Just in case you had forgotten how deeply haunting Post Malone’s digitally rendered Pokémon Trainer visage is, let’s take this moment ahead of the Pokémon Day 25th anniversary virtual concert this Saturday, February 27 to revisit it in its full uncanny corporate tie-in splendor.
Related | Please Enjoy Post Malone as a Pokémon
Ahead of his performance for the video game franchise’s musical celebration, Post Malone has shared a cover of Hootie and the Blowfish’s 1995 hit “Only Wanna Be With You.” Posty’s Pokémon 25 Version remains pretty faithful to the original albeit with a little more production polish around the edges and a little chiptune-ish synth thrown in for good measure. True to the Post Malone brand, the rendition feels perfect for slipping on a pair of Crocs and cracking open a nice cold Bud Light with the boys.
The virtual concert will be streaming live on Twitch, YouTube and Pokémon’s official website at 7:00 PM EST/ 4:00 PM PST as a part of the video game franchise’s 25th anniversary festivities. Pokémon will also be streaming a marathon of the TV series and distributing a code for Pokémon Sword and Shield players to get a special in-game Pikachu that aptly knows the move Sing.
The company has also announced a Pokémon Presents video presentation scheduled for Friday which has already fueled speculation and rumors that a remake of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl might be announced. The video presentation will likely also feature updates on previously announced games like the new Pokémon Snap and Pokémon Sleep as well as other collabs and partnerships the brand has planned for the year-long 25th anniversary celebrations.
TikTok is cracking down on the spread of misinformation about eating disorders on its platform after a report recently revealed a concerning amount of pro-anorexia and dangerous dieting content was ending up on people’s For You Pages.
In conjunction with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and coinciding with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, TikTok has rolled out a new set of resources providing support and information for those struggling with an eating disorder. Starting this week, potentially triggering tags, like #edrecovery and #proana, will automatically direct users to NEDA’s helpline where they will be able to find help and information on treatment options as well as experts tips on identifying negative self-talk, self care and ways to support others that might be struggling.
Related | Managing an Eating Disorder Under Quarantine Is Weird and Hard
In addition to providing resources, TikTok will also be rolling out permanent PSAs in some of the highest offending tags like #whatieatinaday and #emotionaleating in an effort to disrupt the cycle of harmful content and spread awareness to a wider audience. The platform will also be hosting conversations surrounding issues related to food, exercise, body image and the systemic biases that perpetuate eating disorders and reinforce negative self-thought on their discover page throughout the week.
In a statement announcing the new initiative, TikTok said “People come to TikTok to express themselves authentically and find community. We’re constantly inspired by stories of our community members lifting up one another and supporting those who are affected by body image and eating disorders. To aid these conversations, we’re introducing new resources to provide access to help from expert organizations directly from our app.”
National Eating Awareness Week runs February 22-26, with TikTok users encouraged to use the #NEDAwareness to join the conversation.
If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237.
Gwyneth Paltrow is facing backlash for suggesting she helped popularize face masks in a new interview.
During a recent chat with The New York Times, the Goop founder was lauded for sharing a selfie of herself in a mask “way before face coverings became the norm.”
Related | Gwyneth Paltrow Hired a War Photographer to Shoot Her Wedding
The photo-in-question dates back to last February and shows Paltrow wearing a ventilated mask — which doesn’t prevent the spread of the virus — alongside the caption, “En route to Paris. Paranoid? Prudent? Panicked? Placid? Pandemic? Propaganda? Paltrow’s just going to go ahead and sleep with this thing on the plane.”
“I’ve already been in this movie,” she said, referencing her role in 2011’s Contagion. “Stay safe. Don’t shake hands. Wash hands frequently.”
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A post shared by Gwyneth Paltrow (@gwynethpaltrow)
However, in response to the praise, Paltrow used the opportunity to suggest she was a trend-setter in a number of different ways.
“This is a familiar pattern in my life. I do something early, everyone is like: ‘What is she doing? She’s insane.’ And then it’s adopted by the culture,” she said, before adding that she was also “one of the first” people to test positive for COVID-19.
Needless to say though, the internet wasn’t pleased with her “utter lack of self-awareness.”
“Imagine being this level of self absorbed,” as one person said, while a second added, “Imagine thinking that people are wearing masks to be like Gwyneth rather than to prevent the spread of a deadly disease. The fucking hubris.”
Truly she is the gift that keeps on giving and her utter lack of self awareness. https://t.co/x8Wx0dIdYk
— Sheriff Lonestar (@SheriffLonestar) February 21, 2021
Imagine being this level of self absorbed 🙄 https://t.co/67l57Hzmas
— attractive nuisance (@BoozyBillsBabe) February 21, 2021
Imagine thinking that people are wearing masks to be like Gwyneth rather than to prevent the spread of a deadly disease. The fucking hubris.
— Big Ball of Yarn and Depression (@Heidi36257043) February 21, 2021
Meanwhile, others just rolled their eyes at the statement and wrote things like “so grateful Gwyneth Paltrow invented masks” and “Gwyneth Paltrow singlehandedly caused COVID so she could start a mask trend.”
So grateful Gwyneth Paltrow invented masks 👑
— Sauleha (@Sauliloquy1) February 22, 2021
gwyneth paltrow single-handedly caused covid so she could start a mask trend https://t.co/rn6nszfSkg
— char (@gavesomanysigns) February 21, 2021
And elsewhere, a few more people pointed out that many people in Asian countries have been wearing masks for much longer than her, with one critic asking, “Have you ever been literally anywhere in East Asia, Gwyneth.”
“One thing miss mamas knows how to do is appropriate Asian culture and pretend she invented it,” another wrote, while a third brought up a similar statement she made in the past about popularizing yoga in the United States.
Have you ever been literally anywhere in East Asia, Gwyneth https://t.co/qPzgXH0FDG
— A. E. D🍩🍩land✒ 📚🏳️🌈 (@Asynca) February 21, 2021
One thing miss mamas knows how to do is appropriate Asian culture and pretend she invented it.
— katrina says clean your phone (@pinkpushpop) February 21, 2021
I believe she said something similar about yoga once too 🤔
— Annie Maynard (@eamayn) February 20, 2021
Paltrow, however, has yet to respond to the backlash.
Kadie Karen Diekmeyer, a.k.a. “That Vegan Teacher,” appears to have been banned from TikTok.
According to screenshots captured on Monday evening, Diekmeyer’s page — which previously had over 1.7 million followers — no longer appears on the platform. Instead, viewers are now met with a message stating that her account was banned for violating “multiple community guidelines.”
Related | TikTok Denies Shadow Banning LGBTQ+ Hashtags
While it’s unclear what exactly caused the ban, Diekmeyer’s long been a polarizing figure on the platform for her controversial posts. Recently though, a Change.org petition calling for her removal from TikTok garnered over 20,000 signatures by arguing that she forcefully shamed people into adopting veganism, despite the diet not always being “the best option medically or financially” for some.
“She has made blatantly racist, bigoted, discriminatory statements against anyone who doesn’t view veganism her way and her way alone,” the petition read. “She has promoted multiple films that are dangerous to children given TikToks 13 yr old age requirement and many children under that age access it on a daily basis. These videos show violent depictions of animal slaughter in graphic detail.”
BREAKING NEWS THAT WILL MOST DEFINITELY CHANGE YOUR LIFE: That Vegan Teacher banned from TikTok. According to disclaimer on TikTok, she was banned due to multiple Community Guidelines violations. pic.twitter.com/1Y0hDX1ZKG
— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) February 23, 2021
The petition then went on to list several examples of her pressuring people to adopt a vegan lifestyle, including statements directed toward minors, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Black people, religious practitioners, and people with disabilities.
In response to the ban, Diekmeyer took to her YouTube to post a video titled “Censorship: Why Good People Must Rise Up And Speak Out.”
“Many of you woke up this morning and found out that my account was banned on TikTok, and I know many of you are jumping for joy and thinking that this is a great victory,” she said. Diekmeyer also claimed she never “forced” anyone to be vegan and alleged that she’s been harassed by people at her home.
She added, “Somehow, it makes you smile to know that an animal rights activist is being silenced.”
Chase Hudson — or, as he’s more widely known on the internet and now in the music world, LILHUDDY — is at home in Encino, introducing me to his new lizard over Zoom.
“His name is Bunny,” he tells me, “because he jumps.” He’s into reptiles, I learn. He also owns five snakes.
Eighteen-year-old Hudson is sitting in his bedroom, complete with tall marble columns and a bunch of Pokémon plushies. The sun is shining outside his window, as it tends to do in Los Angeles. In true 2021 fashion, he lives in a mansion with friends, many of whom are fellow social media stars and content creators. Lately, he and his housemates are transforming their living room into an arcade. You know the vibes: pinball, foosball, air hockey, plus cotton candy, hot dog and popcorn machines.
Hudson, who has nearly 30 million followers on TikTok and 11 million on Instagram, is excited. We’ve been chatting about his career, and the particular nexus it’s at right now: he’s in the midst of pivoting his social media stardom (predicated on charismatic lip-syncing videos and his signature e-boy style) into the realm of pop-punk music-making, and he’s finally getting to release everything he’s been working on for the past year. His first single, titled “21st Century Vampire,” dropped in late January, and his second single, “The Eulogy of You and Me,” was next, accompanied by a pair of shiny music videos directed by veteran videographer Joseph Kahn. His first album is due out this summer.
LILHUDDY is riding a moment, and he’s in good company; “Eulogy” was produced by Travis Barker, the blink-182 drummer turned industry mentor who’s leading a post-Calabasas pop-punk revival, in part by shepherding a new cohort of protégées from the TikTok set. There’s a lot of momentum under Barker’s wing: “I think it lives in Travis the most,” Hudson says, “because I think Travis is the person that wants it more than anyone: to bring pop-punk back to where it was 10, 15 years ago.” Barker and his frequent collaborator Machine Gun Kelly, Hudson says, are “paving the way for all these other musicians to kind of build with them, [to create] the new era of pop-punk,” including fellow TikTokker Jaden Hossler, who performs as jxdn. Hudson even starred in MGK’s 49-minute music video film called Downfalls High, which premiered on YouTube in January.
“Kells has a really big fan base that’s younger — so do I, so does jxdn, so does Yungblud,” he says. “Teenagers, they really dig this shit.” (Notably, Barker has two children, ages 17 and 15, who’ve been up on social media for years; his son Landon also appeared in Downfalls High.) If the last pop-punk wave reached its mainstream peak in the mid-aughts MySpace era, then this next one ebbs in the wake of Soundcloud and TikTok, with major nods to the late emo-rap luminaries Lil Peep and Juice WRLD. A new generation by way of Gen Z, who have definitely already lived through too much awful shit.
As someone who was once active on LiveJournal, Xanga and Neopets, during my chat with Hudson I started thinking about when and why I gravitated towards pop-punk. Hating where you grew up feels like a major impetus. In the last decade or so, the same could be said for wanting to make it big on social media; many YouTubers and other internet personas have said they sought out online communities (and acceptance) because they felt ostracized in their hometowns. Both of these things are relatively true for Hudson, who was born in 2002 in Stockton, California — a city south of Sacramento and east of San Francisco that made history for being the second-largest American city after Detroit to file for bankruptcy following the 2008 financial crisis. He lived in a poor area and was bullied as a kid. He was into fashion and grew up in a close-knit musical family, getting his first taste of pop-punk from listening to his older sister’s iPod Nano.
“I wanted [all] the attention in a room more than anyone [since] I was born. I loved doing stupid and dorky shit.”
In his early teens, he says, “It was the joke of the town to make fun of me but also try to be my friend. I feel like everyone kind of has [this] rulebook of what you can and cannot do. And I wasn’t like that at all.” After getting into social media in eighth grade, he’d get called out for being “a musical.ly boy,” eventually transferring from his public high school to online school (another common move for aspiring social media personalities) during his sophomore year. “People were just assholes where I grew up, and I guess that’s kind of made me who I am today.”
But he’s also always loved attention. “All of grade school, I was just a shithead,” he says, laughing. “I wanted [all] the attention in a room more than anyone [since] I was born. I loved doing stupid and dorky shit.” When he made his way to LA at 16, he co-founded Hype House, the proverbial TikTok content mansion, a year later. Since then, he’s posted thousands of TikToks, dated the app’s biggest star, Charli D’Amelio, and landed in his fair share of requisite social media beef (culminating in a frankly bonkers Notes app screenshot). Suffice to say, LILHUDDY’s got plenty to make a big ol’ pop-punk album about.
The upcoming album, Hudson says, will chronicle a love story, spanning romance to heartbreak. There’ll be angst (“I guess the last kiss was the kiss of death/ Now you’re dead to me, and it’s R.I.P”), and boredom (“I guess I’m just meant to be sleeping all day/ I don’t got no fucking life/ I’m just a 21st century vampire”). And there’ll definitely also be some TV-14-slash-TV-M troublemaking, very à la early blink-182 (think: the thrill of getting high and ditching school, or seeing your girlfriend naked).
The move to release “Vampire” as the lead single — a snarling bop, and an obvious nod to his persona as the so-called Half-Blood Prince of TikTok — was a studied one. “I wanted to put in place me as a brand before I released anything else that kind of shows my story,” he says. “I wanted to be like, ‘Alright, this is who the fuck I am, and now I’m going to tell you what I do.'” He knows he’s going to be recognized as the mononymous @lilhuddy, TikTok’s e-boy heartthrob — before he’s known for his music. And he’s hoping that’ll change once people hear what he’s been working on, though there’ll surely be enough for lyrical speculation; the second single, “Eulogy” is an upbeat heartbreak anthem that gave LILHUDDY an opportunity to channel his “very far past relationships that I never get to play or speak on.”
“You know how the song ‘Driver’s License’ made everyone feel like they were going through that breakup?” he asks me, referencing 17-year-old Olivia Rodrigo’s current smash hit. “That’s how Eulogy’s going to be. Like, ‘I’m done crying. Fuck you!'”
“People were just assholes where I grew up, and I guess that’s kind of made me who I am today.”
On that note, he remembers the first pop-punk song he ever heard—The All-American Rejects’ 2008 hit “Gives You Hell” — “because it was one of the first songs that didn’t censor the word ‘hell’ on the radio.” He’d scream along to the chorus in the car just to piss off his family: “Hope it gives you hell,” he mock-sings. “Hell. H-E-double hockey sticks. Make sure you heard that. And my mom would turn it off.” On the other hand, another music-world revelation arrived when he tagged along with his One Direction-obsessed older sisters to see the band’s 2013 concert movie, This Is Us.
“I thought that was the most inspiring movie I had ever seen,” he tells me, though his second-most influential flick may be a little more surprising: The Wolf of Wall Street.
What could the story of Jordan Belfort possibly have to do with the story of Chase Hudson? Well, apparently, it makes LILHUDDY want to write a to-do list.
“I love the hustle,” Hudson says, laughing. “Besides all the hookers and the drugs and everything that he had, [Belfort] had a hustle that made me — it just gives me this hustle mindset. Every time I watch it I’m like, ‘Oh my god, I have to go out and be a millionaire now.’ And I start scheduling in my notebook. I actually become productive and I’m like, ‘Did Wolf of Wall Street make me do this?'”
At one point during our Zoom call, when Hudson mentions that a few days earlier he’d worn a Green Day American Idiot shirt he’d thrifted on Melrose, he scrolls for a minute or two through his fan accounts’ Twitter posts to show me proof. Is it weird to have this chronicle of his public life that he can just access at any time? “Yeah dude, I can just find everything that I’ve done in the last few days,” he says, before giving up on finding a photo of the shirt; it was already too many posts back.
For the Vampire of Melrose Avenue, the journey to the top could not have happened at a stranger time. As is undoubtedly the case for other big-name TikTokkers — the app’s popularity skyrocketed during the first few months of quarantine, turning many of its young stars into certified celebrities in a matter of months — a global pandemic has been a weird moment to not only garner a bunch of new fame, money and followers, but also to translate it all into a relatively more blue-chip career path.
“I have absolutely no clue what kind of name I’m making for myself, because I cannot really experience what celebrities felt, [like] where everyday they would get off a plane and 500 people would know exactly where their airline was getting off.”
“It’s the worst best time for it to happen,” Hudson says. “It sucks in the way that I have absolutely no clue what kind of name I’m making for myself, because I cannot really experience what celebrities felt, [like] where everyday they would get off a plane and 500 people would know exactly where their airline was getting off. I haven’t gotten to that level at all yet.” He’s never even performed music live in front of an audience — though, for the record, he can’t fucking wait until that sort of thing can happen again.
“I feel like I’m just getting started now, to be honest,” he says. He knows he’s on the cusp of something, and you can tell he’s hyped about it: “I always wanted to do music, but I started on social media and made a fanbase before I did what I really wanted to do. I wanted to take my time, make sure I knew what I was doing and that I was doing everything correctly.”
“I feel like this is the new era of me, and kind of where I’ll start to be known,” he says, eyeing his post-2020 trajectory — at last. “From this music, and from this year.”
‘The Eulogy of You and Me’ ’21st Century Vampire’
Photography: Christian Högstedt Fashion Direction: Nicola Formichetti Grooming: Johnny Stuntz Styling and wardrobe direction: Marta Del Rio Tailoring: Samuel Ososki Photography assistants: Tyler Ofstedahl, Joey Abreu Wardrobe assistant: Hunter Clem Grooming assistant: Jessica Torres
Producer, singer and songwriter, Christopher Sauceda — better known online as Boy Sim — is back with his self-produced, performed and written single, “Fire.” The track sees Boy Sim take a momentous step into a more commercial world, re-contextualizing ’70s and ’80s aesthetics for a pop flex.
Related | This Doc Shows How Queers Kept Raving Under COVID
Like a futuristic cowboy, Boy Sim effortlessly rides the sleek basslines and emotive guitars with smooth melodies, as he seeks revenge for his broken heart. “Fire” is not about a particular relationship, but a culmination of relationships that are defined by misguided love, betrayal and heartbreak. “Fire” is ultimately Boy Sim expelling his emotional turmoil as he expresses his desire to “set your house on fire” — his final act before he can allow himself to move on.
“‘Fire’ is my first step into a new sound I haven’t done before,” Boy Sim says. “It’s a story of betrayal, and it’s meant to be a really dramatic and angry breakup song. It’s really super blunt — basically me being like, ‘Yeah, you fucked me over, so I’m just gonna burn your place to the fucking ground.'”
Related | All the Spirals That Inspired Chester Lockhart’s ‘Wet Metal’ EP
“Fire” is Boy Sim’s first single this year and is a much welcomed follow-up to his genre-defining debut album Pink Noise, which featured notable collabs with artists like Slayyyter. With “Fire” marking a sonic shift for Boy Sim, we have our fingers crossed that a sophomore album is in the works for later this year.
Stream “Fire,” below, and follow Boy Sim on Instagram.
BRS Kash’s “Throat Baby (Go Baby)” lit the internet on fire after it went viral in 2020. The NSFW anthem for oral sex took over TikTok thanks to more than 50 million video clips made with it playing in the background. Its success has led to “Throat Baby (Go Baby)” becoming a culture-defining moment from a year that was one of the hardest in recent history.
And there’s no signs of the song’s impact slowing down in the future — especially since it just released a high-powered remix and video that are contributing to it becoming even bigger than last thought possible. In January, BRS Kash dropped an update featuring verses from some of the hottest rappers in the game, right now: DaBaby and City Girls.
Related | At Least We Can Still Orgasm
The visual came at the same time and proved to be even wilder than the song itself. Through a barrage of increasingly crazier scenes, BRS Kash, DaBaby and City Girls frolic in alien gardens, ride rockets through mountains with human faces, and host game shows as sharply dressed dolls and action figures — or, at least, that’s what appears to happen.
To make sense what this video means, PAPER spoke to BRS Kash about the “Throat Baby (Remix)” and how each of the scenes came together. It’ll be a mystery to the world no longer.
The funniest part of the spaceship scene was when DaBaby dropped his blunt and almost burnt a hole in his pants in the middle of us shooting.
Jumping in the Mouth:
I didn’t really know how they were going to make this scene come out. I was just jumping in mid-air.
The scene with Ms. [Teanna] Trump made my testosterone levels extremely high.
Shooting the scene with the City Girls, I dropped my wine glass and it almost broke on JT’s foot. I’m so glad it didn’t, I was lit [laughs].
Being in a firefighter outfit made me respect firefighters even more because that suit is hot. Much respect!
The garden scene made me kind of nervous when DaBaby was swinging those hedge cutters, but it came out perfect.
Stream BRS Kash’s “Throat Baby Remix” with DaBaby and City Girls, below.
DaBaby‘s latest track, “Beatbox Freestyle,” is his version of Spotem Gottem’s viral single, “Beatbox,” and the rapper’s getting roasted by the internet for it. In the song, he mentions openly gay teen star JoJo Siwa, and a lot of people are reading it as a diss.
Related | DaBaby Sued For Allegedly Slapping a Female Fan
The 29-year-old rapper calls the 17-year-old a “bitch,” though the two don’t really have a relationship history or beef. This left a lot of people very confused as to why he would come for Siwa.
why did he say this https://t.co/3dHHFkrRYf — #juug (@#juug)1613790057.0
Some are saying that he just mentions her name because “Siwa” rhymes with “see why” at the end of the previous line, and it’s all just wordplay and rap.
Related | JoJo Siwa Introduces Fans to Her Girlfriend
There isn’t necessarily any drama going on, but tweeter @trulyasapphic points out, “dababy is a grown ass man calling jojo siwa a bitch and for what, to rhyme? i- men are so fucking weird and annoying asf.”
Naturally, people took this as an opportunity to make some hilarious memes on Twitter.
listening to dababy and him suddenly calling jojo siwa a bitch https://t.co/K3k1l9Bddu — jordantheestallion (@jordantheestallion)1613878131.0 jojo siwa on the way to record the dababy diss track https://t.co/mXXTDqgUDE — ☦︎︎ (@☦︎︎)1613870343.0 Da Baby’s daughter when she hears her dad dissing Jojo siwa https://t.co/RmIwpEHuQx — princess girl (@princess girl)1613875856.0 dababy got no reason calling out jojo siwa like that😭😭 https://t.co/ZYHgvE8Ls3 — jv (@jv)1613868870.0 jojo siwa when she catches dababy in the streets https://t.co/8L1lOE8z4g — K (@K)1613868171.0 what dababy gonna do when jojo siwa tell him stay in his bum ass place https://t.co/ysTTbC0CcI — fan account. (@fan account.)1613867125.0 how jojo siwa gonna pull up to dababy’s house after hearing his freestyle https://t.co/TZkNgOuVKX — Anna (@Anna)1613906830.0
Neither DaBaby, nor JoJo have reacted to the matter.
Lana Del Rey stans have started a new TikTok “cult” celebrating the singer.
That’s right, fans on the platform have now started a self-proclaimed “Lana cult,” which requires members to change their profile pic to a photo of the star smiling in front of a car on fire.
Related | Welcome to TikTok, Lana Del Rey
And while some have also taken it upon themselves to post comments like “Lana Del Rey is coming! Repent to the lord and savior Lana Del Rey before it’s too late,” it’s unclear how exactly the trend started or what the group’s end goal is.
That said, the cult’s formation comes on the heels of Lana’s recent TikTok debut, not to mention a number of controversies surrounding the star, including widely scrutinized statements about how she incurs more criticism than WOC and the assertion that her “best friends” and “boyfriends have been rappers.”
lana cult is rising up 😍💅🏻 pic.twitter.com/L3mDFBcLPm
— luka 🌸🏹 WatchSquareOne (@tiredmemelord) February 19, 2021
Lana herself has yet to address the new TikTok trend.
Cadbury is being creamed on social media after producing a commercial with a same sex kiss.
The commercial, created in honor of Cadbury Creme Egg’s 50th anniversary, is being accused of “selling sex to children” after depicting two men sharing an egg between their lips before it bursts open.
Related | Why Did Twitter Name Its New Feature ‘Fleets’?
Throughout the commercial, the narrator lists all the ways people can eat Cadbury eggs: calling on “lickers,” “discreaters” and “sharers,” which is where the kiss happens.
“Sharers, yea, we are down with that,” the narrator says.
However, at least 26,000 viewers were not entirely “down with that,” having signed a recent petition demanding the commercial be removed from the air — even calling the kiss a “highly-charged sexually provocative act.”
“By choosing to feature a same-sex couple, Cadbury’s are clearly hoping to cause controversy and escape criticism, by claiming that any objections must be rooted in ‘homophobia’, but members of the LGBT community have also expressed their dislike of this campaign,” the petition reads.
The petition author claims that Cadbury is using a sexually provocative ad and hiding under LGBTQ rights so any criticism will look like homophobia. They say that exposing children to sexualized content constitutes a form of grooming, citing that children often copy what they see on television.
Cabury released a statement defending the campaign, saying “Cadbury has always been a progressive brand that spreads a message of inclusion, whether it is through its products or brand campaigns. We are proud of our Golden Goobilee advert which celebrates the many ways that everyone can enjoy a Cadbury Creme Egg. To illustrate this and showcase the joy our products bring, a clip of a real life couple sharing a Cadbury Creme Egg was included in the advert.”
Other viewers are posting in support of the commercial.
“I spent my childhood watching a woman in a bathtub fellating a Flake,” one viewer wrote on Twitter, referencing the 1992 commercial with the brand’s chocolate bar.
I spent my childhood watching a woman in a bathtub fellating a Flake. Jus’ saying. #CREMEEGG — Sue Perkins 💙 (@Sue Perkins 💙)1610307108.0
Another viewer jokingly wrote “I’m DISGUSTED by this. I would NEVER share a Creme Egg with my husband.”
I’m DISGUSTED by this. I would NEVER share a Creme Egg with my husband. https://t.co/uJtXNEm1mv — Ian Eagleton IS AWAY FOR A WHILE! (@Ian Eagleton IS AWAY FOR A WHILE!)1610303514.0
Cadbury’s parent company, Mondelez International, Inc., has no plans to shut down the campaign. They released an official statement regarding COVID-19 safety on the production set, saying “The actors featured in the film were from the same household, so they were egg-static to share a delicious Cadbury Creme Egg together! We also ensured that social distancing and stringent hygiene measures were taken when shooting the new advert.”
Stan Cadbury for not taking the BS, and watch the full ad, below.
Less than a week has passed since famed scam-tress, Anna Delvey (AKA Anna Sorokin), was released from prison and she’s already busier than any of us have been in months. Having served almost four years for her various grifts and cons, the former faux heiress has hit the ground running by going on a social media blitz, launching her own website and announcing her vlogging channel, Anna Delvey TV.
Delvey had already gotten a head start while she was behind bars, updating her website with personal essays and sharing some label-conscious drawings on her Instagram. Now that she’s out on parole, though, the aspiring socialite is ready to get things going in earnest albeit, this time, without any scams.
Delvey wasted no time getting back on brand, snapping glamorous i-woke-up-like-this selfies from bed, going on a Sephora run, and sharing caviar and champagne with a friend over the long weekend. Judging by the Celine glasses case stuffed with $100 bills and her tweet indicating as much, money is no longer an issue for Delvey (outside of having to ask her parole officer for permission to open up a bank account).
Delvey also reconnected with her “Only Friend in New York” Neff Davis, posting behind-the-scenes shots of her and filmmaker Douglas Higginbotham from presumably one of Delvey’s forthcoming vlogs. Speaking with Insider, she explained that “it’s a way to control what I want to tell. So many people, I see, are trying to tell my narrative. I just decided to do something on my own.”
Delvey’s Twitter has also been a veritable goldmine of potential slogans (“Going to trial is the new sex tape”) and a slightly unhinged FAQ section. Delvey stated that she wouldn’t consider going back to Europe until they had paid Black people reparations and that the only job she would accept right now is creative director for Goldman Sachs. She even put out an open call for a boyfriend, which she quickly rescinded — but that doesn’t mean she spent Valentine’s day alone either.
Only agreeing to go back to Europe when they give Black people reparations #oneday — Anna Delvey (@Anna Delvey)1613351292.0 One of my goals for this year is to take @GoldmanSachs Group Inc. private, $306.77/share is too much — Anna Delvey (@Anna Delvey)1613450994.0 Looking for a boyfriend — Anna Delvey (@Anna Delvey)1613263572.0 Lost interest in acquiring a boyfriend, looking for a job now — Anna Delvey (@Anna Delvey)1613448526.0
Delvey apparently already has plans to expand her diaries into a book about the criminal justice system and her experiences behind bars. When asked if she had any lingering regrets, Delvey said, “I have to deal with the consequences of my actions, yeah. But to just sit around and just think about everything I’ve done — it’s not going to have changed it. I don’t know. It would be a huge waste of my time.”
No word yet on whether or not IMG Models plans to sign Delvey, though.
In the summer of 2020, Vanity Fair went bold, declaring the end of the Notes App apology era. “The Notes apology, arranged to make onlookers feel as though the offender had hastily thrown together a message, has now been replaced with the vague feeling someone said, go fetch the graphic designer,” wrote Arimeta Diop, citing a string of public apologies that were aestheticized to camouflage among a celebrity or brand’s feed. But though the era might have hit pause, it was nothing close to over.
This past Friday, 6221 days after the 2004 Super Bowl in which Justin Timberlake effectively derailed Janet Jackson’s career in an incident that became known as “nipplegate,” Timberlake issued a public apology posted to his Instagram. Better late than never? He also chose, in this same note, to apologize to his ex-girlfriend Britney Spears, whom he’d broken up with 19 years earlier but continued to speak ill about, like in 2013 when he called her “just some bitch” on stage, or in 2018 when he unambiguously belittled her career decisions.
The letter came exactly one week after a new televised documentary, The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears, reignited conversations about the way the media and men like Timberlake played a role in perpetuating misogyny and stigmatizing mental health, mothering and female sexuality.
Timberlake opted for the tried and true Notes App apology, first popularized amongst the uber-celebrity set by Taylor Swift in 2016 when she chose the pre-installed iPhone app to issue a now-deleted statement damning Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West and accusing them of “character assassination.” He used the same app in 2019 to issue another apology over what he described as a “lapse in judgement” after photos began surfacing of him, drunk and holding hands with his Palmer co-star Alisha Wainwright. (Timberlake has been married to actress Jessica Biel since 2012.)
Other celebs who have favored the Notes App apology include but are not limited to Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper, Ariana Grande, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Fifth Harmony, Drake, Migos, Amy Schumer, Pete Davidson, Lena Dunham, Azealia Banks, Arm*e H*mmer, James Charles, Kendall Jenner and even Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Most recently, celebrity Soul Cycle instructor (take a moment to let that land) Stacey Griffith posted a Notes App apology for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine (take another moment, I get it).
One might think with dollars on the line, entire teams dedicated to crisis management and, in most cases, clearly defined social media presences, celebs might find more personal ways to convey their contrition. After all, the whole turning point of celebrity gossip coverage came with social media allowing celebrities the chance to both tell and frame their own public narratives. But not so for the most part. “Who cares?” one might be asking. “It’s the words that matter, not the format.” And sure! But the ubiquity of the format, and the way it’s associated more with cobbling together thoughts hastily, indicates an inherent thoughtlessness.
“I don’t think it’s so much the aesthetics of them, but more the lack of effort,” says Mark Glasgow, a designer and illustrator. “Not only have you written it on your phone, but you haven’t bothered to record anything — although I’m not sure that would be more or less authentic.” It’s true, on the one hand, a recorded video might allow for visible or verbal nuances that a letter can’t convey. It might also give us, the viewer, a better sense of who the apology is really coming from: the celebrity or their team. “I would rather listen to someone stumble or struggle through a video or actually talking it out and showing that ‘Hey, I’m here’ rather than just this cheap, typed out Notes App,” T. Kyle MacMahon said on a recent episode of his podcast Legends Only when discussing the insincerity of Timberlake’s apology.
I’m reminded of Snoop Dogg’s video apology to Gayle King back in February, 2020 after he released an expletive-laden video condemning King for asking questions about Kobe Bryant’s 2003 sexual assault case during an interview with WNBA star Lisa Leslie. “I publicly tore you down by coming at you in a derogatory manner… I should have handled it way different than that,” he said in a video that was simple, direct and effective.
Related | Kim Russell Is an Oracle of the Diet Prada Age
But that form of public admission isn’t for everyone. One must take into account factors like potential nerves induced by making such a public statement of penance or the idea that one might be at their most comfortable in written form. So really, it’s less the note part and more the app part. Think: It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
In the case of Charisma Carpenter, it was both. The actress used her social media channels on Wednesday to make not an apology, but to speak her long unspoken truth: accusing her former Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel boss, writer/director Joss Whedon, of toxic and verbally abusive behavior. In her two-part statement, she alleged that Whedon made ongoing threats to fire her, mocked her for her religious beliefs, and called her fat during her pregnancy.
Her words: powerful. Her execution: poignant and affecting. “As well as beautifully written, it was very thought out in terms of format and style which made it seem more prepared… in a good way, like she really thought about it,” says Glasgow. “Whereas Notes App is like, ‘I’m in the car on the way somewhere.’ [Charisma’s noted] gave it gravitas rather than ‘shit I better fix this thing quickly; better do the bare minimum.’ And just to be clear I think that was a good thing. It’s a serious subject and deserves, yeah, strategy.”
The two-part slide, written with white text over a black background is able to say a lot with limited real estate — and to do it effectively. In thirteen paragraphs split between the slides, with no typos or grammatical errors, Carpenter shares a deeply personal and painful experience with the world on a space all her own, on her terms and on her own timing. It reads as heartbreaking, yet mighty in how clear-headed, intentional and well-prepared it was.
Related | What’s the Future for @ShiasOutfits?
Can a public figure issue a sincere apology using the Notes App? Of course. But I’m reminded (too often at this point) of J. Lo’s green Versace dress — and how with every rewear the heart grows less fond. Even if it’s the celeb’s first time issuing a public apology of any nature, the pervasiveness of the App alone can signify insincerity at first glance.
Apologies will persist — they’re celebrities after all; it’s part of the machinations — but the manner in which they make them, and the thought and care put into, can signal just as much as the apology itself. Just ask Carrie Bradshaw.
Welcome to “Wear Me Out,”a column by pop culture fiend Evan Ross Katz that takes a look at the week in celebrity dressing. From award shows and movie premieres to grocery store runs, he’ll keep you up to date on what your favorite celebs have recently worn to the biggest and most inconsequential events.
The inspiration for Dana Dentata’s latest music video comes from a viral YouTube clip of Eliza Ibarra, called “Do You Like Me Now?” Part feminist video essay, part performance art piece, the clip sees Ibarra mockingly attempting to embody all the things she thinks “guys like in a girl.” Throughout the course of the video, the soft-spoken tween grows increasingly bug-eyed and manic as she delivers some objectively pretty funny one-liners like “Whats 2+2? GONORRHEA!” before devolving into a lisping muttering mess.
Related | Dana Dentata Wants to Fight
“I saw the ‘Do You Like Me Now?’ video by 12-year-old Eliza one day at the studio and I thought it was bad ass,” Dentata recounts. “It instantly inspired me to talk about all the other bullshit things that are expected of us and projected at us. I related to it because I was actually in a relationship where I had to drastically change my hair, clothes, nails, my personality, everything for someone. I was really screaming a form of ‘Do You Like Me Now, Bitch?’ inside.”
Fast forward to 2021, and Dentata and Ibarra — now an adult film star — are friends and both feature in the new video for the goth metal rapper’s single, “Do U Like Me Now?” In addition to borrowing the title and sampling some of the original clip, Dentata’s latest thrasher see her living out a full housewife revenge fantasy, clad in Insane Clown Posse-esque makeup from a shed. She smashes a glass vase over her husband’s head before turning him over to some menacing punks and freeing her inner child. It’s basically that remix Korn did of “Bitch Better Have My Money” come to life.
Dentata explains that “being able to recreate this experience, but take his ass out and free my inner child was my redemption. I feel like the song and video have the same energy as Eliza’s original video, and whether you are a 12-year-old girl or a porn star we can all relate to feeling pressured by society to change ourselves. To have Eliza in it made the video so meaningful and literal.”
Watch the PAPER premiere of Dana Dentata’s official music video for “Do U Like Me Now?” and stream it, below.
Halsey is taking an important stand against Instagram filters.
On the heels of the debut of her About-Face makeup line, the star spoke to Byrdie about her own journey toward making “peace with her face,” explaining that when she “started getting publicity of some kind, I would go out and [paparazzi would] take pictures of me.”
Related | Halsey’s Makeup Line Is All About Flaunting Your Imperfections
“I can’t control the angle. I can’t control the lighting. I can’t control if it’s my good side or my bad side. The pictures would come out and I would just have to look at them and go, ‘Okay. That’s what I look like.’ I don’t get to change it,” she said, before adding that About-Face was all about “loving and appreciating what you look like.”
However, this disorienting experience was also something Halsey compared to Instagram filters, which she explained forces people to feel “disappointed” with their actual faces.
“I’m exhausted with this industry of Instagram filters,” she said. “It’s gotta be damaging to your brain to constantly be looking at yourself through an altered lens and being disappointed with what your face actually looks like.”
But to that end, Halsey said that she ultimately wants her new makeup line to encourage fans to feel “brave enough” to wear whatever beauty looks they want — regardless of what society deems attractive. After all, as she went on to add, “I have a pretty good idea of what my ‘prettiest’ look is, by social standards, but it doesn’t mean it’s what I want to look like.”
“I definitely don’t think that my most ‘Hollywood’ look is when I have a bald head,” Halsey continued. “But it’s when I feel the most confident.”
Read Halsey’s entire interview for yourself, here.
TikTok star Dazharia Shaffer has died. She was 18.
According to People, Shaffer’s father, Rodney Andry, first confirmed her death by suicide in a TikTok that thanked everyone for “their love and support of [his] daughter.”
Andry also wrote on a GoFundMe page that the Louisiana teen — who was known as “Dee” to her 1.6 million followers — had passed away on Monday and continued to allude to her struggles with mental health.
“I only wish she would have spoken to me about her stress and the thoughts of suicide. We could work thru this,” he said. “I only want to hold you again my little jelly bean. Now I come home and your no longer gonna be there waiting for me. I have to let you fly with the angels.”
In a Facebook post, her mother Jennifer Shaffer also said that she was “heartbroken,” and said that she couldn’t believe she was gone.
“I wish I was waiting on you to say it was a prank but it’s not. I wishing could have died instead of u,” she continued. “RIP my angel. Everyone talks about our bad times but never talk about the good times #babygirldee.”
TikToker Tessica Brown went viral over the weekend with a (literally) head-scratching stunt: styling her hair with one of the world’s most powerful adhesives. She announced to followers that, after running out of her usual setting spray, her hair had been stuck in place for more than a month after a spur-of-the-moment Gorilla Glue application. Virality followed.
Related | #GorillaGlueGirl Is Lawyering Up
At first, the situation didn’t look too hopeful. Even the makers of Gorilla Glue were stumped as to how to remove the substance from Brown’s scalp, and things became a little antagonistic when she reportedly sought legal advice over how to sue the company for her troubles. (The case seemed thin: while hair isn’t mentioned on the Gorilla Glue label, it does warn users not to swallow the glue, or put it in contact with eyes, skin or clothing.)
But as of this morning, we can all breathe a sigh of relief and look forward to the internet getting a new main character. Over the course of four no doubt grueling hours, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon has successfully removed the glue for free, in what would normally would have been a $12, 500 procedure.
The impressive glue removal work was carried out by one Dr. Obeng, who shared withTMZ that he’d tested out his adhesive removal process on a dummy beforehand. It’s a mix of medical grade adhesive remover, aloe vera, olive oil and acetone.
He actually saved quite a lot of hair in the end, considering what Brown’s scalp had been through. We’re happy for her!
It has been exactly 10 years to the day since the world was first introduced to Rebecca Black and given a thorough run down of the days of the week. While it may not have been appreciated in its own time, in the decade since “Friday” came out the world has luckily come to recognize the important role the song and Black played in shaping the internet zeitgeist. Like many of us that grew up on “Friday,” in the time since its release Black has had a glow up, come out as queer and emerged triumphant after having spent years as a meme to reclaim her space.
Related | Rebecca Black Celebrates Her Queerness With ‘Girlfriend’
To mark the 10th anniversary of “Friday,” Black has returned with a new remix of the viral hit with an all star line-up that includes Dorian Electra, Big Freedia, 3OH!3 and 100 gecs’ Dylan Brady. Featuring a donk bassline and chipmunk vocals, the hyperpop reimagining of “Friday” feels like the most 2021 take on 2011 possible in an ouroboros of internet culture venerating itself.
The accompanying Weston Allen-directed music video is an acid trip-like homage to the original’s now iconic visual. From using the same iMovie sketchbook filter to the convertible driving in front of very obvious greenscreen, Black hits all the right notes except now she’s rocking a latex bodysuit, spiky jewelry, a mile-long ponytail and all the friends she’s kicking it in the backseat with are rage comics. Elsewhere, Black and Electra get into a drag race, Big Freedia pops up in the sideview mirror and 3OH!3 just is the moon. It’s all incredibly freaky and over the top, but would you have it any other way?
After having to deal with years of bullying and harassment as a result of her unexpected viral fame, it’s really nice to see Black have the last laugh. Going from an unfortunate casualty of the cruel internet and a half-assed vanity label to fully owning her past and being able to turn it into something that falls more in line with who she is as an artist is inspiring. A decade later, “Friday” is now certified gold and Black is getting the recognition she serves.
The funniest thing about the way TikTok works is that artists can spend all day making songs specifically for the platform, but the songs that usually blow up there almost always do so accidentally. I’m thinking specifically about Drake’s “Toosie Slide” as something that got caught in the platform’s screen door and slipped off. Listeners can be hesitant to devote their time and energy to following the motions and doing exactly what the artist wants when it’s outlined right there. They prefer music that has the elements of a great dance record, but is wrapped in an authentic package. Music like Florida rapper SpotEmGottEm‘s “Beat Box.” Thanks to the efforts of a dancer whose challenge for the song is sweeping the world, SpotEmGottEm’s on his way to the kind of viral fame that record labels seek to replicate but have yet to perfect the formula for.
Related | Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ Remix Lineup Is Iconic
SpotEmGottEm is a 19-year-old rapper out of Florida who you’ve potentially seen smirking on your timeline. He’s in the lineage of Kodak Black with his unique hairstyle and mouth full of gold teeth. When he raps, the thick Floridian drawl makes his words borderline incomprehensible, but the athletic energy that defines his approach to trap has brought him fans all over. It’s not a stretch to say that he’s a pivotal figure of Florida’s rising rap scene. And he’s native to the internet, first going viral for his music three years ago with breakout single “Street Gossip.” He’s released a couple of projects since then and has established himself as a Wild Card for Florida’s next generation of rising artists who could blow at any time.
“Beat Box” was officially released as a loosie last April. With bass drums that taser your skin, SpotEmGottEm weaved in and out of violent narratives for a little over a minute. Its video consisted of him breaking out of a straight jacket and brandishing just about any weapon that he could get his hands on. The song’s absurdity led to it becoming popular on YouTube, but not the kind of life-altering hit that establishes an entire career.
Then came Junebug, a 24-year-old dancer out of California. SpotEmGottEm released the video for “Beat Box 2” on December 18, featuring a guest appearance from one of the hottest rising rappers in the game, Pooh Shiesty, most famous for his song “Back In Blood” with Lil Durk. Five days after its release, Junebug posted a TikTok video of him dancing to the song and creating his own routine.
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A post shared by Junebug (@juneelite)
The dance is a bit hard to explain. First, you stand in place and pop your torso and groin back and forth. While doing that, you take your arms and move them robotically on the sides. It’s best seen to be believed. It looks pretty crazy, but it was inspired by rapper Bobby Shmurda’s infamous “Shmoney Dance” and its unique moves. Junebug’s dance, christened the “Junebug Challenge,” quickly went viral, and people across the internet joined in on the fun. Both Kevin Hart and Saweetie have recorded their own versions of it. LeBron James has even done the moves publicly. As the dance grows even bigger as more people attempt it, the accompanying song also is on its way to becoming a cultural phenomenon.
— 220 (@Saweetie) January 16, 2021
On the Billboard Hot 100 chart dated for January 25, SpotEmGottem’s “Beat Box” made its debut at No. 84 on the chart, largely off the back of its TikTok success. The rapper initially didn’t seem to credit Junebug for his role in making the song popular, but in January, he linked up with him and fully embraced the impact.
“Beat Box” appears on SpotEmGottEm’s Final Destination project that came out in December. With the success of the song rapidly propelling his career, it doesn’t seem like it’ll be long until he puts something else out. He regularly previews new music and seems to be in a hurry to release a follow up — he’s seen how quickly these kinds of viral careers can play out.
There’s also the fact that he was recently accused of snitching on another rapper named Y&R Mookey in an effort to squash the former’s success like a bug. Rapper Pop Hunna has had to deal with this issue since paperwork revealed he cooperated with police as a teenager. But SpotEmGottEm was able to get out of the conversation with ease.
Until the next leg of his career comes, it seems like the world will continue vibing to “Beat Box” — and doing the Junebug Challenge — for the time being. It wouldn’t be surprising if SpotEmGottEm tries his hand at even more TikTok-focused singles. But once you try, you run the risk of losing the magic.
Welcome to “Memes to Streams,” a column by music writer Trey Alston about the light switch moment that turns a random song on the internet into a chart-topping phenomenon. Only in this age of virality are we able to see pop culture change literally overnight, often in ways no one could have predicted.
Smashing a guitar will forever, and always, mean you’re a badass — and with that comes badass tendencies. Grammy-nominated Phoebe Bridgers is unleashing those tendencies on legendary rocker David Crosby, who seems to have taken offense to her breaking the genre’s iconic instrument. She’s given him a new name, “little bitch.”
Pathetic https://t.co/ijaaOYFQbO — David Crosby (@David Crosby)1612734827.0
Bridgers was recently the musical guest of honor on Saturday Night Live and, during a performance of both “Kyoto” and “I Know the End,” she smashed her guitar in a moment of sheer chaos. For whatever reason, not everyone was impressed.
Crosby, known for blowing more hot air than a ballon, was responding to fans’ Twitter questions on Sunday when someone asked him about Bridgers’ stunt. He responded with a single word that set the tone for her response, “Pathetic.”
@thedavidcrosby little bitch. — traitor joe (@traitor joe)1612835047.0
Bridgers came back at him with energy equal, saying “little bitch.” Crosby not only didn’t apologize for offending her, but he continued to double down on his words in the hours after her response. “Guitars are for playing ..making music ….not stupidly bashing them on a fake monitor for childish stage drama,” he wrote. “I really do NOT give a flying F if others have done it before,” he continued. “It’s still STUPID.”
The next morning, he posted again about Bridgers’ performance. “I am told that wasn’t a very good night for her and she’s really quite good …I could not see it or hear it then …the skeleton costumes were kind of distracting as well ….the guitar thing was old , wrong , copy cat, looks angry , destructive , wasteful , pointless,” he wrote.
I am told that wasn’t a very good night for her and she’s really quite good …I could not see it or hear it then .… https://t.co/5IL90WgqhS — David Crosby (@David Crosby)1612856770.0
Bridgers had enough of Crosby’s tweets and responded again, this time with a new dimension on her previous insult writing two more words, “whiny bitch.”
@thedavidcrosby whiny bitch. — traitor joe (@traitor joe)1612897184.0
In case there’s any doubt about the winner of this back-and-forth, it’s Bridgers. Not just because her responses were better, but also because she has nearly half as many Grammy nominations at 26 years old as Crosby does at 79. Keep smashing guitars, Bridgers.
Check out her epic responses, up above, and stream the Grammy-nominated album, Punisher, below.
It’s February 10, 2011 and life’s good. You have a chunky, block-shaped iPhone 4 in the passenger seat, swag rag dangling off your left shoulder and a snapback on while driving down the street. Suddenly, the radio announces a new song by someone you’ve never heard of. “Friday?” Rebecca Black? You shrug and let it play. By the end of the addicting pop song, you’re belting its chorus out the window from the top of your lungs. Fridays will never be the same.
Related | Rebecca Black Celebrates Her Queerness With ‘Girlfriend’
Ten years later, Black is marking the 10th anniversary of the song’s release with a remix that looks to capture the spirit of the original while boldly stepping into the world of today. The singer has announced the “Friday (Remix),” which will feature Dorian Electra, Big Freedia and 3OH!3. It’s set to be produced by Dylan Brady of 100 gecs, meaning that this will be an iconic reimagining unlike what we heard a decade ago.
tonight marks 10 years 🚀 FRIDAY (REMIX) FEAT. @DORIANELECTRA, @bigfreedia & @3OH3 + produced by @dylanbrady OUT EVE… https://t.co/n4hvpDCZR7 — Rebecca Black (@Rebecca Black)1612890208.0
“I’d had the idea to do this remix of ‘Friday’ for years leading up to now, but honestly it was also mildly insane for me to think anyone else would want to be a part of it,” Black said of the release. “As I started talking about it with other artists and producers, I couldn’t believe how stoked people were about it. I am thrilled to have some of my favorite artists (and people) as a part of the moment.”
Big Freedia also declared her excitement, “When they asked me to be on the remix, I was like ‘Yass,'” she said. “‘Friday’ defined an era and changed the music industry! It was a fun project.”
Related | Rebecca Black Was Ahead of Her Time
Earlier this year, Black made her comeback, after years of dealing with cyberbullies and trolls, with the release of “Girlfriend.” On the song, she embraced her queerness with an optimistic outlook. Speaking to PAPER, Black said, “‘Girlfriend’ represents a new chapter for me, both in its sound and in the fact that since coming out, there is now a whole new layer of myself I’m sharing openly with my audience. It feels so good to celebrate queerness and I hope this song can be a form of that for everyone else when they listen along.”
Check out Black’s tease about her “Friday”remix, up above, and revisit the original, below.
If Britney Spears could survive 2007, so goes the meme, you can get through [insert minor personal tragedy here.] But Spears only just outran what was presumably the worst year of her life. And if you were consuming any form of media back then, you’ll recall that most major outlets were operating under the oddly gleeful assumption that she wasn’t going to make it at all.
Y2K nostalgia dominates youth culture right now, but up until this week’s release of New York Times documentary Framing Britney Spears, many of us had conveniently forgotten that during the much-mourned trashy tabloid era, “trashy” was a word used to describe human beings. Mostly women and femme people. Mostly blondes and bimbos and woozily nightclub-exiting party girls, very few of whom survived into 2010s relevancy with their mental and physical health intact. A popstar in freefall, Spears was the most famous and maligned of these tabloid figures, and her cultural legacy has never truly recovered from the world’s most public personal breakdown.
Related | The ACLU Wants to Help Free Britney
As the outlets that once reveled in her downfall atone for their sins way after the fact, we’re also reappraising the few mainstream cultural figures who came out in support of Spears during her darkest head-shaving hour, right before Jamie Spears snatched control of his daughter’s life decisions and finances. Chris Crocker, the early YouTube personality who begged everyone to leave Britney alone in the wake of her infamous MTV VMAs performance, is returning to the discourse 12 years after first going viral. But as Crocker himself states on social media today, this hardly feels like a triumphant moment. More a teachable one.
For exhibiting what we’d now recognize as typical queer internet pop stan behavior back in 2007, Crocker became an instant meme, roundly mocked and subject to years’ worth of internet bullying. At the time, almost no one seemed to think his concerns about Spears’ privacy were particularly valid. Instead, he quickly became almost as hated as she was.
On Instagram today, Crocker suggests that a huge factor behind all the hate was his visible queerness and emotional vulnerability, which in the eyes of the 2007 media was easy freakshow material. “Maybe people reaching out to tell me ‘Chris, you were right.’ would feel good, if I knew that people could unpack that the reason no one took me serious was because I was a gender-bending teenager and the reaction to me was transphobic,” Crocker writes. “When I said it, I had to fear for my life… I was already living in the south as a gender-bending teenager with no money or ways of feeling protected.”
Never forget when Craig Ferguson refused to make fun of Britney Spears. https://t.co/r8AuiNPW0L — Britney Fan 🌹 (@Britney Fan 🌹)1612832782.0
As Crocker points out in his statement, there were mainstream media figures who came out in support of Spears back in the day. Scottish TV presenter (and recovered alcoholic) Craig Ferguson asked his studio audience to show Spears some basic empathy. Documentary maker Michael Moore refused to gossip about Spears on a 2008 CNN segment with Anderson Cooper and Larry King, instead pondering out loud why people couldn’t just let her get on with her life. Neither man made as many headlines as an obscure teenage YouTube comedian from Tennessee did. Certainly no one mocked them for their unpopular views that then-25-year-old Spears deserved just a modicum of dignity.
Even within his own community Crocker, who currently uses he/him pronouns but lived for three years as a woman, says he found himself ostracized for visibly experimenting with gender presentation. “Not just verbal, but physical attacks were made towards me at gay bars… By LGBT people who were embarrassed of me because of the way the media made fun of me,” he recalls. Needless to say, “this was during a pre-Drag Race time.”
Related | Inside #FreeBritney: A Stan Movement to Help Their Pop Savior
For merely “showcasing humanity,” as he puts it, Crocker has now endured 12 years of weird viral infamy, cycling through all the now-normal stages of early internet fame: from failed reality TV pilots to documentary appearances. By the sounds of things, it hasn’t always been much fun.
But Crocker, who deleted his YouTube in 2015 and these days paywalls much of his content on OnlyFans, can take comfort that pop culture is much kinder now. That’s in part because people like him, at a certain personal cost, laid the groundwork for a more empathetic approach to fame and celebrity. Random online content creators become household names on a daily basis these days, and over time we’ve been forced to take them seriously. Thanks to the same internet forces, the music industry is also much more fractured and informal than it was 12 years ago. It’s unlikely another musician will ever face the same impossible industry pressures that Spears once did, and that’s probably a good thing.
Which isn’t to say there isn’t work to do. Britney isn’t free yet, and transphobia remains as mainstream as, uh, Harry Potter. It’s obvious now that Crocker was making points back in 2007. Next time someone like him speaks out, let’s hear them the first time.
After weeks of speculation, People confirmed on Monday that Sway House had disbanded after one year together. The LA-based TikTok collective was home to some of the platform’s biggest names, including Bryce Hall, Griffin Johnson, Jaden Hossler, Blake Gray, Noah Beck, Josh Richards, Anthony Reeves, Kio Cyr, and Quinton Griggs.
According to Sway House co-founder Michael Gruen, the decision was informed by the boys’ desire to grow as individuals and go “in their own directions now.” However, he also went on to say that the collective will live on via its legacy, which changed “the preconceived notion of what it means to be a social media star.”
“If you view Sway as a content collective that lives together and is with each other every day, then yes, it’s over,” Gruen said. “But Sway was always about a bigger message, and that will never die.”
Last month, rumors about the collective ending came to a head after several members removed their associations with Sway from social media and Gray tweeted that, “all good things must come to an end at some point.” In December, Johnson also apparently told People that while many of the members continued to live and work together, the group itself had split up.
“We had our fun in L.A. when we first came here,” he said at the time. “We had this crazy amount of fame that just hit us really fast. And we had the typical L.A. time, where we just went wild, and we just decided we were over it. We were ready to make the pivot into something more.”
One of the most, ahem, head-scratching social media stunts of all time is surely the woeful tale of #GorillaGlueGirl, AKA Tessica Brown.
Related | #GorillaGlueGirl Goes to Hospital After Viral Hair Mishap
The TikToker went viral over the weekend after styling her hair with what Chance the Rapper has correctly described as “one of the world’s most powerful adhesives”: Gorilla Glue. Her hair has been stuck in place for more than a month now, and even medical professionals are stumped over how to remove it.
Stiff where????? Ma hair 🤬🤬
♬ original sound – Tessica Brown
Now TMZ reports the inevitable: that Brown is seeking the services of an attorney. According to tabloid sources, she thinks she may have a case against the Gorilla Glue manufacturers, who do not provide specific warnings that the product shouldn’t be used on hair.
You don’t need a Harvard Law degree to surmise that her argument here is pretty weak. As Gorilla Glue itself has pointed out on social media, the glue packaging very clearly states that its intended uses are for craft and office projects. While hair isn’t mentioned, there’s a warning label telling users not to swallow the glue, or put in contact with eyes, skin or clothing. Not even if you’ve run out of your usual hair setting spray, as Brown said she had in the original TikTok.
We are very sorry to hear about the unfortunate incident that Miss Brown experienced using our Spray Adhesive on he… https://t.co/zX35PQzE5b — Gorilla Glue (@Gorilla Glue)1612812607.0
The most chilling line from the Gorilla Glue statement? “This is a unique situation because this product is not indicated for use in or on hair as it is considered permanent.” What we’re hearing: not even the literal creators of this glue have a solution. Brown might just have to get used to her slick new look.
For real, though. TMZ says Brown has now spent 22 hours in the ER, but remedies such as rubbing alcohol just aren’t working. You can follow her journey on TikTok and Instagram (where she’s now verified, in a silver lining), and there’s also a GoFundMe to cover those medical costs.
Def a cautionary tale for anyone experimenting with bathroom hair styling under quarantine. We wish her the best of luck!
Tessica Brown went viral over the weekend because of her TikToks about her hair. And, no, they aren’t styling tutorials. In the videos, she talks about how her hair’s been stuck in a low-braided ponytail for about a month now — and not by choice.
Related | TikTok’s Viral Silhouette Challenge Is Being Targeted by Creeps
Brown explained that when she does her hair, she likes to finish it off with Got2b Glued Freeze Spray to hold it together. But one day, she ran out of her usual hairspray, so she decided to reach for a bottle of Gorilla Glue Spray Adhesive and used it as a substitute. That didn’t turn out to be such a great idea.
“Bad, bad, bad idea,” she says in one of the videos. “Y’all, look. My hair, it don’t move. I’ve washed my hair 15 times, and it don’t move.” She even demonstrated trying to wash it out on camera with shampoo, scrubbing vigorously with her nails to try and get the glue out, but nothing happens.
Stiff where????? Ma hair 🤬🤬
♬ original sound – Tessica Brown @im_d_ollady
It don’t move I hate it here
♬ original sound – Tessica Brown
A lot of people have been trying to give her advice to remedy her situation, though it’s best to let the experts handle it. Her latest update posted on Instagram is that she’s gone to the hospital for treatment.
And now, people — including Chance The Rapper — are wishing her well, hoping everything turns out alright and she recovers.
I’m glad mfs actually supporting her thru this. When I watched the video the second time it was hard to laugh cause… https://t.co/Q7SqiijYtv — Chance The Rapper (@Chance The Rapper)1612653461.0
Pornhub has announced that it will introduce several new security features and policies to help combat non-consensual content on the platform.
This past December, the adult streaming service came under fire after a New York Times report alleged that the site was filled with illegal content, including videos of rape, underage sex, spy cam footage and revenge pornography.
Following the article’s publication, the company deleted 80 percent of videos hosted on the site and suspended all uploads and downloads from unverified users. However, major payment processors such as Visa and Mastercard still ended up stopping transactions on the platform, which many sex workers said threatened their livelihoods.
Now though, Pornhub says it’s planning to implement a new round of safety and security features that will add “comprehensive measures for verification, moderation and detection” in an effort to combat potential abuse on the platform.
Related | PayPal Stops Supporting Pornhub Payments
According to a press release from earlier this week, the company will expand its content moderation strategies, block downloads (with the exception of paid videos from verified models), publish an upcoming transparency report, and continue using its “Trusted Flagger Program,” which allows non-profit partners to alert them about any content they believe may violate the Terms of Service.
That said, one of the biggest changes will be the roll-out of biometric technology to verify the identity of users uploading content onto the site. And that basically means anyone looking to upload content as part of Pornhub’s verified Model Program will now have to submit current photo and government identification documents that will be verified using biometric technology (such as fingerprints or facial recognition) by digital identity verifiers Yoti.
Granted, there’s already been some concerns surrounding the forthcoming use of this technology, particularly from non-binary, trans, and gender non-conforming users, like adult performer Dylan Thomas, who pointed out that the use of biometric tech could impact those “whose govt IDs may not match.”
Yoti has since responded to Thomas’s post by saying that it partnered with trans charity Sparkle to “learn some of the challenges faced and how we could help.” However, the company has yet to elaborate on how it plans to implement protocols that would support nonbinary, trans and gender-nonconforming creators.
Hi Dylan, Thanks for reaching out. We partnered with Sparkle a couple of years back to learn some of the challenges faced and how we could help. Check out https://t.co/7uDaRmXu2z for more on this! Thanks, ^A
K-pop stans are fighting the good fight onceagain by co-opting an anti-AOC hashtag with images of their favorite idols.
Following the Democratic congresswoman’s powerful broadcast about her traumatizing experience at the Capitol riots, conservative pundits and alt-right trolls began using the hashtags #AOCLied and #AlexandriaOcasioSmollett — in reference to Jussie Smollett’s alleged fakery of a MAGA hate crime — to claim that Ocasio-Cortez had lied about aspects of what happened, including the location of her office and fearing for her life.
Related | K-Pop Stans Took Down a Dallas Police Snitch App
And though AOC herself has since hit back at the “manipulative takes” being spread by these hashtags, K-pop fans are also now trying to help derail the online smear campaign in the best way they know how.
This is the latest manipulative take on the right.
They are manipulating the fact that most people don’t know the layout the Capitol complex.
We were all on the Capitol complex – the attack wasn’t just on the dome.
The bombs Trump supporters planted surrounded our offices too. pic.twitter.com/jI18e0XRrd
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 3, 2021
Much like previous efforts to tank Trump’s Tulsa rally and taking down a Dallas police snitch app, stans have begun spamming the #AOCLied hashtag with photos, fancams, and GIFs of K-pop stars to thwart the targeted online harassment campaign.
#AOClied no, she didn’t. It’s not her fault you don’t know how the Capitol is structured. pic.twitter.com/u5XFnAef9m
— Wear a Mask, ICU beds are full! (@MostlyUsesWords) February 4, 2021
#AOClied never. pic.twitter.com/FeAsXu4XMr
— bbyjoji (@bbyyjoji) February 4, 2021
#AOClied anyways here are my favorite pics of the pinks pic.twitter.com/DDqj7K3IMX
— ‧₊˚ ☆ adeline ☆ ‧₊˚ (@G00DED4ZE) February 4, 2021
Not only that, but shortly after the K-pop stans took over the hashtag, pet owners also began joining in on the effort by posting cute photos of their furry friends. And the best part? It looks like it’s worked, as the #AOCLied is now mostly filled with puppies, kittens, and idols. Talk about an iconic collaboration.
#AOClied (no she didn’t) here’s my puppies modeling! pic.twitter.com/WHGmZGsnMJ
— meadow perkins (@officialmeadowp) February 4, 2021
Loving the pet takeover on #AOClied. @AOC Maluka and his mom think you are the best❤️ pic.twitter.com/Q5AGW73QME
— Lakshmi Manasa (@LakshmiManasa98) February 4, 2021
Many of us will spend this upcoming Valentine’s Day, surely destined to be the loneliest in human history, with only our smartphones for company. Kind of similar to how we’ve spent the past entire year. So isn’t it about time we did something a little bit special for the device that’s become an even more constant companion during these historically solitary times?
The very online art trolls over at Internet Shop seem to think so. In collaboration with Swedish artist Arvida Bystrøm, they’ve designed a limited edition lingerie drop: matching lilac-colored thongs for you and your beloved touchscreen of choice.
Yes, these teeny tiny undies are absolutely a real product that can be purchased for the cheeky price of €69.00. (Or around $83.00 USD.) Also included: a phone-shaped piece of glass (AKA a literal Black Mirror) engraved with the Internet Shop x Arvida Bystrøm logo, on which to store the phone-sized thong when not in use.
Related | How Sex and Masturbation Are Changing in Quarantine
As far as viral stunts go, this is obviously equal parts funny, cute and sad, but you might also read into it a bit of commentary on the gendered nature of our phones as service products. Siri was deliberately designed to speak in a soothing feminine voice, after all. She might occasionally get snarky, but she basically does whatever you say. Best girlfriend ever. Get her a lil treat!
There are only 100 of the matching sets available — order now to receive in time for February 14. You might want to do so on your MacBook, though, to keep it a surprise.
Fans have JoJo Siwa‘s girlfriend to thank for the singer’s recent coming out.
Speaking on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night, February 3, Siwa explained the story of how she posted the now-viral photo of her “Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.” shirt.
“One day I was on FaceTime with my girlfriend and I was like, ‘I kind of just want to post this picture on my [Instagram] Story,'” Siwa said. “She was super encouraging, she was like, ‘do it’ and I was like, ‘alright’ and I did it… [then I went] back to FaceTiming with her.”
Siwa figured that people would find out anyway because she was filming with the LGBTQ+ TikTokers of Pride House and also said that she’d been teasing her sexuality on social media, particularly when she danced to “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga.
The reactions from fans have been overwhelmingly positive and though Siwa knew that coming out would be a “really big risk,” it’s the only way that she’d have it: living her truth, wholeheartedly.
Related | Lady Gaga: Life on Chromatica
“If I lost everything that I’ve created because of being myself and because of loving who I want to love, I don’t want it,” she said. “If I can’t love who I want to love, it’s one of the most important things to me.”
Now, Siwa is moving on without any weight on her shoulders. “I’m just so happy because now I get to share what makes me the happiest with the world and it makes my heart so happy,” she said. To anyone contemplating coming out, which she said could be “a very scary thing,” Siwa gave some words of encouragement to help push them forward.
“Of course not everybody in the world is going to accept it right now, but there are so many people that are going to accept it right now,” she said. “And like I say, even if there’s a million people that don’t accept it, there’s a hundred million that do.”
Anyone following Britney Spears‘ Instagram, whether casual fan or lifetime Breathe Heavy reader, will have questions. The pop icon’s social media presence is characterized by strangely edited dance videos and selfies, grainy Google Image Search mom memes and lengthy, often unexplained absences. She has also dabbled in some accidental socialism.
Related | Meet Mimi Zhu, the Socialist Who Convinced Britney to Join the Cause
As much as we all love Brit, something has always seemed off. Spears has been under a strict conservatorship for more than a decade, and many #FreeBritney conspiracy theorists read secret messages into her more mysterious posts — pleas for help, or subtle hints that she’s not fully in control of her own Instagram account.
As far as Spears’ social media manager is concerned, the rumors need to stop. Cassie Petrey, who founded the social media marketing agency Crowdsurf, posted a lengthy statement on her own Instagram last night, blasting “inaccurate” conspiracy theories and asserting that Britney is mostly responsible for the daggy content you see on her ‘gram. Like any celebrity, Spears has a social media team, but according to Petrey no one’s coercing her to post one way or another.
Related | Inside #FreeBritney: A Stan Movement to Help Their Pop Savior
“Britney creates her own posts and writes her own captions,” Petrey writes. “She finds her own Google Images, Pinterest images, quotes, memes… Nobody is suggesting any of that stuff to her.” Furthermore: “She generally edits the videos herself. If a video she sends in is edited by her social media team, it’s because she gave specific instructions and asked for it to be edited that way. Then she sees it and decides if she wants to post it or not.”
Petrey says she wasn’t hired by Spears’ controversial business manager Lou Taylor and doesn’t have much knowledge of the artist’s conservatorship situation, which Taylor is said to have masterminded.
She also directly addresses claims that Spears is planting secret messages in the posts: “She is literally just living her life and trying to have fun on Instagram.” Crucially, she asks fans to be nice to Spears and not “bully” her for some of the weirder content that appears on her grid.
It’s definitely some welcome clarification, although the #FreeBritney crowd will no doubt have more questions. Why doesn’t Spears interact with the comments section, for example? And to put things more bluntly, if these posts do reflect the popstar’s true state of mind, is she, well, okay?
A new TikTok trend meant to celebrate the female body is now being targeted by creeps who want to look at nude women.
Recently, the silhouette challenge went viral as an empowering, body-positive way for women to share nude or scantily-clad videos of themselves dancing beneath a red filter that creates a sexy silhouette effect.
Unfortunately though, BuzzFeed News now reports that women are warning each other about the trend following the publication of several YouTube tutorials demonstrating how to remove the red filter, as well as the creation of a since-banned subreddit dedicated to sharing these videos.
In one widely shared PSA from TikTok user @lostvsnryshots, the photographer told women to be “cognizant of what you’re wearing before you actually do all the editing for the final product.”
“Anyone could easily take those images and revert them back to the original,” she added. “So if you’re wearing a bra and panties, or you’re nude, or whatever you did before you applied the editing to create that shadow look, just know that it’s really easy to just put it back.”
PSA TO ALL THE QUEENS ✨ ##silhouettechallenge##silhouette##PSA##queensupportqueens##tiktoktrends##photography##photoshoot##phototricks
♬ Put Your Head On My Shoulder – Giulia Di Nicolantonio
Not only that, but other women have since highlighted the lack of response from several social media platforms, with people like Rolling Stone’s EJ Dickson (who also wrote about the issue) specifically calling upon YouTube to remove these tutorial videos for being a “huge consent violation.”
Hey. @YouTube. Take down the videos of people showing how to remove the red filter on the silhouette challenge. Not cool.
— Chey 🗝️⚰️ (@DoctorXQuinn) February 2, 2021
@YouTube You have a responsibility to take down all the videos claiming to teach people how to remove the red light from the ‘Silhouette Challenge’!!!
— Carrington Bruton (@CarringtonLB) January 31, 2021
Obviously not linking, but there are videos all over YouTube offering tutorials for how to “remove” the red filter for TikTok’s Silhouette Challenge, in which women dance nude or partially nude in silhouette. This is a huge consent violation and @YouTube should remove them ASAP.
— Ej Dickson (@ejdickson) February 1, 2021
Meanwhile, in a viral Facebook post, user Danyelle Thomas also pointed toward this being a prime example of the way “rape culture, misogyny, and patriarchal malarkey” can come together to perpetuate some extremely messed up double standards.
“When reminded that this is gross, creepy, and non-consenting, men respond that women are always finding ways to make themselves victims and they shouldn’t have been naked on the internet,” Thomas said. “Yes, the same men going through extraordinary lengths to be creepy are finger wagging women about what they shouldn’t put on the internet. Because of all of the things men lack — including ethics and boundaries — they’re never short on audacity.”
YouTube, however, has yet to respond to the uploading of these videos, not to mention the issue-at-large.
Photos via TikTok/ @oliiannys, @painbittygab, @starlight_abyss