I was sitting at my college town’s Italian restaurant with some friends when a notification popped up on all of their phones. “Time to BeReal,” it said, as it prompted them to take a photo of their present state to post on the app. At first, I was confused. Why are they obeying some app when it asks them to abandon their good bite of chicken parmesan to photograph their lives within the next two minutes? Then, my friends broke it down for me: “BeReal is the new, trending social media app. People post their honest selves, and it’s so authentic!” A social media app? Authentic? You’ve got to be kidding me.
The app — founded in 2020 by Alexis Barreyat, a French entrepreneur— promises to show “your friends for real”. After sending users a notification to capture a photo within two minutes, it uses a special camera feature to take frontal and selfie photos at the same time. Once the photo posts, app users or chosen friends can comment, chat, and react with a RealMoji. After those two minutes, the users move on with their lives until a random time the next day when the notification appears again.
Through its promise of being the “simplest photo-sharing app” and showing “life without filters”, BeReal has risen to 10th on the charts for social networking apps and has a 4.9 rating. App Store reviewers are raving about it, with one noting that “THIS APP BREAKS BARRIERS!” It’s clearly doing something right.
There’s a catch, though. BeReal claims to be “not another social network”. But it really is just another social network. BeReal might not have filters or FaceTune, but it’s still phony. Users can retake their BeReal post as many times within the two minutes, allowing them to pose or fix up their appearance. I’ve often heard my friends say “Get in my BeReal photo! I want to look like I’m doing something interesting.” It doesn’t brand it on the surface, but the app also lets its users choose anytime during the day to start their two minutes. Are users really being real if they can wait until the most photogenic, appealing part of their day to take a photo? Letting users choose the time they want to take the photo is nothing but fake.
As a society, we’re so far deep down the toxic rabbit hole of social media that we don’t know how to be real. For so many people, especially young girls, we are wired to curate our images on social media. We are so used to editing and exaggerating to promote the best version of our lives on Instagram, Snapchat, and every other platform. One social media app isn’t going to change that.
If we are trying to be real, then why even turn to a social media app? Why not focus on real relationships instead of those on your phone? If you are truly living in the moment and being authentic, then there is no need to prove it to others. Social media is not, and will never be, the space for realness. Put your effort into real life, not something trying to emulate it.
“That Girl”: she’s the 6am-waking, 10,000-step-walking, green-juice-drinking embodiment of wellness taking over TikTok. If you haven’t met her on your For You Page yet, you likely soon will. Despite many people’s efforts to be her, no one specific person is “That Girl”. Rather, she is an aesthetic composed of face masks, lemon water, journaling, Olaplex, and Aritzia. Once you remove the mask of “That Girl’s” perfect minimalistic and clean lifestyle, though, you can see her toxic positivity and homogenous view of wellness.
Starting last summer, “That Girl” made its way to TikTok feeds in small numbers. It took off as a trend last fall and had a sharp rise in popularity in late December as people were setting their New Year’s goals and resolutions. The TikTok hashtag #ThatGirl currently has over 2 billion views. Most of the trending videos are along the lines of “my morning routine as ‘That Girl’”, or “this is your sign to become ‘That Girl’”. Plenty of influencers are also posting shopping round-ups about what to buy to achieve this lifestyle including self-help books, yoga mats, or monochromatic workout sets. After diving down the trend’s hashtag, I noticed that one thing almost always present with “That Girl” content is some type of promise to “be the best version of yourself” if you adopt this lifestyle.
If you are anything like me, learning about this trend—specifically, its “live your best life” messaging—set off blaring alarms in your brain. It’s reminiscent of the themes from dietitians and fitness influencers promising fulfilled potential if you adopt certain habits. The only difference is now this toxicity has just been repackaged as not just a diet, but a full lifestyle. Seriously? Are we really going to believe that someone on TikTok knows what’s going to changes our lives? I thought we moved past this.
I’ll admit, some of the ideas are there. Don’t you think I want to drink more water, eat more vegetables, and get more than 5 hours of sleep every night? Don’t you think I want to put myself first and be more mindful? I sure do. But by wrapping these messages in the unrealistic, uniform, expensive, aesthetic bow that is “That Girl”, they appear out of reach and their significance is lost.
There is one common denominator with “That Girl”: she is almost always skinny, she is almost always wealthy, and she is almost always white. She has more time and resources than the average person, giving her the ability to live this idealized lifestyle and make it look so easy.
Even though being “That Girl” is inaccessible for most, it’s an attractive lifestyle. Sure, I would love to know what my life would be like if I spent every hour of my day working out, reading self-help books, and making intricate smoothie bowls, but for myself and most others, that’s not realistic. This trend is so idealized, though, that there is a sense of shame or disappointment in every normal person that can’t live “That Girl’s” perfect life. I almost feel like she’s staring through the screen as I scroll TikTok in bed at 1am and screaming “Oh, you can’t be me? Well, then you’re not the best version of yourself.”
It might seem like “That Girl” has it all: she has a fridge full of colorful foods, a clean room, clear skin, a wardrobe on-trend, and a healthy, relaxed mind. But she’s missing something. She’s missing balance. Does “That Girl” eat four slices of pizza with her friends after a night out? Does “That Girl” body a Chipotle bowl while lying on the couch in sweats watching Sex and the City? Does “That Girl” even cry? Judging from her constantly smiling videos, no she does not, and boy is she missing out.
So just remember that even though “That Girl” might wake up at 7am, don’t be afraid to sleep until noon. Even though “That Girl” works out daily, take a rest day. Even though “That Girl” wears minimalistic color-coordinated sets, wear your old high school sweatshirt and the same pair of sweatpants you wore two days ago.
If you have become “That Girl” then… congrats I guess? But for every other normal person on the planet, just remember that being productive and being your best self looks different for everyone. As aesthetically tempting as it may be, stop focusing on skinny, wealthy, white women’s highlight reels, and start living the life that works for you.
Image: Julia Volk /Stocksy.com
It’s a Friday night in 2011. You’re getting ready for a night out with friends. You’ve thrown on a yellow shift dress from Modcloth, polka dot tights, and a faux collar that eerily resembles a doily straight off your grandma’s kitchen table. On your way out the door, you grab your ukulele—you and your friends are having a coffee shop photoshoot so you can post on a new app everyone’s using called Instagram. You don’t actually know how to play anything, but it doesn’t matter. Instagram only allows pictures anyway.
If this image fills you with nostalgia—congratulations! The aesthetic of your youth is now considered “vintage” (cue the existential crisis) by teens on TikTok, the gatekeepers of all things cool. GenZers have discovered this era of fashion, media, and culture, known as “twee” as of, like, 15 minutes ago, and some of its most prominent fashion elements are making their way onto For You Pages and even fashion runways. Trend experts are forecasting that “twee” is the next fashion era to return from the grave, in all of its cutesy, preppy, lo-fi glory.
After diving deep into the twee hashtag on TikTok (which has 56 million views as of writing this article), it seems people are struggling to put their finger on the pulse of where exactly it came from. The word “twee” is British slang for anything cute or quaint, usually in excess. And although nobody remembers calling it that when it was actually a thing, the images of what it supposedly means are striking a chord. Most videos under the hashtag follow a specific formula: people share throwback photos of themselves in the peak twee era of the late 2000s, usually clad in some kind of loud whimsical pattern, and almost always posing with props like tea cups and typewriters, or standing in front of random brick walls. The videos are usually paired with the song “Why Don’t You Let Me Stay Here,” by She & Him, Zooey Deschanel’s folk duo with M. Ward. The song has been named the “twee” anthem, much like Deschanel herself has become the unofficial poster girl for its aesthetic. Both encompass the essence of what “twee” is about: rompy melodies and all things preppy, pastel, and cutesy.
But there’s a debate on whether it can come back, or even if it should—the last time around, twee peaked at a time when Tumblr was full of fatphobic, pro-ED content, which spilled over into the fashion at the time. Many people are worried that with the resurgence of this trend will come more toxic narratives around body image in the mainstream. As someone who was a chubby teenager at the convergence of Tumblr and twee’s respective peaks, I understand the concern around what the revival of this trend could potentially mean for a world that is even more social media centered than it was ten years ago when it first emerged.
However, I think more than anything, trends aren’t so much about the visuals or the aesthetics of the thing, but more the memories we associate with them. The real power comes when we are able to make our own rules, to learn from the past while still giving ourselves permission to be nostalgic for the things that genuinely brought us joy. When I think of “twee” I don’t necessarily think of the doom scrolling through my Tumblr feed and the grueling workouts I saved to the Pinterest board that were born out of my own self-loathing. I think of the day I bought my first Modcloth A-line dress, and that it was the first time that I felt safe and comfortable in my body, celebrating it for what it was, not what I thought it should be.
Fashion can be a mirror of the ugly cultural implications of the time, but it can also be a vessel for self-acceptance, a way to materialize the version of ourselves that we want to be. The cool thing about the cyclical nature of trends is that it allows us to pull the things we want to take with us, and leave behind the things that we don’t. As far as I’m concerned, the glamorization of thigh gaps and faux collars are not a package deal. As the dialogue around body positivity continues to gain traction, and pressure is subsequently put on the fashion industry to make more decisions that are informed by size inclusion, the trends of the past will have no choice but to morph accordingly. Maybe 2022 will come with Modcloth dresses and faux collars and statement cardigans. But it will mean something entirely different this time around, and then it will be gone again, just as quickly as it came. As fleeting as trends are, can’t they just be seen as memories, as either relics of our past selves or celebrations of how far we’ve come—can’t that be enough?
Image: Jason Merritt/WireImage
Are you still reeling from the revelation that skinny jeans and side parts are no longer cool? Well that’s too damn bad, Jessica, because Gen Z have come up with another way to make fun of millennials, and this time, they’re not coming for one or two sartorial choices, but for our entire aesthetic. Thanks to the rise of the catch-all insult cheugy, declaring millennial lifestyle staples as cringey has gotten easier than ever before. If the emergence of a trendy new term is making you want to, not take a nap, but just rest your eyes for a bit, then I regret to inform you that
you’re old you’ve come to the right place. WTF is cheugy, am I cheugy, is writing an article explaining cheugy, cheugy? The answer to those last two questions is definitively yes, so at least you’re in good (if you loosely apply the meaning of “good”) company.
The term cheugy, which, since I know you’re about to ask, is pronounced chew-ghee (hard G sound), was actually coined in 2013 by a then-high school student to describe people who, as the New York Times put it, “are slightly off-trend”. The term gained popularity on, where else, TikTok, after a video posted on March 30th went viral. For a visual definition of cheugy, think of MLM boss babe energy, millennial #girlboss aesthetic, and anything the cast of Vanderpump Rules would have worn in seasons 1-3. Chevron is cheugy; Gucci belts with the overlapping G’s are cheugy; captioning an Instagram with “thank u, next” is cheugy; I haven’t gotten the official report yet, but I’ve got to imagine statement necklaces are extremely cheugy. (Using an adverb before cheugy may or may not be cheugy.)
To put it more precisely, Urban Dictionary defines cheugy as “another way to describe aesthetics/people/experiences that are basic”; the second most popular definition says it’s something that was “stylish in middle school and high school but no longer in style.” If you aren’t sure, here’s a quick rule of thumb: pretty much everything you hold near and dear is probably being derided at this very moment by college kids and high schoolers via a made-up word that sounds like what Vice would name their next food vertical.
Here’s the thing. While some millennials are already probably mounting their defenses of Starbucks and Live, Laugh, Love signs, let’s just… not. Have we forgotten that we based our entire personalities for multiple years around appropriating the term “basic” within an inch of its life? What, it’s only fine for people to make fun of pumpkin spice lattes, but we’re drawing the line at blanket scarves? Let’s not turn this into the skinny jeans and side part war, which was fun at first, but got completely blown out of proportion once we got to the stage of making musical parodies telling Gen Z to “kindly shut the f*ck up”. (Even worse is that this battle that still rages on to this day despite it now being almost shorts weather.)
I get why the emergence of cheugy feels like a blitz attack on millennials, but there’s a difference. What hit me so hard about the skinny jeans/side part debacle, and I don’t think I’m alone in this, is that I never considered those stylistic choices to be trends, much less up for debate. You parted your hair on the side because that was simply what you did—god forbid you part your hair down the middle and make your face appear rounder! You wore skinny jeans because that was just the style, and because we didn’t want to get caught dead wearing mom jeans. I never questioned these things, and to hear that these elements I took for granted were secret markers of my uncoolness this entire time felt like being told the color black was suddenly cringey. Who even am I?? But this other stuff? Take it! Who cares? Like, I really hope chevron is not a cornerstone of your personality.
It’s one thing to not want to part your hair down the middle (I tried it; doesn’t work for my face shape, but if you can rock it, more power to you), but it’s another thing to live in a fantasy world where no trend in which you participate ever goes out of style. Millennials, I know we grew up as the darlings of the internet and never imagined a time when we would not be the hottest and most in-demand age group for publishers, advertisers, and brands, but it’s literally the circle of life. Did I think I’d be a washed-up old hag before my 30th birthday? Not really, I thought I’d have a bit more time, but c’est la vie! The internet is a fickle place. At least this way I can now lean into my lifestyle of only wearing leggings and doing bath bombs and face masks—which is probably cheugy to do. I might as well embrace it and get a stemless wine glass that has “yes way rosé” screen-printed on it in gold script.
We’re all cheugy in some way or another. Lasagna might apparently be cheugy. Don’t fight it. It’s fun to be kind of embarrassing! What’s the alternative, constantly changing your entire aesthetic to fit in with what people decades younger than you find trendy? You’ll never win that game. No matter what term you call it, that’s the worst look of all.
Image: Jose Martinez / Unsplash
I may not be the voice of my generation, but it feels like it’s time to speak out on something that’s hitting really close to home. By now, you’re aware that TikTok has been turned into a battlefield for the war between millennials and Gen Z.
Unfortunately, the true victims seem to be everyone’s least favorite middle child: the so-called Cuspers. While everyone has a different time frame for who they consider being on the cusp, I tend to go with people born from 1997-2000. We’re the ones who graduated college right before or during the pandemic and who are losing some of our most formative years and early work experiences to Zoom.
For years, I’ve had all of the benefits of both generations, and the ability to be flexible in my identification. Yes, maybe I did spend most of my English classes in high school taking BuzzFeed quizzes. But I also absolutely rocked the skinny jean/leather boots/side part combo in many of my early Instagram pictures. As a then-16-year-old cusper, it felt like an honor to share some of those formative experiences with my camp counselors and babysitters.
However, the battle between the generations has forced me to pick a side. And, honestly, I think I need to go with Gen Z. Looking in the mirror, it seems like my only choice. My hair: in a claw clip with a middle part. My jeans: wide-legged with black-and-white patchwork (they’re super cute). My top: well, it kinda looks like I went to Target and got a pack of Hanes children’s ribbed tank tops and tried to make them trendy.
At the same time though, I have reached the age where I am a loyal Tretinoin user and put on sunscreen every day (we’ve gotta be preventative). I also absolutely have respect for millennial “culture.” I love that you’ve normalized getting wine drunk most nights and I adore that you’ve made it cool to rewatch the same three sitcoms over and over again. While I wouldn’t advise making Harry Potter into a personality trait, I did rewatch Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets last night and had an incredible time (if you care, I’m obviously a Ravenclaw).
Look, I know my audience, and I know most of you are millennials, and I want to say thank you for everything that you’ve done. Deciding to lean into the Gen Z of it all was a hard choice, and I want to be honest about why I had to make it.
This all started with a few random teenagers pointing out that skinny jeans and side parts simply are no longer in style. It only took a few TikToks for you guys to lose your shit, which is honestly really funny. The ironic part about it is that you all say we’re such a sensitive generation, but who is freaking out over a few TikToks and memes? You guys.
To put it in language you guys understand, this is so not fetch. Or, for the worst of your generation, this is not girlboss behavior. I’m sure the people reading this are too smart for this, but the fact that millennials made full-on TikTok songs as responses to jokes high schoolers made is… well… not it.
@delanielynneAlso, 😂 ##seltzersquad ##whiteclaw ##millennialsoftiktok ##millennial ##whatsgoingon ##genz ##PupPeroniShuffle ##GetReadyWithOldSpice ##ThisorThatSBLV♬ original sound – DelanieLynne
It’s hard to hear, but, as a cusper, I feel like I want to offer some advice. Friends and The Office aren’t even that good, and if you’re going to build your entire personality around a TV show, try something from this decade. For your own health, I am begging you to throw away the Naked eyeshadow palette you got for the holidays in 2014. Also, please stop asking if we even know what things like Myspace are. We obviously do, we were also like 7 when it was a thing.
I literally do not give a fuck how you wear your hair, or your jeans, if you use a crying emoji, or if you quote The Office on social media. I’m not asking for much, just to be able to go on Instagram without seeing a post of one of you at Disney, because even though it’s a pandemic, you just missed it so much. Or to open TikTok, which is my favorite app, without another millennial self-righteously parting her hair to the side and lip-syncing one of your new TikTok war songs.
At the end of the day, I love and respect millennials—you guys truly did pave the way for us. And the fact that I have a Juicy sweatsuit on the way to me serves as a constant reminder of all you have done. Please don’t take this too personally. That said, I’m feeling pretty good about the Gen Z of it all.
With all of that said, maybe it’s time we all go outside (safely, of course) and like, maybe touch a piece of grass.
Written with so much love,
Reagan Anthony, former “cusper,” proud Gen Z
Images: CHAINFOTO24 / Shutterstock
Less than two weeks after my groundbreaking defense of the crying laughing emoji, and the war between millennials and Gen Z rages on. Much to my surprise, it seems nobody really cares that much about the emoji, and rather, everyone—from corporate Twitter accounts to PR execs hawking pants—has zeroed in on the youth’s ridicule of side parts and skinny jeans. Look, I know I said you could have them, Gen Z, but I actually lied. I didn’t spend my entire adolescence agonizing over whether I had an oval or a heart or a round face, just for some kids to tell me that I would have been fine accentuating the roundest part of my face all along. Plus, I’m a 5’2″ adult whose biggest growth spurt was two inches, compared to the typical half-inch-per-year I was growing before. Do you know how long I tried to find jeans that would fit? Do you understand the vindication I felt when they invented jeans that didn’t pool around my ankles? And you want me to go back to drowning in denim—for what? For ~aesthetics~? No.
That said, I of course understand that there are certain fads millennials popularized that did not exactly stand the test of time. I’m not saying we’re infallible geniuses, I’m just saying there are plenty of things to mock us for that would be understandable. Things like:
Making Liking ‘The Office’ A Personality Trait
The show’s pilot brought in over 11 million viewers, and before it got poached by Peacock, was said to be Netflix’s most-watched show. The Office is immensely popular, and somehow every single millennial on Hinge thinks they’re the only person who can recall the origin of “Dwight, you ignorant slut”. And this from the generation that turned liking popular things into an inherent character flaw! Oh, so we draw the line at getting your toiletries from Target, but not at this? Sure, Jan. That makes sense. (And no, I’m not talking about Jan Levinson-Gould.)
We killed fanny packs, and then we brought them back. Millennials giveth, and they taketh away. When I was 9 years old and marching in a parade with my Girl Scout troop (don’t ask) and my mom gave me a fanny pack in which to hold all my belongings (probably all of like, my Tamagotchi and a Band-aid), I wanted to die before I’d slap that thing around my waist. And yet, what was I sporting to every music festival from 2015 and beyond? You’re damn right, a fanny pack. We didn’t even try to rebrand these, we just went from hating them one day to wearing them everywhere the next. And can we talk about the design of the fanny pack? It’s useful, of course, but we are really acting like having an oversized crotch belt is cute. And nobody is stopping us!!
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Once again, the very same glasses I made fun of my mom for wearing in the 90s, I now own. It’s the circle of life, it’s the wheel of fortune. Millennials are out here looking like 1970s creepers, and we’re doing it on purpose. Because we think it looks good. Make fun of that—not the fact that I part my hair on the right side because I’ve been conditioned by women’s magazines into thinking it frames my face better. What about the gigantic metal circles? Those don’t frame my face well at all. In fact, they’re falling off!
Leggings! We’re really going to come for jeans that taper at the ankle but not pants that are made of full-on elastic? (Yes, I’m aware that they are not literally made of elastic, but just go with me.) We have built entire empires on stretching fabric over our butts, and we don’t even pair leggings with long shirts anymore! And can we talk about “control top” leggings for a second? Because these are really shame-worthy. Millennials have been so brainwashed by diet culture that we will willingly stuff ourselves into stretchy torture devices and sit in those all day, because God forbid anyone have a slight lump anywhere on their body. We took leggings from occasional workout bottoms and sleepwear (they were never meant to be full-on pants), then we turned them into pants, and then we removed the comfort. And control tops aren’t subtle, either. We’re walking around with leggings that have a waist trainer at the top. Classy.
Our Obsession With Kitchen Appliances
If the air fryer or Instant Pot had never been invented, would any of us have personalities? Probably not, if a quick scroll through millennial Twitter is any indication (and I absolutely include myself in this). Actually, you know what, I bet Gen Z does make fun of us for this. But just wait until you get the little suction cup that separates your yolk from the egg whites—it will truly change your life.
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Maybe the reason Gen Z seems to have no issue with curtain bangs is because they are designed to be worn with a middle part. Touché, kids. Touché. Mostly what I find most mockable about curtain bangs is the fact that they’re… not really anything. They’re just bangs, that you part? Ok, I guess. They’re that awkward growing-out-your-bangs stage, but on purpose? Well f*ck me for thinking the whole point of bangs is for them to cover your forehead.
Mostly what I admire most about Gen Z’s criticisms is that they have all this low-hanging fruit at their disposal, and they instead go for the unexpected. It’s never the bad trend they ridicule; it’s the wardrobe staple that we thought was inoffensive, impossible to dislike. It just goes to show that nothing we hold sacred is safe, and we will never be cool in the eyes of the youth, so we should stop trying.
Images: Joshua Rondeau / Unsplash; hilaryduff, warbyparker / Instagram
Making fun of the generation above you is part of the natural order of aging. We make fun of our parents for not knowing how to reboot the WiFi router, our parents probably made fun of their parents for being afraid of rock ’n roll, such is the circle of life (minus Gen X, which appears to get away relatively unscathed due to an intense dose of middle child syndrome). This is all to say that I’m not surprised that Gen-Z are clowning the generations above them, but I am a little surprised that they’re coming for millennials and not their own parents who, I just learned today and am now spiraling because of the revelation, are largely Gen X. What did we ever do to you? *Thinks back to all the times we called Gen-Z children, dismissed them as being 12 years old, etc.* It’s a mystery.
The thing is, there are many things that would make millennials an easy target for a good roasting — from the low-hanging fruit of mashing avocado and putting it on toast and treating it like culinary innovation for years to the obsession with a particular pastel shade of pink (what even was that, anyway?) to the fact that we made fun of our parents for wearing oversized round glasses only to, decades later, sport the same oversized John Lennon-inspired rims. I’ve got to hand it to the youth, though, because they continue to think outside the box. They don’t go for the obvious; instead, they mock millennials for things like sporting a side part, wearing skinny jeans, and the most egregious, using the crying laughing emoji. And that, friends, is where I draw the line.
I can admit that skinny jeans are not the look for everyone and we took our obsession with it a bit too far. Likewise, I’ll give you that I had some truly heinous exaggerated side part years (mostly in college, but I’ve burned all the evidence.). But you will have to pry the crying laughing emoji from my cold, dead hands, and I will tell you why even though I’m sure nobody asked.
Now I know what you’re going to be asking first because it was my immediate thought, too: if Gen-Z doesn’t use the crying laughing emoji, how to they indicate laughter? Apparently, they use the skull emoji.
There are a few things wrong with this.
Now, I do feel bad being harsh on Gen-Z because they are simply ignorant. They do not remember the time when we millennials had to figure out ways to differentiate between various amounts of laughter. They were simply not alive (or at least, they were nonverbal) for the agonizing days of deciding whether something was simply funny (lol), very funny (rofl), outright hilarious (lmao), or literally-falling-on-the-floor hilarious (roflmao). Certainly, there are situations in which something is so funny you’re (figuratively) literally dead, necessitating the skull emoji, but there are levels to this sh*t. Personally, I like to progress from the crying laughing emoji to the slanted crying laughing emoji to the skull, and if a joke is really good, to the coffin or the urn. Everything cannot be skull emoji because everything is not skull-emoji funny. To ascribe every joke to this level of humor is simply an impossible standard, one that waters down the very genius of using the skull emoji in this context in the first place.
On top of that, the fact that using this emoji for its intended purpose is scorn-worthy kind of makes me want to, to borrow their own phrase, yeet myself into the sun. Oh, what, it’s too predictable? Too literal? Would it be ok if we used the crying laughing emoji ironically? Because I do that sometimes, like when I openly and honestly express my feelings and then need to add a little something at the end so that nobody takes me too seriously. Is that ok??
The crying laughing emoji exists for a reason, and I will not be made to feel ashamed, and I welcome my eventual roasting on TikTok.
And by the way, anyone with a widows peak cannot rock a middle part, and I’m too short to wear any cut of jean other than skinny jeans.
If 2020 has been anything, it’s certainly the year of influencers behaving badly. I mean, not that they haven’t behaved badly in other years, but something about a worldwide pandemic just brings out the worst in these people. On Tuesday night, YouTuber Nikita Dragun threw an “insane surprise party” for her friend Larray, also a YouTuber. The party was held at the infamous Hype House, which is essentially the Buckingham Palace of the TikTok community. Photos and videos from the party—posted publicly on social media—show an indoor area packed with people, none of whom are wearing masks or making any attempt at social distancing. In addition, paparazzi videos from outside the Hype House show a crowd of people waiting to get inside, also not wearing masks.
In the state of California, current public health regulations “prohibit professional, social and community gatherings,” defined as “events that bring together persons from multiple households at the same time for a shared or group experience in a single room.” Additionally, the CDC advises that if such gatherings are taking place, they should be held outside, and attendees should social distance and wear face coverings. Watch Nikita Dragun’s video, and see if any of these rules are being followed:
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happy birthday bestfriend 🎂 @larray doesn’t like to celebrate his bday so i decided to throw him the most insane surprise party ever… nikita style ! he literally is a light in everyones life . always making u laugh and feel good even on ur worse days . friend thank u so much from the bottom of my plastic heart… i was at a low point when i met u and u showed me true friendship , loyalty , and love . i had to go all out for u and something tells me u had a good time 😉 love u so much xo shoutout to @wifeoftheparty yet another iconic party <3
The guest list at the party was a who’s who of Gen-Z celebs, including TikTok queen Charli D’Amelio and her sister Dixie, who are apparently still allowed at the Hype House despite their messy split from the group earlier this year. Charli showed up at the party soon after having a nose job, because nothing says “surgery recovery” like getting exposed to a deadly respiratory virus, I guess. Also in attendance were Tana Mongeau and James Charles, which is zero percent surprising. Whenever there’s an opportunity to get canceled, you can always count on James and Tana to be involved.
Clearly, no one felt too guilty about being at this party, because it was plastered all over social media. In the past few months, we’ve seen a lot of people trying to cover up their problematic tracks on Instagram, but Larray’s party was completely out in the open. And given the whole COVID situation, it didn’t take long for people to voice their concerns about the whole mess. Most notably, fellow YouTuber Tyler Oakley slammed the party on Twitter, saying, “if your favorite influencers are at huge house parties during a pandemic (& are dumb enough to post it on social media)… they are bad influences. unfollow them.” He tagged several of the influencers in question, suggesting that they take more precautions and use their platforms to “encourage responsibility during a worldwide pandemic.”
hi @jamescharles @NikitaDragun @tanamongeau @larrayxo @charlidamelio @dixiedamelio & any others who have been partying in large groups – please consider social distancing, mask wearing, & using your huge platforms to encourage responsibility during a worldwide pandemic. https://t.co/G3CeWfk3uZ
— tyler oakley (@tyleroakley) July 22, 2020
These influencers aren’t the only ones making questionable decisions about events amidst the pandemic. Last month, R&B artist Teyana Taylor was criticized for hosting a star-studded album release party, where guests were given custom hazmat suits and masks. I don’t know how smart that is in reality, but at least the masks were provided. But photos from the party showed a densely packed room, with many celebrities (including Cardi B) not wearing their masks. Taylor claimed the party was “extremely safe,” but the photos make that hard to believe. And in even more bizarre news, people in numerous states have been caught having coronavirus parties, with the specific purpose of getting infected.
For some reason, people seem to have a more relaxed attitude about social gatherings than they did a few months ago, but especially in Los Angeles, now is really not the time. This week, California overtook New York as the state with the highest total number of confirmed cases, and their daily case numbers have more than doubled in the last month. And even if our influencer friends aren’t analyzing the statistics, they must have noticed that California’s reopening plan has come to a screeching halt. Bars and restaurants have recently closed again, along with gyms, salons, and basically any business that requires you to be indoors with other people.
So, if you’re in LA (or honestly anywhere) right now, this probably isn’t the best time to be throwing any indoor surprise parties, and it certainly isn’t the time to be blasting your irresponsible choices on social media. Why are influencers like this!!
Images: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com; nikitadragun, jamescharles / Instagram; tyleroakley / Twitter