes and rapid test results certainly makes it easier for them to travel, there’s no way to fly around 100% safely right now. And beyond whatever risks these people are taking for themselves, they’re also setting a sh*tty example for their many followers. I don’t expect every celebrity to be a beacon of good judgment, but come on.
Dua Lipa & Anwar Hadid
I’m a huge fan of Dua Lipa personally, which is why I’ve been especially annoyed watching her fly around the world this summer. She and boyfriend Anwar Hadid have been together this whole time, starting with a few months of actual isolation at her home in London. They celebrated her album release and their one-year anniversary in quarantine, and were doing so well! But then at the beginning of July, Dua and Anwar flew to the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia for vacation. Dua captioned her first vacation post “island isolation,” so hopefully they were actually isolated while there, but they still went on vacation.
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By mid-July, Dua and Anwar were in New York City, where they were photographed out and about numerous times—usually wearing masks, but not always. While on the east coast, the couple also spent time at Yolanda Hadid’s house in Pennsylvania, where they saw Bella and a very pregnant Gigi Hadid. Since the end of last month, they’ve been in LA, and they haven’t exactly been isolating. Dua posted a photo hanging out (indoors, no masks) with Miley Cyrus, and last week she celebrated her 25th birthday with a party. Dua!! Stop that!!
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In life you have to live in the moment and be grateful for the present and all that’s infront of you not behind you! I’ve had one of the most amazing trips ever. Thank you @ultimacollection #ultimacollection #ultimacorfu I’m so grateful to you and your amazing staff for looking after us on one of the most dreeeeemiest holiday ever. I’m forever grateful but I’m going to need to get back to work. I can’t wait to show you all why I took this break and what Me and my team have been cooking up for you all! It’s so exciting! Hold on bots! Something is coming! 😈🥳😝
Much like Dua Lipa, British singer Rita Ora spent the first few months of lockdown more or less in actual lockdown. She rented a house in the Cotswolds (major The Holiday vibes), and other than some bikini pics in nature, it didn’t seem like she was doing much. But just like Dua Lipa, she got bored of isolation sometime in June, and by the beginning of July, she was on vacation in Paris. Since then, she’s spent time at home in London, and more recently, she’s been on back-to-back holidays in Ibiza and Greece. I know the COVID travel situation is slightly different in Europe currently than in the U.S., but maybe this summer would be a good time to limit yourself to like, one beach vacation? Also, I know there’s more to do in Ibiza than just clubbing, but is it really worth it to go when the clubs aren’t even open?
Timothée Chalamet and Eiza Gonzalez vacationing in Mexico in the midst of a global pandemic! pic.twitter.com/JAAlvKAHsJ
— Timothée Chalamet Fans (@TimotheeUpdates) June 23, 2020
Timmy keeps a pretty low profile on social media, but paparazzi and fan photos have provided us with sporadic updates on his ever-changing pandemic whereabouts. He’s spent most of the last six months in New York, but in June, his trip to Mexico was major tabloid news. That’s mainly because he was spotted at a resort in Cabo getting close with Eiza González, the first time they were seen together. Earlier this month, he flew from the U.S. to Hungary, where postponed reshoots on the upcoming Dune movie were allowed to go forward. Americans still face strict restrictions when traveling to European countries including Hungary, but judging from the timeline here, it doesn’t appear Timothée quarantined for 14 days.
Kanye West has been in the news a lot this summer, but I’m surprised his traveling hasn’t gotten more attention. Last month, Kanye tweeted that he was running for President, and then made headlines for some questionable comments made at a rally in South Carolina. Kanye’s comments about Harriet Tubman and abortion raised a lot of eyebrows, but also… why was he in South Carolina? He doesn’t live there, and in terms of his Presidential campaign, he didn’t even meet requirements to be listed on the ballot there. He hasn’t hosted any more campaign rallies since then, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been traveling.
In the past month or so, Kanye has spent a lot of time at his ranch in Wyoming, where Kim flew to visit him from LA at the end of July (the whole family also went to Wyoming on a separate trip earlier this summer). But rather than just staying in Wyoming, the whole family went on vacation earlier this month, with E! News reporting that they spent time in an undisclosed tropical location. Again, I know these people fly private everywhere and probably have unlimited access to testing, but it’s still not a great look.
A number of Real Housewives and Bravolebrities have exhibited some questionable judgment during the pandemic, but RHOC’s Kelly Dodd has undoubtedly been the worst of the bunch. Early in the pandemic, when New York was the global epicenter, she flew back and forth between NYC and California to spend time with her fiancé, Fox News host Rick Leventhal. At the time, she received major backlash for comments on Instagram about coronavirus being “God’s way of thinning the herd,” and her subsequent terrible takes on Black Lives Matter didn’t help her reputation in the Bravo community.
This summer, Kelly has been all over the place, taking a family vacation to Florida in June, and a trip to Mexico last week, in addition to traveling between New York and California. Earlier this summer, RHOC resumed filming for their 15th season, and despite half the cast contracting COVID-19, and their cast trip being cut short, Kelly somehow avoided getting sick. Kelly has posted about getting tested numerous times, at least, but it doesn’t make the traveling itself any less risky.
When comparing reality TV stars’ responses to the pandemic, Bachelor Nation manages to make the Real Housewives look like responsible members of society. The days of Tyler, Hannah, and Matt James at the quarantine house are long gone (and that was questionable to begin with, tbh). Since leaving that overcrowded house in Florida months ago, Hannah Brown has spent time at home in Alabama, and is now living in California.
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Madison Prewett has also hopped around quite a bit. She spent the first few months with her family in Alabama, before heading to Atlanta for a couple weeks in June, where she hung out with fellow Bachelor alums (mask-free, naturally). In early July, she was in Los Angeles, where she hung out with Hannah Ann, before heading to Nashville by the end of the month (and maybe also back to Alabama, it’s honestly hard to keep track). Now, she’s back in LA, and she just had her hair done by the same woman who gives frightening extensions to the likes of Amanda Stanton, Corinne Olympios, and Kim Zolciak Biermann.
I try not to keep tabs on too many Bachelor Nation people for fear that I will actually lose my mind, but suffice it to say that Hannah and Madi are not the only two Bachelor alums that have been a few too many places this summer.
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Justin and Hailey started out their quarantine at their lake house in Canada, which is kind of the perfect place to be isolated for a while. But, like everyone else on this list, the whole “quarantine” thing pretty much lost meaning after a few months, and the Biebers have done quite a bit of traveling since then. For much of the summer, they’ve road tripped in an RV together, which is better than flying, but it’s not like they’ve been isolated on their travels. They went to Chicago, where they hung out with Chance the Rapper, they’ve had people on their boat, and recently, Justin has posted pictures from multiple different group dinners. Overall, Justin and Hailey aren’t the worst on this list, but they’re also doing more than they need to be.
In general, it’s frustrating that people with influence are so blatantly flaunting their privilege at a time when people are losing loved ones to COVID and struggling from the economic impacts of the pandemic. There’s no such thing as risk-free travel right now, and these people are taking those risks a little too lightly.
Images: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com; dualipa, ritaora, kellyddodd, madiprew, hairby_chrissy, justinbieber / Instagram; TimotheeUpdates / Twitter
It’s tough to keep up with new music, no matter how much time you spend on your Spotify Discover page. A few weeks ago, I spent time unpacking the legend that is Rita Ora, and you guys had a lot of thoughts. Taking a deep dive into Rita’s career, I was inspired to shine a light on some other underrated music artists who might be slipping through the cracks of your pop culture knowledge. I’m thoroughly obsessed with most of these artists, and I think it’s important that everyone is aware of what they’re missing out on. Let me know if I missed one of your faves, or if there’s anyone else out there who deserves a deep dive. So little time, so many hot rando singers wearing tiny sunglasses on Instagram.
1. Bebe Rexha
You probably don’t recognize Bebe Rexha’s face, and you might not even recognize her name, but you’ve definitely heard her voice. She first shot up the charts in 2015 on G-Eazy’s song “Me, Myself & I,” and she’s recently had a massive country crossover hit with “Meant To Be” featuring Florida Georgia Line. She was also one of the featured artists on Rita Ora’s song “Girls,” which is iconic for its own reasons. Overall, Bebe has great style, a really charming personality, and a surprisingly great voice. Bebe doesn’t love sharing her personal life, but there have been past rumors about her dating DJ Martin Garrix and former 1D member Louis Tomlinson, both of whom she’s collaborated with. Her debut album, Expectations, is finally here, and Bebe is poised to be a huge star.
“Expectations” is coming. I’m really nervous, but I’m excited too. I’ve been working so hard on this album and I don’t know what to expect. I just want to put it out and then move to a small town in Europe for a couple months and then come out of hiding after. Lol. And hopefully when I come back you’ll love it as much as I do. Xo Bebe
If I’m honest, it’s a fucking crime that Tinashe isn’t a household name by now. She’s been around for a few years, but her biggest hit is still her debut single, “2 On.” You know the one, it’s a goddamn bop. Tinashe has bounced back and forth between a cool R&B/hip-hop sound and more traditional pop, and she’s always claimed Britney Spears as her top musical idol. She was featured on Brit’s song “Slumber Party” a couple years ago, and the video is truly one of the hottest things I’ve ever seen. In recent weeks, Tinashe was in the news because her ex Ben Simmons allegedly cheated on her with Kendall Jenner. Tinashe really deserves better, so you should probably go listen to her new album, Joyride. It’s good, you’ll like it.
3. Troye Sivan
Let me clear the air by noting that I am a gay man and I want to have so much sex with Troye Sivan. Troye, who is both South African and Australian (the accent is glorious) is already a gay icon, but everyone needs to know. His debut album back in 2015 was kind of a moody Lorde vibe, but this year he’s ready to take over the pop world. His songs “Bloom” and “My My My!” are catchy as fuck, and he just dropped a new song featuring our favorite bride-to-be, Ariana Grande. Troye has a hot boyfriend named Jacob Bixenman, and he’s also the new face of both Valentino and Saint Laurent. Pay attention, because this kid is about to be fucking everywhere.
4. Dua Lipa
Over the past year, Dua Lipa has made a ton of progress in her career. She released her debut album last summer, and her song “New Rules” was really the only thing that stopped me from sending risky texts in 2017. (But I’m back on my bullshit in 2018, sorry Dua.) Her look is so fucking cool, and all her music is great. Her single “IDGAF” is getting big, and her song “One Kiss” with Calvin Harris is also a major vibe. Dua is only 22, but she’s already had high-profile relationships with a couple people that are definitely UK-famous, even if we haven’t heard of them. Recently, it appears that she’s broken her own rules by getting back with her ex, celebrity chef/model (lol) Isaac Carew. He’s hot AF, but also people think she might be dating Calvin Harris, which I really hope is just a rumor. Calvin, keep your grubby little Taylor Swift hands off our girl.
Anne-Marie is another British dance-pop rising star that I’ve been obsessed with for like, two years because she was on some random Spotify playlist. Can you tell I have a type? She’s had a number of songs that were big hits in the UK, but for some reason no one in the US has really started to care. Start with “Ciao Adios” and “Alarm,” but the more recent song of the summer contender is the throwback anthem “2002.” Actually everything about Anne-Marie gives me an early 2000s vibe, and I’m loving it. Anne-Marie doesn’t like to talk about who she’s dating, but she recently said in an interview that she’s dated both men and women. She’s friends with Ed Sheeran, which is a downside, but nobody’s perfect.
6. Charlie Puth
Okay, you all know about Charlie Puth, but do you really know about Charlie Puth? He’s both talented and hot, and we’ve slept on him for far too long. Actually, scratch that, I would definitely sleep on him. Charlie’s been around for a while, and his biggest hits include “See You Again,” “Marvin Gaye,” unfortunately featuring Meghan Trainor, and “We Don’t Talk Anymore” featuring Selena Gomez, which is a perfect pop song. Actually, I really think Charlie and Selena would make an amazing couple, so like, the universe should make that happen. (I want the record to reflect that I’ve secretly been shipping them for years.) Charlie has an awesome voice, but he also writes and produces all his music himself, which is really impressive. Basically, imagine if Justin Bieber was also Diplo, but also not someone you’d be ashamed to introduce to your dad. The low point of Charlie’s career was when he made out with Meghan Trainor onstage at the American Music Awards, but he basically admitted it was just a publicity stunt.
Ah yes, Grimes, the indie darling of the past decade. People who like artsy music have been obsessed with Grimes since at least 2012, but she’s never really broken into the mainstream. Really, I’m not sure she wants to. That’s partly why it was so surprising when she showed up at the Met Gala last month with Elon Musk. She’s dated a couple music dudes before, but a public relationship with one of the most rich and famous men in the world is definite departure for her. I’m v curious to see if this will be a more permanent shift in her persona, or just a one-time deal. Either way, her last two albums are excellent, and you should really give them a listen.
8. Kim Petras
Kim Petras is definitely the least famous person on this list, but I have a feeling that could change soon. Kim is everything a pop princess should be, serving up iconic looks and banger after banger. Her debut single “I Don’t Want It At All” is incredible, and the video features a cameo from Paris Hilton. Kim, who hails from Germany, just launched her music career last year, but she’s actually been famous for a long time. Back in 2008, Kim became one of the youngest people to ever have gender reassignment surgery, at 16, making her kind of an icon in the trans community. It’s been cool to see her resurface as a rising pop star, and she’ll be touring with Troye Sivan this fall.
Images: beberexha, tinashenow, troyesivan, dualipa, annemarie, charlieputh, grimes, kimpetras / Instagram