The mommy vloggers are at it again. In the last few weeks, we’ve seen a handful of family influencers join the ranks of the Myka Stauffers of the world, popping their kids in front of the camera and keeping their questionable parenting decisions in frame. These clickbait artists have been caught encouraging their kids to cry on-camera and using cancer scares for views, stooping to levels even Kris Jenner (probably) wouldn’t go.
Family vloggers exploiting their kids for clicks is not quite breaking news, and the genre has deep roots. In 2017, Time Magazine reported a 90% increase in time spent watching family vloggers over the year before, and that number has no doubt continued to grow. While millions continue to click subscribe, the family influencer space is far from universally loved. Most of us can agree that watching a 3-year-old open fake Christmas presents behind a ring light is weird, but while we’ve been looking away, the videos have only gotten more staged and more shameless.
This week, mommy vlogger Jordan Cheyenne, a “beauty and lifestyle content creator” who entered the scene in 2013, published a now-deleted video to her 538k subscribers titled, “we are heartbroken.” In the video, she shares the sad news that the puppy her family was in the process of adopting was in critical condition, closing out with an accidental inclusion intended for the cutting room floor in which she directs her crying son to amp up the emotion for the perfect thumbnail. She instructs, “look like you’re crying,” “frown for the thumbnail,” and “wait say that one more time in the frame.”
“No, mom, I really am crying,” says the devastated young boy. “No, I know, but go like this for the video,” says Cheyenne feigning tears and lifting her hand to her forehead in distress.
this is so DISTURBING what is wrong with mom vloggers omfg pic.twitter.com/krUjM5Sfit
— pots girl summer ♿︎ 25 (@givemepllants) September 8, 2021
In addition to peddling childhood trauma, Cheyenne also offers something she calls “Girlboss Academy,” giving social media tips (probably to the ladies behind those “Hey girly!” DMs you’ve been ignoring). For $300, you can enroll in her “Instagram Matrix” training course, where you’ll learn how to “turn your followers into paying clients” and master the art of the perfect caption. Alternatively, $200 will get you a spot in Cheyenne’s “Abundance Academy,” where you will learn to “attract wealth effortlessly and learn how to manifest money with ease.” The only thing abundant to me is the MLM energy that is radiating from this.
Facing backlash to her video, on September 8th, Cheyenne uploaded a seven-minute video, which has since been made private, titled “lets chat”. She explains that the ending clip of the now-deleted video was never intended to be included, a mistake on her part after an exhausting day of genuine off-screen emotion. The YouTuber’s apology came swiftly and seemed somewhat genuine. In a later video titled “8 years later, Im done. *please watch.*“, Cheyenne said that moving forward, she will not be including her son in any content. She added that she removed about 20 videos he was already in and will continue to remove him from her channel.
Still, the clip had already reignited the debate surrounding family vloggers’ exploitation of children and monetization of life’s very real traumas.
this is why i’ll never stop advocating for children exploited on social media. family vloggers prioritize money over their children’s well being, and that mentality will severely mess with their kids, yet their parents couldn’t care less because they’re focused on dollar signs. https://t.co/2rwf3UxUsw
— alayna doyal ☽ (@AlaynaDoyal) September 9, 2021
Enter the LaBrants. If this name rings any bells, you’re in one of two camps: you’re a fan, or you saw Cody Ko’s video in 2017, and the memory just resurfaced. If you’re in camp two, say hi to me at the next bunk meeting.
With more than 13 million subscribers, The LaBrant Fam channel has amassed over four billion views collectively. The couple also runs their 8-year-old daughter’s channel, Everleigh Opens Toys, which has nearly four million subscribers. Across their various channels and social media accounts, there is no telling how much money this family’s bleached-blond antics have made, but some sources put their net worth at around $12 million.
On August 28th, The LaBrant Fam uploaded a 43-minute video titled “She got diagnosed with cancer. (documentary).” The video, which opens with a viewer discretion advisory, details a health scare the family underwent with their 2-year-old child, who thankfully was not diagnosed with cancer, despite the clickbait. Basically, Cole LaBrant noticed bruises on the child’s leg, opened WebMD, scrolled past “injury” and “vitamin K deficiency,” set his sights on cancer, and picked up the camera.
The video emotionally detailed the LaBrants’ trip to the hospital, where they thankfully received only good news, but many families haven’t been so lucky. As if the title wasn’t enough, the LaBrants took the extra step to set the original thumbnail, which has since been updated, to an image of Cole LaBrant comforting a bald, sick child in a hospital bed. The comments on the video have since been turned off.
Labrant family with Cole Labrant have uploaded a video to get attention to childhood cancer.
Whats wrong with that you’d ask?
The thumbnail before was the picture on right sending fans into hysteria – do any of the kids have cancer? Nope.
They’re clickbaiting. Cancer. pic.twitter.com/PbySYoOa7y
— Krista (@LestatsSanguis) August 28, 2021
To recap: this mega-popular and hyper-religious influencer couple took their child to the hospital for bruising, captured content with terminally ill children, and sauntered out of the pediatric wing with a clean bill of health and a million-dollar video.
If you’re wondering what the rest of the 43 minutes looked like, it was mostly rhetoric from LaBrant about faith, the power of prayer, and why the family’s fame was the ultimate invitation for a sentence as horrible as child cancer. He quite literally prayed away the disease that never existed, then deposited the check—jokes on you, sick people everywhere.
Who are the 13 million subscribers who have made this family so famous? Who built the pedestal on which the LaBrant family stands, pinning thumbnails of someone else’s dying child before closing their computers and running laps around their mega-mansion? Who are the hundreds of millions of people watching family vloggers each day? Who summoned the mommy vloggers, and who do we call to rein them in?
Cancer scares and dying dogs are child’s play to some of the top creators in the family vlogging space. With nearly nine million subscribers, The Prince Family is behind some of the most outrageous clickbait on the internet, including my all-time favorite video title, “CPS TOOK OUR KIDS FROM US | SEAFOOD BOIL MUKBANG.” That video was posted two years ago and has since been re-titled with a new thumbnail, “WE ALMOST LOST OUR BABY 💔😭 (KING CRAB SEAFOOD BOIL MUKBANG)”. In between bites of seafood, the Princes talk about how, when one day Biannca experienced heavy bleeding, they worried they were losing their baby. It’s unclear what CPS ever had to do with anything.
Other top hits from the creators include “BIANNCA TOOK THE KIDS & LEFT ME **PLEASE COME BACK**,” and “GIVING KYRIE UP FOR ADOPTION.”
GIVING KYRIE UP FOR ADOPTION 💔 https://t.co/ErYKF43Uks via @YouTube
— Damien Prince (@DamienPrinceJr) December 18, 2019
I wonder how many views the clickbait of my life could have mustered up. How many millions were waiting for me on the other side of a title like, “WE TOLD HER WE’RE GETTING DIVORCED AT STEAK ‘N SHAKE,” or “telling her she has no college fund *mukbang*.” Lucky for us, stage parents in our day had to really fight for it. You couldn’t create a YouTube channel and make millions off of your kid in 24 hours like today’s content creators—I mean, parents.
At least I can bank on the fact that my trauma wasn’t paying the bill that day at Steak ‘n Shake; today’s internet kids can’t say the same. Top family channels on YouTube are raking in multi-millions each year. With over 19 million subscribers, the ever-famous ACE Family holds a net worth of more than $22 million via monetized social platforms, branded merchandise, ad revenue, and sponsorships. Their most recent video? “ELLE CALLS FROM SCHOOL CRYING.. **SAD DAY**.”
The unfortunate fact of the matter is that the kids who grace YouTube’s trending page are working performers and actors, and “mom” and “dad” are fighting for Best Director nominations. Each year that passes brings these family vloggers more clicks, more subscribers, and more checks, but each passing year also brings us closer to the point when those internet kids will grow up and start asking questions. Have I ever had a private moment in my life? Did I have supportive parents, or was I routinely coached into tears? If my trauma made my parents millions, where is the money?
The massive popularity of family vlogger content begs a few questions. If an internet kid cries off camera, did it really happen? Probably not. If CPS takes your children away, will a mukbang bring them back? Probably not. If I ended this article with a fake cancer scare, would you send it to your friends? Probably.
Images: The LaBrant Fam, Jordan Cheyenne / Youtube; @givemepllants, AlaynaDoyal, Lestats Sanguis, DamienPrinceJr / Twitter
Content Warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual assault and may be triggering to some readers.
We use many different words to describe sexual assault and harassment: criminal, violating, non-consensual. Here’s a word we rarely use in this context: cringey. That’s the word mega-creator David Dobrik might use; in fact, he would go for a tasteful “SUPER CRINGEY.” Dobrik rose to fame on the late video platform Vine (RIP), and later in 2015 through his four-minute-long vlog-style videos featuring a group of boisterous friends, later dubbed The Vlog Squad. In 2019, Dobrik was the fifth-most viewed creator on YouTube, and dubbed “Gen Z’s Jimmy Fallon” by The Wall Street Journal. Beyond the YouTube platform, Dobrik went on to voice animated roles in commercial films and host television programs for Nickelodeon and the Discovery Channel. In the social media world, David Dobrik is a bonafide A-lister.
Dobrik has come under fire in the last month for allegations of sexual assault in his vlogs, but his is not the first YouTube channel to hide assault in plain sight. The prank culture which has flooded the platform in the last 10 years has created a breeding ground for unwanted sexual advances, the only real consequence being demonetization of videos and loss of the mighty ad dollar.
Last month, former Vlog Squad member Seth Francois came forward to discuss a now-deleted video from 2017 in which he was sexually assaulted. Before planning and filming Francois’ assault, Dobrik used him as a prop in a number of racist and antiquated bits (think watermelon jokes and gorilla masks). To summarize the video in question, it follows the formula of many of Dobrik’s vlogs, turning Vlog Squad member Jason Nash into a dancing puppet to surprise unsuspecting friends. Hilarious. In the video, we see Francois agree to a consensual kissing bit with a female member of the group, but to his surprise, Jason Nash enters the room in a rubber mask and proceeds to make out with Francois—without his consent. The Department of Justice defines sexual assault as “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient,” defining consent as “an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity.” Simply put, any sexual contact without consent is considered sexual assault in the eyes of the law, and YouTubers are no exception.
In a recent appearance on the H3 Podcast, Francois detailed the events leading up to and following the public “bit.” Echoing the sentiments of so many male victims of sexual assault, what followed was a three-year battle of confusion and emasculation for Francois. Dobrik’s removal of the video has not stopped clips from resurfacing in the past two weeks, and while he has yet to make a statement, the internet is abuzz. On February 16th, Jack Link’s Jerky, a product which appeared in the original video, tweeted to clear its name of any connection to Dobrik, ensuring that the brand ” not tolerate or condone any non-consensual conduct such as what happened in this video.” For those taking the video’s removal as a sign of growth, not so fast. Dobrik once reflected on the clip on his own podcast, referring to the bit in question as “the perfect setup,” Nash following up with, “it’s good for Seth, it gets him some air time.”
David Dobrik may be taking the hot seat this month, but assault shrouded in prank is basically a building block of YouTube’s foundation. Just days ago, three YouTubers in Mumbai were arrested for sexual assault and “creating obscene and vulgar prank videos in public places.” Through more than 300 public videos, the accused creators would approach young women, offer them money to act in their videos, and proceed to touch and harass them as a “prank.” The consequences of these types of prank videos are far from consistent, and it’s impossible to ignore the divide in response between male and female victims.
Enter defamed YouTuber, Sam Pepper. Before his “Killing Best Friend Prank” video and public rebranding, Pepper was a huge creator on YouTube with millions of views. In those earlier years on the platform, a video hitting one million views was a big deal. Pepper’s content was viral and almost entirely prank-based, but in September of 2014, he incited his own reckoning. Pepper uploaded the now-infamous “Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank” video, in which Pepper would approach women in public, ask for directions, and grab their butts with a fake hand. The internet almost immediately snapped on Pepper, with #ReportSamPepper trending on Twitter. Users called for his removal from the platform. Female creators were quick to speak out against him; one creator publishing an open letter calling on him to “stop violating women and making them uncomfortable on the street for views.” The letter would go on to collect more than 110,000 signatures.
That was the reaction in 2014. Just three years later, Dobrik would post the video, “HE THOUGHT HE WAS KISSING HER!! (SUPER CRINGEY)” — yes, that’s the title — presenting the sexual assault of Seth Francois as comedy. Where were the open letters for Seth? Where was his 100,000-person army, and why weren’t creators urging Dobrik to stop making his friends uncomfortable for views? Are we trying to protect Gen Z’s future King of Late Night, or is this just another example of the world turning a blind eye to male sexual assault?
According to a statistic of the same phrasing, at least one in six men have been sexually abused or assaulted, and the stigmas that weigh on male victims are short-sighted and dismissive. Men can’t be forced into sexual acts against their will, men are less affected by assault, women cannot rape men. For male victims, mass public support is like shoddy cell service—spotty, inconsistent, and laden with fine print. That said, whether the victim is male or female, the world’s message is clear. We’ll support you if your abusers aren’t primary revenue sources. We’ll speak out if we’ve already unsubscribed.
For Francois, the aftermath of his assault mirrored the fallout of so many survivors before him, male and female. He struggled with identity and masculinity and fought hard to accept that he wasn’t at fault. He fielded overwrought questions like, “why has it taken years for you to speak up?” His response is simple. “When he pulled the mask off, it was a split decision,” says Francois, “I could either give in to my natural instincts and be the angry Black guy in the room, or I can just go along with it, and I made that decision.”
In his appearance on the H3 Podcast, Francois speaks on the situation in the simplest terms he can: “I was touched by someone I did not consent to.”
In the last few years, we’ve made serious strides in the recognition of unjust behavior and created space for victims to speak out, but the conversations surrounding male sexual assault need to catch up.
If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visit their website to receive confidential support.
Images: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com
First comes Love Is Blind, then comes marriage, then comes yet another f*cking reality dating show. It’s 2020, and most of us can relate to being isolated and isolated and sex-starved, but imagine this: you’re champagne-wasted on a free beach resort vaca surrounded by super hot people…the catch is, you’re literally not allowed to hook up with anyone unless you want to lose money. Harry Jowsey, the Australian hunk from Netflix’s reality dating show Too Hot To Handle, has experienced this ~traumatic~ experience firsthand. On the most recent episode of the Let Me Finish podcast, Taylor Jackson and Abby Lloyd sat down with Harry to discuss his recent breakup, sex, and breakup sex.
Harry and his THTH costar Francesca Farago, a Canadian model and Instagram personality, left the show together, broke up, then got engaged during the reunion special. But, in true influencer fashion, Francesca announced their second split via a YouTube video entitled “Our Break Up.” According to Harry, he was totally blindsided by the video, since he and Francesca had actually filmed a joint video explaining their breakup. “Everything was going to be civil, but she posted her video and it kinda just had a whole bunch of fabricated stories to attack me,” he said. “And I was like, I’ve got receipts and everything.” (Screenshots, screenshots, screenshots, people.)
The dramatic breakup has, understandably, been pretty tough on Harry’s mental health. In addition to anxiety attacks and a loss of appetite, he’s been getting attacked by commenters on his Instagram and TikTok accounts. “I don’t know what happened with me and Francesca because we had a great relationship, the breakup wasn’t bad, we just didn’t see eye-to-eye on a whole bunch of stuff,” he said. “Then that video got posted and then she just kept sending this tirade of hate toward me and my friends and my family, and I was like, ‘I don’t know who she’s talking to or who’s in her corner, because this isn’t the girl that I know.” As if the heart-wrenching breakup weren’t bad enough, Harry now has to call in his lawyers. “It’s gotten to a point where it’s affecting my brand…so I’m like okay, everything you’re saying is a lie, so…” We’re here for this passive aggression.
Francesca rebounded quickly, while Harry—who really is too hot to handle IRL, Abby confirms—has been easing back into the dating game. Just this weekend, he took a girl to dinner then to a party with a bunch of Gen Z TikTok stars (seems like a pretty sh*tty date idea, but that’s just me). Turns out, his date had ~history~ with one of the other guys there and ended up leaving with him, so Harry ended the night, declaring, ”Okay, I’m calling an Uber, I’m going home.” I mean, we’ve all been there. On the bright side, this means that Harry is single….He reports that he’s into tattoos, girls that text first, and post-breakup sex, so slide on into those DMs, ladies.
For more on Harry’s love and sex life, listen to the full interview on the latest episode of the Let Me Finish podcast.
Images: harryjowsey / Instagram
Over the last month, social media apologies have been a regular occurrence as celebrities, media personalities, reality stars, and the like have faced heightened scrutiny for problematic behavior. These revelations about insensitive behavior seem to be affecting different industries in waves, and now, it’s YouTube’s turn in the hot seat. The YouTube community is generally known for being a breeding ground for drama and messiness, but racist content goes a step above the usual beauty guru feuds. In the past week, several of the platform’s top creators have been taken to task for their problematic content, but none has come under fire more than Shane Dawson.
Shane Dawson has been one of YouTube’s top creators since the site’s early days, and his videos have racked up over four billion views. In the last few years, Shane has mainly been known for his documentary series about other YouTube personalities like Tana Mongeau and Jeffree Star, but a decade ago (we’re old), it was his over-the-top sketch comedy that made him a YouTube star. But those videos were littered with racist characters, racial slurs, and even blackface, and in 2020, they’re finally catching up with him.
Last Thursday, another megastar of YouTube’s early days, Jenna Marbles, announced that she is “done with this channel, for now or forever”, after receiving backlash for several of her old videos. The videos at the center of the controversy included a Nicki Minaj parody, which featured Marbles in blackface, and a rap video in which she used derogatory language about both Black and Asian people. In her apology, she said she wants to “make sure the things I’m putting in the world aren’t hurting anyone”, and will be taking an indefinite break from YouTube.
After Jenna Marbles uploaded her apology video, social media turned its attention to Shane Dawson, calling out similarly problematic content in his videos. On Friday, Dawson uploaded a 20-minute video titled “Taking Accountability,” which he said was inspired by seeing Jenna Marbles’ video.
Right off the bat, he addressed apology videos he’s made in the past, saying that they were made out of “fear” that everyone was mad at him, rather than a desire to actually hold himself accountable. In the video, he apologized for using “stereotypes of Black people, or Asian people, or Mexicans, or pretty much every race.” He added that he is also sorry that he “added to the normalization of blackface, or the normalization of saying the n-word.”
The video is pretty standard YouTube apology fare—thankfully without any fake tears—but it’s not for me to accept or reject. Shane Dawson has lost around half a million subscribers in the last week, but one very famous family has made their disapproval extremely clear. Along with all the other problematic content on his channel, a clip surfaced in which Dawson pretended to be aroused by a picture of Willow Smith, who was 11 years old at the time. In his apology video, Dawson apologized for making jokes about pedophilia, but didn’t reference this specific clip. The day after the apology video, Jaden Smith and his mother, Jada Pinkett Smith, made their thoughts known on Twitter.
SHANE DAWSON I AM DISGUSTED BY YOU. YOU SEXUALIZING AN 11 YEAR OLD GIRL WHO HAPPENS TO BE MY SISTER!!!!!! IS THE FURTHEST THING FROM FUNNY AND NOT OKAY IN THE SLIGHTEST BIT.
— Jaden (@jaden) June 27, 2020
To Shane Dawson … I’m done with the excuses.
— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) June 27, 2020
Look, all I’ll say is that you know you’ve f*cked up when Queen Jada is dragging your ass on Twitter. Shane hasn’t publicly responded to the Smith family.
It’s unclear where Shane Dawson will go from here, but given that he still has over 22 million subscribers, I’m sure he’ll figure something out. And in just a few short days, the tide of YouTube anger has already turned to a new subject: Liza Koshy. Another creator whose video views number in the billions, she and her ex-boyfriend David Dobrik were called out for a 2016 video in which they “imitated Asian accents while tasting candy from Japan and Hawaii.” In the video, Dobrik specifically says, “It’s not racist, that’s like the sounds I hear when they talk,” which like, no. And in a second video with the same concept, they not only imitated the accents, but “pretended to speak Japanese.”
View this post on Instagram
On Sunday, Koshy shared a lengthy statement on Instagram, which conspicuously featured no actual mention of the videos in question. She said that she “unknowingly perpetuated racist ideas” through her content, and that going forward, she is “taking note that my impact and influence will weigh greater than my intention.” So far, David Dobrik hasn’t made any public statement about the controversy.
Considering the amount of messiness in the YouTube community, there will almost certainly be more of these apologies, and hopefully they’re sincere. But in the meantime, why not freshen up our feeds with more BIPOC creators? There are so many, but here are a few of my favorites that you should definitely check out:
One of my personal favorite beauty gurus, Jackie Aina is beautiful and hilarious, and usually steers clear of the drama in the YouTube beauty community.
Rachel Ama makes amazing vegan recipe and lifestyle videos, and even if you’re not into cooking, her videos are beyond soothing. Just trust me on that one.
My number-one weakness is watching luxury handbag videos, and Mel in Melbourne basically unboxes a new Hermès bag every other week.
KarenBritChick is possibly the most chic person on the planet, and her mix of high-end and thrifted fashion is enviable. If you like fashion content, she’s a must-watch.
If you like knowing about YouTube drama but don’t actually know who most of these people are, As Told By Kenya is essential viewing. She breaks down YouTube scandals and pop culture messiness better than anyone else, and she’s also funny AF.
Those are just a few of my favorites, but the best part of YouTube is that you can easily spend hours going down a content rabbit hole. And with that, I’ll be spending the rest of the day watching handbag reviews if you need me.
Images: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com; Shane / YouTube; Jaden, jadapsmith / Twitter; lizakoshy / Instagram
A couple weeks ago, I wrote an article explaining WTF TikTok is, and exploring whether or not it’s an app you need to download. A lot of you seemed to share my confusion about the biggest social network for Gen-Z, but we’re all in this learning process together. Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time on the app, and I’ve gotten a little bit addicted. There’s honestly so much creative content out there, from people making cool art to hilarious teenagers that I feel uncomfortable following.
TikTok is the kind of app where you can just scroll down the featured page and see some good stuff, but it’s more fun to follow people you really like. It can be a little tough to figure out who you should follow, so I spotlighted some accounts that are definitely worth the follow. Oh, and all of these people are at least 18 years old, because I don’t need to be talking about literal children on the internet.
Even if you still don’t understand how TikTok works, you’ve definitely seen Brittany Broski. She went insanely viral for her video of her trying kombucha for the first time, which has been memed approximately a billion times. For example:
View this post on Instagram
“People ask me almost every day to explain TikTok to them. TikTok has quickly become one of the most popular apps among Gen-Z, but it’s still a mystery to most of us in the post-college crowd. Lucky for you, I’m venturing into the depths of the youths to figure out wtf TikTok is, so STOP ASKING ME.” Hit the link in bio to have all your questions answered, and to feel old af. @brittany.and.the.jets @dietstartstomorrow
But all her videos are great, and she’s definitely worth a follow. Her Love Island impressions are scary good, and she also makes hilarious observations about TikTok culture as a whole. My favorite thing about Brittany is that she seems like an actual adult, rather than most of the 16-year-olds on this app filming videos in their parents’ kitchen. She might be kind of a mess, but that’s the most relatable thing about her.
Hope Schwing is hilarious, and she’s not afraid to poke fun at herself. She’s in college, which makes me feel old, but at least she’s not a minor. Actually, her story time videos about stuff that happens at college make me kind of nostalgic, and she hops on a lot of TikTok trends, but in a more relatable way that’s not obnoxious. Recently, she bought a grey wig online thinking it would be cute, and it ended up being a Gandalf wigs, so that has led to a lot of amazing #content.
Scott Hoying is best known as one of the members of Pentatonix, which is honestly kind of turn-off to me. But he recently started making TikTok videos, and they’re actually really funny. He knows that he’s too old to be here, but like same. One of my favorite things about TikTok is when relatively older people make fun of the younger people on TikTok, and Scott does it well. It remains to be seen if he keeps up the level of content, but right now I’m really enjoying it.
Tayler is so f*cking funny, and the way he makes fun of all the stereotypes of TikTok (which I aim to get into in a later article) is perfect. This video of him parodying Kim and Kourtney’s epic fight from last year on Keeping Up With The Kardashians is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while. Tayler was one of the first people I followed on TikTok, and I definitely haven’t regretted it.
David Dobrik is absolutely huge on YouTube, where he’s the de facto leader of a group called the Vlog Squad. But if you’re still a little too scared to dip your toes into the cesspool that is YouTube culture (I don’t blame you), following David is a good way to get just a sneak peek. He posts funny, off the cuff videos with his friends, who all just happen to have a ton of money.
Remember when Facebook was half videos of people drawing? This is like that, but better. James does amazing paintings of logos and other cool graphic things, all set to music. I have never been more mesmerized looking at the Pringles logo.
Cassie from The Bachelor recently made a TikTok account, and while her posts so far are nothing revolutionary, she’s probably worth a follow if you’re a member of Bachelor Nation. Colton hasn’t made any appearances yet, and honestly, I hope it stays that way. You guys, Cassie has a personality!!
It can be tough to find the right mix of people to follow on TikTok, so compilation accounts like this are a good place to start. peopleareawesome has a lot of people being flexible, doing cool stuff like hooping, and just general dumb-yet-fun stuff that makes TikTok a great way to waste time.
And because TikTok is the future (maybe), of course we had to make our own account. Follow us for pathetic attempts at viral challenges, funny original vids, and behind the scenes moments at Betches HQ. We’re all on this journey together.
If you’re already all over TikTok, let me know in the comments some of your favorite people to follow, because I’m always looking for more.
Images: Shutterstock; brittany_broski, hope_schwing, scotthoying, taylerlockwood, daviddobrik, jamesllewis1, cassierandolph3, peopleareawesome / TikTok
Et tu, YouTube? Members of the LGBTQ+ community are filing a lawsuit against YouTube and its parent company Google, after facing what they claim is discrimination when it comes to posting and regulating their content on the platform.
The lawsuit claims that LGBTQ+ members are being subject to “unlawful content regulation, distribution, and monetization practices that stigmatize, restrict, block, demonetize, and financially harm the LGBTQ+ Plaintiffs and the greater LGBTQ+ Community.” You hate to see it.
YouTube has the power to prevent creators from running ads and to put age restrictions on the content that is uploaded to their site. And LGBTQ+ members have found that their videos and ads are either denied or marked as only appropriate for ages 18 an up. Obviously, this restricts their visibility, and furthermore the amount of money they can make. What’s more, these restrictions seem to be only because the content contains queer elements, or simply feature queer creators.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include a company that makes a LGBTQ show called “G News,” which submitted an ad that YouTube rejected. The ad in question was meant to promote the show’s Christmas holiday special video, and when they reached out to YouTube to inquire why their ad wasn’t allowed to run, they were told it was due to “sexually explicit” and “shocking” content in the video. What was so shocking and sexually explicit about it? In a recording of a phone call with a representative for Google Ad Sense, the rep said the block was “because of the gay thing,” according to CNN. Oh. Oh, no, YouTube.
Eventually YouTube agreed to run the ad and categorized the whole situation as a “misunderstanding,” but this was once the holiday season had already passed. Too little too late, babe.
Alex Joseph, a spokesperson for YouTube, told CNN, “Our policies have no notion of sexual orientation or gender identity and our systems do not restrict or demonetize videos based on these factors or the inclusion of terms like ‘gay’ or ‘transgender.'”
The lawsuit was filed in Federal Court in California on Tuesday, so we shall see if justice will be served.
This week, I had to dive deep. I wanted to show something a little different than just a messy airbrush and body cutout job. Some of these influencers are real Photoshop pros—in fact, you’d have to possess a thorough understanding of anatomy to see how it’s not possible, because their edits are so seamless and don’t leave traces, like warped walls. Some of them.
And then, I bring you Tana Mongeau.
Who, btw, I have no idea who she is, except for this recent article about Bella Thorne, who she apparently was in a throuple with. I also know nothing of Bella Thorne, except that every photo I see of her, I feel like I can smell her. I don’t mean that in a nice way.
According to Google, Tana is Youtube famous? IDK.
But I found this photo of her.
This is a super hot photo and v typical for influencers of any kind. (Are Youtubers the same as influencers? Children, I need you to educate me.) I WISH I could take a decent bikini photo, but as you’ll see in my upcoming article where I edit the f*ck out of my own body to show you how stupidly easy it is, I always look weird. It’s like every angle is my unflattering angle. YOU’LL SEE.
But really, though, how do you get the perfect back arch, look thin, have your face look pretty, etc? All in one photo? How many tries does this take? Who is taking this photo? What kind of patience do they have?
However, this is a pretty good edit. PRETTY good. Professional for sure. There are no major “tells” that I can see. The shadow is believable, which is often a huge giveaway. But what really told me this is bullsh*t, aside from the “too perfect”ness of it all, are the legs/ass. That is a really small yet bubbly ass for her body. And same with her thighs, especially compared to the very warped and huge calves/feet! COULD it be the water warping it? Yes, absolutely. But the water could literally do almost anything. You’re telling me that by sheer coincidence, the water that made her monstrous calves the size of her waist, also gave her a teensy but shapely ass and little dancer thighs? How convenient.
I’m going to call bull. And now that we’re looking for “tells”, most of her body has blurry edges, especially around the stomach, chest, and upper (but not lower) arm. Now, as you’ll remember from previous articles, blurring happens when you erase with the airbrush tool, or if you move lines by transforming or smudging. COULD it be the lighting? Maybe. Her thigh also seems warped, like it’s bent in at a strange angle. Again, could be the water.
But then I found this.
God Bless Reddit, everyone. This a *REAL* photo of Tana with a fan in the same suit. Now, she’s not as posed/sucking in as anyone who takes a bikini pic would be. But she is significantly a different size IRL. The suit doesn’t look like it even fits. She also has the exact opposite butt as advertised. There is no angle that would make those thighs look so teensy. Thick thighs are in, anyway! She’s also got a way larger chest in the edited picture.
The reason I’m showing you this is so you know that influencer/celeb bodies are not as they seem on social media. Almost ALL of her photos are edited like this, with a pretend body that isn’t even hers. I will say that the photo on the right is super unflattering, and I’m sure in real life, she looks like a normal, thin girl. So why do the scary skinny and warped proportions to make you look like a different person? More women need to own their true bodies. I’m sure the original photo would have been hot AF, too, she just wouldn’t have crazy unrealistic proportions! Hey Tana? You don’t need to post fake thirst trap photos. Men will f*ck literally anything.
Does this surprise you about Tana? When you see influencer photos like this, do you believe it’s their real bodies? LMK in the comments!
Images: Tana Mongeau / Instagram
In the last few weeks, YouTube drama has been in the news like never before. You might not have known about James Charles or Tati before, but now you probably have a deep understanding of their feud and who betrayed whom and which receipts might have been fake. Okay, maybe “deep understanding” is an overstatement, but we’ve talked through the drama. But if you’re new to the world of YouTube personalities, there’s a lifetime of drama for you to catch up on.
It would be literally impossible to explain all the dynamics of the various YouTube communities, but there are obviously a handful of people who rise to the top and dominate. And what do you know, the majority of them are problematic! Prepare to be frustrated and more than a little confused, because YouTube drama is like nothing else in this world. Literally so many of you guys have asked me (I say without a hint of irony) to break down other Youtube stars you need to know about, so I’m here to do just that.
If you’ve been following the drama with James Charles, then you know that Jeffree Star got heavily involved. He first said that James was a danger to society, then took a step back and apologized. Overall, he remained firmly team Tati, but that’s beside the point right now. Jeffree is one of the most successful YouTube beauty gurus, and he owns a massive makeup company, but his past is very interesting. Way back in the 2000s, Jeffree Star got his start on MySpace (tbt), making music that was a lot like Lady Gaga’s early stuff. He had devoted fans, but obviously he pivoted his career away from music and toward beauty. Sadly, Jeffree has a history of saying racist things, going all the way back to some videos that he made in the 2000s, where he says the N-word, and jokes about throwing battery acid on a black woman to lighten her skin.
Jeffree has apologized on multiple occasions in the past, but just last fall, his former hairstylist posted screenshots of texts from Jeffree, allegedly from early 2018, where he again uses the N-word. Yikes. Also last fall, popular YouTuber Jackie Aina posted an open letter on her Twitter denouncing Jeffree for his racist behavior toward her. It’s really baffling to me how he still has so many fans after the constant proof that he sucks as a person, but if Trump can win an election, I guess it makes sense that people are buying Jeffree Star eyeshadow palettes.
As much as I wish I could talk about Laura Leigh from Vanderpump Rules right now, instead we’re talking about…more racism! Laura Lee is another major figure in the YouTube beauty community, and she was one of the most notable people to denounce Jeffree Star last fall after (one of) his racism scandals. But then, because irony is real and beautiful, people went and found some, um, questionable things that Laura Lee tweeted in the past. Here’s the worst one:
“Tip for all black people if you pull ur pants up you can run from the police faster.. #yourwelcome”
I mean, Jesus Christ. Laura lost hundreds of thousands of followers after she was exposed, and brands like Diff Eyewear and Ulta pulled out of deals with her. She posted an apology video, which is four minutes of her doing the fakest crying I have ever seen. She deleted the video, but luckily other people re-uploaded it, so please enjoy:
She was so widely mocked for the video that she literally made another video apologizing for her apology. I told you these people were messy as hell.
Logan Paul and his brother Jake are hugely popular YouTube vloggers, but they also suck big time. Huge surprise. Back in December 0f 2017, Logan made a video about the Aokigahara Forest in Japan, which is known as a place where many people go to commit suicide. In the video, Logan calls the forest “haunted,” comes across a man’s dead body, which he SHOWS ON CAMERA, and then he also makes jokes about suicide. Understandably, people were horrified by this, and YouTube announced that they were kicking Logan out of their Google Preferred program, which is a partnership program for the top 5% of YouTube creators.
Dear Internet, pic.twitter.com/42OCDBhiWg
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 2, 2018
That’s his Notes app apology, where he says he was thought he could “make a positive ripple on the internet,” then talks for a paragraph about how hard he works and how anyone could’ve made a mistake like this. Yeah okay, next.
Hey, it’s another one you might know! Outside of the YouTube world, Tana Mongeau is probably best known for dating Bella Thorne and flirting with Miley Cyrus, but there’s so much more to her story. Her crowning failure was Tanacon, and the story is literally incredible. Every year, there’s a giant convention called Vidcon, where top YouTubers do panels, performances, etc. for thousands of fans. Last year, when Tana didn’t get chosen as a featured creator, she decided to boycott Vidcon and throw her own convention for her fans down the street. The event was a complete disaster. The venue was way too small for the number of tickets sold, so many fans who had flown across the country to be there were stranded in a parking lot for hours with no food or water. Essentially, it was the Fyre Festival of YouTube. Afterward, Tana got very defensive and blamed everyone but herself for the disastrous event. (Fellow YouTuber Shane Dawson actually made a documentary series about Tanacon that is a fantastic watch.) Joke’s on Tana, because she just announced that she’s attending Vidcon this year. Lol.
In addition to Tanacon, my favorite Tana moment was her slutty Jojo Siwa Halloween costume, because it’s obviously appropriate to dress up as a slutty version of a real child. She also created controversy when she marked Mac Miller’s death with an Instagram post that was all about her, insinuating that the two of them were in a relationship when he died. Problem is, the night Mac died, she was making out with Trippie Redd on the red carpet at the Pornhub awards. I promise, I couldn’t make this sh*t up if I wanted to.
There are many more YouTubers who have posted racist/sexist/homophobic/otherwise offensive things, but I only have the patience for so much stupidity in one day. If you’ve now been sucked into the world of YouTube drama, let me know if you want to see more like this!
Images: Shutterstock; jeffreestar, K-Row / YouTube; loganpaul / Twitter; @tanamongeau (2) / Instagram