Of all the bizarre trends and pop culture moments we’ve been through in 2019, none felt quite as strange as the rise of the CGI influencer. Back in the summer, I unpacked who these “people” are, what kind of content they’re creating, and why they might exist in the first place. In the wild world of CGI influencers, there’s no doubt that the queen is Lil Miquela. She has 1.8 million followers on Instagram, has successfully released music, and has raked in money through brand collabs and sponsored content. Overall, Lil Miquela’s (fake) life seemed pretty great, until last week, when she posted a video claiming that she had been sexually assaulted.
I know, what the f*ck? When I first heard about this, my first thought was “this can’t be good,” and well, it’s not good. The YouTube video has caused a great deal of controversy online, and called into question the whole concept of what Lil Miquela is. Her YouTube video has since been deleted, but thankfully it’s been preserved on Twitter for all eternity. You should definitely watch it to get the full effect, but be warned, it’s incredibly weird, and potentially triggering.
I have so many questions… pic.twitter.com/6Jfv7itPFo
— Green Chyna (@CORNYASSBITCH) December 12, 2019
Okay. Yeah. Where to start? The first thing that hit me about this video was how real it feels. Whoever put this together, they did an excellent job emulating the exact content that’s all over YouTube in 2019. From the storytelling style, to the mannerisms, to the images popping up, this is classic YouTube content. Whoever wrote the script (because remember, all of this is fake, so there must have been a script) added minute details, like what the car smelled like and that Dua Lipa was playing on the radio, all to suck you in to the story. The people behind this video did their homework, and every added detail makes the end result more unsettling.
It’s like whoever is behind this character obviously went through so much to make her as relatable as possibly. They’ve even studied YT videos enough to see what kind of editing is popular RN. They were like “to make her more realistic, let’s pretend she was sexually assaulted”.
— juan thee hedgehog (@TruePlantDad) December 13, 2019
Even if you know Lil Miquela is not real, she’s still telling this story as if she exists in the real world, and it almost makes you forget that she doesn’t. To me, that’s what makes this different from when a TV show or a movie deals with sexual assault. With a movie, you know what you’re watching is fictional. But what makes Lil Miquela so interesting in the first place is that she toes the line between what’s real and what’s not. That’s okay, and sort of fun, when she’s hanging at the beach or being photoshopped onto the AMAs red carpet, but when she discusses a serious issue like sexual assault, it feels like her creators are taking advantage of the audience.
As another Twitter user put it: “ABSOLUTELY F*CKING NOT.” Because the original YouTube video has been taken down, we don’t know what the original video title or description were, so it’s hard to even know what the intent of the video was. But I can use my brain and guess that the creators were looking to stir up some controversy, and that’s not okay. In the past few years, our society has come a long way in addressing sexual assault and misconduct as a serious issue, and Lil Miquela’s creators mining this issue for content feels really irresponsible. Something as serious, personal, and traumatic as sexual assault should never be exploited as a marketing tool to do anything other than raise sincere awareness for the issue and how to fight it. Fabricating an allegation of assault to drive traffic to a glorified Sim with unclear motives just ain’t it.
While this video would be f*cked up at any time, it feels especially gross in light of a recently released Uber safety report, which showed that over 3,000 riders reported sexual assaults last year. Did her creators hop on this issue to seem trendy? Because if so, ew. Like, if they wanted to make her seem more relevant or relatable, they could’ve picked basically any other current event to address. Real people were allegedly assaulted in Ubers, so to see a CGI “person” tell a fake first-person account of a traumatic event that probably actually happened to someone is weird and disturbing. It would be one thing if Miquela had a track record of speaking out about societal issues, or using her platform for activism, but this video truly came out of nowhere. Because of this, it comes across as a desperate attempt to make her feel more relatable, and ultimately more real. All to what end?
Absolutely fucking not. ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NOT. A virtual project telling me some story of an unreal sexual assault pisses me off just as much as when women lie. It's a fabrication. A dangerous one. There are ways to make @lilmiquela relatable. This isn't one of them. https://t.co/zFPdXjTgzW
— Anna Davenport (@disturbance_atd) December 13, 2019
While we still don’t ultimately know exactly who all is behind Lil Miquela, and who benefits from her success, they clearly want her to seem as real as possible. This kind of project thrives on the mystery of what’s real and what’s not, and if I had just stumbled across this video with no context, I would definitely be confused, and would probably end up stalking her on Instagram while avoiding all my responsibilities. See, their plan is working!
Lil Miquela https://t.co/TrbxL8POGK
— sammi 🎄 (@badbadbis) December 17, 2019
Whether you’re a dedicated Lil Miquela follower, or this is the first time you’ve thought about her since my last article, we can probably all agree that this whole thing feels like something out of a Black Mirror episode, and not one of the cute ones where two people are in love. At the end of the day, Lil Miquela is funded by venture capital firms and financial groups, which means that everything she does is part of some scheme to make money. I don’t know what the endgame is here, but if making up stories about sexual assault is part of it, I’ll pass.
Images: lilmiquela / Instagram; cornyassbitch, trueplantdad, disturbance_atd, badbadbis / Twitter
Of all the modern technology that improves our lives on a daily basis, I think my favorite category of invention is the food delivery app. Services like Postmates, Uber Eats, and Seamless combine all of my favorite activities: food, being lazy, and spending too much time on my phone. Other than the fact that the delivery fees drain my bank account, what’s not to love? While having unlimited funds for my Postmates habit is basically my dream, it’s a reality for some of our favorite celebrities. Who has the craziest Postmates orders? Let’s find out.
Postmates has a series called “The Receipt,” where they profile a famous person and their ordering habits. The latest subject is Cara Delevingne, who is an icon of thick eyebrows, and also apparently of ordering food. She placed her first Postmates order on Halloween in 2014 (for a bottle of Jack Daniels), and since then she’s spent more than $25,000 on the app.
Among Cara’s top ten spots to order from are Taco Bell, Domino’s and…Sephora? Interesting choice, considering makeup companies probably send her free sh*t left and right, but I guess even supermodels have to buy their own Fenty Beauty products. Just to prove that she’s rich, she also had AirPods delivered last week. Props to Cara for figuring out a way to avoid spending seven hours at the Apple Store. The most expensive thing she’s ever ordered was a $326 vacuum cleaner, which I hate to admit that I’m jealous of.
$25,000 obviously sounds like a lot of money, but if you do the math, that’s like $15 a day since October 2014. I feel confident that Cara can afford that, and I’m seriously tempted to commit to that lifestyle myself. Am I going to end up with a mountain of debt? Maybe.
At the end of 2018, Postmates published an article about all of Kylie Jenner’s orders, and I really learned a lot. They revealed that Kylie spent $10,000 on deliveries last year, which sounds like a lot, but isn’t all that shocking, given that $10,000 probably means to her what $100 means to me, and that I’ve spent way more than $100 on Postmates in the past year. Kylie’s most-ordered item was a cream cheese bagel, because apparently carbs and dairy have no affect on her. I’m not jealous.
My favorite stat about Kylie’s ordering is that she once ordered four times within 10 minutes:
2:07 PM, 6-pack macaron ice cream sandwiches from Milk
2:11 PM, penne Bolognese from Mauro’s Café at Fred Segal
2:13 PM, taquitos, Mexican rice, enchiladas and a tostada salad from Casita del Campo
2:17 PM, truffle “Impossible Burger” from Umami Burger
I know she was getting food at the set of a photo shoot, but it still sounds ridiculous. Her Postmates total will probably be a lot lower this year, considering that she’ll no longer be ordering food for Jordyn Woods all the time.
Postmates also did a post about John Legend’s ordering habits, but I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t tell us how much he’s spent overall. It’s probably more than I make in a year, considering that he’s ordered over 600 times. He’s also ordered in 27 different cities, as opposed to Kylie Jenner, who barely leaves her mansion in Calabasas. I now know for sure that John is the man of my dreams, because he once ordered $700 of sushi from Nobu. Why isn’t this my life?
It looks like Chrissy Teigen and John Legend actually share an account, so some of the more bizarre orders on the account are definitely from Chrissy. For example, she once accidentally ordered 25 bottles of A1 steak sauce, so that’s relatable. Honestly, I might move to LA and become a Postmates driver just so I have a chance of meeting Chrissy Teigen.
apparently if u put in "5" under quantity on Postmates AND say "5 bottles!" in the description, they…get you 25. I thought FIVE was a lot pic.twitter.com/ASW44SBQOH
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) September 22, 2017
Say what you will about Post Malone, but he’s definitely way richer than all of us. Back in October, TMZ reported that Post had spent over $40,000 on Postmates in the past year, which is…truly wild. I’ve always suspected Post Malone and I had something and common, and I finally figured it out: most of his delivery orders were from fast food restaurants like Popeyes, KFC, and Burger King. On one occasion, he specifically asked Chick-Fil-A to send “the largest nugget tray they had.” A man after my own heart, truly. After all that drunk food, Post Malone also used Postmates to prepare for the ensuing hangover, once ordering three bottles of grape Pedialyte. Respect.
Post Malone, and also me:
So the moral of the story is that all of these celebrities are rich and can order whatever the f*ck they want on Postmates. Must be nice. My initial plan was to totally roast Post Malone and co. for their ordering habits, but I would definitely do the same thing if I had that kind of money. But also, who am I kidding, I’ve ordered food three times in the last week. RIP my bank account, it’s been real.
Images: Giphy (2); @chrissyteigen / Twitter
Christmas is going to be here in like five minutes, and unsurprisingly, you don’t have your shit together. Unfortunately, you also can’t go out to the mall to holiday shop because you don’t feel like it. (That’s a totally reasonable excuse. Finding parking at a mall during the holidays is considered especially heinous.) Even if you did all of your shopping on time, there’s probably someone you don’t really like that much who bought you a present and now you have to give them a gift, too. Ugh. Holidays are so annoying. Anyway, here’s a bunch of shit you can buy on Amazon Prime so you don’t have to get off the couch, and it’ll show up at your apartment like, tomorrow.
1. An Uber Gift Card
Paying for Uber is the fucking worst. Give someone you love (or at least tolerate) the gift of 20 minutes of awkward conversation with a total stranger while a Sara Bareilles song plays quietly in the background.
2. Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity is perfect because it’s a “party game for horrible people,” and I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that you have at least one or two horrible people left on your list to shop for. If they already have the game, just buy them an expansion pack so they don’t have to keep using the same played-out Helen Keller jokes every time.
3. Ancestry DNA Test
I know this sounds like a questionable gift, but hear me out. Literally every parent is obsessed with ancestry. Real adults love to be like “I just discovered that I’m 18% German! How incredible!” It’s like, the safest bet for any parents, aunts, uncles, etc. that you still need to shop for. Plus, it’s part of Amazon’s Shop (RED) Save Lives program, so proceeds from your purchase will go to (RED), which is a very good cause, I’m sure.
4. A Dope Makeup Palette
Just stalk the person you’re looking to buy a gift for on Instagram and see which makeup artists or celebs they follow until you find someone that has a makeup palette. This will be easy, because this is 2017 and literally every person with a shit ton of Instagram followers has something you can buy. Then, see if that person has a product available on Prime. Again, this is 2017, and everything is available on Amazon Prime.
5. A Bougie Face Mask
Ridiculous face masks are always a great gift because they’re a) really fun, b) great content for your Snapchat story, and c) actually necessary because we all eat and drink like shit around the holidays and need all the help we can get.
Dear Dedicated Transportation Industry Employee,
There are a few people that put up with my drunken bullshit. My roommates are included on this short list, but that’s only because we live together and it’s not really acceptable to leave a human blacked out on the bathroom floor alone. Especially since she drunk ate all my pizza bagels when we got back from the bar. She only did this because I was drunk crying again and she needed a snack to get her through that disaster, but pizza bagels mean a lot to a drunk betch so she owes me.
Uber drivers don’t share this kind of unspoken contract with us so the relationship we share is really a special one. Sure, we pay you (or we have our parents’ credit cards linked up to our account), but for the amount of shit we pull in the back of your cars you all really are guardian angels in disguise. Disguise being clothes probably from Target and sketchy, unmarked cars, but IDGAF—it is what it is when it comes to 3am on a Saturday.
You tolerate my 12 calls (all within 10 minutes of each other) and when I text things like, “Where the fuck are you??? Lisa is about to make out with my ex and I really need to GTFO of this party!!!!”
You pick me up three different times in one night because the girls at the first pregame I went to were sipping wine and talking about their cats when all I wanted to do was rip shots and listen to “Reflections” on repeat.
You hand me a plastic bag or a box of tissues on nights when I really should have listened to my bestie and just gone home after too much tequila during happy hour instead of ordering another round.
You allow me to squeeze “a couple extra girls” in the backseat because you understand the notion of ‘no man left behind’—especially when we have a wild postgame to hit and all of us MUST be there.
All of these sacrifices you make and disasters you DGAF about make you one of the most selfless people in my life—probably number two after my grandma who still sends me a card every month with a $50 bill in it.
Thank you for always dropping me off right outside my door, reminding me to not leave behind my phone and bag (about 5 times because I keep trying to get out of the car without them), and not judging me for that time I laid across the entire backseat and begged you to drive around in circles for 15 minutes because I was too drunk to walk.
After this weekend’s string of protests against Emperor Cheeto’s Muslim ban, you may have noticed #deleteuber trending on Twitter and Instagram. So like, why exactly are people boycotting Uber (aside from surge pricing, which is one of the most egregious abuses of power since whatever Trump did last)?
It all starts with the protests at JFK airport, which you either attended or feel like you attended because of how much it took up your newsfeed. Well, tbh it actually starts with Uber’s long history of being fucked up to its customers and workers, but for the sake of this article we’ll say it started at JFK.
On Saturday night, as protesters flooded the airport (btw you know shit is bad when people are willingly going to JFK airport) the Taxi Worker’s Allianced organized a one-hour strike in solidarity with the protesters by suspending all service at JFK. Considering 95% of taxi drivers in NYC are Muslim immigrants, you can see why they’d be pissed.
Uber, on the other hand, saw the protests as an opportunity to make a fuckload of money and continued to send its drivers (who are also majority Muslim) to the airport, even dropping their surge pricing in order to encourage people to use their service. In the world of unions, this is called “strike breaking” and is basically the equivalent of accidentally liking an ex boyfriend’s new fiancée’s Insta from three years ago aka “a giant fuck up.”
Unfortunately for Uber, much like your ex boyfriend’s new fiancée will notice you liked her picture, people noticed that Uber failed to let its drivers participate in the strike. Those people couldn’t help but notice that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and President Donald Trump are actually kind of besties, with Kalanick serving on Trump’s economic advisory council.
Cue #deleteuber which encouraged people to fully delete their accounts with Uber (not just the app) and switch to Lyft or one of the many other ride sharing services that are now available. Lyft wasted literally 0 time capitalizing on this new development and shading Uber for their shitty practices by immediately pledging to donate $1 million over the next four years to the ACLU.
Uber backtracked immediately, flipping the fuck out and saying that they their actions were “not meant to break strike,” and rather that they were being nice and suspending the surge in support. Kalanick has since come out against the ban, saying Uber will pay any workers affected by the ban pro bono and that Kalanick “will talk to” Trump. Lol okay Mr. Uber, let’s see how that works out…
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