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 🤍🕊
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
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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…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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Think back, if you can, to October 2019. Life was good. Coronavirus was just a twinkle in some bat’s eye, going to bars was still a thing, and Miley Cyrus was in the middle of an iconic, chaotic Hot Girl Fall. After splitting up with her husband Liam Hemsworth (still not over it tbh), she spent a few weeks making out on boats with with Kaitlynn Carter, and then promptly moved on to Cody Simpson.
Miley and Cody’s relationship, replete with weird black and white videos of them making out, seemed like it would be a flash-in-the-pan rebound, but against all odds, they ended up staying together for nearly 10 months. But this week, their relationship came to an end, with Miley announcing that they’ve decided to end their relationship. On Thursday, Miley confirmed the breakup on Instagram Live, after TMZ first reported the news earlier in the day. In the video, she criticized the media for getting involved in her personal life, saying “A year ago, almost to this exact date, the media tried to tell my story for me and control my narrative, and I’m just not accepting that.” She’s referring to her and Liam’s split, which was first reported in August of last year.
She continued in the IG Live, “So today, it came out that me and my boyfriend have broken up. It was confirmed by a ‘reliable source,’ even though no one is reliable in a relationship except the two individuals that are participating in it. But, for right now, two halves can’t make a whole and we’re individually just working on ourselves to become the people that we wanna be.” So according to Miley, the source may not have been reliable… but they were still right.
She added that she and Cody are just figuring out where they want to be in their lives, but that they’re still on good terms, cautioning viewers not to “make it some drama story if next week we’re out hanging out or getting pizza. We’ve been friends for 10 years and we’re gonna continue to be friends. Just don’t make it something that it is not.” If you’re going to break up with someone in quarantine, you definitely want to stay friends with them, because who else are you even allowed to hang out with?
Interestingly enough, Miley Cyrus just so happened to drop the lead single from her new album today. I’m not saying the timing of the breakup news is a PR stunt or anything, but it’s also kind of the perfect time for this breakup news to be coming out. The song, “Midnight Sky,” is basically all about her split from Liam, and being okay on her own, and the fact that there’s a fresh breakup to apply it to makes it extra relevant. Cody congratulated Miley on the new song on his Instagram story, so it appears they really are on good terms, at least publicly. The song is also catchy AF, so like, thank you Miley for giving us something to listen to besides just “WAP” on repeat.
Newly single, and with a new album on the way, Miley is definitely at a crossroads in her personal and professional life, and it seems like she has the right attitude about all of it. Her final IG Live comment about the breakup is a full 202o mood: “And with that being said, I’m done with the bullshit.” Girl, same.
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It’s been a long f*cking decade, and it’s safe to say there are probably a lot of pop culture moments you’ve forgotten about. I mean, there are plenty of pop culture moments just from 2019 that you forgot about. We’ve talked a lot about the end of the decade, from rounding up the most impressive celeb glowups to the least impressive fashion trends we all succumbed to, but this list might just be the most fun yet. There’s nothing better than a good celebrity scandal, so I put together the craziest ones you forgot about from this decade. There’s one for each year, so enjoy this nostalgic time with some batsh*t crazy celebs.
2010: Miley Cyrus’ Bong
9 Years ago the iconic video of Miley smoking salvia was leaked! Which was your reaction?! 💥 pic.twitter.com/686MhHVAT6
— Miley Cyrus Updates (@MileyUpdates) November 28, 2019
As we near 2020, it’s honestly insane that Miley Cyrus started this decade as a teenager who was still best known as Hannah Montana. In 2010, she began to change her reputation with Can’t Be Tamed, but she really turned heads when a video of her smoking a bong hit the internet. I can’t even believe this was a big deal, but I guess 2010 was a different time. While it turned out to only be salvia (lame), Christian mothers everywhere were horrified, but the rest of us finally realized Miley could hang.
2011: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Love Child
Way before Ben Affleck had an affair with the nanny, Arnold Schwarzenegger was busy doing even worse sh*t. In May of 2011, Arnold and Maria Shriver announced that they were separating after 25 years of marriage. The next week, news leaked that the separation was spurred by Maria finding out that he fathered a child with their housekeeper 14 years earlier. Arnold admitted it, but failed to mention that he only told Maria after she confronted him with the information. Not a good look, Arnold. The love child was born just DAYS apart from Arnold’s last child with Maria, making the whole thing even more gross.
2012: Halle Berry’s Exes’ Fight
Ah yes, this one is really deep from the pop culture vaults. On Thanksgiving of 2012, Halle Berry’s then-fiancé, Olivier Martinez, got into a fist fight with her ex, Gabriel Aubry, at her house. The fight likely had something to do with the custody battle over Halle and Gabriel’s daughter, whom Halle wanted to move to France full-time. The fight ended with Gabriel Aubry both hospitalized and arrested on battery charges, so I think it’s safe to say it wasn’t a happy Thanksgiving. After two years of marriage, Halle and Olivier got divorced in 2015, but at least she got him to fight for her while it lasted. The literal dream.
2013: Paula Deen’s Racism
I don’t know why we were all so surprised that an older white woman whose main personality trait is being from the south was racist, but alas, this one hurt. After years of a successful Food Network show and other business ventures, Paula Deen’s cooking empire came crashing down when she admitted in court documents that she used the N-word in conversation. Yeah, hard yikes to that. She also apparently wrote that she wished her husband could “witness a real Southern plantation-style wedding, complete with waiters acting as slaves.” UMMMMM, yeah, what the f*ck?! She lost her book deal, TV show, and product lines, and she definitely deserved it.
2014: Solange & Jay-Z’s Elevator Fight
The fact that Jay-Z cheated on Beyoncé still makes me viscerally upset, and apparently Bey’s sister Solange had the same reaction. After the 2014 Met Gala, security camera footage leaked of her kicking Jay in an elevator, and nothing has ever made me happier. Beyoncé later referenced the incident in one of her songs, saying that “of course sometimes sh*t goes down when it’s a billion dollars on the elevator.” A relatable scenario, for sure. We don’t technically know that the fight was about the cheating, and Jay said in an interview that “before and after, we’ve been cool,” but like, sure Jan. I’ve cut my siblings’ significant others off for like, buying them a sh*tty Christmas present; it’s not just gonna be “cool” if you cheat on my insanely beautiful, talented, brilliant sister who is the mother of your child.
2015: Rachel Dolezal
In a decade full of messy behavior, Rachel Dolezal might just be the messiest. She was a total nobody until, one day in 2015, her story went completely viral. Dolezal was serving as President of her local NAACP chapter when a small issue came up: she was telling everyone she was black, but that was a lie. Though she was born to white parents, instead of walking it all the way back and apologizing, Rachel maintained that she “self-identifies” as African American (not a thing), leading her to get fired from her jobs, and get clowned on the whole entire internet. In the years since, she’s changed her name to Nkeche, gotten charged with welfare fraud, and starred in a Netflix documentary that really just made her look worse and made her kids resent her. What a mess.
2016: Kim’s Paris Robbery
Whether you’re a Kardashian fan or not, there’s no denying that the Paris robbery was a really scary moment. While staying in Paris, Kim was robbed at gunpoint in her hotel room, where she was tied up and put in the bathtub. The thieves stole $10 million worth of jewelry, which is a good reminder to all of us that you shouldn’t travel with millions of dollars in jewelry. Kim like, basically doesn’t wear jewelry anymore because of this, and started being more careful about geotagging, so you could actually say this is one of the most influential moments of the decade. Just saying.
2017: Kendall’s Pepsi Ad
Remember when Kendall Jenner solved racism and inequality with one simple Pepsi commercial? Good times! I think everyone audibly gasped the first time they saw this commercial, which made light of a powerful social justice movement about police brutality and killing unarmed POC to shill soda. The reaction to the ad was swift and strong, and Pepsi pulled it almost immediately, but not before it went intensely viral. I’m sure someone (or several people) were fired over this, but I’m still not sure why anyone thought it was okay in the first place.
2018: Who Bit Beyoncé
the closest we ever came to world peace was when everyone just wanted to figure out who bit Beyoncé
— Betches (@betchesluvthis) December 27, 2019
I really hate to drag Beyoncé into this list again, but we can’t not talk about how weird this was. Last year, Tiffany Haddish randomly told a story about Jay-Z’s album release party, in which she said that a mystery “actress” was being extra and “bit Beyoncé in the face.” For the days that followed, the whole of society basically stopped, as everyone tried to figure out who the culprit could be. Ultimately, sleuths deduced that it was Sanaa Lathan, and Tiffany Haddish ultimately confirmed this conclusion. I still don’t know why this became a thing, but wow, what a time to be alive.
2019: Prince William Cheating
I really don’t feel like this got enough attention. Earlier this year, there were fairly credible rumors about Prince William cheating on Kate with one of her good friends, and we barely even talked about it! How is this not a bigger deal?? Probably because the royal family is getting ready to serve me with an injunction as we speak, but still. You probably don’t even remember the name Rose Cholmondeley, partly because it’s the longest, most confusing last name ever, but an alleged royal mistress (who was also Kate’s friend) deserves more attention! This alleged affair also sparked conspiracy theories that the whole “Meghan and Kate don’t get along” narrative is merely a cover-up for what’s really going on. Next season of The Crown is gonna be amazing.
The next decade will no doubt bring more dramatic af celebrity scandals. I’m just hoping, for the sake of content, that somebody will take one for the team (me) and pull another Tristan Thompson/Jordyn Woods.
Images: mileyupdates, betchesluvthis / Twitter; Giphy (8)
There are so many things to love about this time of year. The bottomless supply of baked goods, the wall-to-wall Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, the multiple consecutive days where you don’t have to change out of your pajamas, and finally, looking back on all the juicy breakups that happened throughout the year. I believe the phrase is “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is by recounting strangers’ personal pain loudly for all to hear,” no? Well, it certainly is for me. And this year, there were A LOT of celebrity breakups. So many, in fact, that Ryanne even had to talk me down from one when I INSISTED you would all care about the guy from This is Us divorcing his wife. You can thank her in the comments. But let’s take a look at the rest of the most dramatic celebrity breakups of 2019, and really get in the holiday spirit!
Khloé Kardashian & Tristan Thompson
I had really hoped that by the end of this decade we would have stopped talking about these people, but it seems that is not the case. In fact, two members of America’s First Family of Reality TV made it onto this list. The things I do for you guys. I still can’t believe this breakup was only this year, but it was indeed back in February when Jordyn Woods foolishly cut herself off from the Kardashian
juvederm gravy train by making out with Tristan Thompson. Big mistake. Huge. She claimed (on Red Table Talk) that it was just a quick kiss on the lips, but that was enough to seal her fate. Kylie threw her out, onto the mean streets of the Hollywood Hills, left to fend for herself with nowhere else to go but a slightly smaller mansion. Poor baby!
This was the last straw for Khloé, who will tolerate her boyfriend motorboating models while she’s at home pregnant, but a goodbye kiss on the lips is OVER. THE. LINE. She also seemed to blame Jordyn for her breakup when we all know men are the ones responsible for where they put their d*cks.
Why are you lying @jordynwoods ?? If you’re going to try and save yourself by going public, INSTEAD OF CALLING ME PRIVATELY TO APOLOGIZE FIRST, at least be HONEST about your story. BTW, You ARE the reason my family broke up!
— Khloé (@khloekardashian) March 1, 2019
Maybe don’t pick a cheater next time, Khloé!
Kylie Jenner & Travis Scott
We might as well get on with the Kylie and Travis breakup, since we’re here. This relationship was a whirlwind. Kylie and Tyga broke up, and then she almost immediately got with Travis, and then she almost immediately got pregnant, because her mother was too busy selling her sister’s sex tape and building an empire to teach her youngest daughter about the birds and the bees. At the very least she could have showed her that tape! Alas, she did not, and here we are. Stormi was born in February 2018, less than a year after Kylie and Travis got together. Things seemed to be going well for a while, with Travis even telling Playboy that having a baby had not slowed down their sex life at all. Duh, Travis! You are still in the honeymoon stage! And you have nannies! I think a decrease in sex life happens because people are tired from the baby and also kind of sick of each other from being together so long. Two problems Travis and Kylie would not be encountering. But congrats on beating the odds!
But then, October came and Travis and Kylie announced they were on a break. Guess that sex life finally slowed down, huh? They still appear to be close, and although I wouldn’t count out a reconciliation, this really was the end of an era for Kylie. Thankfully she has those billion dollars to hold her close at night!
Miley Cyrus & Liam Hemsworth
I’ve got to admit, this one hurts. I thought these two crazy kids might just make it. After meeting on the set of The Last Song *pause for audible sobbing* and dating on and off for over 10 years, they finally got married in December 2018. Then, by August, it was over. And that’s when it got messy. All of a sudden Miley was dating Kaitlynn Carter, the most annoying cast member on The Hills: New Beginnings, and Liam was walking around Australia looking like someone drowned his puppy. I haven’t seen anything sadder since we got my brother’s wedding photos back and it looked like my glass of champagne was my plus one in every single shot. (It was.)
THEN! Miley and Kaitlynn breakup (duh, she’s annoying!) and now Miley is with Cody Simpson. AND THEN!!! Miley got a tattoo that says “freedom” which is obviously throwing shade at Liam. A little dramatic, but okay.
But FINALLY! Liam is getting his head in the game and fighting back, recently posting a thirst trap. He looks hot, but we know you’re not that innocent, Liam. Even my grandmother knows what a thirst trap is.
Cole Sprouse & Lili Reinhart
This summer it was reported that Cole and Lili, aka the one sane spot in that bonkers fever dream known as Riverdale, broke up after two years of dating. OR DID THEY? This story was reported in July, but the day before they had been perfectly cordial at ComicCon. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t think “cordial” is the word I would use to describe myself post-breakup in my early 20s. Maybe “deranged” or “paralyzed by rage,” but definitely not cordial.
They never confirmed the breakup, and then, they started f*cking with us. Lili posted a picture of their magazine cover together saying “none of you know sh*t,” and Cole posted the same picture, with a caption I don’t understand but I can feel like I’m being mocked, you know?
If Cole and Lili broke up, or if they did not, it doesn’t matter now, because they’re back together! I don’t like being toyed with, but I will take it if it means that Bughead is forever.
Bradley Cooper & Irina Shayk
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Bradley Cooper keeps it casual in windbreaker while Irina Shayk nails off-duty sophistication in camel coat for bundled-up stroll in NYC. (March 19, 2019) Bradley Cooper lo mantiene casual con un rompevientos, mientras que Irina Shayk se une a la sofisticación en un abrigo abrigo camel para dar un paseo abrigado en Nueva York. (Marzo 1, 2019) #irinashayk #irina #shayk #bradleycooper #bradley #cooper #bradrina #nyc #newyork #familygoals #family #model #momstyle #dad #mom #goals #celebrity #actor #streetstyle #celebritycouples #2019 #dadstyle #couplegoals #smile #momgoals #dadgoals #celebritydad #celebritymom #ootd #candid
I heard you all sigh when you got to this one, but don’t act like I’m the only one here who cares about Bradley Cooper. He’s still hotter than most of the men in Hollywood even when he’s pretending to pee himself at the Grammys, okay? So, last year, Bradley wrote, directed, and starred in a little film called A Star is Born, maybe you heard of it? *pause for audible sobbing*. Sorry, that garage scene haunts me. Anyway, his co-star was the inimitable Lady Gaga, and boy did people want them to be a thing. And then, Gaga and her fiancé broke up, and she and Bradley performed at the Oscars, making everyone believe they were in love. Guys, THEY ARE ACTORS. THEY WERE ACTING.
With this kind of speculation, though, it was almost inevitable that Bradley and Irina were going to break up. In June they announced that they were separating, which is sad, but at least they did produce quite possibly the most adorable child of all time. Yes, I do follow celebrity baby Instagram accounts, and no I don’t want to talk about it. I would just like to stress, though, for all you believers that are still out there, he will never, ever, be getting with Lady Gaga. Because he’s obviously going to end up with Jennifer Garner, right? Where my Alias fans at??!
Hannah Brown & Jed Wyatt
And finally, we get to the biggest Bachelor Nation breakup of the year. I think this one can be summed up by saying “men ain’t sh*t,” but you probably want a little more explanation than that. Basically, Hannah picked the incredibly poor man’s Tim McGraw as the winner on her season of The Bachelorette. And then, after she picked him but before the season was finished airing, it was revealed that Jed had a girlfriend when he went on the show and he clearly was in it just to get famous. FOR SHAME, JED! Tim McGraw would never do something so nefarious. So, Hannah dumped him on After the Final Rose, and went on to win Dancing with the Stars, and in general be one of the best Bachelorettes that the franchise has ever produced. She scrubbed him from her Instagram, but he didn’t because he still needs her to keep him relevant, duh. It appears Jed has a new girlfriend, good for him! Just FYI sweetie, he didn’t write “I wanna be your Mr. Right” for you.
And there you have the most dramatic celebrity breakups of 2019. Count on even more Kardashians on next year’s list!
Images: khloekardashian, travisscott, liamhemsworth, winterstone, commentsbycelebs, lilireinhart, colesprouse, _itsleeas, jedwyatt/ Instagram; khloekardashian/Twitter
Miley Cyrus has always, in my book, been a gay icon. I mean, when your career starts by playing a high school student by day and a pop star at night, what other trajectory could you possibly have? The gay community has constantly adored Miley, from “7 Things” to “Party in the USA” to the entire Bangerz album to her recent hit shading ex-husband Liam Hemsworth, “Slide Away.” And how does she repay us? BY DISAPPOINTING US ON A G*DDAMN INSTA LIVE.
Miley’s had a tumultuous year when it comes to relationships: first, her less-than-a-year marriage with Liam Hemsworth imploded, then her summer fling with Kaitlynn Carter came to an abrupt end, and now she’s apparently in love with Australian musician Cody Simpson. I recently wrote an article on how she was on the Instagram trip of a lifetime with her dog and family, wishing her well on her journey to love, and she responded by stabbing me in the back!
In a recent Instagram live with new fling Cody Simpson, Miley talks about how she’s finally found a good man, while simultaneously completely objectifying the LGBTQ+ community and literally suggesting her bisexuality was a choice.
She said, “There are good men out there guys, don’t give up. You don’t have to be gay, there are good people with dicks out there, you’ve just got to find them. You’ve got to find a dick that’s not a dick, you know. I always thought I had to be gay, because I thought all guys were evil, but it’s not true. There are good people out there that just happen to have dicks. I’ve only ever met one, and he’s on this live.”
Like…girl…what the f*ck are you saying? I understand she’s joking while obviously trying to be rude to Liam, but what she’s actually doing is slighting an entire community that’s largely supported her through every aspect of her career.
The video is below, so you can see you see for yourself:
“Don’t give up, you don’t have to be gay, there are good dicks out there, you just have to find them”
“I always thought I had to be gay because all guys are evil but that’s not true”
– @MileyCyrus what's good? pic.twitter.com/y3yjUGpCSN
— • (@bljcmie) October 21, 2019
Okay, Miley, let’s talk. There’s so much wrong about this 48-second clip. First, I hate to be the one to break the news to you babe, but things aren’t going to work out with Cody either. Second, I know that you support the LGBTQ+ community, have a charity to help LGBTQ+ homeless youth, and you’re a huge fan of drag, so I certainly hope that you’d never intentionally state that being gay is a choice, yet that’s exactly what you implied. And third—am I overreacting? Yes. I’m sure I am, but I don’t care.
Coming out is so hard. Like so, so hard. The 21 years I spent in the closet were the hardest years of my life, and as embarrassing as it may sound, Lady Gaga is a huge reason I found the courage to come out. I would watch her videos on YouTube and listen to her constantly, dreaming about one day being the person that I wanted to be because she constantly reminded me that I was born this way, that I was worthy of love, and that my sexuality wasn’t a choice. (If you’ve never seen her Brave speech, then literally watch it now because it will give you enough strength to get through the winter). I just keep thinking about all of the young, 16-year-old kids in the suburbs or in the country whose Lady Gaga is Miley Cyrus, and who heard her say the words “you don’t have to be gay.” If I had heard Lady Gaga say something like that when I was at my most vulnerable, I can honestly say I don’t know that I’d be where I am today.
For some, this might be easy to brush off as a joke and something meant to make her exes feel bad, not to crush all of her LGBTQ+ supporters, but that’s exactly what it did, at least for me. For the record, being gay is not a choice, and if you are in the closet and Miley was your beacon of hope, I’m sorry. Watch the “Bad Romance” video and know that as cliche as it may sound, it really does get better.
UPDATED: While Miley recently apologized in a tweet, on my opinion, it’s not enough. (Also, it’s short enough to be just a regular tweet, no need to put in your notes…like come on, but that’s not the point.)
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) October 21, 2019
While we all say things we shouldn’t and things that are misconstrued into bigger deals than they actually are, I don’t feel like this apology is enough to make up for the words that were said. Not to mention, she refers to herself as part of the LGBTQ+ community a day after she said it was a brief choice to be there, but the real kicker is ending it with “Happy Monday!” How in the world is anyone supposed to be accept an apology that ends with Happy Monday?
Images: Giphy (2); bljcmie / Twitter
Feminism is, at its core, a relatively simple concept. Merriam-Webster defines it as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” Unless you’ve been trapped in a bunker since the 1950s or serving in the two highest offices of the United States, you’ll probably concede that this is a good idea. Yet according to a survey by GenForward, less than 20% of participants belonging to any racial or ethnic group self-identify as feminist, with most saying they “don’t identify as a traditional feminist, but support women’s rights and equality.” This cognitive dissonance is even more glaring when we look at celebrities’ interpretations of the term. Given their power and influence, it also makes it that much more disappointing. Below are five famous women who at one point or another have refused to identify as feminist, despite very clearly supporting feminist ideas. Celebrities—they’re just as clueless as like us!
1. Taylor Swift
When asked in a 2012 interview with The Daily Beast whether she considers herself a feminist, Taylor Swift said, “I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life.” So adorable. While this is a lovely way to think, it presupposes, incorrectly, that feminism is a movement fueled by the hatred of men. On the contrary, feminism is about uniting men and women and putting them on equal footing. Luckily, Taylor has since changed her tune.
2. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus skirted around the issue in a 2014 interview with Elle by saying, “I’m just about equality, period. It’s not like, ‘I’m a woman, women should be in charge!’ I just want there to be equality for everybody.” Miley’s concept of feminism suffers from a similar flaw in logic as Taylor’s: it assumes that the movement is about uprooting men and taking away their power. However, it’s not an either-or proposition. Both men and women can and should have opportunities to be in power and “in charge”. Crazy, I know.
3. Susan Sarandon
Susan Sarandon, actress and occasional problematic person, had this to say about identifying as a feminist in a 2013 interview with The Guardian: “I think of myself as a humanist because I think it’s less alienating to people who think of feminism as being a load of strident bitches, and because you want everyone to have equal pay, equal rights, education, and health care.” The “humanist” response is a popular one with celebrities and, IMHO, a bit of a cop-out because it doesn’t acknowledge the reality that we live in a world where women are the more disadvantaged sex. Even worse, it perpetuates the false notion that all feminists are militant, combat boot-wearing, bra-burning wenches who want to burn down the world and render men obsolete (though I’ll admit I’m down for the combat boots). Can we be angry sometimes? Sure. But some anger is more than warranted when we continue to live in a world where we’re paid 77% of what men make, account for only 25.4% of board members and 6.6% of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, are at a greater risk of rape and domestic violence, and have little to no autonomy over our bodies. Instead of being afraid of appearing angry, perhaps we should ask ourselves why we’re so uncomfortable with women being angry in the first place.
4. Sarah Jessica Parker
Ironically, the star of Sex and the City, a show that’s supposed to be all about female empowerment, declined to take up the term despite clearly espousing feminist views in a 2016 interview with Marie Claire: “I am not a feminist. I don’t think I qualify. I believe in women and I believe in equality, but I think there is so much that needs to be done that I don’t even want to separate it anymore. I’m so tired of separation. I just want people to be treated equally.” The problem with SJP’s response is that she’s guilty of the very thing she doesn’t like about the movement. Women can’t begin to achieve the equality she desires if she and other non-feminist feminists refuse to engage and separate themselves from the cause. There’s power and unity in numbers.
It may be hard to believe now, but there once was a time when the woman who closed out the 2014 VMAs by performing in front of a giant “FEMINIST” sign hesitated to accept the label. Just one year earlier in an interview with British Vogue, the one and only Bey said, “That word can be very extreme … But I guess I am a modern-day feminist. I do believe in equality. Why do you have to choose what type of woman you are? Why do you have to label yourself anything? … I do believe in equality and that we have a way to go and it’s something that’s pushed aside and something that we have been conditioned to accept… But I’m happily married. I love my husband.” The reference to her marriage and husband is strange as well as problematic, because it implies that a feminist can’t have a healthy and loving relationship with a man. Her aversion to labels sounds more like the Tuesday night musings of your run-of-the-mill f*ckboy rather than a compelling argument coming from one of the most powerful and innovative performers of our time. Without labels, we can’t identify ourselves and, in turn, effect meaningful change, something Beyoncé later realized and emphasized with her VMA performance.
It’s clear that when it comes to feminism, we can’t look to celebrities for guidance—not just because they often fundamentally misunderstand the term, but also because, like most things celebrity-related, it’s an exercise in distraction. Roxane Gay points out in a piece for The Guardian that, “We run into trouble, though, when we celebrate celebrity feminism while avoiding the actual work of feminism.” Identifying oneself as a feminist is a crucial first step, but it’s just the beginning of the conversation and work that needs to be done.
Images: Allie Smith / Unsplash; Giphy (5)
If you had told me this time last year that not only would Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth be divorcing, but Miley would have moved on with not one, but two people in the time it usually takes me to throw out my leftovers, I would have laughed in your face. What can I say? I still believed in love then. It was a simpler, purer time. But now, after watching Miley declare “Miam” officially dead and proceeding to bounce from relationship to relationship (first with Brody Jenner’s ex Kaitlynn Carter and now with Australian musician and one-time BF to Gigi Hadid, Cody Simpson), nothing that comes out about Miley’s love life surprises me anymore. And while I’m happy that Miley seems to be moving on and living her best life, I can’t help but admit that watching her love life play out like a public game of musical chairs has made me think differently about her—and not in a good way.
I’ve been a huge fan of Miley’s for years. We’re both the same age, and it always felt like when she was going through a significant life change I was somehow going through something similar. When Miley and Liam broke up for the first time and she went through her Bangerz phase, I was just coming off my own breakup. I was a junior in college and things with my on-again, off-again boyfriend seemed officially off. He was my first serious relationship and the only guy I’ve ever said “I love you” to. After the breakup, I felt wild and lost and a little like I didn’t know who I was anymore without this person in my life. I saw these same feelings reflected in Miley. Except instead of getting drunk off strawberry Burnett’s and getting felt up in a bathroom at the Pi Kappa Phi house, Miley was miming masturbation with foam fingers and swinging naked on wrecking balls. At the time, the media made it sound like Miley was just “acting out” after a bad breakup, but to me it didn’t seem like an act of rebellion so much as her just trying to figure out who the hell she was after Disney and Liam.
When Miley and Liam reconnected in the fall of 2015, I felt irrationally happy, considering the two of them are actual strangers to me and probably always will be. Seeing them work things out after all these years, it was almost like I was reconnecting with my own first love. So when Miley announced earlier this summer that they were divorcing after only a few months of marriage, and that she had already moved on with friend-turned-lover Kaitlynn Carter, I was shocked and a little—dare I say—angry?
The anger didn’t stem so much from the breakup itself. I get it, people change, and even though I follow several Miam fan accounts on Instagram, I’m not actually in that relationship so I guess I’ll never know the full story. No, the anger was more about Miley’s actions post-breakup. One minute she was posting on social media about reconnecting with nature and focusing on herself during this trying time, and the next she’s making out with Kaitlynn Carter on a boat and posting thirst traps on IG. When her relationship with Kaitlynn eventually fizzled out I thought, “oh good, now you can start actually dealing with this breakup,” only to watch her dive head-first into some sort of romantic thing with Cody Simpson. I felt disappointed by her actions. It seemed disrespectful for her to jump so publicly from one relationship to the next so soon after breaking things off with her partner of 10 years.
The media seemed to agree with me. Over the past few months, story after story has been published about Miley and her romantic suitors. And while no one outright calls her a slut for her behavior, most of the articles read with thinly veiled contempt, as if we’re all disappointed that she’s not sitting at home alone, scrolling through her phone for old pictures of her and Liam, listening to “Wrecking Ball” on repeat, and crying into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s (or is that just me?).
Picking up on the contempt, Miley took to her Instagram stories last Friday to defend herself against slut-shamers by pointing out that men rarely get called out for serial dating. She referenced Leonardo DiCaprio and John Mayer in particular, saying:
“Men (especially successful ones) are RARELY slut shamed. They move on from one beautiful woman to the next MOST times without consequences. They are usually referenced as ‘legends’, ‘heart throbs’, ‘G’, ‘Ladies Man’ etc… where women are called sluts/whores!”
Honestly, she’s not wrong. I myself have written about instances like Scott Disick moving on from Kourtney Kardashian to Bella Thorne to Sofia Richie in rapid succession, and only commented on the diminishing age of his hookups, and not the frequency of them post-breakup. And while it’s not news to me that the media is often sexist in the way they portray famous women versus famous men, what was news to me was that I was a little sexist myself.
As a feminist, I pride myself on advocating for women. It’s 2019 for god’s sake, and women should be allowed to be open about their sexuality, to own their sexual experiences without consequence. This is what I’ve always preached but rarely practiced myself. After my ex-boyfriend from college dumped me (on my birthday) for a girl he’d been secretly dating behind my back for months, he made the comment that no matter what happened between us, I shouldn’t “spread myself around” after the breakup and that I should still be a “good girl.” At the time, I’d only had sex with two people and one of them was this prince. He made me believe that if I had sex with other people or started dating around, I wouldn’t be attractive to men, that I’d somehow be dirty for moving on too quickly.
I’ll admit that those words have stuck with me, even years later. I find myself saying things like, “I’m not a casual dater” or “I just need some commitment before I sleep with anyone,” which are statements I rarely follow through with, but often use as a way to make myself feel bad anytime I have a casual hookup or a one night stand.
Watching Miley Cyrus defend herself on Instagram for doing something that men do ALL THE TIME brought back those feelings of insecurity and worthlessness. I’ve always felt like you should grieve a relationship when it ends and be respectful of the other person, but why do I feel that way? Hell, I’m notorious for mourning a
breakup ghosting from guys whose most attractive quality is that he had a washer/dryer in his apartment. So why do I owe them celibacy?
And it’s not just me, either. Most of the women in my life are the same way, keeping their sex lives on the down-low post-breakups—at least from their exes. So why are women like this, then? Men certainly don’t hesitate to move on after a breakup—or even hesitate to flaunt their moving on, so why should women? Is it that we don’t want to seem undesirable to the men who’ve wronged us or to the future men in our lives? And why is a woman having a healthy sex life so often associated with spiraling out of control or acting out?
During the same IG stories where Miley took down slut-shamers she said, “I am trying to just THRIVE/survive in a ‘mans’ world… if we can’t beat em, join em! If our president can ‘grab em by the pussy…’ can’t I just have a kiss and açai bowl?!?!” And, this, poetic as it is, struck a chord with me. Here I am, saying how I support women and f*ck the patriarchy, and I’m getting disappointed in a woman doing what she wants to do because it doesn’t seem… ladylike? Apologetic? What? Bottom line: Liam seems to have moved on (albeit more quietly), and also these people are literal strangers to me and therefore I have no emotional stake in their relationship, so what am I really angry and disappointed for?
And while I may have handled a breakup like Miley’s a little differently (or maybe not, because literally the only people invested in my love life are my dog and @SweetestBetchYou’llEverMeet who is constantly trying to pimp me out on Hinge), I’ve decided that I don’t want to read about Miley Cyrus making out with Cody Simpson or Kaitlynn Carter or anyone else for that matter. Why? Because it’s none of my damn business. If I’m not going to be angry at Leonardo DiCaprio for serially dating any model under the legal drinking age, then I shouldn’t be angry at Miley for doing whatever it is she does.
Watching Miley go through all of this has made me realize that for how much I call myself a feminist, I still have work to do when it comes to judging other women and coming to terms with my own sexist thoughts. So, thank you, Miley Cyrus, for the reality check and this deep self-introspection. I’ll be sure to tell my therapist that there’s no need for their services anymore, I’ll just get my life advice from your IG stories from now on.
Images: Shutterstock.com; Giphy (3); @cosmopolitan /Instagram (1)
Remember Hot Girl Summer? It might not be summer anymore, but Miley Cyrus is not done with that sh*t yet. She’s fully embracing Thotumn, and I’m here for it. As the leaves start to change, Miley has gotten herself a new man, and we need to dissect the details of exactly what is going on. It’s been a whirlwind couple of months in Miley’s personal life, and with the arrival of Cody Simpson, it’s not slowing down any time soon.
After announcing her split from her husband Liam Hemsworth in August, we watched as Miley spent a month basically attached at the hip to Kaitlynn Carter. They made out on yachts in Italy, traipsed around LA, and were apparently even living together at one point. This made sense to me, as Kaitlynn was also fresh out of her marriage to Brody Jenner, and it seemed like she and Miley both just needed a person. But that fizzled out after six weeks, and Miley has already moved on.
Now, Miley has turned her attention to Cody Simpson, and their PDA-filled fling has already become something that we can’t avoid talking about. First of all, let’s address some common questions I’ve heard in the past week, namely “wh0 the f*ck is Cody Simpson?” Cody is an Australian singer, who at one point was supposed to be the next Justin Bieber. That never really happened, but now Cody is a hot 22-year-old with abs and tattoos and clearly a lot of time on his hands. (He also used to date Gigi Hadid, because of course.) Basically, he’s Miley’s exact type, which she pointed out in this Instagram story:
Miley and Cody have only been hanging out for a week or so, but they’ve actually been friends for years. In 2015, Cody spoke about how Miley had helped him with his transition out of being a child star, and called her one of his best friends. Even before that, Cody say in 2012 that Miley was one of his “childhood celebrity crushes.” That might be kind of a yikes considering that he was like, 15 at the time, but everyone here is an adult now.
Last week, Cody and Miley made lots of headlines when they were spotted making out while getting açaí bowls together in LA. If nothing else, it’s become clear in the last two months that Miley Cyrus really loves making out in public places. After a lot of people started criticizing her for moving on so quickly from her marriage and subsequent relationship with Kaitlynn, Miley shut it down with a passionate statement on social media:
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Miley Cyrus is defending her dating life after feeling like she was "slut shamed" for her make out session with longtime friend Cody Simpson. Miley took to social media to share her thoughts about the situation, noting that successful men rarely face scrutiny for their dating life.
Miley is absolutely right that there’s a double standard when it comes to men and women in relationships, and I’m sure it makes it extra difficult when everything plays out so publicly. But also, I reserve the right to judge anyone who makes out in a public place. I have no problem with Miley having a good time, but I would call out my best friend if she were making out with a dude at the açaí place.
Since the açaí date last week, Miley and Cody have definitely been seeing a lot of each other, and it definitely feels reminiscent of how Miley and Kaitlynn were basically acting like a married couple within days of first being seen together. On Saturday, Cody posted this picture on his IG story, where he calls Miley “baby” as he kisses her forehead.
He also posted a video later that day of the two of them hanging out. Basically, they spent the whole weekend together. Miley also responded to being called “baby” on her own Instagram story, followed by posting a series of baby pictures of herself. They’re clearly having a lot of fun letting this whole thing play out for all of us to see, so who knows where this is all going.
In the days since they’ve been hanging out, sources have popped up to dish on what’s going on, and none of it is surprising. According to Entertainment Tonight, neither of them is looking to settle down or get into anything serious, which like…duh? Two months after filing for divorce, I don’t really think Miley is going to be in a long-term relationship with a younger guy who was basically obsessed with her when she was a kid. She’s at the point where she’s just doing whatever seems fun for the moment, and why shouldn’t she?
I have a feeling this is going to go down a route similar to Miley and Kaitlynn’s relationship, burning bright and fast. Miley probably doesn’t want a husband right now, so she should just have fun. As for Cody, he should just enjoy all of this free press while it lasts.
Images: Shutterstock; mileycyrus (3), codysimpson / Instagram