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
View this post on Instagram
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
View this post on Instagram
…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.
Don’t miss out on any pop culture or entertainment news. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
Images: DFree / Shutterstock.com; Giphy; haileybieber, mileycyrus / Instagram; Ed Herrera / Getty Images
Guys, it’s the end of an era. Over a year ago, Operation Varsity Blues, a college admissions scam implicating Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, their daughter Olivia Jade, Felicity Huffman, and about 50 others, broke. Well, a lot has happened since then. Felicity Huffman was sentenced to and served her 14-day sentence. Other parents were ordered to pay hefty fines. But the lone holdout in all this was Lori Loughlin, who seemed determined to assert her innocence at all costs. But that evidently didn’t last, because on Thursday, news broke that Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli had agreed to take a plea deal. Alexa, play “End Of The Road” by Boyz II Men.
The US Attorney’s Office in the District of Massachusetts said Loughlin and Giannulli have agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges. As part of the agreement, Loughlin will be sentenced to two months in prison and Giannulli will be sentenced to five months, subject to the court’s approval.
Giannulli and Loughlin were accused of paying $500,000 to get their two daughters into USC, a scheme that involved bribery and fake rowing pictures. But the plea deal comes as a bit of a surprise, considering as recently as two weeks ago, Loughlin was clinging to her innocence more tightly than I’m clinging to the foolish hope of having any semblance of a summer this year. In January 2020, they asserted they “did NOT bribe the former Senior Associate Athletic Director Donna Heinel,” according to TMZ, reasoning that though they paid $500,000, it could not have been a bribe because they made the check out to USC. They also argued, “USC invites donations like the ones Lori and Mossimo made to the school” as an “institutionalized form of admission for a price, and in no way, shape or form bribery.” They also planned to argue that they never submitted fake rowing photos of Olivia and Isabella to get them on the USC crew team, though they definitely did take the photos.
Basically, their whole plan was to put all the blame for bribery on Rick Singer, the ringleader of the whole scheme, and claim they were simply making a hefty donation to USC, not a bribe. Sure, like when I drink three glasses of wine, I’m not binge drinking, I’m wine tasting.
Two weeks ago, a judge denied a motion to dismiss the charges against Loughlin and Giannulli, which alleged that the government had botched the investigation and failed to turn over certain evidence in a timely fashion. But now, she’s taking the deal, and with it, some nominal prison sentence that she probably won’t even serve half of. Honestly, I’m a little disappointed we didn’t get to see her dressed-up “affluenza” plea play out in trial. But I can’t wait for the movie adaptation of this whole scheme!
Images: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com
In light of Loughlin-gate, colleges everywhere are being heavily scrutinized for how they admit students. Which, hi, they should be! I worked for a university’s admissions office for four years, and I was absolutely horrified by what these celebrities were able to get away with. *cue Grandpa voice* In my day, it didn’t f*cking work like that. Or maybe I just wasn’t aware of that part? In any case, if you don’t have rich parents willing to commit fraud, go to prison, and waste a quarter of a million dollars on you because you’re too stupid/lazy to do it the right way, let me help you out. I have some expertise in the area of applying to college that I don’t think a lot of people are aware of. These tips apply to both undergrad and grad school, and even if they don’t work for you, doing these things definitely won’t hurt. Remember, you’re an Elle Woods, who busted her ass to be smart enough for Harvard even though her daddy could have def written her a check. Don’t be an Olivia Jade. Nobody else will tell you these secrets about applying to college—not your guidance counselor, and not one of those giant books that list every stat of every college in the U.S. that your mom forces you to pore over (or was that just my experience applying to college?). Either way, you are welcome.
1. You Need An Edge
Let’s say you did everything right. You studied hard, got good grades, and took standardized tests six f*cking times for the same relative score. (Just me?) The problem is, there are thousands of other people exactly like you who are also applying to college. Same classes, same programs, same grades, etc. So why would they pick you over them? This is where your edge comes in. It used to be enough to have a 4.0 and high test scores, and now that’s somehow the basic standard. So especially if you’re below that threshold, you need something that makes you better/different than those identical kids. For me, it was my artist portfolio, because I went to film school for animation. Grades and test-wise, I was perfectly average for my school, but being a pretty good artist pushed me to be more competitive. If you have no talent in anything (sorry), find something else to do. Do a ton of community service, especially if it’s related to your major. You can help organize some kind of charity event that you can brag about later. It’s even better if it’s relevant to your field. Like, if you’re applying for psychology, maybe volunteer at a clinic, or try to get some research gigs to pad your resume. Whatever it is, try to come up with something that makes you better than average. Your edge can also be that your daddy bought a building (ugh), but let’s hope the school at least cares that your grades are good enough to actually attend the school, too.
2. They Keep Track of Contact
This is a weird one that I’m not sure every school does, but a lot of them do. Plus, it can’t hurt. Schools keep track of how many times you contact them to gauge your interest. It reflects poorly on admissions if they send out a certain number of acceptances and most people choose somewhere else. They really like to say sh*t like, “Oooh sorry, we only have a acceptance rate.” Whatever. Anyway, they are way more likely to accept you if you seem super stoked to go there and are, in their eyes, a guaranteed acceptance. This is why you have a way better chance of getting in (it’s like 30% higher) as an early decision or early action applicant. Early decision means it’s binding (if they accept you, you have to go) so only do this for your top choice, but early action means you still get to choose, so apply early to every school that offers it. In addition, contact them as often as you can without making it weird. You have to have legit reasons. Email admissions and tell them this is your first choice school if it is. Use all of your stalking skills for good (for once) to contact the head of your program. Tell them how much you want to be there for specific reasons (that you then list out). Go on a tour at the campus. Set up an interview if possible. Anything that is attached to your name will be logged, and this can very much be your “edge” when it comes down to you and an identical student. You showed more interest than Generic Good Students A-Z, so hopefully they’ll cancel each other out.
3. You Can Go Straight To Professors
Furthermore, stalking your future professors can also count as contact. But again, like, respect their privacy and don’t be creepy about it. What I mean is if you really want to go to this school, figure out who will be teaching you in whatever department you think you might want to major or take classes in. Did one of the head professors write a book? Read that f*cking book and email them about how much you loved it, and you can’t wait to learn from them for these reasons, and you’ll be applying in Fall 2019 so please look out for you. Did a professor work on one of your favorite movies? Same thing. Ask if they have tips for your portfolio for your application. No one does this, so they’ll probably be flattered and forward your email to the department head/admissions committee with a recommendation. If they never respond, no big deal, it didn’t do any harm. Unless of course you called their personal cell phone or showed up at their home. Don’t do that.
In all seriousness, though, cold emailing people is a useful skill you should start learning before college, because you have to do the same sh*t for jobs in the real world, only then they call it “networking”. The sooner you start practicing, the better you’ll get at it.
4. They Check How Dumb Your School Was
This one I found both funny and offensive. Admissions offices weigh your GPA based on how well your previous school is ranked, similar to how you get a weighted credit by taking an AP class. I went to an okay public school, where I graduated with a 3.8 GPA. My friend got into the same college as me with a 3.0. I was like, um, why and how? It’s because he went to a highly ranked college prep boarding school in Connecticut or some sh*t. His 3.0 was weighed higher than my 3.8, because I went to a dumb school and he went to a very rigorous program. This is important to know, especially when you’re up against identical students with perfect grades from better schools. If your current school is not ranked super high, your grades need to be even better, and you’ll need that edge even more. Don’t be discouraged, though. I turned out fine, and I still don’t even know basic geography.
Hopefully these tips will help you out before you start sending out applications! It’s never too early to start contacting people and planting those seeds. Do you have any more advice to people applying to school? Let me know your secrets in the comments!
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (4)
It’s been a pretty crazy week. We lost a whole day to the Instagram Blackout of 2019, and there’s been way too much Bachelor/Bachelorette news to keep up with. Despite all of this, the week’s biggest story has definitely been the college admissions scandal. Earlier this week, more than four dozen people were indicted for fraudulent practices, mostly involving falsifying test scores. At the center of the investigation is William Rick Singer, a businessman who facilitated all of the crimes that went down. Now, it’s officially the biggest college admissions scandal ever prosecuted in the US. When the story first broke, we were all focused on the celebrity angle, with beloved TV stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin both being indicted. After that, we turned our attention to how all of this actually went down.
It’s no big surprise that the college admissions system is corrupt, but seeing concrete examples of how rich people cheated the system still stings a little bit. When I wasn’t happy with my ACT score, my mom just bought me a practice book that I pretended to use like a normal teen. Also, I mean, I already assumed rich people were bribing their way into colleges, but I always thought it was slightly more subtle, like by sponsoring buildings, not buying a fake SAT score. I wish I’d known that was an option this entire time! Oh well.
At the center of this whole mess is Lori Loughlin’s daughter, Olivia Jade. You’ve probably seen her face and heard her name a lot in the last few days, but if you’re like me and you’re blissfully unaware of teen influencers, you probably don’t really know anything about her and have probably been asking yourself, “who is Olivia Jade?” but been too ashamed to Google it. I’m about to change that, so you’re welcome!!
First and foremost, Olivia Jade is a freshman at the University of Southern California. As we all know, she worked hard to earn her spot on the crew team, and she’s on track to be the team MVP this season. Just kidding! Her parents paid a quarter of a million dollars to have her falsely designated as a crew team recruit, allowing her to basically be automatically accepted to USC. She definitely hasn’t gone to a single practice, but to be fair, I wouldn’t want to wake up at 5am to go rowing either.
This clip from one of her YouTube videos last year has gone viral (for obvious reasons) in the wake of this week’s news:
Olivia Jade said that she only wanted to go to college to party and go to football games… are we really shocked that her mom was involved in a bribery to get her admitted to USC??? pic.twitter.com/8t3qdZUzIP
— Mal (@bbmalxo) March 12, 2019
That’s a major yikes. I mean, I went to college for the game days and the parties too, but I also needed to get a degree so I could, like, get a job and make money for the rest of my life. So obviously Olivia Jade wasn’t there for the right reasons, but what did she actually mean when she talked about trying to “balance it all”? Her career as a YouTuber and influencer, of course!
Olivia Jade started her YouTube channel back in 2014, and she now has nearly two million subscribers. Her videos are mostly about beauty and fashion, and I won’t pretend that she’s not one of the most stunning 18-year-olds I’ve ever seen. Pretty sure I was a sweaty disaster at her age, but I’m not mad about it. Because of who her mom is, Olivia has always had a lot of opportunities, but last year she really upped her brand game with her very own Sephora collaboration. The first product in the collection was a highlight palette, because there definitely aren’t enough of those in the world.
Obviously Olivia Jade and her family are in some legal hot water right now, but that’s not the only problem. Yesterday, Sephora responded to concerned customers on Twitter, and announced that they’re ending their partnership with Olivia Jade immediately. Sucks for her, but at least she’ll have her college education to fall back on!
Hi there, After careful review of recent developments, we have made the decision to end the Sephora Collection partnership with Olivia Jade, effective immediately.
— Sephora (@Sephora) March 14, 2019
Meanwhile, on the Sephora website, people have been leaving totally savage reviews on her product page. There are lots to choose from, but this is my personal favorite. I’ve really been looking for the perfect highlight to skip class, so I’m glad I found it.
Olivia Jade still hasn’t made any kind of statement about the scandal on her social media accounts, but I can’t wait to see her string together a sentence about the legal system. In the mean time, Twitter has been absolutely on fire with memes about Olivia, and I fully can’t keep it together in the office right now:
olivia jade failing her SATs but then hearing her mom bribe the teacher pic.twitter.com/GsWmi4kk7r
— molly (@dyonvi) March 12, 2019
I’m always down for a Britney Spears meme, any time, anywhere. People are also joking about the potential legal trouble Olivia Jade could be facing, even though it seems like her parents are the ones paying the price:
olivia jade clearing out her dorm room at usc pic.twitter.com/FLC8ZgH7kw
— rosie (@bethecowboys) March 12, 2019
As for Olivia’s USC education, the latest reports are that she and her older sister Bella won’t be going back to school after spring break because they would be “viciously bullied.” That’s probably true, but it’s also unclear whether they’ll even be allowed to go back. USC has said that they’ll be making decisions on a case-by-case basis, and no decisions have been made yet. I really hope Olivia Jade’s USC hearing gets live-streamed, because I’m dying to know what will happen next.
Images: Shutterstock; @oliviajade / Instagram; @bbmalxo, @sephora, @dyonvi @bethecowboys/ Twitter; Sephora