Adore Delano Gives Us a Sneak Peak of Her OnlyFans

*Very Azealia Banks voice* The girls are [OnlyFans]ing! Following in the footsteps of fellow RuPaul’s Drag Race alum including Shea Couleé, Katya, The Vixen, Aja, Plastique Tiara, Dahlia Sin, Sasha Belle and more (who’d I miss?), Adore Delano has joined the increasingly popular subscription-based content creation platform Only Fans.

Delano announced the move on October 14 to over two million followers on Instagram with a nearly nude side-profile shot and the caption “Surprise.. LINK IN BIO❣️” I have a lot of questions, so let’s do away with all pretense and invite Adore to the chat to spill the details on just how big of a bucket and a mop we’re gonna need to take this all in.

Let’s get right to it. What made you want to start an OnlyFans account, and why now?

It’s been boiling for a few months. One of my best friends Chris Crocker, who is really successful on the site, has always shared his love for and addiction to the site. And I was like, “Hmmm, I kinda wanna join.” And then when the whole Bella Thorne thing started happening I was like, “Wait a minute.” But then I saw that Cardi B has one and I was like it can’t be that bad! [Laughs]. And then I made it and started posting without letting anyone know and then I was like, “Should I tell people?” and finally I was like, “Fuck it, I’m in Ireland and I’m not doing anything, why not?”

Why not! So I’m gonna ask the question many are wondering: What kind of content can we expect to see on Adore’s OnlyFans?

Well, I always tap into my sexual side, and it seems to piss a lot of people off on my main social media accounts. A lot of the pictures that I’m posting on OnlyFans, I’ve posted similar content on Twitter and Instagram and lost followers for it. So I was like, “This is a platform where they are paying me to do this, might as well do it.” There’s Reddit posts of so many of my nudes, I might as well make money off of it.

Related | Bella Thorne MAde $1 Million in a Day on OnlyFans

That is true.

Right? I had no idea until Darienne [Lake] told me about it recently. That was such a recent discovery about a month and a half ago and really was a trigger point for me to be like, “You know what? Let me just Tyga it up and start making money off of this shit because if they’re going to be gossiping about my penis size I might as well make money showing a little less.”

It’s a smart business strategy. So I’m assuming we’ll be seeing some dick, but I’m curious if we might see any sex acts at all?

“I might show penis… for the right price.” [Laughs] I’m basically going to be just posting what I was posting on my Instagram and Twitter like thong shots, a lot of teasing shots, there’s some from old photoshoots in drag where I’ve literally just like mooned the photographer and people are actually into it. It’s kinda weird because you don’t actually see yourself like that a lot of the time but if there’s people that are willing to pay for it, amazing. We’re in different times right now where it’s not like the end of a career when you post something like that, so I might as well.

Do you think if the fan demand became cacophonous enough that you’d ever consider posting more explicit content?

I honestly don’t think so. I feel like I’ve had this discussion a lot with Chris, we talk almost every day, and he was like, “You don’t have to post collabs or explicit explicit content.” You have to understand that these kids — well not these kids, ’cause you have to be 18, Jesus Christ, they’re kids to me, I’m well near 35 — they will help you and back whatever the hell you do. It’s kind of like a cult following. So I don’t know if “blessed” is the right word, but it’s another avenue of making coin and putting it into the art so might as well, dude.

Speaking of which! As you’re well aware, the pandemic has affected so many industries, and not exempt in that is the performing arts. How has the pandemic affected your ability to generate revenue?

It’s crazy. It doesn’t matter if you’ve saved for years. It’s had an affect on everyone. There’s a dent in all of our egos and in all of our bank accounts. I haven’t had a paycheck in almost a year. Not that I’m saying “poor me,” because I’m blessed to be in an opportunity where I can make coin by doing little things like that, but it’s been really hard on a lot of my friends and we’ve had a lot of discussions on it. We don’t know what the future holds, so might as well grasp the things that are presented on your doorstep while they are there and squeeze all the youth out while you have it.

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How very Death Becomes Her.

Exactly. Do you remember where you parked the car? It’s very that.

So speaking some more about OnlyFans. There are a number of accounts that I follow I would say religiously, are there any accounts that you’re following that have really titilated you?

Um not really. I kinda did this weird research and started following a few really nasty accounts and a lot of the Drag Race girls. I really just wanted to see what limit they were hitting and where I wanted to stay away from and where I wanted to tap into. And let me tell you, I got some research [laughs]. It’s a super weird way to see the culture. Pop culture has shifted in such a weird way, where you can have an OnlyFans and then go on Joe Biden with CNN and be like, “Hey, I’m voting.” Everything is so transparent now, so no one really gives a fuck. It’s not like 2010 or even three years ago, where I feel like this would be such a scandal. It’s all just really pay-per-view, fans can pay for whatever they want to view that you’re giving out. And that’s cool for me, man.

Can we switch over and do a few pop culture questions? I know you’re a big fan of The View — same — how are you feeling about the current state of the show, which is still being done with the majority of the panelists at home and with Meghan McCain on maternity leave?

I know that this is probably an unpopular opinion, but I do miss Meghan on the show. A lot of people give me flack for that. It doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to agree with someone to enjoy them on television and enjoy what they provide for an atmosphere. And I adore her. I actually get along with her really well. I don’t agree with a lot of her topics but I still want to hear from her side so that I can hear an opposing opinion to develop my own vibe. Sometimes I don’t jive with Joy, and I adore her too, I still want to hear that.

There was that backlash back in June 2019 after you appeared on The View alongside fellow Drag Race alum Monét X Change and Nina West. Were you taken aback that people were so angry at you for being on a panel moderated by Meghan McCain?

The thing is that people that have a problem with that like to get spoon fed their own knowledge and I hate that. They don’t like to hear an opposing opinion. They don’t want to sit down with somebody that has different morals or traditional values and if that clashes with the way that they were brought up or the way that they think now they don’t want to entertain that. And I think that that’s a dangerous situation and territory to go into because it blocks off any kind of critical thinking and any kind of debate — and I love debate. If we were to get into our opposing opinions, I totally would have sat there and talked about it with her. I think it’s almost coward-like to only surround yourself with people with the same opinions as you. I really didn’t give a fuck to be honest. I feel like training and going through TV when I was younger helps me to ghost that kind of energy when it becomes negative. I know it affected the other girls more because I don’t think they are used to that because they are so loved on the scene, but I really don’t give a fuck and I think that that’s part of my appeal.

So you’re also a Real Housewives fan, yeah?

100! I’m on the fourth season of Melbourne right now.

Oh, so she’s got taste! It’s funny how many people don’t fuck with the international franchises without realizing that they’re only getting half the story. But of the American franchises which are you currently watching?

Potomac I’m watching religiously. It’s not contrived drama. I feel like these women have history and I love that about Melbourne and Potomac specifically because they can sit at a table and call each other cunts and then at the end of the day it’s like, “I’ve known her for 25 years we’ve got to get to the bottom of this.” Love it.

Related | Why Did It Take ‘Vogue’ So Long to Put Drag Queens on the Cover?

Speaking of Potomac. I don’t love doing the whole “Are you team Candiace or Team Monique?” because I think it’s more nuanced than that, but what’s been your reaction to not only seeing the much-buzzed about fight take place and the aftermath?

Well I actually adore Monique. I’ve loved her since her first season. There was something just airy about her, and then I found out she was a Libra so I was like yay. She reminds me of all of my family, like they keep it together but if you really pull that whisker, they’ll snap on your ass, and I love that about her. I thought it showed a human side that she was not remorseful. I was like, “Yeah bitch, do not ham this up for the cameras. You tell those bitches ‘I am not sorry right now.'” And that is truthful. I think both of them can take a bit more accountability, especially on Candiace’s side but I’m kind of in love with Monique. And she’s just a gorgeous woman. I love looking at her. And I feel like Gizelle has been trying to boot her out since season two and got so wet watching Monique grab Candiace by the hair. Ew.

So Drag Race recently did a spin-off series called RuPaul’s Drag Race: Vegas Revue. I quite liked it because it had a Housewives-y quality that I appreciated and eliminated the competition aspect. Did you happen to catch the show, and if so did you have any reaction to it?

I saw clips, but I haven’t watched it all. I love the girls, but I think to have it be more successful they need to cast bigger personalities. I think they need to put more energy into the production of not just creating drama but having more storyline. From the bites I saw, I was like, “If so and so was cast in this do you know how banging this would be?” I feel like they have the means and just need to cast bigger personalities to make it a fucking hit.

What about music? Can we expect a fourth album any time soon? It’s been a minute!

Well, I will be releasing some unreleased B-tracks on OnlyFans, and I actually just finished writing my fourth record, which should be coming out early next year. And after this tour in England we’re going to fly to Arizona, and we’re going to be recording that and getting with the band and doing it live in the studio. And then I have a tour in April where I’ll be touring with that album.

Dream collaborators?

I would love to do a song with Cyndi Lauper before I die. I mean, I partied with her when I was 18 and I sang with her on a boat and I just want to do a song with her. “Do you remember me? No? Okay come on, pretend.”

Header photo: Mitch Major
OnlyFans photos courtesy of Adore Delano

The Moon Is Getting 4G Internet

Life on this planet feels pretty unbearable right now, and in an ideal world we’d at least have internet access everywhere, right? Funny enough for us earthlings, NASA just announced plans to put 4G internet on the moon, selecting the infamously indestructible Nokia (of course) as its official cellular provider.

So… what does this mean? Can we one day call up astronauts 238,900 miles above us?

Essentially, the answer is yes, as the Finnish multinational telecommunications, information technology and consumer electronics company was just awarded $14.1 million in a contract to build a 4G LTE base station on the moon by 2022. This is part of NASA’s Artemis program, their effort to further create a more recognizable human presence on the iconic astronomical body. Last week, NASA announced that 14 agencies were selected to build technology on the moon, including Nokia, which has a very important — and historic — responsibility.

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Nokia is expected to upgrade to 5G from 4G over time, allowing astronauts to communicate through audio and video calls, among other things. The use of their internet and wireless communication will help with data transmission, including command and control functions, remote navigation of lunar robots, streaming high-definition video in space, exchanging biometric data, etc.

In a statement, Marcus Weldon, chief technology officer at Nokia, detailed the company’s plans for moon mobile phone network technology: “Leveraging our rich and successful history in space technologies, from pioneering satellite communication to discovering the cosmic microwave background radiation produced by the Big Bang, we are now building the first ever cellular communications network on the Moon,” he explains, “Reliable, resilient and high-capacity communications networks will be key to supporting sustainable human presence on the lunar surface.”

Ultimately, according to Nokia, their and NASA’s shared goal is to “deploy the first LTE/ 4G communications system in space” and “help pave the way towards sustainable human presence on the lunar surface.”

The last time a human being stepped onto the moon was on December 14, 1972, during NASA’s Apollo 17 mission. With their Artemis program, NASA plans to “land the first woman and next man” on the moon by 2024, 52 years and plenty of soft landings later.

Artemis depends on a coalition of partners across U.S. government, industry, and the world. The new memorandum of u… — Jim Bridenstine (@Jim Bridenstine)1603215710.0

Overall, NASA’s plan costs a whopping $28 million, including this program, in order to “use what we learn on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap,” which is “sending astronauts to Mars.”

Was Lana Del Rey right? Is David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” not “just a song”? We’ll have to see, as Mars exploration seems to remain possible in this lifetime, and Elon, Grimes and X Æ A-12 will probably be on the first spaceship headed there.

Photo via Getty

Kim Kardashian Says Instagram Makes Her More Than ‘KUWTK’

Can your Instagram account net you more than $4 million dollars? If so, would you even bother making a TV show if you could make the same amount on social media doing just a fraction of the work?

Kim Kardashian recently alluded to the fact that her social media value is so large now that just the simple act of selling or promoting something can make her more money than filming an entire season’s worth of Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Speaking to David Letterman for his new Netflix show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, Kardashian inadvertently revealed a possible reason for why her trademark show is finally over.

“We would not be who we are today without Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and that’s why we continue to share our lives.” she said. “Even if, realistically, we can post something on social media and make more than we do a whole season.”

Related | Break the Internet: Kim Kardashian

A 2019 lawsuit that Kardashian filed against Missguided USA revealed that she makes $300,000 to $500,000 per sponsored Instagram post. Keeping in mind that, according to an estimate from Buzzfeed that Kardashian made between $4 million and $6 million per season on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, she would only need 12 posts at $500,000 to reach the high end of her estimated total show income. That’s not even two weeks of daily posts.

Last month, Kris Jenner, who frequently appeared on the show, revealed to Ryan Seacrest what she was doing when the announcement that the show was ending went public. “I woke up and was in the gym at 5 o’clock with Khloé and Kim and we just kind of sat there and looked at each other and said, ‘Whoa, what a ride.’ It was quite the morning,” she said.

Jenner continued on, explaining why everyone decided to end the show now. “I think for us to take a minute and breathe and everybody slow down a bit,” she said. “Not slow down professionally, but just you know figure out what our next steps are,” she said.

Photo via BFA

TikTok Star Griffin Johnson, Kelly Osbourne Spark Dating Rumors

Griffin Johnson and Kelly Osbourne are currently sparking dating speculation.

Last week, the TikTok star and former Fashion Police host raised eyebrows after dining together at L.A. celebrity hotspot Craig’s. According to Us Weekly though, the romance rumors kicked into high gear this past weekend after the two were seen hanging out again — and now, the internet is collectively losing its mind over the unlikely pairing.

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After all, in between their 14-year age difference and Johnson’s recent breakup from fellow TikTok star Dixie D’Amelio — which came on the heels of cheating accusations — it didn’t take long for fans to question what exactly was going on.

That said, it should be noted that Osbourne previously revealed she was dating someone on the “Hollywood Raw with Dax Holt and Adam Glyn” podcast back in August — though she said it was “someone who has been in my life for like 20 years.” Not only that, but neither Osbourne nor Johnson have addressed the speculation, so it’s entirely likely that they could just be good friends.

In the meantime though, you can see what people are saying about it, below.

what the fuck is going on someone please this one rly threw me thru a loop

— tana mongeau (@tanamongeau) October 15, 2020

who had kelly osbourne and griffin johnson going on a date on their 2020 bingo card??? because it wasnt me-

— jessica christianna (@room93jessica) October 15, 2020

Griffin Johnson is supposedly dating KELLY OSBOURNE?! WHAT? LMAO

— stephanie🧛🏻‍♀️ (@stephanieeeram) October 16, 2020

Not that I follow TikTok drama, but if I did, Griffin Johnson going on a date with KELLY OSBOURNE has got to be one of the weirdest things to ever happen. I’m legitimately in shock.

— nat marx (@nathalie_marx) October 16, 2020

Photos via Getty

‘New Yorker’ Writer Somehow Exposes Penis on Zoom

A media personality showing his dick on a zoom call? It’s just about the most inevitable news story of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re surprised not to be writing about it sooner. Somewhat less predictably, depending on who you talk to, the dick in question allegedly belonged to lawyer and New Yorker reporter Jeffrey Toobin.

VICE (who else?) reports that Toobin has been suspended from the esteemed Conde Nast title after getting caught masturbating during a virtual meeting between The New Yorker and WNYC radio last week. As Toobin would have it, the dick slip was entirely accidental, and the language he uses to describe what occurred does betray a certain naivete when it comes to how Zoom works.

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“I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera,” Toobin told reporter Laura Wagner. “I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers… I believed I was not visible on Zoom. I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me. I thought I had muted the Zoom video.”

On the other hand, thinking about angles and camera placement, it would seem that showing peen on a conference call would require quite a bit of effort? Until we get further details, make up your own mind.

A New Yorker rep confirmed Toobin is suspended pending an investigation. He’s also taking time off from his regular post as CNN’s chief legal analyst, according to a statement made by the network to VICE.

there’s some healing that needs to happen @NewYorker — hunter harris (@hunter harris)1603141529.0

A prolific author, Toobin’s most recent book details crimes allegedly committed by Donald Trump. You can bet that the President is going to tweet about this whole mess any second now.

Friendly reminder that you can default your Zoom settings to camera-off.

Photo via Getty

You Can Be the Subject of This Stockholm Artist’s Work

Stockholm-based Yoyo Nasty just wants people to take part in her art. Known for her colorful paintings that play with humor and childlike naivety, Yoyo decided to create a new branch of her work in a digital context for everyone to enjoy: face filters.

On Instagram, viewers are invited to participate in the creation process. The exhibition, called “Facing Strange Dream,” is part of a modern wave of art-making that’s broadening its horizons through social media.

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“It has been a long-time dream to incorporate augmented reality in my visual world in order to see how it can give more people the opportunity to take part in my art,” Yoyo said in a press release. “In this exhibition, I want the viewer to be able to play freely in the borderland between art, body and technology. It’s going to be so exciting to see how people choose to use my filters.”

She painted and animated four face filters that can’t be seen until the viewer opens their phone camera and places themselves inside the artwork. This way, Yoyo says the spectator is involved in creating the art piece, just by looking at it. Any of the co-created pieces can be sent to Yoyo, who will exhibit them on Halebop’s site.

She’s the first creator in this year’s edition of Halebop Creative Call, which is a platform to give young artists the opportunity to develop their creativity. The Swedish telecom brand wants to challenge traditional work processes together with young creators. This is its second year, and Yoyo is one of four creators and collectives involved.

“Yoyo Nasty is the perfect example of someone who creates magic in her field,” Johanna Sahlman, head of Halebop, said. “She is challenging a digital technology that many of us take for granted, and for Halebop it is extremely exciting to take part in how social media can be a platform where artists create their art together with others. It is exactly this type of innovation that we want to highlight with Creative Call.”

“Facing Strange Dream” is live now and can be viewed in Instagram’s filter tool. The various collected works can be seen at, and the site is continuously updated.

Photos courtesy of John Jamal Gille Columbus

Nova Miller’s Track-by-Track Breakdown of ‘The Passion’

Nova Miller‘s brand new EP, The Passion, just turned back time with a decidedly modern twist.

Though the 19-year-old Swedish sensation may be best known for her mind-blowing vocal range and ardent TikTok fanbase, she’s also a self-described “old soul” — something that’s made clear from the nostalgia-heavy sounds of this referential yet fresh-sounding record. Inspired by ’70s disco and the free-wheeling spirit of the ’60s, it’s an irresistibly fun pop gem that also touches on some extremely relatable themes, including post-split glow-ups, gender equity, and the often rocky road toward true self-love. And so, in honor of The Passion’s debut, we decided to ask her to breakdown the entire 8-track record for us — and what she has to say will definitely flesh out the listening experience and make it that much better.

So queue up the EP and check out Nova’s track-by-track explanation of The Passion, below.

“Girls Like Us”

“Girls Like Us” just wanna have fun (and be paid equally, treated with respect, and be president). We need this right now. We need energy, we need each other, we need support. I wanted to create a feminine bop that slaps. I love this song because it makes me feel so confident. It’s like, ‘I’m in control’ (shout out Janet Jackson). I really wanted to flip the narrative of being a ‘girl in love.’ Like, I’ll call him if I have time.

“Here With Me”

This song is giving me Madonna “Get Into The Groove”-meets-my future sexy self. Sexy has never been a part of my aesthetic, but maybe it’s something I’ll grow into. So there’s this dope artist called Sickick, and we got to do this together. When we were recording it in the studio, we were both imagining singing it live and the whole crowd going, “Ain’t no place.” I cannot wait for that. This is so outside of my normal territory, but I wanted to push myself. I love the airy and vibe-y vocals (R.I.P. Whistle note). If I knew how to drive, I would blast this in my car and drive for hours.

“Do It To Myself”

This song is my Jose Feliciano “California Dreamin'” moment. There is this incredible alternate version of the Mamas and the Papas classic, “California Dreamin'” in the [Quentin] Tarantino film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, and I am completely in love with it. “Do It To Myself” is the song I connect to the most artistically. It’s about self-sabotaging — the worst form of going crazy. This song really made me realize that you are your worst enemy. And if you can acknowledge that, and evolve past it, you become stronger than ever. It’s my most streamed song to this day and one that is close to both me and my fans, so it was important to me to put it on the EP.

“Man’s World”

If a boy don’t make it better, why [do] they say it’s a “Man’s World”? I wrote this song right before I had one of the most emotional conversations of my whole life. My fitness mentor — Daryl from the Dungeon of Discipline (Yeah, they don’t play around) — looked me in the eyes and said, “You better work harder, Nova. This is a man’s world.” It stuck with me, and it really shook me up for days. It gave this song so much meaning, and so, so much passion. I’m not gonna be okay with being underestimated for being a woman, or young, or ambitious. I needed to hear this when I wrote it. Like, Nova, you don’t need a man to validate you. You can tell yourself you are amazing. I’m gonna do my thing until someone comes along and makes it better. We gotta meet in the middle, I’m not settling anymore.

“Mi Amor”

“Mi Amor” was born when I was in Sweden listening to ABBA constantly. I remember being in the studio and when we found the guitar riff and bassline, it felt powerful. I wanted to channel the power of the music and tell a story about evolving into your better self, especially after a breakup. There’s nothing more satisfying than when an ex wants you back. It’s all that “He’ll regret it, I’ll forget it” kinda stuff. It’s full of confidence, and that’s how I hope people feel when they listen to it.


“Timing” is one of my favorite songs I’ve ever made! I wrote it right when I moved to L.A. from Sweden, which was over a year ago now. It’s about meeting the right one at the wrong time. I had this one friend I really liked, but when I moved away, they got in a relationship. And it was so frustrating because I just knew we would’ve been great if we had better timing. I think this is super relatable for a lot of people and am so happy to finally release it. I’m in love with that dry bassline in the chorus. I wanted to do a sort of Michael Jackson “Thriller”-meets-Jon Bellion production.

“Talk To Me”

I was in a session and we started discussing the norm [of] “guys should make the first move.” Like, why not just take the chance and walk up to person that you like? What are you waiting for? If you don’t do it, you might have missed out on some great moments. This song is basically just me reminding you to not be afraid and to do whatever you want again. But hey, what else is new?

“Cry Baby Cry”
“Cry Baby Cry”

I love this song so much. This is my ballad moment on the EP. I really relate to this song in many ways, because I am a very giving person: If I care about someone I will prioritize them, give them all my trust, and time and care. But if someone mistreats that, it’s nice to see karma do its thing. I can’t wait to be able to play this live. I have so many ideas about how to twist it around, which I love doing in my shows.

Photos courtesy of Nova Miller

Miquela and Saweetie Link Up

It was only a matter of time before Instagram’s two reigning clout queens Miquela (formerly Lil) and Saweetie formed a DM friendship. After messaging back-and-forth all summer, the two stars — one virtual, one extremely real — got in touch with PAPER to offer some exclusive photos from their first er, IRL meet-up. Over drinks, of course. As you can see, the two hit if off immediately.

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There was a lot to catch up on. Saweetie has been making headlines not only for her music but her relationship with Quavo, who recently revealed their first-ever social media interaction in the form of a hilarious “how it started” meme. And Miquela has been busy, too: urging her followers to vote like any good internet celeb (don’t call her an influencer), and rocking her Telfar bag on the streets of LA.

Seeing the photos, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to get them both in conversation about their respective careers, their burgeoning friendship and the now-famous snowflake emoji flirtation technique.

How did you two become friends — who slid into whose DMs?

Saweetie: That’s an icy girl secret.

Miquela: It was me! Like most of the world, I’m a major fan. To anyone reading this: SHOOT YOUR SHOTS! Dreams really do come true y’all!

How have you been spending your respective quarantines?

Miquela: When we first jumped in, without friends to hang with and work to distract me, I was trying out all the things bored humans were doing on IG: dying my hair, doing my nails, trying on everything I own and spying on cute dogs outside my window. That got real old, real quick. When restrictions started to lift and my eyebrows grew back, I started working again and was able to hang out with NEW friends I’d been DMing. Lisa Stardust said this is a time to “evoke your inner power, making you a force to be reckoned with.” I felt that in my core (processor).

Saweetie: Working and creating good content like my good sis Miquela.

Any Instagram clout tips for those of us who aren’t verified?

Saweetie: Handle your business, and you’ll get that check boo.

Miquela: I mean, if you want to build a platform around something you’re really passionate about, that sounds amazing. Otherwise let me tell you, the rest of this stuff isn’t always exactly how it seems, you know? Like, yes, I get to take pics in beautiful clothes, but most of the time that stuff goes right back to wherever it came from just as soon as we’re done. Clout is cute, I guess, but I wouldn’t spend too much time or energy on it.

What were you talking about over those cocktails in the photos?

Saweetie: Mind the business that pays you 😉

Miquela: @birkinbagbratz! I’m obsessed. Also, you know, snowflake emojis, boys. The ususallllll girl talk with a lil’ robot perspective thrown in.

What is your favorite Miquela or Saweetie track?

Saweetie: Everything.

Miquela: Hands Down “Tap In.”

Can we expect a musical collab between you guys sometime soon?

Miquela: I don’t kiss and tell… gonna keep you guessing.

Saweetie: Stay tuned and TAP IN 🙂

Photos courtesy of Miquela and Saweetie

Bly Manor’s Flora and Peppa Pig Are the Same Actor

With the release of The Haunting of Bly Manor came more praise for Director Mike Flanagan and a lot of excitement over spotting familiar faces. However, if you listen closely, you’ll hear a voice that sounds all too familiar — young Flora is also the voice of Peppa Pig.

Yes, the terrifying child in Bly Manor is also the voice of the children’s cartoon character and popular internet meme, Peppa Pig, and fans find that to be “perfectly splendid.”

Related | Peppa Pig’s Height Is Alarming the Internet

Amelia Bea Smith is not the first child to voice Peppa Pig. As soon as an actor sounds too old, they’re replaced with a younger British voice actor. Smith was passed the honors of voicing Peppa in 2019, and has held the role since 2020. So far, she’s voiced the character in 13 episodes of the series.

Arguably why it’s so shocking is the fact that Smith’s voicing of Peppa is so innocent and childlike, while her performance as Flora is viciously haunting. However, her creepy moments are also defined by her kindness and innocence, making every character — and the audience — want to protect her at all cost.

Amelie Bea Smith from The Haunting of Bly Manor is also the voice of Peppa Pig!

Pass it on.

— Netflix (@netflix) October 12, 2020

Fans are reeling over the revelation after Netflix dropped the bomb through Twitter. The memes and reactions to come out of this are immaculate.

The perfectly splendid feeling when you find out Flora from Haunting of Bly Manor also does the voice of Peppa Pig:

— Alex Zalben (@azalben) October 12, 2020

did someone say that flora from bly manor also voices peppa pig? i think i found a deleted scene

— BrOOke! 👻 bly manor transition era (@keshitposting) October 13, 2020

If you’re a fan of Peppa The Pig, you’ll LOVE The Haunting of Bly Manor

— Movie Marathoners (@moviemarapod) October 13, 2020

LOVE that Haunting of Bly Manor’s Flora also voices Peppa Pig. You go Amelie Bea Smith! Diversify 👏 that portfolio 👏 early 👏

— Alysia Judge (@AlysiaJudge) October 12, 2020

Stream The Haunting Of Bly Manor on Netflix, and try to separate Peppa from Flora (spoiler alert: you won’t be able to unhear it).

Photo courtesy of Netflix

The ‘How It Started Vs. How It’s Going’ Memes Are Taking Over Twitter

If you were anywhere near Twitter this weekend, you probably saw a bunch of people talking about “How It Started Vs. How It’s Going.”

In the past few days, the format took Twitter by storm thanks to its versatility, which made it easy to share everything from self-improvement side-by-sides to jokes about the current state of the world.

How it started: How it’s going:

— AMY ☆ (@amyweis18) October 9, 2020

How it started How’s it going

— Deion (@NeonDeion96) October 6, 2020

And while several different phrasings are currently floating around, the general idea — which is basically a new twist on the classic Before vs. After format — has stayed the same.

how it started: vs. how it ended:

— Lei (@xolei3) October 9, 2020

How It Started: How It Is Now:

— Christian D. Harris (@chrxstianh__) October 4, 2020

Granted, according to Know Your Meme, the format itself was initially kick-started by Twitter user @vjillanelles — who juxtaposed a screenshot of a DM conversation with a current image of her and her partner embracing alongside the phrase — and continued to gain steam as a way for users to share cute relationship photos.

how it started how it ended

— mel (@vjllanelles) September 23, 2020

Since then though, people have been applying it to heartwarming viral stories, pop culture moments, glow-ups, and more. And while there are hundreds of these tweets now, check out a few of our favorite “How It Started Vs. How’s It’s Going” memes, below.

how it started how it’s going

— Jamal Hinton (@kingjamal08) October 9, 2020

How it started. How it ended.

— Parks and Recreation (@parksandrec) October 8, 2020

How it started. How it ended.

— The Office Memes (@OfficeMemes_) October 9, 2020

How it started: How it’s going:

— Kay (@kayshaniceXx) October 8, 2020

how it started how it‘s going

— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) October 7, 2020

how it started: how it’s going:

— nope (@LilNasX) October 6, 2020

how it started how its going

— Guy Fieri (@GuyFieri) October 12, 2020

Photo via Twitter/ @xolei3

Ryan Creamer Retires From Pornhub

Ryan Creamer is officially retiring from Pornhub.

On Monday, the comedian — who initially shot to viral fame for his salaciously titled, non-pornographic videos — announced via Twitter that he would no longer be uploading to the adult streaming site.

Related | Meet Pornhub Aria

“Today, 2 years to the day from when I started it, I am ending my Pornhub career. These videos added so much fun to my life and I hope they did for you too. Thank you all for watching,” he wrote. “Now, I leave you the way all porn must inevitably end.”

That said, in the wake of his bombshell announcement, Creamer did manage to post one last video called “The Money Shot,” in which he presents viewers with a $20 bill before bidding his fans adieu.

Additionally, Creamer shared a message with fans through a text exchange with Mashable‘s Nicole Gallucci, writing, “Though I may be gone I shall be in your hearts and incognito windows for the rest of time.” And though he will be sorely missed on the Pornhub platform, you can still keep up with him on his comedy podcast, American Detour.

See Creamer’s goodbye tweet for yourself, below.

today, 2 years to the day from when i started it, i am ending my pornhub career. these videos added so much fun to my life and i hope they did for you too. thank you all for watching 💖💖 now, i leave you the way all porn must inevitably end –

— Ryan Creamer (@ryguyguyry) October 12, 2020

Photo via Twitter / @ryguyguyry

Max Ehrich Accused of Staging His Sad Beach Photos

The internet is not here for Max Ehrich‘s ongoing displays of public, post-breakup sadness.

Last month, the actor and Demi Lovato broke off their engagement following rumors that he was using her to further his own career. And while Lovato’s kept relatively quiet about the split, Ehrich has since pled for a reconciliation, said that he found out about the break-up from a tabloid report, and accused Lovato of “using” him as part of a “PR stunt” — all of which has been met with skepticism from fans.

Related | Max Ehrich Accuses Demi Lovato of ‘Using’ Him For a ‘PR Stunt’

Over the weekend though, Ehrich was spotted by TMZ on the same Malibu beach where he proposed to Lovato back in July. And though he can be seen visibly “sulking” in the published photos, the internet has since continued to question whether his supposed sadness was actually genuine with many speculating that he called the paparazzi on himself.

*calls TMZ on himself*

— سمية (@hailsvsce) October 11, 2020

“Max Ehrich really called paparazzi to follow him to the beach where he proposed to Demi just so he can fake cry,” as one Twitter user wrote, while another quipped, “Sir who is this performance for??”

Not Max Ehrich going to the beach where he proposed and sitting there sobbing at the ocean, sir who is this performance for??

— Shyla Watson (@shylawhittney) October 11, 2020

Meanwhile, others called Ehrich “hypocritical” and said he was a “great example of how NOT to act after a break up.”

Max Ehrich saying Demi is using him as a PR stunt is so ✨hypocritical✨

— Siobhan (@_siobhaan_) October 12, 2020

Max Ehrich is a great example of how NOT to act after a break up.

— Pop Tingz (@ThePopTingz) October 11, 2020

For the most part though, many called his “performance” overwrought and proceeded to roast him for what they believed was an overdramatic bid at “attention seeking.”

“I haven’t laughed this hard in months,” as Vanity Fair’s Emily Kirkpatrick wrote, “Thank you Max Ehrich for these ridiculously staged photographs.”

Ehrich has yet to respond to the speculation, but in the meantime, you can see what else people are saying about his beach outing, below.

Oh please. Is anyone buying this nonsense? Such an attention seeker. 👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻

— Ocean Park Diva (@OceanParkDiva) October 11, 2020

the tl is dragging max ehrich now and this is my favorite hobby, the reason i wake up every morning and put on my “#1 max ehrich dragger” t shirt. it’s an honor to see him flop and continue to fake cry on the internet to win demi back, the flop of a performance brings me joy

— nikki (@bieberscrush) October 11, 2020

saw max ehrich at the beach

— 🗯 (@MileneRayCyrus) October 12, 2020

paprazzi never catch beyonce when shes working on a project but you’re telling me im supposed to believe they followed max eHRICH?? LMAOOOO BYEEE

— kay (@KAYYCYANIDE) October 11, 2020

Photo via Getty

200+ TikTokers Team Up on ‘TikTok for Biden’ Account

With the 2020 election impeding, tons of resources — and thirst traps — have been circulating the internet to encourage Gen Z to vote. Now, more than 200 TikTokers have launched a joint account, “TikTok for Biden,” which gives information on how to register to vote, why they’re voting for Joe Biden and more.

The account has already surpassed 200k followers on TikTok, and members include Kellyanne Conway’s daughter, Claudia Conway, activist Ziad Ahmed, and other creators that speak on social injustice and climate change.

Related | PAPER People 2020: Meet 20 TikTokers We Love

In their initial post, the account’s intentions are clearly laid out: “Our goals are registering young people to vote, raising awareness about the election and eventually putting Joe Biden in the White House!”

Given that all the creators have different audiences, @tiktokforbiden promotes young voters to have someone to relate to — a creator they follow — in order to better understand their perspectives on voting for Biden. The first post also explains that the account will educate their viewers on how to participate in politics through other means like phone banks or competitions.


TAG WHO YOU SEE! A LOT MORE TO COME!! ##tiktokforbiden

♬ Viva La Swing ps. tugboat_spenny is OG spinner – Mingaling 2.0

The resources given on @tiktokforbiden, such as a link to register to vote and their email list, aims to bring change through their initiatives: Government, fundraising, awareness and change. Their merchandise — with phrases like “Gays for Biden” and “Voting Is Cool” — also fundraises for Biden’s campaign, as well as other charities like Black Lives Matter. Ultimately, they want to use their “platform for good.”

Efforts from Gen Z using social media as a platform to educate others has become the norm. And given the current political climate and the 2020 election just weeks away, this type of action is more important now than ever.

Photos via TikTok

Andrea Russett Shares Her ‘Darkest Hours’

Andrea Russett’s venture into music began with the nervous posting of anonymous covers. Soon after, anonymous covers gave way to short vocal clips on Snapchat, and it was ultimately the encouraging reactions from followers that pushed her out of her online comfort zone, a place she had largely been living in since she first rooted her presence on the internet over a decade ago.

What once felt like an “outlandish dream” of releasing music of her own only came to fruition recently, with a support system of more than 11.7 million Instagram and Twitter followers combined and nearly three million YouTube subscribers. Some of those fans have watched Russett’s journey for years; now, they are watching her add to the lengthy portfolio of content she built her foundation on with the pursuit of her true passion.

On October 8, they heard her first single, “Darkest Hour,” for the first time.

“It was actually this last New Year’s, or maybe the one before, that I told myself — I made the decision that this was going to be the time where I actually focus on what I’m passionate about, rather than just keep doing this and that, here and there,” Russett told PAPER. “I wanted to follow my dreams for real, and if it fails, it fails. But at least I can say I tried.”

Russett has always loved music, but there’s no doubt that creating her new normal brought some concern about how fans would react. Fortunately, Russett said her followers have made the sometimes anxiety-inducing move to music an exciting one, with many providing seemingly unconditional support.

“I was really nervous when I finally made the decision that I was going to turn my focus to music over the last year, year and a half, and I was really nervous about how people would react,” Russett said. “But I thankfully have literally the best viewers in the world. Over the last 10 years, I have gone in so many different avenues and different routes and they’ve just stuck by me and been just as excited as I am for it. They’ve made the whole transition process more exciting than stressful, which I was concerned about.”

how it started:
how it’s going:

— Andrea Russett (@AndreaRussett) October 7, 2020

Despite that, being a nervous person is not how Russett would typically describe herself. But the emotions she was feeling in the hours leading up to the single’s release begged to differ, and rightfully so. She hopes, though, that the song she describes as her “baby” will speak for itself. And its candidness just might.

Perhaps most importantly, the release of the song will bring forth an openness and freedom that Russett hasn’t yet had the opportunity to experience in previous ventures. She is prepared to break out of the online mold, but this certainly isn’t goodbye to the internet, either.

This transparency extends to a more personal territory, as well. “Darkest Hour” is a forthright depiction of Russett’s experiences with her own mental health, an area she has hardly shied away from with her own fanbase.

She prides herself on her ability to speak freely and responsibly (which came with growth, of course) to her followers, and the tough stuff is all wrapped up in the conversation.

“I’m no expert, I’m still trying to figure this out just as much as the rest of us,” Russett said. “But through Instagram, through Twitter, that kind of stuff, I try to be super open and honest about the way I’m feeling and my own mental health and not paint it out to be anything. I think there are a lot of influencers who paint a perfect life, and when you see that, and you see that they don’t have any bad days online, it’s like, ‘Am I the only one that’s going through this?’ And it makes you feel really lonely. Through posting my own struggles, it hopefully makes anyone else out there feel like, ‘Okay, I’m not the only one feeling this way or going through this.'”

In collaboration with writers Matt Romagna and Dan Wilson and a production team of Romagna and Lisa Filipelli, Russett went to work, and in turn, created a piece of art that feels emotionally raw with lyrics prying open inner anxieties: “Tell me that you’ll be there in my darkest hour/ When I’m fucked up and fading out/ Promise me you’ll be there when I’m losing power/ Say you’ll reach out for me when I’m sinking under.”

“… During the time [we wrote the song], I had met someone new that I was really interested in, and I was also going through a depressive episode,” Russett said. “And I think I was just so consumed with anxiety over the fact of like, ‘He’s going to figure it out eventually. He’s going to see this side of me eventually. Is it going to be too much? Do I hide it? Do I bury it? Is he going to be there?’ And I think it all just spilled out into the song.”

It’s the feelings that came in retrospect, though, that showcase how deeply personal the song is to her. Music is therapeutic for Russett and listening back to “Darkest Hour” helped her process former feelings.

“I think I didn’t really even realize what I was saying when I wrote it because I listen to it now and I was in a very different headspace, a very dark time in my life when I wrote that,” Russett said. “And it’s crazy to listen back to it now and think, ‘Wow, I didn’t even realize how down and struggling I was.’ But I think that being the first single, it’s just fitting for who I am as a person where it’s just like, ‘I’m open, I’m honest and I’m going to say how I feel even if it’s going to make a few people uncomfortable.'”

It seems the relatability will outweigh any discomfort Russett anticipates. Fan reactions have already created an outpour of support and excitement for Russett and, while she believes it can’t be loved by everyone, her existing support system undoubtedly has her back in this massive entrance to a new era for her art.

I’ve listened to Darkest Hour so much, I already know all the lyrics.

— Mer💙🕊lost her main account (@_lowkeyburgos) October 8, 2020

YO WHAT. That new @AndreaRussett song GAVE ME FUCKING CHILLS. Her voice is so unique and beautiful. EVERYONE GO LISTEN AND STREAM THE SONG!

— kimi ✨ (@comearoundbrock) October 8, 2020

“I’m nervous. I’m excited. I know that not everyone can love my song; it would be impossible for every single person that heard it to love it, and that’s okay,” Russett said. “I’m reminding myself of that. But I also just really believe that the music will speak for itself, and I’m proud of it. And that’s the only person’s opinion that matters.”

Stream “Darkest Hour,” below, and follow Andrea Russett on Instagram and Twitter.

Photography: Daniel Prakopcyk

Graphics: Claybourne Bujorian

Blu DeTiger Motorcycles Through NYC in ‘Cotton Candy Lemonade’

TikTok’s most baddass bassist Blu DeTiger doesn’t stop. Not even for a pandemic. With live performances on hold, she’s been putting her Gen Z social media skills to use during this weird downtime — commenting back and making videos for her fans, as well as fostering her relationships with other users on the app. She even facilitated a giveaway that included a brand new bass, $1000 and a huge merch pack.

Related | PAPER People 2020: Meet 20 TikTokers We Love

She’s been making music, too. Her latest track, “Cotton Candy Lemonade,” garnered more than 7,000 views on TikTok and 300,000 streams on Spotify. It’s accompanied by a new music video that gives fans a peek into her New York City life, in a safe, socially distanced way.

PAPER sat down with Blu to talk about the new video, Citi Biking and what TikTok users she loves watching right now, below.

How are you? What are you doing to stay sane during all of the chaos?

I’m up and down every day, but I’m trying to stay creative. I’m still working on music and trying to connect with fans. We’ve been doing some Zoom hangouts. I spend a lot of the day trying to respond to people and interact with them that way. I’m posting on TikTok. I’ve been Citi Biking a lot, which is a new thing I’m really into in New York. I’m trying to get outside more before it gets cold, so trying to get back into a routine. But this in between quarantine and things opening has been really hard for me, to be honest. It’s just a weird mindset.

How did you get into Citi Biking?

My older brother was always so into it and I remember right when it came out, because it’s only been around for a few years. Right when it came out I went one time and I knocked into a pole, no joke. It’s so embarrassing. Because the city is scary to bike in, it’s stressful. But I’m half Dutch and whenever we go to Amsterdam, our cousins are like 10 years old and they bike around the city by themselves. They’re so good at biking. So I have that in me, kind of, but I’m just not as good as I thought. I was like, “Yeah, I can totally just bike through traffic, like whatever.” I knocked into a pole and I was like, “Oh my god,” so I hadn’t done it in forever. Then during quarantine there’s no one on the street, there’s no cars. So it’s really fun because it’s way easier. But now I go just for exercise. I’ll go to the pier, bike down Battery Park and all around. AirPods in, just blasting the tunes, that’s what I’ve been doing.

What’s the last song you listened to?

I just listened to the new Shawn Mendes song. It hits, the production is crazy on it. I literally just pulled up my Spotify and that’s what I was playing so I’m being honest here, for real. But that song rocks. I really love the new Troye Sivan EP. I’ll put that on start to finish while biking, it’s really fun. And I’ll listen to a lot of my own demos and mixes and balances, because you can’t really listen while driving the car. I know a lot of artists put on their songs in the car and see how it sounds, but you can’t do that here so I just put it on my AirPods and it has a similar effect.

If you could work with any of your music icons, who would be your first pick?

Definitely Prince or Bowie, for sure. Alive, Mark Ronson I’d love to work with someday. Even Steve Lacy or Thundercat, Pharrell, like the classics.

Your latest song is called “Cotton Candy Lemonade.” What does the title mean?

I always like to name my songs weird things because I think it pops out more. When I was going through the song, I think the original title for it on my demo name was like “Cotton Candy Lemonade Willy Wonka Dreamworld” or something ridiculous because that’s what it made me think of, like Willy Wonka’s factory. I don’t know why. I ended up shorting it to “Cotton Candy Lemonade” because I say those words in the song. It’s a nice bright image and the song is definitely kind of moody and edgy in the words but overall has a hopeful, positive meaning once you get to the end. So I wanted to go with the more positive aspect of it.

How did you come up with that killer baseline?

I was working on Zoom a lot during the quarantine. I was working mostly on my own and I did a few Zoom sessions here and there; I was trying it out. And these producers, Eugene Veltman, I was working with him a lot and he had these chords that he laid down with this other producer named Stelios Phili, who’s awesome. They both live in New York. They brought the chords to the session and I laid down the baseline first try. It’s funny because usually I’ll go back in and perfect it, but the baseline on the track is actually just the first take I did, which is often sometimes better because it’s literally what was in my head and I didn’t overthink it at all. And then we wrote the melody and lyrics over it.

How did you go about executing the music video’s production during the pandemic?

It’s funny that we’re talking about Citi Biking a lot because my original idea was for the videos to be following me biking around New York, because it was just so true and so real to me, right now. That was the idea I went to the creative director with and then we turned it into something way cooler. I definitely really wanted to get a taste of New York in the video. I wanted to establish my world and give my fans more of a taste of where I come from and where I am now. I was born and raised here and I haven’t been able to showcase that as much since everything’s been inside. So that was really fun to give some nice visuals of New York City, which I think the video does pretty well. That bridge shot at the end is my favorite. It feels like a movie. And it was actually an all female set. It wasn’t even on purpose, but it turned out to be an all female set which is really good energy.

You’ve absolutely blown up this year in terms of recognition and music streams, and a lot of it stemmed from TikTok. What was it like for you to realize your music was becoming so popular on the app?

It was so crazy, it really started in March. March and April were so insane and I didn’t even realize what was happening. My following was growing so fast. When you’re in the moment you don’t even realize. I remember every day I would wake up and I would have a ton more followers. I’m staying with my parents, I’d go into the kitchen for breakfast and it would be like, 20K more followers today. They’d be like, “What?!” because it’s so hard to even grasp what that means. During this time you’re only seeing numbers, so it’s hard to recognize what’s happening. I’m trying to stay present and realize and feel all those things, but it’s definitely been hard just to see the numbers. I’m excited to play shows and actually see physical people, and connect with people that way, as opposed to just online. The TikTok support has been amazing. It honestly changed my life this past few months.

Who is your favorite TikToker right now?

Good question. I really like this girl Brittany Broski. She’s so funny and a lot of people have finsta TikToks almost, and she has a second TikTok that’s private and I luckily got on it. It’s outrageous. She’s my favorite right now, she makes me laugh really hard. But I love Charli and Dixie [D’Amelio]. I love all the big TikTokers, as well. I’m obsessed with TikTok, I will literally be on it for hours.

What side of TikTok are you on now?

I think I’m on alt TikTok. I’m on a mix of alt TikTok and music TikTok. I’m super hardcore on music TikTok. Every musician who is on TikTok will come up on my For You page. Makes sense, right? There’s been so many new musicians every day. I remember when I first started in March, there were way less users — like five or six musicians and we all follow each other and we’re all friends now. It was kind of a tight knit community and now it’s just growing so fast and it’s so cool to see. I’m trying to interact with other musicians on there and do duets and jam virtually, which has been really cool. There’s so many creative opportunities on the app. It’s insane, I love it.

I probably spend half of my life on that app.

I know, oh my god. I checked my screen time the other day and it’s ridiculous, like it’s so embarrassing. I will not say it. I talk to my managers all the time and I’m like, “Guys it’s research, I’m doing research.” I’m figuring out what the trending songs are, covering stuff and looking at other people because it’s part of my identity now. I like to be in the know and know all the trends and all the references and all the songs and stay up to date on everything.

What can fans expect from you next?

I have another single coming out soon and then a full EP, so it’s my first full project. I’m really excited about it. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it. I feel like it’s just the beginning. There’s so much more to come and I can’t wait to show the people who are following me all the different sides of me.

Stream “Cotton Candy Lemonade” by Blu DeTiger, below.

Photos courtesy of Blu DeTiger

The Fly Was the True Winner of the VP Debate

The American public learned a lot about the vice presidential candidates in last night’s debate. They learned that both candidates love fracking, questions and time limits are really more of a suggestion than a hard-and-fast rule, Kamala Harris is not to be interrupted when she’s speaking and — wait a minute. Did a fly just land on Mike Pence’s head? Oh my god, a fly totally just landed on Mike Pence’s head!

Perfectly silhouetted against the almost unnaturally smooth white expanse of hair, there was no doubt that the clear breakout star of last night’s debate was the big black fly that decided to rest its weary wings on Mike Pence’s dome towards the end of the night. It was a rare moment of mundane excitement — and what is perhaps most revealing about the current level of public enthusiasm for American politics — in an objectively terrible year.

Total time a fly sat on Mike Pence’s head: two minutes — Timothy Burke (@Timothy Burke)1602123929.0

It was refreshing to see the internet collectively perk up and point out the insect casually chilling out for roughly two whole minutes on Pence’s head. In that moment, a star was born and a deluge of memes was unleashed. Thousands of parody accounts instantly popped up on Twitter; within 10 minutes the Biden campaign had posted a picture of the former Vice President holding a fly swatter, registered the domain name and started selling “Truth Over Flies” fly swatters. Rumor has it Jeff Goldblum is already being tapped to play the fly in an upcoming dramatic miniseries based on the 2020 election, too.

Pitch in $5 to help this campaign fly. — Joe Biden (@Joe Biden)1602124389.0 — Joe Biden (@Joe Biden)1602125056.0
Swats away flies and lies. Get yours today: — Team Joe (Text JOE to 30330) (@Team Joe (Text JOE to 30330))1602126865.0
THAT FLY — Sarah Paulson (@Sarah Paulson)1602123517.0
it’s the bug chilling on his head for me — zel (@zel)1602124583.0
the fly changes everything — hari nef (@hari nef)1602123623.0

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what made the fly so compelling. Perhaps it was Pence’s obliviousness to the fly’s extended stay, the ideological purity of the gesture that somehow spoke volumes or maybe it was that fact that we’ve been shut inside for so long now that seeing a fly land on man’s unwitting head is a welcome distraction from the grim and depressing reality that lies just outside our doors. Either way, we can all agree that the fly was great, a true folk hero, a national treasure and the real winner of the debate.

That fly was just vibin up there — adam.the.creator (@adam.the.creator)1602133669.0
Give that fly a SAG Award. — dan levy (@dan levy)1602124390.0
That fly was an omen — Shea Couleé (@Shea Couleé)1602123489.0
the thing about the fly is that it knew when it’s two minutes were up — Eric Lach (@Eric Lach)1602123757.0
One of my favorite parts of the internet is that *we* all know about the fly, even *the fly* knows about the fly, a… — just a pumpkin, move along (@just a pumpkin, move along)1602124191.0
Vanitas — Robbie Richardson (@Robbie Richardson)1602156961.0
the snl writer’s room when the fly landed on pence’s head — leigh 🍁 (@leigh 🍁)1602127211.0
The fly on Pence head doing an interview for Ellen tomororw — Drebae (@Drebae)1602124391.0
.@ fly would you be interested in an interview on my Instagram live? you’d be an iconic guest — ziwe (@ziwe)1602124626.0
I sent the fly.

Tell Pence.

I want him to know it was me. — Lana Del Gay 🏳️‍🌈👻✨ (@Lana Del Gay 🏳️‍🌈👻✨)1602125759.0
I interview the fly on today’s show. — sean (@sean)1602168188.0

Photo via Getty/ Eric BARADAT/ AFP

Do We Need to Separate ‘Stan’ From ‘Fan’?

We’re living in the golden age of fandom, where social media has allowed stans to interact with their idols on a daily basis. Whether you’re a barb, lamb, belieber, or registered bardi gang member, you’re probably @-ing somebody. On Stan Stories, we meet the internet’s most dedicated followers and delve deep into their obsessions.

Fan culture has evolved rapidly in recent years. The internet has allowed fans to share their private obsessions with the world: with other fans, strangers and, not without some element of danger, the artist themselves. This new level of access, particularly in music, has warped the concept of fandom and earned it a new moniker: Stan. Coined after Eminem’s fictional, murderous fan from the 2000 song of the same name, the term was initially used to describe fans who went above and beyond, engaging mostly online to excessive degrees.

Experts disagree on when “stan” entered common usage, but it appears to be around the mid-10s, with the word being added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2018. But as words are used more frequently, they often lose their power and meaning. “Stan,” which was once only applied to a very specific type of fan, has become conflated with fandom more generally. When we like something, we stan it, when we’re rooting for someone, we stan them. But when stans can be guilty of such toxic behavior, such as speaking violently to their faves on Twitter, nasty infighting, doxing journalists or bullying “haters,” it does well-meaning fans a disservice to lump them in together.

Covered by the anonymity of the internet, most stan accounts hide behind their fave: their profile photos are of the artist, their handle is a reference to them, their location is fake. Individually, they aren’t capable of much beyond some light cyberbullying, but as a collective their power can be immense and overwhelming, and a few recent incidents shine a light on just how so. Stans are powerful and organized, able to take down anyone they disagree with.

Related | The K-Pop Fans Who Tweet Fake News

More recently, stan entitlement has extended to insisting that the entire world value their artist as much as they do. Loving an album isn’t enough: they need glowing reviews, 10.0 Pitchfork ratings, 100 on Metacritic. Anything less is unacceptable, and they’ll go to enormous lengths to make their displeasure known. When Pitchfork writer Jillian Mapes recently gave Taylor Swift’s Folklore a (very good) 8.0, they harassed and doxed her, creating a (little reported on) rift in the fandom. Not every swiftie came for Pitchfork, but it began to feel like they were uniting to take down music criticism at large. By unintentionally conflating the words “stan” and “fan,” we give some legitimacy to stan behavior and disregard fans who don’t partake in it.

With unprecedented access to artists, some stans start to feel entitled to their fave’s time and energy, growing bitter when smaller artists succeed, which Waterparks’ Awsten Knight pinpoints as the time when his own fandom became uncontrollable. Anonymity and access have granted stans an immense power, but it’s worth remembering that to be a fan is not inherently dangerous. Real fans come from a position of love, and how they engage with their fandom comes from a place of love, too, whether it’s through attending shows, wearing merch, or writing fan fiction. Stans tend to come from a position of, if not hate, then jealousy and desperation: they engage in their fandom by saying hateful things, harassing journalists into changing their reviews, and bullying one another.

It’s easy to see this behavior as inconsequential: after all, you can just log off and walk away. But for journalists and fans who have to engage with fandoms directly, stans have made the environment intolerable. Most of the people I tried to interview on their experiences asked to be anonymous out of fear. Rose* writes about K-Pop and has been at the receiving end of what she calls “modern day witch hunts.” “I’ve essentially given up on writing in a way that’s critical of artists, and ever sharing my own opinion, because it’s just not worth the stress,” she says. She’s gone as far as to mute her notifications and avoid engaging with fans. “I understand people are really passionate about what they love, and I am too, but it’s pretty hard being told regularly by your potential readers the way you love something isn’t the right way, so you deserve not to work or live.”

Related | How Much Does It Cost to Go Number One?

Fandoms are complex, diverse communities, with their own factions and friction. While some fandoms are known largely for being more toxic than others, they have people within them who are tired of being lumped in with their abusive peers. Isabella, 24, has been in the Taylor Swift fandom for over ten years. When incidents happen within the fandom, like the recent furor around Swift’s Pitchfork score or swifties sending “death threats to various people, like Swift’s ex-boyfriends and journalists,” she feels ashamed to be a part of the fandom.

Sonia, 32, is a Twenty One Pilots fan who regularly sees toxic behavior within her community. She believes it’s important to distinguish between being a “stan” and being a “fan”: “I personally think it’s only a name, but stanning has a more intense vibe to it. The origin of the word is very unhealthy, but I think the word has been reappropriated by fans to just mean you’re a hardcore fan.” A journalist I spoke to agrees: “Fandom communities often breed intensity to an nth degree that makes it difficult to enjoy without feeling like there’s something to prove, which means there’s someone to prove it against. Stanning is, I think, Othering people who aren’t part of the community,” she says.

It isn’t just journalists and haters that find themselves on the receiving end. Casey*, 31, is a Panic! At the Disco fan, and used to engage in some toxic behavior herself. “I know that I acted much like a bratty teenager. All of the drama was on the level of high school and I thrived on it,” she confesses. “There’s a power trip that you feel when you and a group of fans attack another fan who has been ‘problematic’,” she says. Apparently, it’s common for one fan to send a tweet to a group chat, and then for the group to disperse and bully another fan into deactivating. “It’s usually something miniscule that is seen as problematic, but could easily be rectified by properly educating the person. It’s toxic and it’s wrong,” she adds.

Related | This Sky Ferreira Stan Is Losing Hope

Casey stopped when she realized that she didn’t like how she felt when she hurt someone, but not before she herself was forced into deactivating. Getting a new account wasn’t enough: “The people who constantly attack others usually keep tabs on fans they hate and will announce when they’ve changed their handles,” says Casey. She still considers herself a Panic! At the Disco fan, but agrees that we need to separate the word “stan.” “I’m still a fan of all of the bands that I love. I don’t consider myself a stan because in my eyes, stan means bully now. Being a stan means that you live on Twitter and strive to remain as unproblematic as possible while being the most toxic person alive. It’s oxymoronic, really,” she says, adding that the bullying has had a lasting effect, leaving her with trauma. “It feels lonely, alienating, and heartbreaking.”

Where artists are aware of toxicity within their fandoms, do they have a responsibility to speak out? Isabella thinks so: “Artists have so much power over their fandoms, and I think if artists speak out about these things then they can stop them.” The very least that artists can do is avoid being thin-skinned – when an artist like Lana Del Rey, Ariana Grande or Lizzo, who has a massive platform and infinite power to wield, chooses to use it to put a reviewer on blast for giving them a less-than-gushing review, they encourage their stans to pile-on. For a star of their size, it’s irresponsible, immature and dangerous. The line between artist and fan and between critic and artist has never been thinner, and artists and stans both need to realize that criticism, especially even-handed, fair criticism, is necessary.

As Vulture pointed out earlier this year, stan culture is long overdue a reckoning. But as for the stans still engaging in this behavior? Consider that, however innocent you may feel hiding behind anonymity, the immense power of a tidal wave of blank squares screaming hate still feels personal to journalists and other fans. Consider that it doesn’t matter one bit whether a journalist or other fan likes something as much as you do. Consider returning to the reason you loved that thing in the first place; the good things it made you feel, how at home, how alive.

Consider approaching your fandom from a place of love, not jealousy or bitterness.

Photos via Getty

How Designers Got Creative With Digital Presentations for Spring 2021

The Spring 2021 calendar may have proceeded as usual with several runway shows, but numerous brands took the digital route to present their ready-to-wear collections. The season was filled with innovative alternatives to in-person shows, from an interactive computer game to narrative short films — and even a punk poetry recital. While some designers still held live shows, many in the industry proved that sometimes a special video format can be just as compelling. See all the highlights, below.

AMIRI’s West Coast Roots

Amiri chose to present its Spring 2021 collection in Los Angeles for the first time, paying tribute to the West Coast’s cultural influences woven into the brand with a proud homecoming. Overlooking the city at John Lautner’s Sheats-Goldstein residence in Beverly Hills, the presentation painted a portrait of LA’s expressive spirit: bold stories riff across carefree constructions, echoing a demeanor of comfort and leisure atop the label’s rock ‘n’ roll spirit. Wool overcoats draped over ’70s-inspired sportswear across neutral shades and strikes of light blue and saturated brown alike, while structured blazers and lightweight button-up shirts provided a stark contrast on the runway.

Michael Kors Collection

Michael Kors was among the many big designers to sit out New York Fashion Week this season, opting instead to present his Spring 2021 collection at his own time via a digital format. The ensuing runway show, which was shown without any guests, was filmed in a New York Restoration Project community garden in the Bronx featuring a performance of Carole King’s “Up On The Rooftop” by American Idol winner Samantha Diaz. For the collection, Kors emphasized a sense of laid-back luxury, with relaxed shapes finished in artisanal textures and earthy shades.

Additionally, the brand released a mini documentary film (seen above) directed by Haley Elizabeth Anderson to accompany the showcase. The 7-minute clip goes behind-the-scenes to capture the designer’s love for New York and his inspirations this season such as the serenity of nature and gardens, and features a cameo by his friend Bette Midler, who founded the NYRP in 1995.

Matthew Williams’s Givenchy Debut
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so excited and honoured to begin this journey with my first @givenchyofficial collection

A post shared by Matthew M Williams (@matthewmwilliams) on Oct 4, 2020 at 11:03am PDT

Givenchy’s new creative director, ALYX Designer Matthew M. Williams, unveiled his debut collection through a lookbook rather than a runway. Williams’ Givenchy uprooted its couture origins for an aesthetic that is subversive and utilitarian. Making use of oversized suiting and reptile-embossed leather, the collection was accented with streetwear-ready accessories like rubberized sandals, devil-horned baseball caps and unisex logo jewelry.

References to the brand’s previous designers were also made throughout, with horn-heeled shoes paying homage to Lee McQueen and draping reminiscent of Hubert de Givenchy himself. As part of his first collection for the French fashion house, Williams hopes that the collection’s pieces — “pieces of the puzzle,” as he referred to them in a statement — will bring power to their wearers.

“You find the pieces of the puzzle for a collection, building it from symbols and signs, but never forgetting the reality of the person who will wear it and bring it to life,” Williams said. “It’s about finding the humanity in luxury.”

Thom Browne’s Lunar Olympics
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… the torch is lit … thom browne women’s and men’s spring 2021 collection. view the full film now, link in bio. production: #drivestudios casting: #adamhindle hair: #brianfisher beauty: #homasafar #thombrowne #thombrowness21

A post shared by Thom Browne (@thombrowneny) on Oct 5, 2020 at 11:21am PDT

Thom Browne‘s latest collection was out of this world — literally. Moderated by impression icon Jordan Firstman, Browne’s Spring 2021 line was shown in a charming video set in the 2132 Lunar Games (think a very, very chic Olympics on the moon). The film documents the arrivals of athletes as they uniformly arrive at the Lunar Games stadium, clad in all-white Thom Browne looks — including wide-brimmed hats and gold aviators.

The collection featured Browne’s staple exaggerated proportions and dramatic suiting, vests and sweaters done in wool, tweed and cashmere, many emblazoned with his geometric sketches. Fitting with the theme and the designer’s affinity for sportswear, there were plenty of athletic references through cleat-like brogues, tennis pleats and hand-embroidered swimmers. The finale culminated in a pair of identically dressed models, serving as the twin torch-bearers, descending from a cream spaceship shaped like Hector (Browne’s dachshund and brand mascot) to light the stadium’s torches. Let the games begin!

Roger Vivier’s Interactive Hotel Game
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A post shared by Roger Vivier (@rogervivier) on Oct 1, 2020 at 6:02am PDT

Roger Vivier presentations have earned reputations for their interactive camp since Gherardo Felloni began creative directing the brand in 2018 — and this season was no different, despite COVID-19. In lieu of a splashy showroom, Felloni invited guests to check into the “Hotel Vivier Cinémathèque,” an interactive fashion film starring none other than French cinema star Isabelle Huppert. Across genre-themed rooms like comedy, horror and thriller, viewers can play a “would you rather?” game to direct Huppert’s behaviors — whether she’s drinking magical potions or throwing ceramic cats onto the floor.

“It’s the metaphor to explain my vision of womanhood, using character. Not just a body, not just a face, but character,” Felloni said of the collection. For spring, those offerings take the form of velvet crossbodies, suede satchels, silk pumps and rubberized sandals in jewel-toned hues of pink, blue, green and purple — all festooned with Vivier’s signature square and crystal buckles, of course. Despite the pandemic, it’s obvious that Felloni’s signature style is as bold and enchanting as ever.

Dries van Noten’s Escapist Rave
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A post shared by Dries Van Noten (@driesvannoten) on Sep 30, 2020 at 6:00am PDT

For Spring 2021, Dries Van Noten played with the notions of pop art and the outdoors. The designer enlisted Viviane Sassen to shoot his latest collection — and first season without a runway show — which captured the energy of a long-lost holiday through shots taken at the beach, under leafy trees at night and in an empty room lit by multicolored, rave-like lights.

“We wanted to work around beauty [that] evokes energy — not one that makes you dream or linger on things that are past, which makes you nostalgic,” the designer told Vogue. “It had to push you to the future, to give energy.”

Indeed, energy pulsed through van Noten’s penchant for vibrant colors, from oceanic blues and greens to neon yellows and deep purples. Through gauzy dresses, sharp suiting or tailored Bermuda shorts — some monochrome, others splashed with Noten’s new striped and multicolor circle prints — it’s clear that WFH culture hasn’t lowered the spirits of one of the industry’s most artistic designers.

Vivienne Westwood’s Poetry Recital
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A post shared by Vivienne Westwood (@viviennewestwood) on Oct 5, 2020 at 5:01am PDT

Vivienne Westwood is no stranger to the punk scene — she practically invented it, after all. For Spring 2021, her husband Andreas Kronthaler designed the latest collection for the Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood label as an ode to essential pieces before COVID-19 began. Even so, it still feels especially timely given the current state of the fashion industry. All fabrics used in the collection are recycled, organic and FSC-certified, and the line was shown in a short online video.

In the collection’s film, Westwood and Kronthaler — alongside two models — recite poetry by William Shakespeare, Li Ho, and even a poem by the Dame herself in a white room. This served as a simplistic backdrop where viewers could focus on the clothes: A skull-print T-shirt, night robe, and silk and floral dresses (with the same corsetry reminiscent of Westwood’s iconic Sex and the City gown).

Accented with floral boots, shawls and oversized jewelry, the line was a peaceful ode to, as Kronthaler said in a statement, “our model for the future.” However, the exaggerated hairstyles, graphic makeup and subversive styling — after all, Kronthaler rocks a mini dress and heeled boots as well as the models — still showed Westwood’s signature tongue-in-cheek attitude.

Balenciaga’s Eighties Music Video
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A post shared by Balenciaga (@balenciaga) on Oct 3, 2020 at 3:30am PDT

Balenciaga has become known for its clever takes on fashion content under Demna Gvasalia. That narrative continued in a music video showcasing the brand’s pre-collection for Summer 2021. Set to a BFRND cover of Corey Hart’s “Sunglasses at Night,” the film follows a series of lip-synching models as they strut down Paris’ lamp-lit streets, walk by the Seine and journey through dark underground tunnels until a group of them convene together, heading off into the night.

Most notably, one model is dressed in an oversized gray sweatsuit, their sweatshirt reading “Paris Fashion Week” in pixelated letters. That look particularly seemed to be commentary about Fashion Weeks being online during the pandemic. As the epitome of high fashion, what’s more anti-PFW than a sweatsuit? However, nothing was more timely or relatable than the model’s attachments to their phones, as most are scrolling through them or have them hanging around their necks on lanyards throughout the video.

Rick Owens’ Futuristic Phlegethon
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A post shared by RICK OWENS ONLINE (@rickowensonline) on Oct 2, 2020 at 7:59am PDT

Rick Owens looked towards the future with his Spring 2021 collection, “Phlegethon.” Never one to shy away from drama, the designer made a series of armor-like looks that seemed straight from The Hunger Games or AEon Flux. “In the face of adversity, we have to pull ourselves up,” the designer told Vogue.

“Phlegethon” is composed of pieces utilizing Owens’ boldest brand signatures. Single shoulders, asymmetric hems and long, hand-covering sleeves were present in nearly every look. However, this season also focused on outerwear, with many models wearing vests or jackets with exaggerated capped sleeves that looked both comforting and defensive. Paired with Owens’ cult-favorite platform boots and long face masks, and a new palette of bubblegum pink and red juxtaposing his go-to neutrals, “Phlegethon” appeared both optimistic and futuristic.

Thebe Magugu’s Fashionable Spy Thriller
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A post shared by Thebe Magugu (@thebemagugu) on Oct 1, 2020 at 8:13am PDT

In his Spring 2021 collection, titled “Counter Intelligence,” Thebe Magugu shared the history of the espionage community in his native South Africa. Set to a series of interviews Magugu made with past female spies, the accompanying CCTV and Secret Surveillance-shot film explores models-as-secret agents knocking men out in elevators, developing photos in an apartment and strolling through the streets on top-secret missions.

“Our immediate picture of spies is largely informed by their portrayal in popular culture — slim, ostentatiously demure, fashionable and aloof. Truth is, spies are all around us, they are our beloved teachers, friends and family members,” the designer said in a statement. “It got me thinking — what drives one to commit high-treason?”

Magugu’s womenswear in this collection merged free-flowing silhouettes with structured styles, largely in a palette of blues and yellows with pops of fuchsia and white. Pleated asymmetric skirts are paired with sweaters, knit tanks and arm sleeves, and a printed shirtdress and sharply tailored jacket make notable appearances. However, his menswear also stole the show with olive and indigo blue shorts suits, paired with wide-brimmed hats perfect for espionage.

Maison Margiela’s ‘Co-Ed’ Film
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A post shared by Maison Margiela (@maisonmargiela) on Oct 7, 2020 at 2:30am PDT

This season, John Galliano used Maison Margiela‘s SS21 collection as the second part of his S.W.A.L.K. (Sealed With A Kiss) concept, first introduced during the AW20 couture season. The “Co-Ed” video’s footage of Galliano’s Zoom calls breaking down the collection’s design processes and inspirations, and the atelier’s procedures of crafting everything from torn-apart trench coats to the latest Tabi shoes (clear pumps and chunky oxfords), make up its majority. To add creative imagery, they are interspersed with clips shot by Nick Knight of models writhing in moonlit puddles and dancing the tango—a primary influence on the line.

Suiting with exaggerated lapels, knits made from repurposed garments, and tulle evening dresses appear simultaneously deconstructed and perfectly stitched together in a palette of red, black, gray and white — both unfinished and fully complete. The collection is a distinctly collaborative effort, unveiled in full transparency for all to watch.

Schiaparelli’s Surrealist Lookbook
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Live on and IGTV SS21 RTW collection by @danielroseberry photographed at 21 Place Vendôme by @danielroseberry #Schiaparelli #SchiaparelliSS21

A post shared by Schiaparelli (@schiaparelli) on Oct 4, 2020 at 3:05am PDT

For Schiaparelli’s third ready-to-wear collection, “Elements of Desire,” Daniel Roseberry focused on wardrobe essentials. Though the haute couture house is known for its dramatic flair, the designer wanted to highlight pieces like suits, trousers and trench coats in a palette of black, caramel and white.

However, these essentials are far from basic. Elevated by Schiaparelli’s signature surrealism, the collection was peppered with details like its iconic lobster and measuring tape motif, as well as lock, nose and nipple embellishments. Further accented by Roseberry’s viral gold jewelry — this season focused on finger coverings, chunky earrings, chain necklaces and metal face masks — and the brand’s new line of sharp leather handbags, “Elements” is an ode to Schiaparelli’s past, Roseberry’s present and fashion’s long-lasting future.

Photos courtesy of Michael Kors Collection

Enroll in Sex Worker University

It’s no secret that in the past six months, people all over have been joining subscription-based platforms like OnlyFans and FanCentro, which allow online models to charge a recurring fee for access to exclusive adult content.

But amid the ongoing pandemic, more and more individuals have been turning toward these sites to make money, including amateurs, offline sex workers pivoting to online and performers moving away from studios. However, in between things like banking issues and legislation like FOSTA/SESTA, those who are brand new to the online sex work industry often face a steep learning curve.

Related | How Sex Workers Are Grappling With Coronavirus

And this is where FanCentro’s new educational initiative comes in.

Launched on September 30, Centro University is an online business school teaching everything from film production to accounting to censorship law for adult model-influencers. Taught by sex work entrepreneurs and industry veterans, the classes are free and available to anyone interested in online sex work with the intention of empowering models to make their own content on their own terms.

“The more financial independence you have, the more control you have over what work you do or don’t do,” FanCentro Vice President of Marketing Kat Revenga said. “There’s very little institutional knowledge in sex work, because of the stigma and the harassment and the decentralized nature of the community. If Centro U can become a home for education and a community from which to organize, hopefully, we can be a tool for sex workers.”

While the idea for Centro U was already in the works for two years, Revenga explained that the “huge amount of sex workers that came to our platform due to COVID-19 made us feel a sense of urgency and responsibility for making this educational program a reality,” especially as more and more people turn toward online sex work to make their livings.

She continued, “Online sex work has become more accepted, but many people getting involved who would start and quit. Some people are natural marketers and producers and others are not. As far as society is concerned, you don’t get into this business part way.”

“There’s very little institutional knowledge in sex work, because of the stigma and the harassment and the decentralized nature of the community.”

After you put out one video, people call you a “porn star” for the rest of your life, Revenga said, adding that they “wanted to create an educational program that would let people know that this is a business, and there are skills you need to succeed.” She pointed toward the difference between those struggling to sell clips and performers “who have built homes, paid for school, supported families” through their work.

“We want people to know that this is a business — that it takes time and commitment and learning,” Revenga explained. “You hear from people all the time who try to sell nudes or clips and think it’s them, that they’re not good enough, if it doesn’t sell immediately. They’ve taken all the risk by putting out adult content and then they never get anything out of it. But there was very little knowledge being shared. Every new person was having to figure it out for themselves. Centro U was set up to help experienced influencers teach those who were struggling.”

One of these influencers is MelRose Michaels — a FanCentro Brand Ambassador and industry veteran with nearly a decade of experience in the space — who created the initial video crash course. According to MelRose though, the experience of writing it from a “day one” perspective was something that just highlighted how essential Centro U was. Because whether we’re talking about selling shoots, or even proper consent practices when collaborating with another creator, MelRose said that she was surprised by the vast amount of accrued information she took “for granted, because I’ve been in the industry.”

She continued, “A lot of other courses are for models that didn’t start from day one, they kind of already started. Like, ‘Oh, you’ve already been in this year and you have a fan base, and this is how you monetize it.’ We’re starting as if you don’t have a fan base… And it’s definitely centralized, which is beneficial to the model because she can [watch her own progress], complete the things we suggested and actually grow her business along with the courses.”

And on the topic of a centralized knowledge base, Revenga added that while there are already similar initiatives for sex workers — such as collectives and social platforms — the resources provided by a premium platform like FanCentro allows for this kind of information to be disseminated in a “more fully formed” way.

“We’ve been reaching out to people we think are doing great work and finding ways to collaborate or promote them. To have them teach classes and promote their work,” she said, explaining that they can do things like pay experts to teach monthly master classes and provide courses in multiple languages for all different sorts of adult influencers.

Related | FKA twigs Is Supporting Sex Workers During COVID-19

Perhaps more importantly though, as the conversation surrounding the decriminalization of sex work continues forward, Revenga said that they ultimately hope to become “a base of knowledge and a source of stability.” And as MelRose added, while she believes eventual decriminalization is inevitable, it’s important for places like Centro U to continue providing a safe community space for online sex workers in the meantime, especially as they grow in numbers.

“As a content creator, I want the same thing, I want to see sex workers protected and treated as a protected class. I think society needs to get on board with that idea,” Revenga said, before pointing toward the way the pandemic has also led to many mainstream influencers “crossing over” into the sex work space.

“Mainstream is bleeding adult media, and the more of that we have, the better and stronger our voices are going to be when it comes to decriminalization or affecting legislation that will support us as a protected class,” MelRose concluded. “I’m excited for that. And I think FanCentro is going to be behind that [sort of push] as well.”

Welcome to “Sex with Sandra,” a column by Sandra Song about the ever-changing face of sexuality. Whether it be spotlight features on sex work activists, deep dives into hyper-niche fetishes, or overviews on current legislation and policy, “Sex with Sandra” is dedicated to examining some of the biggest sex-related discussions happening on the Internet right now.

Photos courtesy of MelRose Michaels

Trey Is Truly the One

With 2020 being such a dismal disaster for most, any and all — joy must be cherished, celebrated and called out! All this darkness makes what little light we do have stand out, and Trey is truly a little light of mine.

The model-slash-muse-slash-podcaster-slash-fashion-journalist is a star being born and after scrolling, screaming, liking and sharing their many booked campaigns and editorial spotlights, I had to know more. Enjoy as I unravel the year they’ve had… so far!

Okay, hi, Trey! How are you doing?

You know, beautiful. I’m alive. That’s all I can say. Listen, I’m blessed to be alive. No, okay. I’m doing the best I can. And that’s all — 2020 is only about doing the best that you can. Nothing more, nothing less.

Right? I mean, I feel like, in the beginning of 2020, quarantine, we were like, “We’re all going to be super productive.” That ended in May. Now, if you just see this to the end, that’s already a flex.

What was this whole bread thing? It was like everywhere I looked, all of you fake ass, fake Celiac-having ass bitches, all of a sudden popping up: bread, bread, bread, bread, bread, bread. For what?

Like not Celiac Disease and the sourdough. That’s not a good combination.

Girl, that’s what I’m saying. Fake. When we talk about performance, and I feel like we’re going to get there, that’s the thing I want to talk about. 2013, all of y’all, “Oof, gluten.” And then y’all get locked in the house and you start becoming Pillsbury doughboy? What’s the tea?

Someone’s not telling the truth. Someone hasn’t been telling the truth for a while.

In the words of Karlie Redd, it’s a lie, it’s a lie, it’s all a lie!

It’s all a lie! Like, it’s all a lie! [laughs] Okay, so I want to start by just asking about you. Because I know you very well, and I’m obviously very addicted and obsessed. I literally share all of your Instagram posts, regardless of what it is. But for those of you who do not know, who are you? Where are you from? What are you doing?

So, my name is Trey. I’m 22 years old. I’m from a small town outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Through the grace of God and the universe and higher powers, I got out the first second I could. When I was 18, I started school at Central Saint Martin’s, and I did my BA there and I studied fashion journalism. And then while I was there, I was very much on some “Everybody Hates Chris,” my dad has three jobs situation. So, that’s kind of when I started modeling, and then just living and just being, the vibes, the kin, the doll. So, that kind of happened.

And then this year, I launched my podcast as an extension of my final major project, which is called OTT. And for those of you who aren’t up on any lingo from over the past 30 years, OTT means over the top. I’ve never been a top. However, I think that my personality goes further than a top. Right? I think we’re living at a time in fashion media, where I feel like it’s kind of in three categories of 1. no one says what they feel, 2. it’s just a lot of anger with no substance, and then 3. it’s just kind of there, right? So what I wanted to do with this is get into the journalism, get into the tea, because there are a lot of problems that a lot of people aren’t talking about. Because a lot of things now are just PR; no one wants to — and I get that people are afraid, people have jobs, the way that the culture has become — no one really is saying how they feel.

I think that’s why we’re not happy with fashion at the moment. That’s kind of why we’re like, “What is this?” No one’s like speaking about it, or they’re speaking about it in such a volatile way that you can’t have a healthy conversation. For me with the podcast, it’s like, “Okay, these are people that I love. I respect their work.” The respect is there. Once we have that, I’m a very trustworthy person; I want to be someone that you can feel free to share your story with and feel free to share your ups and downs. I’m not going to edit anything out to fit a narrative, you know what I mean? So that’s kind of what I do in a lot of words. I’ll have a drink now.

As you deserve. I love it in the mug, too. Very like, “Look at me being professional.”

It’s a mug that I bought for the NHS, it goes towards them.

Okay, beautiful. Would you ever have someone on your podcast that you weren’t a fan of?

No. Um, fan…

Well, someone you admire or respected. Someone who you feel like – not like a gotcha interview, but we’re going to have a talk, a debate. Let’s take Dolce and Gabbana for example.


Do you think OTT could act as a courtroom, almost?

Do I look like Lisa Bloom? Do you see this wig? This is my Annalise Keating wig. You know what? I think never say never, and I think it is very important to have conversations with people who don’t have the same experience as you. I just think, for me, I am open to that because I think we do need to have conversations. But right now, at this point in my life, I have too much stress. So at some point, of course, we’re going to go there, because I think, journalistically, you need to be able to have those kind of debating conversations.

So, you’re in London now; we met when you would come back to New York for the summers when you were in college. Is it like what your routine, your schedule was?

Girl, I wasn’t just summering in New York, no. I don’t even know if you know this; this is what happened. Basically, schools in England, you have a placement year. That’s what we do, normally your junior year. For that 15 months, you work in the industry, like you’re interning, and then you go back for your final year.


For me, I spent six months working as a studio assistant for Mowalola. Because of the situation I’m in now, I was very nervous that my visa would not get renewed and I would have no network or any holding in America. I was scared. I was like, what if? Because I’ve seen this happen to friends of mine, so I was like, “You know what? I’ve never lived in New York. Let me do this. And there I really learned how to write three pieces a day. It was an experience that taught me so much about myself and gave me so much confidence as a writer because there was no time to be like, “Oh, I’m insecure about this.” No, shit had to go out. When I came back for my final year, it just made me feel like, “This is what I want. This is what I’m doing. No one is going to tell me what, period.” When we met, we really clicked right away, I’ll say. You just made me laugh. I was just like, “This bitch is funny.” To this day, I think that @fakeroberts deserves much more attention on the ‘gram because those homemade memes, really, they actually are some of the funniest…

“There’s always something new, there’s always something that we can all have, and I feel like that’s what we need to work towards. That unlearning of everyone can do well in their own way and succeed. Someone doing well is not a threat to you. Period.”

They’re baked with care, tucked in at night.

They’re baked with care and gluten-free.

Gluten-free with all the bread. So, I literally did think that you were just summering in New York like, “Let me pick up an internship here and there.” So you’re a person who is always working.

I’m a to-do list girl. I’m the person that, I’ll send my manager emails at like 3 in the morning. Me: please download my WeTransfer that you haven’t downloaded.

You’re like waiting for the transfer confirmation.

I’m definitely a workaholic, which isn’t healthy because I need to realize that productivity is work smarter, not harder. I’ve always been the person like, even in uni, I would be stressed out. I would go to class and then go to a shoot that I would probably make no money on but it was with a designer that I would love, and then I would go back and do projects. I was always someone that has to be doing something all the time. I think what quarantine taught me is I just want to do what I want; the world is ending, and I feel like we are in a time when we can be multi-hyphenates. We can do different things and no one can put us in a box like the traditional sense of what a journalist is, what a model is, what a designer is.

I feel like we’re in the midst of a collapse of the old guard. People who are older who are down can stay, but it’s like… this just makes sense to us. I’m just talking to a friend, but I’m doing cool things and I’m interested in the cool things you’re doing. So, let’s just combine the cool things, meet in the middle and dance.

Let’s support each other because the levels, when you talk about the old guard dying out, you see it. That’s a thing that I always find so disgusting, this idea of, “Okay, you’re going to treat someone horribly because you can put a top and a pair of pants together?” No! You’re going to be mean to your intern because you can sew? You better knit in peace. I feel like that kind of cruelty is no longer accepted and allowed because there was never a purpose for it. I think the idea of hierarchy has really — it’s demolished. We are at a time when we’ve watched so many of these lauded people, be thrown down because of all the bad things that they do in the dark. In the words of Faith Evans, “Whatever you do will come back to you.” I think what we’re building off this creativity, we respect you because of your work, and you don’t need to act like a bird. When you go onto a set, you can treat everyone nicely. When you’re in an office, you can treat people with care and respect, and that’s what we need. There is no need, people should not be in fear when they go to work. People should be excited, and I’m very excited to watch this new generation have manners.

And it’s absolutely free! People forget.

It’s free, being kind is free. I will always say, there is always a difference between being a bad bitch and a bitch. A bad bitch supports your friends, I’m not going to say “has good credit” because we’re all in a collapse. Looks good, is going to make sure that everyone is taken care of. A bitch is just rude. If you’re a bad bitch, you already have that confidence within yourself. Nothing that I do is ever threatened by anyone else. I know what I walk into a room with. If you’re a bitch, you’re just rude. And those never last.



It’s always interesting when you see someone who’s kind of new and fresh — I feel like I’m kind of new and fresh. Someone who’s going hard and trying to be the bitch because they think it’s the bad bitch but they’re just not being welcoming and they’re just making their own journey harder if no one wants to be around them.

“The world is ending, and I feel like we are in a time when we can be multi-hyphenates. We can do different things and no one can put us in a box like the traditional sense of what a journalist is, what a model is, what a designer is.”

Making your journey so much harder! And it’s scary because we’ve been indoctrinated to, if you see that’s your role model, that’s kind of your image. If you think that’s how you have to be to work in [fashion] — at some point, we’re all adults. We all have to unlearn things that have been taught to us. At some point, you have to unlearn the idea of competition and compete with yourself. That’s what’s important. It’s not like — I was talking to my friend about this the other day, this idea of scarcity. You have this, “I can only have this if I take it from you.” In the words of Brother Nature, everybody eats. There’s always something new, there’s always something that we can all have, and I feel like that’s what we need to work towards. That unlearning of everyone can do well in their own way and succeed. Someone doing well is not a threat to you. Period.


Wow, I feel like —

You’re honestly preaching right now. I feel like this is simply the Million Man March, and here I am, the million men.

Girl, I’m the million, I’m the millionth person and I’m just tired.

I’m tired that we’re still marching. So, I want to talk about this cute little Christian Cowan campaign. So, what was that like? How was that? I feel like an idiot. Because, as you know, a friend of mine was working on it…

Yeah, I met him. He said you’re one of his favorite people to ever be around! It was so surreal.

You looked amazing!

I’ll explain to you how this all went down, I’m still kind of in a daze. Saturday afternoon, I go to the store to get my gin, I come home, I see a DM from Christian Cowan. In my mind, I’m thinking, “I know this man is based in New York, please do not tell me that I just lost a bag.”

I was like, “Lord.” Because I didn’t see the message, I was like, “Please don’t tell me I just lost a bag.” I open the message, “Oh, wow, we’re doing this campaign.” I’m thinking like, I’m in London, is this okay? And he was like, in London, perfect. And I was just like, first of all, what the fuck? I was going through it that morning, and I was like, universe, please give me a sign. That day was just incredible, Christian was so kind and so incredible. When we talk about people putting their money where their mouth is, this is what I’m talking about. 100%. It’s for charity, and listen, people love to “oh 20% of the proceeds…” This was 100% of the profits going to charity, right? That meant a lot. People really showing up for the community; that’s what I cared about. It was just a beautiful day, the cast was incredible. I’m hearing Heidi Klum’s in this, Marc Jacobs, I’m like “What?” In that very Tiffany Pollard voice like, “Heidi Klum?? Helena Christensen???”

When we talk about the industry changing, if you remember the age you got into fashion, a lot of us were in middle school, high school. It was an era where, any time you opened any magazine, it was just a white girl from Russia. No disrespect to them, but when you flip through every ad, no matter who it was, it was never someone who would look like us. And there was never anyone ever visibly queer, never trans, no one ever a gender-nonconforming person. And if they were, it was one season and you never saw them again. Even the Italian Vogue Black issue was incredible, but what change really happened after that? So, it’s very beautiful to see. I know we’re all tired of hearing the word “representation,” but I do hope that the youth sees this and feel good. I think people always think it’s corny to say I never thought I would be a model but I never actually did. The fact that I’m even a part of that? I am just grateful, I’m grateful that I can be a part of something like that. Overall, my look was fire, I can’t even lie. I was fucking legs for days, I can’t even — no, I looked cute.

I screamed. I shared the post like four times in one day.

I screamed, too! I was like, this isn’t me, this me? I have to fix my bang. It was great, I’m still shook.

It’s fun how things just happen now. Things even with me, they’ll just happen through a DM. Someone recommending you, you’re on a mood board, and they’re like, “Hey, do you want to do this?” And it’s not even kind of small creators, local creators, it’s these big brands that we’re talking about DMing people.

I’m telling you, please. PSA: keep your DMs open. Keep your DMs open.

Keep them open, and always check the message requests, too! People will reach out with just a “Hey, I work at this company or at this brand, do you want to do this thing?” And I’m like, absolutely. It’s just so –

It’s crazy.

We’re all just on this platform together. You’re on this platform and so is Christian Cowan.

That’s what I’m saying. We’re all so connected, so don’t be a cunt.

Right. Okay, so I also want to talk about your iconic, ongoing, seemingly very familial relationship with Harris Reed.

My love.

I can literally see the support from miles and miles away. It just looks very healthy. So, how did that come about?

I first met Harris in first year, probably within the first month: we went to this Stella McCartney talk, and then after we just talked for a couple hours and really hit it off. Then, when I was in second year, they asked me to be their fit model for their pre-collection. What I will say about Harris is Harris is one of the most supportive people I’ve ever met. In a fitting, any time they put anything on me, “Are you comfortable with this?” Even that kind of language, that level of respect I don’t get all the time. As a friend, they’ve always been very incredible. Especially in June, that was a very terrible time for everyone Black, they’ve always been an incredible friend and we’ve always been very supportive of each other. I’m just very proud of them, and I think they’re doing their thing. They’re very kind, and I always say this, I’ve never seen someone work as hard as Harris. And that’s why they’re so successful, because they put their heart into everything. That’s my ride or die, that’s my bitch. I love them for life. You can even tell!

You can see it online, it’s just so supportive. I’m like, “Wow, would love it to be me.” It looks amazing, I always like liking their posts of you and your posts of them.

I’m just so proud of them.

What’s it like working with Mowalola who I feel has always been cool as shit, but now is world scale and people are talking about this collab, that collab… I want that bag that she posted on Instagram a couple days ago, and I know it’s going to sell out before I can get my hands on it, and that’s okay…

So Mowa and I first met in first year. And again, it’s always me at a talk. I was leaving a talk and CSM has like three levels, but it’s open so you can kind of see everyone. She was on the first floor and then she ran down and saw me and was like, “Hey, will you be my muse for my final collection at CSM?” And I was like, “Me?” Because again, I was taken aback, but then I realized I’m the doll. But it was very beautiful watching her do her final collection before all of this. I remember I just fell in love with all the clothes. Have you seen her graduate collection?


With those really low pants and the low jacket. And I just remember, I felt so sexy. At the time, no one was doing that. I’m just very grateful that she’s brought me on to some incredible projects. When we did the Tim Walker shoot for W, that meant the world to me because W was the first magazine that got me into fashion. So having those full circle moments with her was amazing, and it’s been really beautiful to watch her evolve and take off and do everything on her own terms.

“It’s very easy to say everyone was sleeping on me but also, I was sleeping on myself. I didn’t see my true value until very recently.”

You’re literally the main character, people are spotting you from across the room and saying, “Be my new muse.” I would die.

I’m actually very shy, I’m very awkward. I’m a deer. I think that’s also why my personality is very like, “Oh, okay!”


I will say though, I’ve never been signed to an agency. I’ve been through it all, I’ve been through getting that request to go in, “Oh, sorry. We have someone that already has your look. Oh my god, you have a beautiful face, but hmm. You have a great body, but hmmm.” I will say that I’m so grateful for that throughout everything, my work has been through my relationships. I’m a Cancer, I feel everything very deeply. So, it’s really beautiful that I’ve been able to grow with people and watch them evolve into different stages of their career.

Is that a goal of yours to be signed? Because I feel like if that’s a goal, it’s going to happen soon. You’re simply already being booked.

You know what, it’s only a goal if someone sees me for me at this point. Because I’ve been through it, alright. It’s so crazy, because I used to go home and I’d cry. It was a two-fold situation of 1. Divine timing and 2. It’s very easy to say everyone was sleeping on me but also, I was sleeping on myself. I didn’t see my true value until very recently.

Everyone’s seeing at the same time right now.

Listen, I stopped sleeping on myself and the world woke up.

So, that’s a good segue. You are everyone’s muse, but who are your muses? Who inspires you?

Oh my god. So, there are so many people, but this is my thing. I’m not a hater, if I love someone, I’ll let you know. It’s everyone from Mr. Pearl, icon; Patrick Kelly, legend; The Muglers, like that era to me, *chef’s kiss.* Pat Cleveland who was on the podcast, that was just like — like, I’m dead. You know what I mean? Ouija board. This interview is done via Ouija board. Karen Alexander. I’m so inspired by every Black model from the ’80s to the mid-2000s, who put up with all the shit and still were able to come. Who else? Dolly Parton, white queen. White queen! Janet Jackson. So many people. It’s crazy because my mind could go on for days in this interview. Paris Hilton. Shout out to Paris Hilton, because that documentary… did you watch it?

I haven’t seen it yet. But I’m hearing everyone loves it. My friend called me and said “first of all, she’s a genius. Second of all, she’s a victim. But she’s a survivor.”

I want that written on my gravestone. “First of all, she’s a genius. Second of all, she’s a victim.”

An icon.

But that’s what I’m saying, multidisciplinary icons. Who else? Diana Ross. Foxy Brown, Lil’ Kim, Misa Hylton. Wait! Okay. Let’s talk about my two biggest muses of all time: Kimora Lee Simmons and Fran Drescher. Fran Drescher, obviously an icon. That girl. Maybe more Fran Fine than Fran Drescher but anyway. Kimora Lee Simmons, let’s talk about Kimora Lee Simmons. Youngest Chanel bride ever, she gave us We Are the World, she showed you that you can marry rich in any nationality. Period. Baby Phat showed us what hip hop fashion was, gave it to the girls, gave us diversity. I’ve said this before, Kimora Lee Simmons is my first example of a Black person in fashion, running shit, doing shit. Life in the Fab Lane, for a generation of people, showed us you can not only have a seat at the table, but you can be at the head of the table. So, shout out to Kimora. I would do anything. That was a long answer, but Kimora is number one.

But you got there. Everyone loves Kimora. You’re right, for us, for people our age to grow up with that being there, and me wearing my little Baby Phat to school, that’s iconic.

I hate — I think also because we’re Black, and as Black people, I know we’re being asked all the time about every issue so I try to not bring it up all the time, but when it comes to representation, that’s a national television star network: Kimora Lee Simmons running shit. Bossing white people around. Reparations!

Reparations! Amazing. And then she’s relaunching Baby Phat with her adorable daughters, I’m here for the whole family function.

Making sure everyone in her family gets a bag!

Literally. Everyone’s getting a bag. Everyone’s eating, all the Lee-Simmons’ are eating.


Okay, I think that might’ve been it – oh! My last question is kind of a big one, but what do you want? However that manifests to you, but what do you want?

“Realistically, every time I’ve ever wanted something tangible, I’ve never gotten it because I put so much energy into trying to get it and then the universe is like, ‘Girl, you better learn.'”

What do I want? You know what’s so funny. I want to be happy with whatever I do. I’m not trying to get all super sensitive, but I want to do work that makes me feel fulfilled. I want to just enjoy life at the moment. We are living in very dark times, I want to bring light with what I do. With whatever medium it is, I hope that I can bring just a bit of joy to the girls. If I can do that, then I’m good. I’m calm. In the words of Naomi, I have my career. I think I can also just bring a bit of peace to the kids. Realistically, every time I’ve ever wanted something tangible, I’ve never gotten it because I put so much energy into trying to get it and then the universe is like, “Girl, you better learn.” And then when I’m chilling and I just release the outcomes, things happen for me.

That’s so sweet, Trey. You’re one of the sweetest, super hard-working, super cute people in the world. Okay, so I’m going to stop recording—

Stop recording because we have some tea to get into!

Photos courtesy of Trey Gaskin

Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ Climbs Charts After Viral Skateboarding TikTok

It’s been a few days since a seemingly carefree, skating TikTok star reminded us of the timeless power Fleetwood Mac has in bringing joy through the darkest of times. Equipped with a bottle of Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry juice in hand and skating on an Idaho road, @420doggface208 (real name: Nathan Apodaca) casually lip syncs to Stevie Nicks‘ vocals as the band’s 1977 classic, “Dreams,” plays in the background.


Morning vibe ##420souljahz ##ec ##feelinggood ##h2o ##cloud9 ##happyhippie ##worldpeace ##king ##peaceup ##merch ##tacos ##waterislife ##high ##morning ##710 ##cloud9

♬ Dreams (2004 Remaster) – Fleetwood Mac

In the days following its upload, the video has racked up more than 18 million views, 3.5 million likes and praise from the legendary rock band — and even Nicks, who retweeted a clip of it herself.

TikTok has long had influence on what determines a musical hit, from Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” to Sub Urban’s “Cradles,” and now, when looking at new stats, it can revive interest in classic rock anthems. as well. Rolling Stone reports that before Apodaca’s upload, “Dreams” was streamed at an average of 49,000 times per day, Since then, the track has been streamed an average of 105,000 times a day.

Related | Lil Nas X on a Unicorn Floatie

According to a report by Spotify, from September 25 to 27, “Dreams” garnered 2.9 million on-demand US streams and 3,000 in digital download sales. These increased by 88.7% and 374%, respectively, from their previous totals, according to Nielsen Music/ MRC Data. On September 27, “Dreams” also climbed to No. 24 on Spotify’s US Daily chart, proving that even after 43 years, its popularity spans to fans of all ages and generations.

As reported by Billboard, the track has appeared on its Rock Digital Song Sales chart for each of the last six weeks and for much of 2019, as well, climbing to a No. 5 spot in March. It has also placed on the Rock Streaming Songs chart ever since February, 2020 hitting a peak of No. 6 in July, among climbing countless other charts since the iconic release of Rumours, (which also spawned “The Chain” and “Go Your Own Way.”) “Dreams” is the band’s only hit to ever reach No.1, and its enduring legacy lives on.

On September 30, Apodaca, a father of two, told TMZ via video call that he has received over $10,000 in donations following the ultimate upload. He shared his plans to surprise his mother with $5,000 of the earnings. He is also thinking about getting a new car (his current is busted) and RV, since his “doesn’t have water.” Apodaca expressed his gratitude, calling the donations “a blessing:”

“I was coming to work and […] my car, it just shuts off sometimes — the battery, I don’t know what it is, it just shuts off,” Apodaca said to TMZ. “So it shut off, and I was like, ‘Man, I got less than, like, 15 minutes to get to work, what am I gonna do?’ I always have my longboard in there, in case I run out of gas or something.”

Related | PAPER People 2020: Meet 20 TikTokers We Love

He continued, “So I just jumped on my longboard. I was like, ‘I’ll just come back and figure it out after work.’ Started going to work, and then on my way to work, we have a little […] turnpike off the highway. So then I decided this would be perfect for a video.”

The Idaho Falls-based skateboarder grabbed Cran-Raspberry juice, “cause that’s my drink,” filmed himself en route on his board, and is now reaping the benefits of his impromptu idea. As Nicks sings herself, “It’s only right” that we should play “Dreams” the way we “feel it,” and thanks to viral TikToks, that probably means millions of more times.

Photos via TikTok

Rickey Thompson and Denzel Dion Were Born to Host Podcasts

Surprise! Internet superstars Rickey Thompson and Denzel Dion‘s podcast, We Said What We Said, is now available to stream exclusively on Spotify. Described by the two besties as covering “everything that matters,” the show will see them discussing topics such as pop culture, sex, partying, love, music and friendship, as well as dishing hot takes and advice.

Speaking to PAPER from Denzel’s apartment in LA, the social media entertainers shared their excitement for the project. The last time we caught up with the duo, they had just released the Snap Original series Road Trippin’. The series was filmed in January, before the coronavirus pandemic took over our lives, so working on We Said What We Said has been a motivating distraction from all they had planned for 2020.

Related | Introducing: Road Trippin’ With Rickey Thompson and Denzel Dion

The project was born out of demand from fans, but also because the creators wanted to explore a format without the time constraints of TikTok or Instagram: “We’ve always wanted a podcast — a lot of people have been asking. I guess people just like hearing us talk and they wish there was more, and 30 minutes of audio, works better than 30 minutes of video and audio. You can listen to a podcast while working out, cleaning, cooking,” shared Dion.

Thompson and Dion plan to use the opportunity to get more “real and raw” than they have previously in other ventures. While their fans know them for their comedic videos and fashion content, We Said What We Said shares a different side of Thompson and Dion with the world. Thompson says that their presence will be a toned-down version of what fans are used to, all in the effort of keeping it real, “We’re over here telling stories a lot of people don’t know about us,” he says, with Dion adding: “There’s just something about having the conversations that we haven’t talked about.”

And while the show will address important issues, the duo want it to remain a therapeutic time for escape, if only for the duration of an episode: “We want to make a space where you laugh, you cry, you just get all that negativity out and don’t think about what’s going on in the world right now, even though we have to think about it, but it’s okay to step away from it, just for 30 minutes,” says Thompson.

Fans can expect guests on the show, but the hosts won’t be giving any special treatment. We Said What We Said will be getting to the nitty gritty of what people want to know, with Dion sharing: “We’re not holding back. We want all of it, we want all the questions, we want to start the conversation and get the answers to questions they always dodge.” But most of all, Thompson and Dion want their show to be inspiring to their listeners. Aware of their unique position as individuals with millions of followers, many of whom look up to them, the duo want to create an aura of positivity around their podcast. “I really want people to leave this podcast with inspiration, just happy about being themselves, just a really good feeling. I want you to cry. I want you to take this time to get away from anything you’re going through that’s negative and just create a positive space,” says Thompson, with Dion adding: “I want people to feel liberated, feel relief and inspired. Because we both come from different walks of life, I feel people can relate to our stories, what we’ve been through, what we’re going to go through, and take our lessons.”

With the arrival We Said What We Said, Thompson and Dion have now touched virtually every facet of modern entertainment, having acquired large followings across Vine, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat and now podcasts. So is there anything left that they want to do? “HBO, Hulu, Showtime, Fox, CW,” Dion admits, with a laugh, as Thompson eagerly agrees. But for now, you can join them on their latest venture, which comes down to “two friends having real conversations that we all have, but doing it publicly.”

Stream the first episode of We Said What We Said exclusively on Spotify below.

Photo courtesy of Spotify

The Girl Who Can Change Her Face

When I get on Facetime with 23-year-old Eleanor Barnes (known to the world as Snitchery), she’s taking a break from packing up her New York apartment, and will soon head home to Virginia to ride out the rest of COVID-19. The pandemic has proved quite literally transformative for the 23-year-old. When lockdown began, she downloaded TikTok (or, as she calls it, “the kiddie app”) to pass the time. After sharing a flattering selfie hack and going viral, she asserted herself as one of the platform’s biggest creators.

But Barnes has been creating content on the internet for years now. Her longtime screen name stems from a Nicki Minaj lyric, not the often-assumed golden snitches of Harry Potter. After posting headshots of her anime and Disney-inspired beauty looks on Instagram during her freshman year of college, her passion grew into a YouTube channel where she uploads makeup tutorials and discusses personal topics like her hair journey and growing up as a biracial woman in a predominately white town.

Related | PAPER People 2020: Meet 20 TikTokers We Love

Barnes, who has always thought that cosplayers were “the coolest fucking people on the planet,” first started experimenting with pop culture-inspired looks for Halloween 2018. Since then her channels have shifted into the “beauty-based cosplay” the Savage x Fenty ambassador is now best known for. Dating her love of anime to childhood, when her mother would take her to the video store to rent Studio Ghibli films, her favorite show as an adult is Hunter x Hunter. She credits the additional time at home over these past few months to perfecting her cosplay looks, executing ideas based on favorite characters from childhood as well as current shows. With that freedom of expression comes a bit of creativity: like her “Sexy Waluigi” look, that features booty short overalls and a mustache. Barnes admits she actually feels the most confident posting a photo of herself on the internet when dressed in a “ridiculous cosplay” that deters male fans who sexualize her other costumes.

Barnes’ journey to online fame hasn’t always been easy. She’s struggled to find her space as a biracial woman (“there’s no biracial culture — it doesn’t exist”), and has faced repeated blackfishing accusations by fans who don’t know she’s half Black. She’s not bothered, understanding that the criticism doesn’t come from a place of malice, and is circumspect about her online popularity in general: “The brain literally cannot fathom hundreds of thousand of people perceiving you at once, so it honestly feels like I’m just posting into the void.”

Though at the top of her selfie game, Barnes slyly hints at her desire to one day disappear from the internet entirely, perhaps in full circle — her first steps into social media were on an old Tumblr account that she ran anonymously. After seeing her ability to change her look completely with the pat of a makeup brush and the securing of a new wig, I think she can pull it off.

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So, taking it back to your childhood, you’ve mentioned that you had a scene phase, and also ran a secret One Direction Tumblr blog back in the day. What else were you interested in growing up?

My mom says I have an obsessive personality. I was into everything at one point. I ran the Tumblr gambit as a fan of everything — Supernatural, Dr. Who, Glee, you name it. I also played sports and have been a huge weeb since I was a little kid. I remember when I was around eight years old, I used to go to the video store with my mom and she didn’t really know anything about anime. Like, Perfect Blue and Blue’s Clues were the same thing in her head, so I was introduced to some pretty adult anime at a young age.

Your hometown in Virginia is a predominantly white community. As you were in the minority being biracial, what was that experience like for you?

I grew up in Northern Virginia in a very preppy, white, Liberal, upper middle class area. When you’re a kid, you don’t realize that you’re different from other kids especially when you’re around everyone who looks the same. You think that they perceive you that way too, but they don’t. I realized that very quickly when I was getting questions about whether or not I was adopted when my mom would pick me up. Then, it turned into this thing where growing up I was the de-facto Black friend because I was the closest anyone knew to a 100% Black person.

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Did those identity and perception shifts continue as you grew up and left Virginia?

Once I exited that bubble and went to college, that was so not how I was perceived in the world. People saw me as biracial, ambiguous, or “ethnic”, which was kind of a weird shift to have to navigate in my head. I got pretty lucky though to have a roommate who was Black and white biracial like me, which was such an incredible experience. Before that the only other biracial person I knew was my brother. I also joined a poetry group at college that was full of all Black women and it was great. It was interesting how I left the suburbs and was no longer perceived as Black, but that’s also how I got in touch with my blackness — by being around other Black people for the first time. I understand that to the average person, I’m not gonna translate as white, nor will I be seen as Black, but it was nice to be seen as Black by other Black people.

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Have any of these outer changes been a reflection of things that were going on in your life or just changes for fun?

A little mix of both. When I start getting stagnant in life is when I go through like a full body transformation. Even like going back to me being obsessive. I get hyper-fixated on these aesthetics and I have to perfect them within a week. I’ll want to go from goth to prep or something so i’ll donate all of my clothes and then go thrift shopping. It’s kind of been something I’ve enjoyed as a hobby for when I’m bored and I’m like, “Okay, time to become a new bitch!”

Though you’ve been on the internet as a content creator for a few years now, I feel as though you blew up when you posted a Tik Tok about how to minimize distorted front camera selfies. What led you to post that tip? Were you expecting the response that you received?

During my first two years at university I was a film student, so one of the few things I remembered was about lenses. Weird as it sounds, I had always wanted a nose job because the front camera distorts your nose so much. Not even that it makes it look big – it makes it look like, not a nose. As soon as I realized you could pull the camera away, I was like, “Holy shit. That’s my mirror face!”

I didn’t even have a TikTok until quarantine because I was like, “What the fuck is going on? I’m not gonna get the app where it’s like teenagers thrusting at you.” Then I just downloaded it and started posting. That was like my fourth video and I was not expecting the reaction it got at all because I didn’t even know how to work the app really.

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You dish out your fair share of beauty hacks here and there, but cosplaying as some of your favorite animated characters seems to be your solidified niche. Has anime always been something you were into? What was it about anime that drew you in?

My favorite show from childhood was Death Note, but I started with movies. I’d be bringing home Princess Mononoke as a little kid from the video store and within five minutes of watching someone’s arm was sliced off. I think I was just so enamored with adult content as a child I made it my shit for life.

What is it about anime that you love?

I have always had a hard time grappling with the fact that reality is reality. Reality is so boring compared to what people can think of in their heads. Like it pisses me off that New York City is not York New City from Hunter x Hunter. I’m so deeply fascinated that people can come up with these worlds and as someone who has studied art history and media it’s the perfect blend of the fantastical and animation. Like Devil Man Crybaby has such sick animation! It lives in my head rent free. That’s why I like cosplay so much, because it’s the only time I can step into these worlds a bit.

What do you think of the criticism of Black people being told they shouldn’t cosplay certain characters because their skin tone doesn’t match the character they are dressing up as?

I don’t get those comments beyond my facial features not matching a character’s, but a lot of my friends in the cosplay community who are Black get just the most vile shit thrown their way. It’s so ridiculous because it always rests on the axis of skin tone and it’s like a White cosplayer is no more accurate to a Japanese character. Also, nobody’s eyes take up half of their fucking head! Like people don’t look like anime characters in any capacity. It’s like, why would your skin tone be the point of inaccuracy when the fact that you’re a human is what makes it inherently inaccurate?

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Do you have any words of encouragement for people who want to cosplay but are afraid of the possible backlash they may receive?

I think the great thing about the cosplay community is that it’s growing so much and it’s full of so many cool and positive people who drown out all of the negativity. There is a ton of support to help block out the terrible comments from that little corner of the incel anime community. Also, getting shitty comments on the internet is something you can’t avoid no matter what you do, but you’ll find friends and a community working to lift you up more than those trying to bring you down.

Speaking of friendship, you and fellow beauty influencer Loey Lane seem to be quite close. How did you all become friends?

I was a huge fan of her and watched her back when I was in high school before I was even on the Internet in that way. Then, her manager reached out to me a couple of years into my career. At this time, I was so adamant about being self-managed because I’m such a perfectionist. I got an email from my current manager, Jake, and the opening line listed the people he already managed and when I saw Loey’s name and I was like “Oh shit, that’s my girl!” I ended up loving him and he introduced me to Loey. The first night we met I spilled Fireball all over her shoes because I was so nervous, but now we’re best friends. We traveled together. We quarantined together. It’s been nice to have some to kiki with about internet stuff because the rest of my friends aren’t on the internet and I wanted to keep those worlds separate.

Though you are a cosplayer, you are also part of the beauty world. One thing I’ve noticed about you is how you fully disclose any surgical augmentations you’ve had done to your body. Why is it important for you to have that sort of transparency with your audience?

So I’ve had filler and botox done and I realized that it’s such a point of fascination for people, but there’s not much information from people who have gone and done it. Also, as a beauty channel I never wanted to come on with new cheekbones and have people think it was just makeup or something achievable outside of what I was explaining in the tutorial. I don’t expect it from anyone else though. You don’t have to tell millions of people on the internet what you’ve had done if you’re not comfortable doing so.

You mentioned on Twitter how one year ago you decided to post a photo of your body online and now you’re an ambassador for Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty lingerie line. What pushed you to post more of yourself?

I’ve always thought I was cute. I thought my body was cute even through all of my weight fluctuations, but I know how women’s bodies are treated on the Internet. I didn’t want to give people the opportunity to comment. When my manager first told me about the opportunity it was so far out of my comfort zone I didn’t think I could do it, especially because I was just posting headshots at the time. Then, I sat on it for a couple of days and was like, “Wait, I love the way I look. I wanna fucking do this!” Now, I love where I’m at with my content and I’m so glad I decided to take that route. I do get the comments I expected, but I don’t care. In tandem with posting my body, I started showing more of my personality as well and I think it’s something people who follow me have liked seeing. It’s funny because I thought I was confident before, but oh baby, this has given me an immense sense of confidence because now I have all of my bitties and bits on the Internet.

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Not only are you a makeup extraordinaire, but you also have a degree in visual and media art studies. Why did you choose this path and how do you hope to use it in life?

So, I went to school for film because I wanted to be a practicing artist, but I knew I wasn’t good at painting or other mediums. Then, I realized that I didn’t like compartmentalized filmmaking and that’s when I fell in love with learning about other people’s art.

Though I love this “selfie game” I’m in now on the internet, that was never the end goal. I hope to save up enough capital to start an art gallery or an empire of galleries. I feel like art is so hierarchical and pretentious for no reason. There are so many talented artists that aren’t showcased because museums are filled with art from dead white people. So, my life goal is to dip off of the internet some day and then go into communities working to shine a light on artists from those areas so that people don’t have to go to the Whitney to see who the fuck cares.

Do you have a favorite piece of art?

“Portrait of Ross in L.A.” by Félix González-Torres. It’s a pile of candy that they put into museums and it represents this man’s partner who was dying of AIDS. They allow visitors to take a piece of the candy and I’ve always thought that was super powerful.

Your grandmother’s words make frequent appearances on your social media accounts every now and then and she is a huge part of your life. What makes that bond with your grandmother so special?

My grandparents used to save up all of their money to be able to travel together. Sadly, my grandpa ended up dying pretty young around when I was seven and she didn’t have anyone to travel with. When I was eight, my grandma asked my mom if she could take me to China and from that point forward, every year, she took me to a new international location. We have a great relationship because we had those hyper intensive experiences together. It’s been such a privilege to see from a young age that my little world was not what the rest of the world was like.

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You mentioned loving Robert Pattinson as Batman especially due to the eyeliner he dons for the movie. If you two could cosplay together, who would you want to cosplay as?

I would love to do a cosplay dream team of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure characters because the fits, the poses, and the characters are so iconic! Like imagine Robert Pattinson as a Jojo’s character. It’s everything.

Lastly, when COVID is finally under control, what are you most excited to do?

I’m really excited to travel again — whenever that happens. My ass is parked until there’s a vaccine!

Also, since I’ve been grinding these last couple of months I’ve had time to see my future if I continue to be a workaholic. I’ve been putting more time into my friendships and gotten closer with my family which I didn’t even think was possible because I’m obsessed with them. I’m excited to carve out more time to explore dating as an adult which is something I haven’t done much of. I have total apathy towards potentially being embarrassed or being heartbroken in dating, because who cares?

I’m also picking up some projects that were put on hold at the beginning of the year, so I’ll be dipping my toes into apparel!

Photos courtesy of Snitchery

Make Way for Toutou Jacquemus, Fashion’s New Favorite Pet

The fashion world’s Sunday scaries were relieved this past week when Jacquemus introduced his new puppy Toutou to the world on Instagram. The dapple dachshund’s oversized ears, angelic blue eyes, and tiny paws made for an adorable and photogenic debut — and the debut photo currently has more than 211,000 likes.

Related | Bert’s Outta the Bag: Instagram’s Favorite Pom Models 12 Fall Bags

In a following window selfie, Jacquemus cradles Toutou in one arm on the rainy streets of Paris. Clad in a chic brown leash harness, Toutou — who, just like his dad, obviously knows his angles — stares directly into the camera while being introduced as the brand’s newest team member.

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A post shared by JACQUEMUS (@jacquemus) on Sep 28, 2020 at 2:47am PDT

If the social media reveal is any indication, @mynameistoutou has already become a celebrity pet in his own right, so far amassing over 30k Instagram followers and counting. A recent gallery shows the puppy running through Jacquemus’ office courtyard, barking at a Chiquito bag, and lounging on couches on his first day at the brand. All in a day’s work!

Little is known about the new fashion darling, save that (per his bio) he loves “CROQUETTES, SUNNY DAYS, BONES, AND MY TWO DADS” (Jacquemus’ partner, Marco Maestri, is co-parenting). However, his fanbase is already unwaveringly loyal, with users proclaiming “i would sacrifice my own life for Toutou” and “Sorry dad i fell in love with a dog.” Honestly, can you blame them?

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A post shared by TOUTOU (@mynameistoutou) on Sep 27, 2020 at 10:38am PDT

What remains to be seen — aside from Toutou’s potential to fit inside a Chiquito — is how the pup will influence his dad’s namesake French brand. Being a high-fashion pet, after all, is serious business — just ask Choupette Lagerfeld or PAPER alum Neville Jacobs.

Related | Follow Waterparks’ 10 Favorite Instagram Dogs

We’re already anticipating signature bags, a pet line and runway appearances, though there will surely be more to come from Jacquemus’ latest muse. In the meantime, enjoy Toutou’s papped BTS shots napping on Simon’s shoes — and, obviously, follow him on Instagram.

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A post shared by TOUTOU (@mynameistoutou) on Sep 28, 2020 at 10:01am PDT

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Livestream This: Marquita! A Virtual Comedy Fundraiser

Thanks to Ms. Rona, we’re all trapped at home with nothing to do. Even Netflix is getting boring! But never fear. While they’re technically out of work, our favorite entertainers are still out here bravely making virtual content in a scary new world. Going to the club or the theater is out of the question right now (self isolate! Ariana Grande says so) but here’s PAPER’s ongoing guide to the latest livestreams — featuring comedians, actors, musicians and more.

Who? Comedian and Search Party star, John Early, is teaming up with the DSA Chapters of Tennessee to host a virtual fundraiser for Democratic nominee Marquita Bradshaw’s campaign for the Senate featuring appearances from Sarah Silverman, Bowen Yang, Jaboukie Young-White, Connie Britton, Kate Berlant, Naomi Ekperigin, Vicky With a V and more.

Related | This Generation of Comedy Is Queer

When? October 4 at 7 PM CST. Those who donate will receive a link to the show prior to the night’s performance.

Why Watch? Well, if Monday night’s presidential debate didn’t convince you that we are long overdue for new voices that will reinvigorate the American political system then let me be the first to welcome you to PAPER mag dot com, Mr. Trump. I’m afraid you aren’t going to like a lot of our content, but we appreciate the traffic anyways. As we all know, nothing makes our dark political reality a little bit more bearable than some good old fashioned comedy, and you would be hard pressed to find a better lineup without Bowen Yang, Jaboukie Young-White, Kate Berlant or Sarah Silverman. Plus it’s for a good cause, so what do you have to lose?

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