TikTok’s First Mega Group Has Been Assembled

Well, it’s happened. The first full pop group sourced from TikTok is here. Introducing The Future X, the latest endeavor spearheaded by Simon Fuller, the former manager of and mastermind behind some of music’s favorite groups and shows, including The Spice Girls and American Idol.

The journey started last year under the #NextInMusic hashtag. Aspiring musicians and dancers posted their auditions to the platform to be a part of pop’s next class and over the course of five weeks, the search continued while more than 300 million views were amassed.

Fuller then chose the final lineup of singers (Angie Green, Maci Wood and Luke Brown) and dancers (Sasha Marie, Tray Taylor, Jayna Hughes and Drew Venegas). They haven’t wasted any time either — the group’s now living together in Malibu, where they’re in the process of recording some new music. A preview of one of those new songs can be found here.

@thefuturexofficial Our choreographer, @Kyle Hanagami keeping us in check! 🥰 #TheFutureX ♬ original sound – The Future X

Things are moving quickly for The Future X; in March, they’ll start performing live together when they head out on the road with the group Now United, also managed by Fuller.

In a statement, Fuller detailed what makes The Future X so exciting. “We have spent a year working in partnership with TikTok to find the best talent on their platform and I am thrilled with the resulting group,” he said. “The Future X combines everything that is exciting about contemporary young artists: authenticity, confidence, empowerment, and a unique balance between extraordinary dancers and iconic singers.”

The Future X is also working on another initiative alongside e.l.f. Cosmetics to see that aspiring makeup artists can make their mark, too. The #elfitup TikTok Hashtag Challenge that began January 26 and continues through February 1 will discover the group’s official makeup artist.

Photography: Dennis Leupold

Meg Superstar Princess and The Cobra Snake Talk Indie Sleaze

In the mid-aughts, getting shot by photographer Mark Hunter — and posted in a gallery on his blog, The Cobra Snake — was the ultimate status symbol. If it-girl Cory Kennedy was chugging beer in the background, even better. For some, this was an excuse to go out at all, as Hunter captured the recklessness of nightlife before apps like Instagram gave that power to party kids without a digital camera. Selfies, a near impossible task, could only be done with a point-and-shoot, and skillfully extended arm.

This was pre-camera phones, of course: When Sky Ferreira hung out with Katy Perry, who’d just released her now-controversial single, “Ur So Gay;” when Lindsay Lohan still stumbled out of clubs, during her fling with DJ Samantha Ronson that she’d later pass off as an LA-influenced phase. A young Telfar was running doors of NYC parties; Kim Kardashian was merely Paris Hilton’s BFF; Agyness Deyn was the model; and bloghouse was cultivating some of music’s next big names, from Daft Punk to Steve Aoki.

Now lovingly referred to as “indie sleaze,” this early internet era is being rediscovered and reappropriated by a new generation, with TikTokers channeling the same debauchery that Hunter’s been documenting for his entire career — high flash and absolutely no Facetune allowed.

Through her own blog, Le Hipster Portal, Meg Superstar Princess (real name: Meg Yates) captures modern life in Manhattan, diary style, with a very Cobra Snake, indie sleaze edit (which is to say it’s entirely unedited). Her posts are bottomless, featuring scattered photos of Yates and her friends running from Lower East Side studios to warehouse parties in deli looks that include everything from raccoon eyes to faux fur jackets and tourism merch. As a bonus, she notoriously writes with a French voice, replacing every “the” with “le” and “I” with “moi.”

Being obsessive, cultural matchmakers, PAPER recently connected Hunter and Yates for the first time ever, as they spent a night out in NYC wreaking havoc across town. Below, the two talk all things indie sleaze in an extremely extended conversation, blog-style, with more than enough photos to bring you inside their experience. Because with The Cobra Snake, as Meg advised us, more is more.

Meg Superstar Princess: I started a blog about a year ago, Le Hipster Portal. I’ve had many fashion eras, but I was really obsessed with hipster-era shit, like Urban Outfitters, terrible hipster shit, and that led to me being into fashion blogger girls. So I started my own blog and taking my own photos, and my style has always been a little bit indie sleaze-y and late 2000s. Then all of the sudden everyone is talking about this trend, [indie sleaze]. Obviously, you’ve been a huge inspiration to me since I was like — not to make you feel old — but little. I was obsessed with your work.

For you, what is your experience having done something for so long that you’re such a mainstay at having a bit of a renaissance and being given the credit as the key figure of this period that everyone wants to talk about again? What have the past couple of months been like for you?

Mark Hunter, The Cobra Snake: I mean, it’s great. PAPER was the first to put me on to you and they have been trying to get me out to New York for a while. As soon as I saw you, I was instantly obsessed. I’m like, “This is the type of girl I love to be with.” I just want to be with you 24/7 and live your life.

Meg: Nobody ever says that to me, so thank you. [Laughs]

Mark: We made dreams come true, I spent almost four solid days with you. For me that’s always been my way of living vicariously through people because, as long as I’ve been in this industry and as long as I’ve been a photographer, I love documenting things. So to see somebody like you, who’s truly living such an extreme fun lifestyle, and bringing fashion, bringing partying, bringing everything into it is exactly what I go for. And it’s your fault because it’s the photos that I’ll take of you that are going to make people excited. That’s what I always tell people: it’s a chicken and an egg thing. Yes, I’m a photographer, but if I don’t have anything cool to photograph, then who am I? It’s the people and my subjects that I’ve met over the years that I’m so grateful for that turned my images to be something exciting.

Meg: When I think about people starting to do this party documentation, obviously, it’s been a thing for a long time, but you started taking these party pictures that were so visceral and fun and could also be shared on the internet with an immediacy that hadn’t really happened before. When you first started taking photos, was it always just documenting your life or people that were interesting in your life, or how did your photography journey start?

Mark: In high school I was a photo nerd, so I would spend hours in the dark room. I really have true street cred, you could say, because I could develop my own film and I print my own photos and I was fancy like that, I loved it. But I really didn’t see that that would be something viable for me to continue with because it’s expensive, it’s slow and it wasn’t exactly my vibe. This is the early 2000s.

Meg: And in LA, right?

Mark: In LA, yeah. There were no camera phones, it was a novel thing to think about a digital camera. I saved up some money and one of the things I loved doing, because when you’re underage in a town, all you can really do is go to concerts. I was the most hipster possible. Before the indie sleaze, the hipster is the indie sleaze.

Meg: Absolutely.

Mark: So I was dressing the part, in skinny jeans and tight fitting shirts and a v-neck from American Apparel and really just tried to embrace that energy. I’d end up at these concerts and I had to sneak my camera in. I would push my way to the front of the show, and I’d take epic photos of the bands and piss everybody off cause they’re like, “You didn’t wait outside the venue all day. You showed up right when the doors opened and we’ve been out here since two in the afternoon. Why are you all the way up here with us?” I said, “Chill out and let me take your photo,” and they were flattered because nobody would ever take their photo. So I turned the camera around on the crowd before and after the show, and mixed in photos of the band and told a better story of the night.

In the beginning, I didn’t even have a website. I was emailing those photos. I had to literally send different emails to different people and be like, “Here’s my photos, here’s a photo of you.” So I decided to make the website and truly I feel like somewhat of a visionary only because it propelled my career like you wouldn’t believe. The fact that the photos of the Yeah Yeahs that I shot at the Troubadour in 2004 ended up on their message board the next day, and then two days later I get an email from the band and they’re like, “Hey kid, we love your work. You wanna come shoot our next show? We’re actually filming a music video and you could do behind-the-scenes with Spike Jones directing.”

Meg: Whoa, and you’re how old?

Mark: I’m 19, probably.

Meg: Holy shit.

Mark: I was like, “This is blowing my mind getting this access.” I was a fan of these people, I was paying to go to the concert. I was just a big nerd and the fact that they were seeing me on a level that we could work together was pretty sick.

Meg: And not even on some scene bullshit, like you’re a friend of a friend of a friend, but just just through your photos on their own.

Mark: Yes, the work really spoke for itself and that was what made me proud. The people that recognized the photos as something interesting and something fresh really got it. There were plenty of people that were like, “This is a joke, how can you make a career shooting parties?” And I laugh thinking about that. Not to brag about finances or stuff, but I bought a house from taking party photos, which is kind of a joke.

Meg: So many people I know that are successful photographers from a young age now and do campaigns and really big work literally started doing parties. That’s how they built up their thing, doing party photos.

Mark: Shooting nightlife is an aggressive thing. You have to react to what’s going on at the event, you have to be aware, so it’s really good training for capturing people and the energy.

Meg: So you’re in LA and you start to get these opportunities by going to shows. Then, you just start meeting more people that way, going to more events and adding to your website, and that’s just how the ball really got rolling for you?

Mark: Yeah, to bring it to modern day, it still happens. I’m out with you in New York and we hear of something else going on from a friend at the bar and we go to the next party and then we go to the after party. That energy was always happening and so what people realized is, “We’ve got to have Mark at the parties.” So my inbox was just being flooded with events and friends would be like, “This is happening now or a month from now mark your calendar for this thing.” I really was obsessive and I was like, “I need to shoot everything” Again, this was a different time, so you didn’t have any way to know if something was gonna be cool. You couldn’t watch somebody’s Story, you weren’t even really texting like nowadays. You had phones with the number texts and it was impossible to send messages.

Meg: And people also didn’t know if you were gonna be there, like is there gonna be anything worth shooting? Are we gonna have to create something worth shooting there? Am I gonna get my photo taken, will Mark be there?

Mark: I didn’t even intend on that, but it became this sort of clout, which didn’t even exist then. “I was shot by The Cobra Snake and my photo was on the website,” or, “My photo made the front cover of the gallery.” For me, people would relate it to Andy Warhol and the “15 seconds of fame,” or whatever, and this became a true portal to nightlife. Within the community, it was really revered, and a lot of people would socialize and it would be a good way to even interact with people. Now with Instagram you can leave comments and all of that, but back then you could say, “I saw you on The Cobra Snake, I loved your outfit,” or you’d have to directly contact these people, which is the first step of flirting.

Meg: Having now met you, you’re not very socialite-y, you’re not very attention seeking. But, obviously, that had to become a part of your life and now you have this persona, you have such a distinct look, so people know who you are. Did that make taking photos better or did it make it harder in some ways when you’re out and everybody knows who you are?

Mark: When I started and I was young — everybody likes to talk about their anxiety — so I was a little bit anxious cause I’m going to these adult events and art shows, and there’s sophisticated people and I’m just this goofy kid. So I had glasses at the time and then I would wear sunglasses that would fit over your glasses that are for old people when they have cataracts.

Meg: Oh I love those, those are cute.

Mark: I had these fun glasses on and I could barely even see anything.

Meg: Yeah, how are you taking the picture? [Laughs]

Mark: Well, that’s the best part. It was like I had a force field around me, so I didn’t really know who I was shooting or what I was shooting, and so that put the intimidation factor down. And then I’d look at them after the night and think, “Holy shit, that was this celebrity,” and I wasn’t fazed by that. Also, the thing with celebrity culture is that I never wanted my blog to rely on photos of Paris Hilton. You just came to the website because you would see something and you’d enjoy whatever it might be.

Meg: Indie sleaze overlaps heavily with that birth of the influencer, the Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian kind of girl. The Cobra Snake felt so much more underground. Maybe celebrities are in the room, but it was cool scene people that you were shooting, which was such a cool element to have, especially coming out of LA.

Mark: When I could shoot those famous people, it was still through my style, so those would look a little bit more raw and fun because I’m capturing them the way I would, not like on the red carpet.

Meg: Your photos of Lindsay Lohan are some of the best ones that exist.

Mark: Oh my God, Lindsay was a sweetheart back in the day and I would see her almost weekly.

Meg: She’s cool, she also actually does have amazing, sick-ass style. I saw Samantha Ronson at a bar once and I really had to keep myself from saying anything. Best dressed bitch ever. So when you were becoming this party person in LA, who were some of the people that ended up being featured? There are people like Corey [Kennedy] or Steve Aoki, who end up becoming figures in your blog that are there really often. I’ve watched all the old Nylon TV videos and you’re driving around doing your yard sales and shit. You start photographing these people who, at the same time, are beginning to have their moment and there’s this element that you’re bringing each other up, becoming these cultural icons in some way or another.

Mark: What I could choose to showcase on the blog was my editorial decision, so when I was immensely obsessed with Corey, the blog was ripe with Corey content and people loved that. They could see that energy between us, the antics that we would get up to and it was also really relatable. That’s what I think this whole new renaissance should also echo is that this is a scene to embrace every people. We’re the underdogs.

Meg: There’s an intimacy there when you start to have a person that keeps coming up a lot.

Mark: And people could relate to them. If you were to look at the magazines of the time, everyone is what we called McBling: Buff and tan and guys waxed their chest, and girls had big boobs.

Meg: Logomania.

Mark: Exactly, so where did we fit in all that? We were the people going to see Wes Anderson movies, like Rushmore, back in the day. I think it was a really sweet and pure energy to be documenting. The crazy thing is that a lot of the people from the blog have gone on to do amazing things. We had the weekly party at Cinespace on a Tuesday night and hundreds of people would show up. Everybody from all the bloghouse heroes (Justice and Uffie and Daft Punk) to Lady Gaga to Kid Cudi and Kanye [West] would show up. It was pretty much what, at the time, felt like a chore to go out every single Tuesday.

Meg: We love to complain about partying, don’t we?

Mark: Looking back, it is pretty amazing to see what happened.

Meg: So I like to push buttons and be a little messy and I’m a fashion bitch, but I think I could be a bit of a punker in terms of my mentality. I just think things should be a little fucked up sometimes. Your photos are party photos, so there’s obviously an air of debauchery, but your photos aren’t some Nan Goldin, drugs everywhere, kind of situation, right? You can tell people are out and up to shit, but you’re not documenting gnarly, like there’s puke shots and stuff like that, but you’re not–

Mark: I kept it very PG-13, R-rated. I did shoot a lot of crazy things, but I never published those photos. I knew I had a sort of responsibility and, at one point, the site was getting 50,000+ unique visitors a day. I knew a lot of them were quite young, so if I’m going to be inspiring a certain culture, I wanted to be a little bit careful with that. It’s tough because I was never creating these moments, I was there documenting them, but the fact that I decided to display them sort of validates them, in a way.

Meg: Definitely. I find it important and inspiring to be allowed to be messy and be allowed to show those moments, but I think it’s important to walk the line of how much you’re going to show and in what way and how often.

Mark: The thing that I love about you is how raw and real you are. You’re actually ahead of the curve because there’s this whole backlash on social media of people with too much Facetune and photoshop, and nobody wants that anymore, they want to see the real.

Meg: It’s like, “Here’s the mess,” but I have to be the one to sort of take it the furthest with my own image and identity. When you’re taking photos of other people, you have to be a lot more careful about respecting their image.

Mark: I would shoot strangers a lot that I’d met for the first time, so if I was shooting them in a compromising position, I don’t know their day job, I don’t know anything. So even when they’re so excited for the photos and they’re acting to the camera, they might be wasted and realize the next day, “I probably shouldn’t have done that.”

Meg: [Laughs] It’s like, I’m not gonna feel bad if I photographed you making out with somebody and you knew it and then your actual boyfriend saw it, but there’s definitely some things I wouldn’t put on the internet.

Mark: I’ve gotten calls, “Hey, can you take that photo down? That wasn’t my girlfriend.” There’s actually a line in a rap song that was on one of [Steve] Aoki’s records, saying something about, “There’ll be photos of me making out with some girl on The Cobra Snake that I don’t know,” or something like that.

Meg: You have to find that, I love that.

Mark: It’s a lot more slick and delivered way better than I just did.

Meg: [Laughs] Yeah, you mumble-rapped a little bit.

Mark: But touching on the time we spent together over last week, it really brought me back and I really felt truly alive. It was so cool to see New York even in whatever energy we’re currently in, with COVID and it being winter, there’s still this creative vibe and people that want to go out and have fun. That was really fun for me to see.

Meg: We had a blast. It’s fun having you come out because, obviously, everyone I’m going out with knows who you are and wants their photo taken, like probably too badly. But people amp up the fun a little more when there’s a photographer there, there’s a reason to turn up, but it has been very slow and cold and the parties have been canceled because of COVID. Also, people who are partying right now are spun out either because of partying after COVID or during COVID dangerously. So it’s a little crazy, but there’s always a frenetic energy to New York. Some of the most fun you can have is when there’s nothing going on because at least there’s always people out in New York even if they’re total randoms. Even if there’s no cool, fun party, you can make something happen.

Mark: We ended up in Times Square at like four in the morning and there were dudes filming some kind of hip-hop music video, and you go and play with them.

Meg: Well, they wouldn’t let me in the car, but I had to try.

Mark: [Laughs] I don’t know if I would let you in a car either, but–

Meg: I’ve been doing that a lot lately, just getting into random strangers’ cars, I need to stop.

Mark: That’s what’s so beautiful about the city, you can bump into people on the street, you can end up at somebody’s loft and play dress up for hours. That’s what I really enjoy photographing: that day in the life.

Meg: I definitely have been really balls to the wall this weekend, for sure. Obviously, it’s great that you are being recognized online for something you fucking started. But the indie sleaze shit, at least for me, I didn’t set out a plan to be this style. My fashion taste is a lot more complex than one gimmick. On TikTok and shit, kids do stuff like, “I’m an e-girl, I’m a fairy bitch, I’m whatever.” It sucks to watch a style, which I have such an intense and complex relationship with, get trivialized. At the same time, I’m not going to turn it down for the clout and attention, but how do I avoid becoming a parody of myself?

Mark: I think somebody like you, you’re always going to evolve and be ahead of the curve, so where anyone’s digesting this now and just getting into it, you’re already probably thinking of what you want to do next and what fashion trend you want to mess up. But the thing that’s so hyper-nuts about these trends is it’s so visual and so surface that you can dress the part, but you won’t know anything about the real culture of indie sleaze like the bands associated, the art, the film and everything that people of that era embraced. What that does is it sort of comes and goes, so maybe it might resonate with some people and they’re going to really embrace indie sleaze as their 2022 goal and hopefully they’re going to really support and dive in. That’s what any campaign would want: we’re going to hype this thing up and see who we can get to join our team.

Meg: It is amazing that fashion can be such an access point to people, as much as it sounds corny to talk about stuff this way, especially trends, but it is such an incredible educational access point for culture, especially when there’s so much out there now.

Mark: Everyone who made fun of Kendall Jenner for wearing a Slayer shirt, but it popularized Slayer’s music, in a way.

Meg: When I get into something, I dive in so fucking deep on my own, but I also find it really humorous and fun to be of my generation and don’t feel bad about being a poser because I don’t necessarily know if that’s a bad thing or totally possible at this point in 2022, but it is quite fun. Speaking of where we are at right now, the way things can be so surface level, as you’re having so many TikToks made about you. That Paris Hilton era in LA was so not PC, so fucked up, so far from woke and unapologetically obsessed with consumer shit, like Bush era. Now, it’s these photos everyone’s loving, but it’s these kids that didn’t live through that and don’t understand necessarily what the time was like back then. They’re looking at your work, your life or your identity through this gaze that’s from woke TikTok, and are being so critical and making these assumptions and creating this rhetoric around you that’s really harsh. How do you handle that?

Mark: I mean, you really have to look at it as this time capsule and I can’t apologize for photos I’ve taken, right?

Meg: Yeah, you shouldn’t.

Mark: That was a moment, and we lived and we learned. That’s the main thing: we have to learn from the past and from our mistakes. If there was something that was inappropriate back then and it’s no longer cool, I’m all for that, but I get a little bit sad when it stifles creativity. What I have always been proud of is that I’ve always remained a good dude when it comes to being a party photographer, and I really want to be there to inspire and be creative and to support others in that. When you look at my photos, I want you to feel good and feel like, “Oh that brings me to a time,” or, “Look how funny that person looks, they look so different nowadays.” But I know that it was a huge problem on Facebook, that negativity generates more clicks. Of course, there’s going to be ways you can swing a headline and twist things around in certain ways, so I’m ready for it because this is going to be a big year with my book coming out.

Meg: Yeah, I’m so excited for your Rizzoli book. It’s all your party pics?

Mark: The book is the nightlife and party pics from the 2000s, pretty much until Instagram took over and made me somewhat obsolete for a little bit. What’s nice about that is I was able to look back at that era and really reflect and curate this. A lot of photos people haven’t even seen before, so it’s a really cool piece.

Meg: You obviously didn’t create Instagram, but you were part of this culture that made Instagram work so well and then that made your work less–

Mark: Somebody called me in some article, “The Instagram before Instagram,” and I was flattered. The funny thing is, I did this pretty much myself for the first 10 years and then, over the years, I always had other photographers shoot and contribute to the blog because I couldn’t be everywhere at once. So I gave them a platform and access. I had a really amazing girl from Tokyo contributing and a dude in Australia sending in photos, so it became a global party thing. If i knew how to design an app or something it could have been–

Meg: That’s what you would have done, yeah.

Mark: Everybody became their own photographer, from celebrities on down. You could have the most intimate selfie from whoever in their dressing room and just post it. Not that it’s a better photo, but it might be a more authentic photo than what I might have captured. And that took over, this Instagram aesthetic was the vibe.

Meg: But then as everything became so saturated with that, it all started to feel less authentic and then people started to feel this need for photos like yours taken again.

Mark: That’s where this renaissance is bubbling up because people realized they like a third party doing this. They like the fact that I can capture somebody in the moment and your camera phone can’t do that, it’s blurry.

Meg: Instagram made photography so accessible that traditional photographers hated it because they felt it took away the art form from the medium, but then it almost made it so accessible that it made everyone appreciate the art form. It can be in the medium again, which is so cool.

Mark: Yeah, it’s flipped on its head in a way. What I love is we went out and then I had a Dropbox from The Drunken Canal party, and it got spread through DMs and everyone just started posting those photos. So it’s pretty cool because it does serve a purpose to have me there at the event, and there’s an excitement and an anticipation to log on and see the photos the next day and socialize them. Now even more than ever because, when I was doing this in the 2000s, you might have them on your Myspace page, but now you have so many different outlets where you can show the photos.

Meg: It was cool you came to that Drunken Canal party. When I first started my blog, I loved it because I realized the value in having a casual space to make work or take photos and post them in a public way that felt more intimate and detached from the cycle on social media that you get stuck into. People connected to it, which became a special thing. The Drunken Canal, they are these people that started a newspaper and put it out on newsstands for free all throughout the city and they throw it together with people downtown in the scene. People fucking wake up early in the morning, Friday or Saturday, when they put it out once a month to see it. It’s cool to have all of us have this revival moment together.

Mark: I love what they’re doing, bringing it back to the old school because having print is so special. Since I’ve found out about you, I’ve been obsessed with your blog because there you can really be intimate and share whatever you want, and you’re not restricted to the guidelines of Instagram. You can post more than a few photos and it doesn’t get annoying.

Meg: And it doesn’t have to be the right one, I post them all. I don’t have to worry about if my wording’s perfect because it’s a blog. Blogs are about oversharing and not editing.

Mark: It’s really like a diary and it’ll be a cool archive to look back on. I hope that you’re going to inspire more kids to start blogs again.

Meg: Teenage girls, those are my readers. I’ve seen a lot of them already, and it’s so cute and so cool to see it happen.

Mark: Yeah, it’s a great outlet and that’s what’s so cool about the internet and another reason why I chose the internet to share my photos is because it’s like an all you can eat buffet and you can put out as much content as you want. For me, it was like visual potato chips, just snacking on.

Meg: Now that we have such a big structure in the way we all use social media and the internet, it’s cool to see people carve out a way to be a little vintage and be a little hipster on the internet. That’s a really exciting and fun thing to be a part of.

Mark: It’s crazy how every website is now like a Squarespace, and so 2.0 and modern. It’s a whole different experience when you bring it back to that 1.0, and Blogspots and Tumblrs.

Meg: So how do we describe indie sleaze? Do you think it’s the way you took the photos, was it the clothes people were wearing or the music? What are the things that were pop cultural moments that come to your mind?

Mark: One of the main things I like to say is sitting on the floor. I just love that, it’s a carefree energy. You don’t care that you’re wearing a fancy outfit or part of a fancy outfit, but you’re going to sit on the floor and there might be a drink spilled next to you. You’re going to pour your handbag out looking for your makeup compact. It’s a punk rock energy of not giving a fuck and being intense. The style is very hipster to me, which is funny because I have never really changed my style. I have worn the same stuff, but I think for a lot of people it’s a little rock and roll. You think of Kate Moss.

Meg: I think of high-low. It’s literally high and low, like you’re on the fucking ground in a high-end dress. It’s like cheesy gas station accessories with a beaded mini-dress and Louboutins and a piece of caution tape around your head. It’s high-low, if you’re at a fancy cocktail party or you’re at a shitty party in a fancy outfit.

Mark: You’re wrecking your designer handbag, you really don’t give a fuck basically.

Meg: That’s why I connected to indie sleaze. One time, my friend described my fashion style like, “You dress like New York City and New York City has so much mythology. It’s so glamorous, but it’s glamorous because it exists on this huge layer of grit and your feet are fucking dirty in your ballet flats.

Mark: I love a story that I heard about you buying some short shorts on Canal Street and it’s like making an outfit on the go. You don’t really plan things and everything has an organic feel like, “Oh, it’s cold and I’m going to buy a souvenir hoodie for $5 and now that’s my outfit.”

Meg: I was staying at my friend’s on Canal Street because I hated my dorm the first year. I just wore like three fake Rolex watches and a fake Birkin bag and an “I Love New York” shirt and shorts everyday and just kept buying them. And then I got my famous, “Keep back 200 feet,” on my ass shorts and I just kept like six pairs and they’re all ripped. I wore those for literally years, but to every event. I’d take a ball gown and cut it into a top and wear those shorts and heels to a party, and I’d wear it with a sweatshirt and flats. That’s it.

Mark: That’s what is so fun, there were no real rules to it. You’re sweaty, your makeup’s not great and the imperfectness is the perfectness.

Meg: Coming out of what you call McBling, it makes so much sense that people were drawn to The Cobra Snake style and that space in time. And now there’s the Calabasas-style internet, influencer space.

Mark: They’re calling it “Malibu Sleaze,” and it’s a whole thing about Pam Anderson and that whole vibe.

Meg: I know nothing about Malibu and I’m very anti-LA. I mean, I will come to hang out with you.

Mark: We should do some paparazzi bikini pics of you, like “never before seen.”

Meg: I’m pretty sure I’ve been seen in a bikini a thousand ways.

Mark: A flame bikini.

Meg: I love that, “Meg takes LA.” I’m from there, but I’m not really from there.

Mark: We should do a hometown visit with Meg. “Meet the parents.”

Meg: I guess there are some parking lots I used to hang out in.

Mark: That’s what’s so special, when you get together with five or six people and you’re just having fun, talking, catching up with things. Being real and not on your phone, and that’s what is so important and I want more people to get back to.

Meg: It’s sad that getting fucked up is the easiest way to get people to do that now.

Mark: That’s why I brought fitness into my career. I wanted to make it a social way to network and do everything, but in a healthy environment like on a mountain or running across the Williamsburg Bridge.

Meg: You’ve never made it out late enough with me, you’re on LA hours. There’s maybe one or two nights you might have been able to get a little athleticism in, but you didn’t make it with me all the way to the punk house after Times Square.

Mark: I got 10+ years on you and it’s a little bit hard running on an energy drink ’til six in the morning.

Meg: I don’t know how you kept up on a beer and a Redbull.

Mark: Again, I live vicariously through you and all these people I’ve met. It brings me that life and energy, and it makes it really fun. Sometimes I’ve also known that in the wee hours you’re not going to get the most appropriate photos.

Meg: This is true. Once the bars close, the photos are really less interesting. If I’m hanging out in some shitty apartment with my friends all night, those are cool, but the afterparty pictures are sad and taken very poorly.

Mark: The resurgence of digital cameras is kind of a sweet spot for me. Seeing you out with one and a lot of these top tier influencers all bringing cameras that are probably older than a lot of them.

Meg: It makes you think about photos in a different way that makes you more present in the moment, actually.

Mark: Because you can’t share it right away, you have to get it from the memory card. There’s a lot of steps you have to take.

Meg: A lot of hoops to jump through, but it’s fun.

Mark: The story of my life

Meg: It’s time for you to come back, we miss you already, Mark. I can’t believe you can still stand me after our night out.

Mark: I told you I have a high tolerance and you are a superstar. That should be part of your instagram name, I would say.

Meg: [Laughs] It’s been my Instagram since I was like 16 and I just can’t change it now because it’s too far gone.

Mark: I wouldn’t, I would never, but you need more merch and more people speaking the gospel. It’s also cool because people are associating us a lot with this indie sleaze movement and beyond, and it’ll be interesting to see where that goes.

Meg: Okay love, is there anything else you want to chat about?

Mark: Let’s hope for a good 2022, and that we can be off to the races and live life to the fullest and not feel so controlled behind a mask. What’s the French thing you would say? Au revoir or something?

Meg: Au revoir, merci, tata, namaste.

[Both laugh]

Photography: Mark Hunter, The Cobra Snake

D.A.R.E. Is Not a Fan of ‘Euphoria’

HBO’s gritty teen show Euphoria may be well-loved by fans, but D.A.R.E. is not one of them.

D.A.R.E. — Drug Abuse Resistance Education — shared a statement with TMZ today that pretty harshly slams the depiction of drug use among the characters on the show. “Rather than further each parent’s desire to keep their children safe from the potentially horrific consequences of drug abuse and other high-risk behavior, HBO’s television drama, Euphoria, chooses to misguidedly glorify and erroneously depict high school student drug use, addiction, anonymous sex, violence and other destructive behaviors as common and widespread in today’s world,” the statement reads.

You might have to reach deep into the depths of your memory to recall D.A.R.E.; The anti-drug program — which began as part of the Reagan “Just Say No” era — is usually taught to school kids before they reach their teenage years and are exposed to drugs, violence, alcohol, etc. The program aims to give kids the knowledge and tools they need to stay on the straight and narrow, but that’s often easier said than done when you’re an impressionable teen.

See on Instagram

Euphoria does feature quite a bit of casual drug usage, most notably with its main character Rue, played by Zendaya. Throughout the first season and into the currently airing second season, Rue has struggled with drug addiction. It’s ruining her relationship with her younger sister, played by Storm Reid, and getting her into dangerous situations with some seriously sketchy people. But with the glitz and glam of the way the show is shot and received, D.A.R.E. is concerned that despite the dangers shown on screen, some viewers may still be enticed to follow in Rue’s footsteps.

But rather than just attack HBO and the Euphoria creators for the show they’ve chosen to make, D.A.R.E. says they’d like to collaborate with the network to ensure the messaging on the show is more helpful than harmful. The statement to TMZ continues, “We would welcome the opportunity for our team, including members of our high school-aged Youth Advocacy Board, to meet with individuals at HBO who are involved with producing Euphoria to present our concerns directly.”

D.A.R.E. also shares that they feel it’s unfortunate that Euphoria is viewed as “groundbreaking” when so much of the show can be considered dangerous, especially with teenagers facing “unparalleled risks and mental health challenges.” Because not only is the drug usage in Euphoria a concern, but there are other troubling themes, like abusive relationships, violence and unsafe casual sex. And though the show is fiction, these topics are certainly ones that are realistic among teens and beyond. The show and the network have not yet responded to D.A.R.E.’s message.

This Lube Company Is Raising Money for Sex Workers via NFTs

In the year since its launch, Goodparts has found a strong ally in the sex worker community, serving as both loyal customers and vocal advocates of its signature lube. Now though, the wellness and lifestyle company is trying to give back financially by harnessing the cultural clout of NFTs.

In order to do this, Goodparts is minting eight “lubed up” versions of Brooklyn photographer Benjamin Fredrickson‘s work, specifically his “wedgie” series. Featuring three different NYC-based sex workers — Jon Ali, Echo Xavier and Sammy Kim— who are simultaneously starting their own businesses or going to school, the photos see them harnessed by the back of their underwear, placed in compositions that are just as striking as they are sensual.

Sold via NFTreats, the use of an NFT marketplace for uncensored and inclusive erotic art keeps in line with Goodparts’s desire to support the sex worker community by donating the proceeds to the Urban Justice Center’s Sex Worker Project, a nonprofit dedicated to providing resources and protecting sex workers, which is especially important in a post-FOSTA/SESTA world.

“Not only do these individuals provide people with a necessary outlet for sexual exploration and pleasure, but many use their platforms to drive important and nuanced conversations about the industry, sexual politics, and sexuality at large — all under the constant threat of censorship, deplatforming, or even arrest,” as Goodparts founder Dave Shanfield said in regards to the rationale behind the sale. As such, the first two NFTs are slated for release on February 2, while the other six will debut on February 8. Each sale will also come with a Goodparts care package and one-month subscriptions to the featured models’ OnlyFans.

Prior to bidding though, you can check out a few of the photos below and mark your calendars for January 26, February 3 and February 13, when NFTreats will be facilitating conversations between Frederickson and the models via Twitter Spaces.

Photo by Benjamin Fredrickson / Courtesy of Goodparts

Liam Payne Outs Himself as a Crypto Bro

If you had to take a wild guess as to which former One Direction member would go on to become a huge fan of crypto, which one would you pick and why is it always Liam Payne?

Having an already 34-million strong following on his personal account that shares links to NFT auctions and invites to Twitter Spaces chatroom (which only ever seem to be about crypto), Payne announced that he was creating a new account solely devoted to sharing his love of cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens and all things blockchain.

Hey guys Iu2019ve decided to start a new Twitter account to just talk about NFTsu2026I know I get pretty excited about it sometimes If youu2019re interested go follow @PaynoEth and come say hello — Liam (@Liam)

“This is the start of something new for me which is always exciting. Come with me on this crazy NFT journey as I share more with what’s going on in my world,” Payne tweeted out. Sporting an Ethereum-inspired handle and Payne’s recently acquired Doodles NFT set as his profile picture, the new account has already amassed over 25K followers meaning that there is at least an audience for it.

As to Payne’s other 33.975 million followers who may have been less than enthusiastic about the deluge of NFT talk flooding their timelines, the alt-account probably comes as a welcome relief. But judging from the internet’s reaction to the news, nothing is apparently going to save them from secondhand embarrassment.

saw a liam payne fanfic once called headed in the wrong direction and yeah,,, author was truly ahead of their time hmmhttps://twitter.com/liampayne/status/1486006821219450889u00a0u2026 — bangtan sonyeehawndan (@bangtan sonyeehawndan)

I always said Liam Payne fell off the hardest of the one direction boys and this is just additional confirmation https://twitter.com/LiamPayne/status/1486006821219450889u00a0u2026pic.twitter.com/IMeBDCB9T4 — NFTs I stole (@NFTs I stole)

reese witherspoonu2026 jimmy fallonu2026 liam payneu2026 paris hiltonu2026 melanie martinezu2026 i canu2019t judge yu2019all but god most definitely will! — matt (@matt)

i used to be 12 on tumblr defending Liam Payne DOWN and this is how he repays me? i got sumn for himpic.twitter.com/TYGI5RNPWN — cheye I dautuh of athena (@cheye I dautuh of athena)

so was “Liam Payne becomes a crypto guy” on someone’s bingo?https://twitter.com/PaynoEth/status/1486006628054933513u00a0u2026 — ace (@ace)

this is so funny to me, to think that world famous multi millionaire liam payne is behind this sketchy looking accountpic.twitter.com/Q8zXAjCVR9 — shay u2606 (@shay u2606)

I don’t know a celeb that embarrasses their fans more than Liam Payne https://twitter.com/LiamPayne/status/1486006821219450889u00a0u2026 — Z De Haan (@Z De Haan)

Photo via Getty/ Gareth Cattermole

Fans Think Addison Rae Recorded This Deep Cut Lady Gaga Demo

Back in 2010, Lady Gaga wrote and recorded an absolute smash, called “Nothing On (But the Radio),” which was never officially released. A beloved deep cut for super fans, a demo of the track — co-written by Gaga, Billy Steinberg and Josh Alexander — has been circulating the internet for more than a decade now, building lore along the way and a seemingly endless supply of theories about its release date.

There were debunked rumors about Gaga including it on ARTPOP and, this week, Little Monsters are speculating that TikTok sensation Addison Rae will record it for a forthcoming debut project.

A moment of silence for Nothing On But The Radio- Lady Gagapic.twitter.com/X7v323rB14 — ud835udde0ud835uddfcud835uddffud835uddf4ud835uddeeud835uddfbud835uddee (@ud835udde0ud835uddfcud835uddffud835uddf4ud835uddeeud835uddfbud835uddee)

A four-second clip of Rae singing the song’s chorus has appeared on Twitter. “I’ve got nothing on but the radio,” she begins, taking on Gaga’s massive, unreleased pop hook that even RuPaul is reportedly a fan of. In the original, Gaga continues: “And I’ve got nothing on for tonight,” seeming to play off an iconic Marilyn Monroe quote: “It’s not true I had nothing on, I had the radio on,” the siren once said.

Addison Rae recorded Nothing On But the Radio by Lady Gaga for her upcoming EPpic.twitter.com/Sbf55LZloh — Scott |Combat Reporter (@Scott |Combat Reporter)

Last year, Rae launched her music debut with “Obsessed,” featuring a Diane Martel-directed video and choreography that made its way to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The response to her first single was polarizing, as Rae began navigating the choppy waters from social media influencer to pop star (not unlike Paris Hilton in 2006). But the track itself was undeniably addictive, with a shameless, cocky chorus that shut down any chatter: “I’m obsessed with me-e-e as much as you,” she teased.


♬ I Got It Bad by Addison Rae – Tik Toker

Rae has since fallen silent without any follow-up tracks, despite telling iHeartRadio in spring of 2021, “I am working on an album right now.” Much like ravenous Little Monsters’ relationship with “Nothing On (But the Radio),” though, stans of the He’s All That actress are hungry for her to release a viral leaked cut, called “I Got It Bad.” Even internet pop provocateur Slayyyter loves it (imagine if Rae’s breakout EP featured a Gaga record and Slayyyter collab).

this canu2019t be realhttps://twitter.com/slayyyter/status/1479537523512598530u00a0u2026 — Addison Rae (@Addison Rae)

Neither Gaga nor Rae have commented on the frenzy, so the internet is left to speculate on what happens next. Perhaps Dawn of Chromatica producer Arca will hop on for a guest spot, considering Rae’s an open fan? Cue the pop panic!

Addison Rae now that gays know that she has a recording of an unreleased Gaga song on top of I Got It Badpic.twitter.com/AYR8t5LeVs — Brooklyn (@Brooklyn)

Photos via Getty

Cardi B Wins Huge Defamation Lawsuit

Cardi B just won a defamation lawsuit against YouTuber LaTasha Kebe.

A jury in Georgia awarded the rapper more than $1.25 million in damages after deliberating for two weeks. Kebe was also convicted of invasion of privacy through portrayal in a false light, as well as for the intentional infliction of emotional distress. There’s also a chance that Kebe could be responsible for additional punitive damages and Cardi’s legal expenses when the court resumes next week.

Back in 2019, Cardi sued Kebe over several dozen of her videos in which the YouTuber, who goes by Tasha K, claimed that Cardi was a prostitute before, cheated on Offset, had herpes, and more — even going back to the rapper’s time as a stripper and claiming that she had sex with bottles on stage.

During the case, Cardi took the stand and explained what these constant allegations and harassment did to her. “I felt extremely suicidal,” she said. “I felt defeated and I didn’t want to sleep with my husband.” Additionally, the rapper claimed that the ordeal led her to suffer from migraines, anxiety, weight loss and fatigue, ultimately leading her to get into therapy.

Cardi also talked briefly about the herpes rumor in particular, which led to her getting harassed for posting a picture kissing her daughter, Kulture.

Kebe recently tweeted about the verdict, saying, “My Husband, Attorney’s, & I fought really hard. I want to thank them for their long hours and sleepless nights. Winos it’s only up from here. See y’all in a few days. Back to work.”

My Husband, Attorneyu2019s, & I fought really hard. I want to thank them for their long hours and sleepless nights. Winos itu2019s only up from here. See yu2019all in a few days. Back to work.nn#unwinewithtashakn#nowigottagobye — unWinewithTashaK (@unWinewithTashaK)

Cardi’s tweeted since the verdict, but her tweet is a little hazier and has potentially nothing to do with what happened: “Why am I happy but sad at the same time?”

Why am I happy but sad at the same time? — Cardi B (@Cardi B)

Photo via Getty

sophie meiers Reintroduces Themself

Internet pop artist sophie meiers says their first single of 2022 is “one of the most important songs” they’ve released to date. Titled “collar,” the warm, guitar-led cut signals a more optimistic direction for meiers into the New Year, as they innocently sing about feeling “nervous” when a crush is near. “I start to think about you pulling on the collar of my dress” meier admits, their slightly whispered delivery adding to the relatable, anxious undercurrent.

“It’s everything I love about making music,” meiers says of their latest on Epitaph Records. “It’s playful and warm and crunchy and quick-witted and passionate. Honestly, it just fuckin’ feels good to listen to. That feeling of sunny contentment when a moment is captured exactly as it is. I am reinvigorated creatively, there is a fire roaring inside of me with the anticipation of what is next to come.”

For the “collar” music video, premiering today on PAPER, meiers teamed up with Director Lindsey Nico Mann to amplify their personal lyrics. Cast in a romantic red glow, they’re filmed alone in a bedroom that looks like a location where meiers might’ve written this intimate love letter. And, of course, they wear a collar to match the song’s title, lined with vintage-inspired pearls. Most notably, this is the first time meiers has had “full creative control” over a visual.

Below, PAPER talks with sophie meiers about where their music is going and the extensive journey it took to arrive here.

How is this single a reflection of where you’re at, right now, and where things are headed?

Multimedia is going to be a big thing for me, coordinating the visual art with the sonics. In this way, everything makes so much more sense. “Collar” was very very symbolic of that for me. It was the first time I had full creative control over a visual project like that. I got to fully materialize what I pictured in my head, with the help and support of everybody around me. Fucking flooring moment, just bursting with gratitude. This year, more than ever, I am determined to reconstruct and make immersive experiences of the visions I see in my head. I have a lot to say, I have a lot to show. So pay attention, if you have ears and if you have eyes. You might be surprised.

This song is in that twilight zone defying genre, my favorite. It feels reminiscent of many things, but nothing at the same time. In that way, this song really does make perfect sense with my past discography and what’s more to come. It has that classic sophie [meiers] feel, with amplified intention and love poured into the production and writing. It’s the perfect song to start sharing this new self with the world.

Lyrically, what is this new single about for you?

Lyrically, I wanted to embody the feeling of your heart racing and the rocking warmth in between. I think in a very straightforward way, it’s just an unsaid conversation between two people, where you both clearly know what the other is thinking. Or so you think…

Talk me through your collaboration process with Luca Buccellati, who produced this?

Everything is easy with Luca. I’m genuinely so glad that we both made music and ended up meeting each other because he has become one of my best friends through the process. He’s so cool. We watch Naruto and play video games and nerd out on music theory and mess with synthesizers. Our work together doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s raw and candid, but still cool as fuck. Also, doesn’t hurt that Luca is super-genius-smart and talented at music, and just a great person to be around. Everything we make together is like the next best song we’ve got, it’s quite frankly getting ridiculous.

How do you think your music has evolved since you first started recording and releasing?

My music evolves with me every day. I carry my voice and memories through my songs. I started putting things out on Soundcloud in 2015, but when I think about it I’ve really been making music — in some way — my entire life. From writing songs with crayons to playing in jazz or jam bands in middle school and high school to voice memo recordings to internet collabs to Los Angeles. For me, it’s that connection that has me — that direct line straight into my veins that is always pulling me towards music. It’s something that is never going to change about who I am. I’ve really found my voice and my sound now. It’s something I’ve always had, but now it is louder and clearer than ever.

You left home at age 15 from rural Colorado. What have you learned about yourself along the journey and especially through music?

“Living on my own since I was 15” is the easy way to put it. A lengthier description might include: Getting kicked out, sleeping on my homies’ couches in high school, living out of backpacks, jumping around cities, states and even countries, occasionally dropping by my grandparents’ house in the remote mountains of Colorado. I was honestly very transient for about three to four years. Thank god for all the people who took me under their wing and thank god most of my gut feelings were right. (The notorious gamble of staying with a stranger from the internet you’ve never met IRL. I don’t even want to talk to anyone about extreme impulsive decisions I’ve made in my lifetime, but that can be a different story.)

Great fucking times, man. But also, jeez, I honestly lacked so much order and stability in my life. It’s nice having dependable things like a place to stay and knowing when you’re gonna eat and rest. Through all of this, I’ve learned that the home I have is my body, wherever I lay my head at night. I’ve learned to be patient and kind to myself — to slowly allow myself to unlearn the bad patterns I adapted in childhood, to lean into the purifying fire of rebirth and be okay with learning for the first time, again.

Photos courtesy of sophie meiers

School’s in Session: A Lesson in ‘Euphoria High’ Style

Gone are the days of wholesome ponytails and polka dots for back-to-school style. With season two of Euphoria in full swing, the internet is reimagining the high school show’s notorious fashion choices… and leaving very little to the imagination.

The “Euphoria High” trend, which @ellio_spaghettio first started on TikTok, plays off cast members’ supposed high school wardrobes, and calls on BBL baddies, alt-kids and fashionistas to show how they’d dress for Euphoria’s unhinged halls (be it a drug drop or Algebra I).

@ellio_spaghettio heard someone brought a backpack last week and got curbstomped by the principal #euphoria ♬ And why arent you in uniform – No context Spongebob

In its early iterations, students of “Euphoria High” slowly board the school bus before the sound of Squidward’s voice asks, “And why aren’t you in uniform…” to which they begrudgingly sulk off-screen and re-appear dressed head-to-toe in nearly nothing.

@kenzocole almost forgot 😖 #euphoria #highschool #rue ♬ And why arent you in uniform – No context Spongebob

Next came the teachers, principles and even… Guy Fieri.

@myki.meeks Going to high school in Flavortown #euphoria #guyfieri #uniform #drag ♬ And why arent you in uniform – No context Spongebob

TikTok eventually evolved the trend to incorporate skits reimagining student life and curriculum at a school like in Euphoria, where there isn’t a backpack insight and text books are more frequently used to stash drugs than study.

@adrimfdiaz93 Euphoria High teacher #greenscreen #euphoria #euphoriamakeup #comedy #fyp #foryoupage #foryourpage #fy #fypdongggggggg #fypシ゚viral #viral #hbomax ♬ Still Don’t Know My Name – Labrinth

“Euphoria High” has even spread beyond TikTok, finding humor in the hyper-glamour of celebrity culture, and reimagining, for example, Kanye West and Julia Fox as the patron-parents of an enrolled student.

parent teacher conference at Euphoria high pic.twitter.com/e3Qc9OOkh9

— A-List Actor Dave McNamee (@DaveMcNamee3000) January 24, 2022

So it’s time to hit the books and go to work on your best “Euphoria High” fit.

Photo via TikTok/ @kenzocole

Jennifer Coolidge Credits Ariana Grande for Reviving Her Career

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, but in the case of Ariana Grande and Jennifer Coolidge, the pop singer’s vocal impersonation may have given the actress more than just her flowers.

In 2018, Grande, the (unofficial) reigning champ of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’s wheel of musical impressions, honored Coolidge with a spot-on take of her iconic Legally Blonde line “I’m taking the dog, dumbass” and supposedly, the clip helped Coolidge’s career take off again.

Coolidge, returning to The Tonight Show this past weekend to discuss her recent White Lotus success, marked the impression as a watershed moment during a “dead-zone” moment of her career, telling Fallon: “You should know that it was sort of the beginning of a lot of cool things that happened for me.”

After seeing the impression, a friend prompted Coolidge to reach out to Grande, via the fool-proof method of an Instagram DM. Coolidge did not expect a reply, but was thrilled to hear back and soon found herself headed to Grande’s house for a fitting for the “thank u, next” video.

Though she might’ve experienced a brief dry spell, Coolidge’s career has spanned a great number of genre-defining cult-classics, like A Cinderella Story, American Pie, Pootie Tang, Best in Show and, of course, Legally Blonde, so it comes as no surprise that the pop princess wanted to pay tribute to Coolidge as an early aughts media icon for her Y2K-inspired video.

Grande’s impression may have only stoked the embers of a long-cultivated career that was sure to continue developing, but we do love to see Coolidge extending a “thank u” to the thank u, next star — especially if that means there will be more to come from the duo in the near future.

Photo via Getty/ Paula Lobo/ NBC/ NBCU Photo Bank

Amelia Moore Throws a Pity Party on ‘Vinegar’

Amelia Moore has the most powerful chorus of 2022, thus far. In her new single, “vinegar,” out today, the 21-year-old Georgia native slowly builds throughout its verses, singing about the “bombs that bleed inside” of her and the “heavy crown” that weighs her down. When we arrive at Moore’s hook though, the expected explosion of power-pop production gets replaced with an entirely acapella performance: “Vinegar, pour it in my body,” Moore sings, her delicate, digitized falsetto fluttering in total silence. “Where it hurts, like a pity party.”

As the follow-up single to last year’s “sweet and sour,” Moore’s latest sees her join forces yet again with longtime collaborator Pink Slip — and their partnership is proving to be successful. “vinegar” is moving and effective, telling the personal story of heartache through sonics, not just lyrics. The height of the song pulls back almost everything, like a stomach dropping after receiving that text from an ex. Moore explains, “The creation of this song jump started my healing process and I hope it has the same effect on everyone who hears it.”

Listen to “vinegar,” below, ahead of Amelia Moore’s opening dates on tour with fellow alt-pop star FLETCHER in February and March.

In what ways do you see yourself shaking up the pop market, right now, through your music?

I’ve spent the last three years developing myself and my sound, and I’m ready to be an artist that defines a fresh take on “pop” music. I’m here to push boundaries and inspire a new left of center wave with originality and attention to detail.

What inspired your TikTok handle name, @iCRYATWORK? Does that still apply today?

I was in my old apartment on the phone with my producer, Pink Slip. We were talking about switching my social media handles when I looked at an art piece I made from some magazine scraps. I said, “What about iCRYATWORK? Just kidding that’s stupid right,” and Pink told me to see if its available, and it was. Complete and total accident, which I firmly believe is how all other genius ideas happen. But iCRYATWORK perfectly encompasses emotional vulnerability, which is not only extremely important to me, but it’s the exact feeling behind my brand new single, “vinegar.”

How do you go about telling honest, relatable stories while maintaining a pop appeal?

Creating art with people you can trust and feel comfortable around is key. I make music with my best friends and my best friends just happen to be the most talented pop writers and producers I know [laughs]. We just finished my debut EP, called teaching a robot to love, and there was a day I cried for literally four hours in the studio and they were all crying with me, holding me and giving me tissues.

Lyrically, what’s the story behind “vinegar”? Is it based off a true, personal experience?

“vinegar” is absolutely drawn from personal experience. My song mom, Gabriella Caspi, and I wrote this song about finally feeling ready to face all the baggage I’ve buried in a healthy and productive way. The lyrics take you through the progression of realization, action and release.

How’d you connect with Pink Slip? What’s the collaboration process like between you both?

I was introduced to Pink Slip during my first trip to LA three years ago through my good friends, JP Morray and Jacob Krupp. The first day we worked together we promised each other we’d win a Grammy and we’ve been inseparable ever since. Pink and I like to experiment a lot, whether that’s a crazy outro or a 400 layer gospel choir harmony on one line. We honestly just have fun.

The chorus is giving me major “Hide and Seek” Imogen Heap vibes. Did you think about her at all for this?

Of course. We were also really inspired by Bon Iver for this one. I’ve wanted to play with a vocoder for a really long time and “vinegar” felt like the perfect opportunity to do so.

Are there any other artists you look to for inspiration, whether in terms of style or sonics?

I feel like Rosalía and Kanye are my grandparents, Lorde and Frank Ocean are my mom and dad, and Charli XCX is my cousin.

When’s the last time you gave yourself a “pity party”? What was it for?

The other day I got in my car and immediately felt like I needed to cry. I turned on the song we just finished from the night before and just let myself feel everything. Ugly cried the entire way to the studio, very on brand of me.

How is “vinegar” a reflection of what’s to come from you in 2022?

Because it’s honest and relatable, not to mention sonically iconic and extremely refreshing. This song feels like a new beginning. I’m really just getting started this year, and I’m so excited to grow more into myself and show the world who Amelia Moore is.

Photography: Travis Bailey

Playing Dress-Up With TinyJewishGirl

TinyJewishGirl (real name: Clara Perlmutter) is truly obsessed with fashion. The 23-year-old became an internet sensation during the pandemic when her boredom with pajamas drove her to open her large and eclectic closet to the world of TikTok. She doesn’t do dances. She isn’t trying to looking sexy. She’s not even trying to put together outfits that make sense. She’s just exploring her encyclopedic knowledge of fashion and entertaining her followers in the process.

Tell me how you got started and came up with the idea to do this on TikTok. It’s a really unique perspective, the way you present fashion on TikTok.

I started NYU in the fall of 2017 and I was always wearing cute little outfits everywhere I went. Even if I was just running to the bodega, I was wearing something cute. Then the pandemic started and I moved from my apartment on the Lower East Side into my parents’ home in Connecticut. I was just wearing pajamas every single day. Granted, I do have some cute pajamas. Before the pandemic, I would go out and thrift fuzzy pajama pants, and I would wear them as real pants to parties with cute sneakers and a cropped tank top, maybe, and some layered jewelry. So I did have cute pajamas, it wasn’t all depressing clothing.

But I was getting pretty depressed, not putting on outfits every day. So I just started posting. I found a bag full of children’s shorts from Limited Too from my childhood in the back of my closet. I put them on and they all magically fit. I posted a video trying on those shorts and I think it maybe got 10,000 views, which to me at the time was an impossibly large amount of views. My camp friends were all trying to go viral doing TikTok dances, but I don’t think any of them had any success with that. So they would write in the group chat like, “Oh, I just posted this TikTok, check it out.” Which is how I got on TikTok in the first place during the pandemic.

After that video blew up, I was like, “Oh, it felt really good to just try on all this clothing.” So I started documenting trying on clothing, putting together outfits. What’s funny is my videos did not go viral at first because of anything I was wearing. It was actually because I had a lot of body hair. I had armpit hair and, I don’t know, apparently this was not normal in June 2020. I would get a lot of hate comments about it, so that would boost the algorithm and my videos would go super viral. People would jump to my defense and I would make video responses where I responded really maturely to haters and just explained, “Body hair is normal. I have it, everyone grows it, whatever.” So I started to game traction from that, but I was still nonetheless posting my fashion videos.

Talk about your style.

I’ve always had a playful, distinctive style. I definitely was ostracized for a while in high school. Being in the city, I got to fully express myself. I’ve never been afraid to experiment and I’ve always gone for things that are more eclectic. I aim for things to not make sense together. So when my fashion content started getting more attention on TikTok, people would always be like, “Is this a joke? Is this satire?” And I’d be like, “Why would I be investing in these pieces if I was going to wear them as a joke for a TikTok?’” Then I’d show my wardrobe and I’d show how much clothing I had, and people would be like, “Okay yeah, that is a lot of clothing. Maybe it isn’t a joke.”

That’s a lot of work for a joke.

I’ve heard from a lot of people on TikTok that I’m an acquired taste. People will message me, or a video will blow up and I’ll get a lot of hate on an outfit, but I’ll still gain followers off it. Then months later, I’ll get messages. I get these messages on a daily basis that’ll basically be like, “I used to hate you. I hate followed you. I thought your outfits were horrible.” Some people, they’re like, “I thought you were terrifying,” which I don’t really get. But then those, “But now you inspire me to be myself and you inspire me every day to express myself,” and all of this really nice stuff. So it’s backhanded nonetheless.

Seeing someone be themselves can be scary a little bit just because it makes you realize that you are not being your authentic self. I think the negative reaction comes from a place of a war with yourself. And when people see me continually being myself no matter what anyone says, that helps other people learn to be more comfortable in their own skin.

Your style reminds me of Chloë Sevigny in the ’90s. I would see her wearing something crazy and totally not get it, although I knew she was brilliant and knew what she was doing. It just took me a while to figure it out.

People will comment also on a daily basis saying that they’re starting to understand me and they realize that what I’m doing is smart. Also, I used to just do short videos where I show the different articles of clothing that I’m wearing. I’ve recently transitioned to doing more things where I let people in a little bit on my thought process and I’ll even include clips where I’ve tried something on and I say it doesn’t work and I explain why I don’t think it works. So I’ve been more open about my thought process just because I realized that people find it interesting and it also helps people. But at the same time, I love something that aesthetically seems like it has no grip on reality.

I’ve been psychotic in my life. I have bipolar disorder, I’ve been hospitalized and stuff. So I really own the term “deranged” and I feel like that’s what I’m going for a lot of the time. I also like to go for grandiose, out of touch things. People are like, “Oh, it doesn’t make sense,” but I’m like, “Well, who says it has to make sense?” It’s bright, it’s visually appealing, it’s eclectic and I find that fun.

I love it. It’s almost like, “That makes no sense,” and you’re like, “Thank you, that’s the point.”

I do take it as a compliment.

I’m extremely impressed with some of your favorite designers. How do you even know what Voyage is or how do you know what M Missoni in the early 2000s looked like? Do you do research or where have you gained this extensive fashion knowledge?

M Missoni in the early 2000s, my mom was buying it and I have pieces from her that she would wear that I remember super fondly from my early childhood. I am doing research constantly. Honestly, I don’t even think it’s a sane or healthy thing, the way that I would just go down rabbit holes to give myself purpose. But when I was in Zoom school, when I wasn’t in school, I was doing deep dives on Poshmark. I’d find a brand and then I’d look up literally every single piece from that brand on the internet. I look at everything and then from there I decide if I want to buy something. Because I know everything that’s there, I know what’s good and I get a general sense of the whole collection.

But Voyage, specifically, I was in a thrift store in Berlin and on a clearance rack was a pair of Voyage pants. I picked them up and they had embroidery of a mushroom and it had zig-zag seams with rhinestones on them, and it had a raw hem waistline with no belt loops. I was like, “These are the greatest pants ever.” I’m a jeans person, I’m an embroidered, printed, whatever type of pants person. So I bought them immediately. I tried them on, they fit well enough. They were a little big, but I was like, “Okay, I’ll make it work.” And it had the tag on them. From there, if I find something that I like at a thrift store or wherever, I’m going to do a ton of research. I love school, I love learning and I just treat this as another type of learning. I’ve devoted a lot of time to it. I will read articles on the internet, I will look through resale websites, I will look through old ads. I will find out everything I can find out. I will look at my computer screen for so long that my eyes are staring in two different directions and I get a migraine.

It becomes unpleasant, but I’m really committed to the rabbit hole, the research. And so from Voyage, after I got those pants, it was just a ton of research. I waited a while until I found the perfect pair of pants I wanted to buy and I got those. And then I got another pair of pants. After only three pairs of pants, all in different sizes, you start to figure out stuff like, “Oh, the sizing is horrible. It runs two sizes too small.” After that I started getting really good at finding things and searching different terms instead of just investing in the original Voyage. Sometimes you search Voyage jeans, sometimes you search Voyage London. But everything I found after the first three pairs of pants I got has been really, really cheap because I search on a weekly basis just to see what pops up that’s new. I realize that’s a brand where a lot of people don’t know anything about it.

At all.

So the person who’s selling it doesn’t necessarily know anything about it a lot of the time, and won’t bother to look it up so you can find it for cheap because they don’t know what they’re sitting on. Even though it’s one-of-a-kind handmade and all that, they have no idea.

You seem to love very high-end esoteric things, but you’re not a fashion snob. You just like things that you like, whether they’re legendary or high-end or OG or cool or new. Is that true or are you a bit of a label whore?

I’m not a label whore at all. I always tell people that there’s a lot of brands that aren’t designer, but they’re designer to me. And things that aren’t high-end at all.

I’m not buying new fast fashion, even if it’s aesthetically interesting. That’s not for me. I’m more into secondhand, sustainable shopping, even though the amount of clothing I own admittedly is not sustainable at all. But yeah, it’s really just about if I’m consistently blown away by what they’re doing. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be really loud because a lot of the clothing I own is loud, but then I have a huge collection of Stella McCartney-era Chloé. I’m fully a collector, I spend so much time every week searching for pieces. And most of that stuff is pretty minimal, the color palette is very muted.

But I think good design is good design. A pair of jeans with an interesting zipper placement or an interesting decal or a shirt that has the perfect cut, the perfect three quarter sleeves and a nice material. I like good design in general, not just bold design.

I love that you love Stella-era Chloé, because I love Stella Chloé, I love Phoebe Chloé, I love this girl, Hannah Fitzgibbon for Chloé. Tell me about Stella Chloé versus Chloé today, and what your thoughts are on it.

I’ve asked my friends, “What do you think of Chloé today?” And they’ll always say the same thing that I say, which is it is a perfect brand. Anytime I dress in a Chloé color palette on TikTok or inspired by Chloé on TikTok, people will be like, “What’s wrong with you? Where are all the layers? What are you doing? Where is the color?” And I’m like, “No, I’m just expressing a different side of my interests, which doesn’t always come out.” But I think the price point is really unattainable for me.

At the same time, every single day I go online and I look at Poshmark, the Real Real, eBay, I look at every single new Chloé thing that has been listed. I sort chronologically and I see everything new because I want to get a good sense of what’s for sale, everything, all the collections. I don’t want to just see them on the runway, I want to see some close-up pictures, all of that. It is an obsession of mine, new Chloé. I think it’s still perfect. I think it has been perfect throughout. I’m not as into Karl Lagerfeld Chloé, actually.


Of all the decades, I’m the least into the ’80s. There’re some brands that were big in the ’80s that I really love, like Christian Lacroix, but the ’80s is what I’m least into, so I’m not as into Karl’s. But I’ll see pieces from Karl’s collection online and I’ll be like, “Okay, that’s gorgeous, that’s gorgeously made.” I think it’s less youthful. What I really love about Stella McCarthy’s era of Chloé is she was so young and what she had to say was so relevant and it was so geared towards people who were my age.

I’m about to be 23 and in terms of design, just the way the low rise cut of everything, the fit and flare of things are so flattering, the interesting sleeves or the way a shirt will be the perfect amount of cropped, or the decals of fruit. Anything, everything, the horses on them, all of that is just so youthful, so fun. And also at the same time, really sexy and mature. It’s the perfect balance of youthful and mature. I have this tube top, it’s a cream colored tube top and has tigers printed on it. From Stella McCartney Chloé, I can’t remember the collection off the top of my head, but I’ve never put on a tube top and been like, “Yeah, I look mature,” other than this one tube top that I own.

TinyJewishGirl’s 20 Favorite Brands From the Past Few DecadesStella McCartney-era Chloé​

I love that a brand like Chloé gave a voice to such a young person like Stella McCartney. Anyone complaining about nepotism here can get lost. This decision was a blessing to us all, the girl clearly had a lot to say. I believe I have about 30 items in my Stella Chloe collection, ranging from jeans to a corset to sunglasses.


The Invest in the Original Voyage line all being one-of-a-kind and handmade really appeals to the individuality complex that I developed after spending high school getting bullied for being “alternative.” I’ll admit that the diffusion lines don’t speak to me as much and I’ve passed up many opportunities to purchase pieces from them, even when the price was right. This is a brand that I actively collect and I will talk about to anyone who will listen, so I love that there is a nice history accompanying the brand, even including some drama, like famously kicking Madonna out of their store.

Mid ’90s Gaultier

People on TikTok have started saying recently that I dress like I’m from the future or for the future. I think during the mid ’90s, Gaultier had a good run of designing for a future. I mean, he even did explicitly that for the movie, The Fifth Element. I’m obsessed with the ’90s-does-future sci-fi aesthetic and Gaultier had a good run where many pieces from his collections could fit that description. And here we are, wearing all of that stuff two decades later.

Marc Jacobs

The single most hated article of clothing in my collection on TikTok are my Marc Jacobs micro shorts. I can’t remember what collection they are from off the top of my head, but they are yellow and silver jacquard, and TikTok insists that they make me look like I’m wearing a diaper. My love for them is unwavering, though. I read a book on Marc Jacobs on an airplane once in high school and I’ve been obsessed with him ever since. I miss Marc by Marc Jacobs, but God, was Heaven a great idea. Marc Jacobs is a genius and there is not a single person alive who looks better in a skirt than he does. I love his personal aesthetic, as well, like the decision to tattoo cartoons all over his body. I want the hoodie that he made with cartoons of his cartoon tattoos placed on the hoodie where they are placed on his actual body so badly. I look for it every week, but I’ve been unsuccessful so far.

Stella McCartney

I just stopped being a vegan because I was starting to feel sickly after four years of keeping it up, but I have infinite respect for Stella’s commitment to keeping animal products out of her designs and for her commitment to sustainability. Stella McCartney is also, undeniably, a cool person, aside from her designs. And damn, do I want a Rock Royalty shirt, but only if I can find the Chloé pants with the cutouts that Stella wore with that shirt to the Met Gala.

Moschino and Jeremy Scott

I designed my major at NYU Gallatin around cultural criticism and creative writing, and I truly believe that Jeremy Scott’s work is brilliant cultural commentary. I never took any fashion classes in school or even wrote any papers on fashion, but if I had another semester to go, I would’ve found some way to work a paper on Jeremy Scott’s cultural commentary in his collections into my classwork. God damn, do I have at least 3,000 words to say on the matter. I finally got a pair of Jeremy Scott Adidas and I am so jazzed about it. Old Moschino is great, too, and I love my vintage pieces, but Jeremy Scott is harder for me. I think he’s designing for the future, as well. The McDonalds stuff is straight out of Idiocracy.


My boyfriend’s grandfather just died recently. As his health was declining, we bonded over fashion. He had a large collection of Gianni Versace pieces because, as he put it, “Gianni Versace knew how to make a man feel sexy.” I love that he said that. Versace, especially menswear, and especially from when Gianni Versace was alive, will always make me think of Grandpa Norman.

Versace by Donatella

Grandpa Norman tried keeping up with Versace after Gianni’s death, but his heart wasn’t really in it and he stopped buying it eventually. I am not as familiar with Donatella’s menswear as I am with her women’s collections. Donatella designed clothing in the early 2000s that childhood me envisioned wearing if I was ever famous.

Karl Lagerfeld Fendi

I don’t know if I’m supposed to admit this, and rest in peace and whatnot, but I don’t think I like Karl Lagerfeld’s work as much as I am supposed to as someone who is into fashion. Karl Lagerfeld’s Fendi is the endeavor of his that gives me hope that I’ll someday fall down the whole Karl Lagerfeld career retrospective rabbit hole. When I look through the Spring 2000 collection, a soundtrack of angels singing plays in my head. I think I dress to make my younger self happy, and I have such vivid memories of being a little kid in the early 2000s and looking at adult women in magazines and being excited to become that some day. Karl Lagerfeld’s Fendi in that era made clothing for the grown up that I wanted to become.

2000s M Missoni

My mom had quite a few M Missoni dresses when I was growing up, and she’d always whip them out when we went to family and friends’ bar mitzvahs. In fact, she wore a very sexy bodycon M Missoni dress with a huge cutout at the chest to my b’nai mitzvah party. I wish I could wear it, but it’s nip slip central on me. My mom instilled in me and my sister our love of fashion and, more significantly, taught us to be good shoppers. I have nothing but fond memories of my mom’s style moments.

David Dalrymple for Patricia Field​

David Dalrymple designed for Patricia Field’s line, House of Field. I think Patricia Field is a god amongst men and I hold David Dalrymple in the same esteem. On numerous occasions, I have lost bidding wars on his pieces and it seems those items end up on big fashion world people’s Instagrams months later. I’m all about pieces finding a good home, so I can’t even be mad.


My grandma has showed me some of her very old Ungaro pieces. They are all awesome, but when I later saw what Ungaro was up to in the early 2000s I was stunned. If Karl for Fendi designed for the adult woman that I wanted to be, early 2000s Ungaro was designed for the teenager that early 2000s high school movies made me expect to become. Butterflies, sequins, beads, ruffles, lace. Cropped everything.

Betsey Johnson

I’m actually working for Steve Madden, who owns Betsey Johnson, doing social media marketing and am about to take on some responsibilities with Betsey. If social media had existed my whole life, this would certainly be a lifelong dream come true. Betsey is whimsical, bright and the best type of kitschy. I respect Betsey, herself, as a lifelong devotee to kooky style and hope to maintain even half of her vibrancy throughout my life.


Cavalli is one of those spectacular examples of a brand whose diffusion lines are just as incredible as the main line. Cavalli is just hot. Period. End of story.

​ Tyler McGillivary

Tyler McGillivary is a great designer, but also a nice person who I am friends with. She sent me some pieces recently and I wore a very beautiful bodycon dress by her to my high school reunion. I was very overdressed, which was perfect. She has such a brilliant sense of color and her prints are amazing.


Casablanca makes the most incredible button down shirts. They’re very loud, almost like ’80s and ’90s Versace button downs, but somehow much less gaudy with less offensive (and more visually appealing) color palettes.

​Hope Macaulay

I know exactly how I am going to look when I someday buy a Hope Macaulay knit and try it on, which is bulky. I love that. I’m petite with truly no shoulders, and any time I put on a really thick knit, I look in the mirror and immediately feel powerful. I think that comes from having an incredibly muscular mom (What you’re probably picking up on at this point is that I am, without a doubt, a product of my upbringing). I love her sense of color and I cannot wait to own a piece by Hope, hopefully someday soon.

Max Mulder

I love funky knits. Max Mulder pieces look like abstract portraits of bugs that I would be terrified of (if you look at their Instagram, you will understand exactly what I mean). I am all about facing my fears, so that is the number one thing in my SSENSE cart.


My dyslexic boyfriend got so mad when he found out how Eytys was pronounced after looking at the spelling on Instagram for ages. Eytys is so fun, so cool and so hot. Great shoes. Strong aesthetics. They’re also living in the future.

Charlotte Knowles

Can I just flex for a moment and say that I have had Charlotte Knowles on my radar since before Bella Hadid wore it? For the record, not a dig at Bella Hadid, by the way. She’s very cool and I respect the fact that anything she wears suddenly enters the running to become a trend. Just trying to tell you that I, too, am cool. Charlotte Knowles is ridiculously sexy and I love a brand with a strong color palette.

Photography: James Emmerman

Styling: Scott Shapiro

Hair: Matt Benns

Makeup: Kento Utsubo

Photo assistant: John Novotny

Styling assistant: Jasmine James

Makeup assistant: Mana Atsumi


Ascend With Poog, the Spiritual Beauty Podcast

For Kate Berlant and Jacqueline Novak, it all started with the promise of free beauty products and an extremely LA fascination with wellness culture.

From keto diets to mud baths to the boob cream Berlant received moments before our Zoom conversation, the multibillion-dollar industry has seemingly taken over the world. So in an effort to explore the bizarre, weird and, at times, existential sphere of self-care, the two longtime friends started their iHeartRadio podcast, Poog, and slowly turned it into a much broader survey of culture and whatever the fuck else they want to talk about.

In many ways, the comedians — who refer to themselves as “The Hags” — are the perfect people to execute such a heady, far-reaching concept, imbuing it with a lightness that one wouldn’t expect for a podcast that tackles topics like spiritual consumerism and the notion of shame, in addition to Berlant spearheading discussions about beauty, skincare and food, and Novak acting as the go-to source for all things wellness, including spirituality, mental health and, also, skincare.

As such, their podcast takes its name from Gwyneth Paltrow’s notorious lifestyle and wellness brand, Goop. However, Poog is different from similarly branded podcasts in the sense that Berlant and Novak use beauty and wellness as a starting point to talk about everything from snorkeling to dairy-free alternatives to colonics to analytical psychology, as proven by our 45 minute-long side conversation about Jung’s theory of synchronicity and ghosts potentially being a projection of the psyche.

“Wellness and beauty are really our Trojan horse, because the conversations devolve into just Jacqueline and I talking about, like, Interstellar,” Berlant said, before Novak added that it’s more about the “abstract parts of our interests and getting vaguely existential.”

“But it’s also dipping into products. We move back and forth,” Novak said. “Like we’re talking about Spirit and our most intimate sort of spiritual concerns, and then pivoting into blueberry martinis and creams.”

But underlying the constant ping-ponging between concepts is Poog’s desire to bring them together for a series of on-the-fly conversations that are equal parts off-kilter and insightful, which includes their lack of interest in apologizing for their love of “frivolous” things or intellectualizing the common critique surrounding the idea of “self-care” turning into this “capitalist monster,” per Berlant.

“To me, [Poog] is this space where all those things that are considered frivolous or weirdly feminine can live. It’s almost like [embracing] all these things that we’re expected to hide in spaces like the workplace,” Novak explained, with Berlant saying that they’re trying to point out that wellness, beauty and the cult “obsession” surrounding these things are “not to be devalued.”

Granted, Berlant said they have one very slight critique that mostly hinges on the industry’s current “focus on the exterior,” instead of the “interior.” Specifically, she referenced the inner work and healing that should be considered “the real fucking wellness,” though she was also quick to add that outwards-facing self-care is still “real and valid in its own right.” Because after all, Poog isn’t about shaming anyone (including themselves), rather, it’s about simultaneously “interrogating” these sorts of dynamics, while also being open to their own adherence to the “pleasure is paramount” principle.

On a similar note, Novak stressed that wellness has acted, for her, as a kind of “secret doorway” out of bouts of depression, saying that it was nice to “feel this joy at caring about stupid shit again,” before adding that there’s a lot of “healing psychology” incorporated into spirituality and self-care given their ability to get you out of that “judging mind place.”

“I was just trying to find a way to live life and that took me down those paths, which I happen to really enjoy. I sort of joke about being addicted to healing,” Novak said as a stray feather began to float around her room. A message that she’s on the right path from her spirit guides and the Archangels, I said, before things quickly devolve into a conversation about the Old Testament and The Sopranos. Just as it should.

Listen to Poog here.

Welcome to “Internet Explorer,” a column by Sandra Song about everything Internet. From meme histories to joke format explainers to collections of some of Twitter’s finest roasts, “Internet Explorer” is here to keep you up-to-date with the web’s current obsessions — no matter how nonsensical or nihilistic.

Photography: Julian Buchan
Creative direction: Julian Buchan and Liam Moore
Production design: Liam Moore
Lighting design: Stefan Ferra
Styling: Chris Horan
Styling assistant: Lauren Jeworski
Makeup: Ally McGillicuddy
Hair: Gregg Lennon Jr
Hair assistant: Bailey Stiles
Producer: Katie White

Say Goodbye to the Green M&M’s Baddie Phase

Say bye-bye to the Green M&M‘s lip gloss and go-go boots.

On Thursday, Mars Wrigley revealed that the M&M characters had been redesigned to be “more inclusive, welcoming, and unifying” within a “more dynamic, progressive world.”

“M&M’S has long been committed to creating colorful fun for all, and this purpose serves as a more concrete commitment to what we’ve always believed as a brand: that everyone has the right to enjoy moments of happiness, and fun is the most powerful way to help people feel that they belong,” chief growth officer Cathryn Sleight said in a press release. “As one of the world’s most iconic candy brands, who better to commit to a world with more moments of fun by increasing a sense of belonging around the globe than M&M’S?”

The makeover, which also extends to the six characters’ personalities, includes some big changes like the Orange M&M’s acknowledgment of his anxiety and a friendlier relationship between the Brown and Green M&Ms to emphasize the importance of women supporting women.

However, Brown and Green’s style overhauls have garnered way more attention than their newfound friendship, with a newly bespectacled Ms. Brown getting some new block heels and Ms. Green no longer being an anthropomorphic sex icon. Granted, it’s the latter that has Twitter up in arms, seeing as how Green’s lip gloss and long lashes are no more, not to mention her iconic white go-go boots, which have since been switched out for “casual sneakers.” A travesty, indeed.

They really got my sis Green M&M in these old maiden, 40-50 year old auntie sneakers instead of their iconic boots. I- pic.twitter.com/xdO2FAfCya

— ɳew year ɳick (@Creat1ve) January 20, 2022

We love an inclusive rebrand, of course, especially when it comes to product logos and mascots that actually do need a serious update. On the other hand, we also loved that Ms.Green was unapologetically hot and knew it, using it to expose the male M&Ms as the blathering fools they are, which is exactly what we mean when we’re talking about bad bitch representation.

Needless to say, the internet has spent the day mourning the loss of our hottie candy queen in the only way it knows how: By making tongue-in-cheek jokes about the switch-up being “slut erasure” and an attack on a “sex positive icon.”

“The green M&M, newly liberated from her white boots, lets loose,” NPR’s Danielle Kurtzleben wrote while parodying the radio giant’s popular “Fresh Air” broadcast. “She talks social reproduction theory, how patriarchy and capitalism violently reinforce each other, and what a sexy lady M&M says about gender as a construct.”

what they’re doing to the green m&m is slut erasure. despicable

— Joanna Rothkopf (@joannarothkopf) January 20, 2022

every single one of my tinder bios was a crime but I was proud of “red m&m in the streets, green m&m in the sheets” anyway rip to a sex positive icon

— Tori Bedford (@Tori_Bedford) January 20, 2022

Today on Fresh Air:

The green M&M, newly liberated from her white boots, lets loose. She talks social reproduction theory, how patriarchy and capitalism violently reinforce each other, and what a sexy lady M&M says about gender as a construct.

Stay with us.

— Danielle Kurtzleben (@titonka) January 20, 2022

Meanwhile, others compared Ms. Green’s new look to Lola Bunny’s controversial makeover for Space Jam 2, with writer Brittany Spanos writing, “they’re silencing the fictional hotties.”

first lola bunny and now the green m&m….they’re silencing the fictional hotties

— brittany spanos (@ohheybrittany) January 20, 2022

Truer words have never been tweeted. R.I.P. an icon.

Photo via Shutterstock / Ekaterina Minaeva

Blake Gray’s Louis Vuitton Photo Diary From Paris

In the past few years, TikTok superstar Blake Gray has been courted by nearly every top fashion brand in the world, from Valentino to Balmain to Ferragamo and more. Thanks to his huge online reach — 10+ million followers on TikTok, over five million on Instagram etc. — the social media phenom has become a front row fixture in New York, Milan and beyond. He also hosted the red carpet arrivals for last year’s CFDA Awards.

Last December, Gray flew out to Miami for Louis Vuitton’s menswear show, which was held just days after its men’s artistic director Virgil Abloh passed away. The show doubled as a memorial and tribute for the late designer, whose final collection for the brand debuted yesterday as part of Men’s Paris Fashion Week. Gray was once again invited to the show, and he documented his day for PAPER in an exclusive photo diary, below.

“Slept in super late (thanks jet lag) and started off my day around noon with my favorite dish: Homemade Spaghetti Bolognese.”

“Went straight into grooming with a full stomach and lots of excitement for the show. Tried something new with my hair and went with a middle part.”

“Finally ready for the show! Super pumped and filled with joy to see Virgil’s last collection in person tonight.”

“One of my favorite things I’m wearing tonight has to be my shoes. Super classy and I always love a good clean white sneaker.”

“I hope they have this look in my size.”

“Just got back to the hotel. The show was amazing and I loved everything on the runway! Definitely gonna have to go shopping tomorrow.”

“This is where I’ll be sleeping tonight. Sweet dreams!”

iPhone photos: Courtesy of Blake Gray/ Professional Photography: Tiziano Raw

Christy Carlson Romano Wants a Queer ‘Cadet Kelly’ Reboot

Christy Carlson Romano spilled the tea in 2021: about why she and Shia LaBeouf aren’t friends; how she lost $60,000 to psychics; how she could have been Mia Thermopolis in The Princess Diaries. The former child actress who helmed her career on Disney as perfectionist Ren Stevens in Even Stevens, the strict “villain” Jennifer Stone in Cadet Kelly and the voice of Kim Possible spent the majority of the year dishing on her life behind the scenes — connecting the hunger for celebrity gossip with broader life lessons on YouTube. And she’s gone viral for it.

Romano, though now, is far from her days at Disney. Well, at least in terms of working. Currently, she’s sporting a crewneck sweatshirt with Mickey Mouse’s signature icon emblazoned on it. “I was like, ‘I’m going to wear it ironically because PAPER understands,’” she chirps over Zoom from her home office. Based in the Austin Texas area, Romano has enough sprawling land around her to spread out. Pivoting toward the window of her office, she insists on showing me her daily view teeming with the greenery often captured in her videos. “When you think of Texas you’re like, ‘flat and hot,’” she explains. “That’s just not the way Austin is. It’s very lush and there’s water.” And it’s where the magic of making her video content happens.

Born in Connecticut, the former child actress made her Broadway debut as Mary Phagan in the musical Parade before landing her role as Ren. For years, she’d balance a handful of Disney projects, try her hand at a music career and even pen a novel. Romano found herself confronting demons along the way, struggling with depression, self-harm and addiction. After getting married and before getting pregnant, she’d make the decision to be sober. “Mentally I had drank every drink and partied at every party,” she says of her revelation. “I had seen and done a million things, and I’d had my heart broken a million times.”

Her relationship with Hollywood had transformed, too. She moved into more voice acting roles and TV films and movies. But after a while, Romano felt like she was being typecast as “the bitchy brunette.” She could do it, but she felt like the talent pool was too big and “it was too complicated to vie for the opportunity to work.” Instead, she decided it was time to start working for herself. In 2011, she enrolled at Barnard College where she earned a film studies degree, which has helped in establishing her platform.

The current iteration of Romano’s YouTube channel is a departure from what it was a few years back. In 2019, Romano began her first foray in the digital space with Christy’s Kitchen Throwback, where she’d invite former Disney co-stars and childhood actors to cook with her. From what she could tell, her audience “didn’t want her to do off-the-cuff stuff:” They craved splashy, curated content. Ironically, it’s the opposite of what has helped her channel take off now. Romano struggled with how to present herself because her audience knew her from a particular era. ”I’m not all that different of a person [now], but I think that your emotional range changes as your life experience grows,” she says.

But it became a challenge to secure celebrities and incentivize them. “We were starting to pay people to come on the show and that felt a little inauthentic to the show itself,” she recalls. Her views weren’t spiking and “ad-wise I wasn’t making a ton of money with this high production value.” So she began testing out content. Romano ended up pivoting to a giveaway show, but she was no MrBeast. She attempted reaction videos, but the celebrity coordination aspect was, again, a challenge.

She considered leaving YouTube, but in the interim, she was also building her TikTok presence. A video of Romano speaking to her younger self, called “Big Sis Advice,” went viral for its candor from the perspective of her younger self and current self: “It was me checking in mental health-wise with a person as if we were FaceTiming.” During the TikTok video, she was also walking and moving — something inherent to it that she felt appealed to viewers. And then there was the added isolation of COVID. “I realized quickly that what people were wanting and what they’re really needing since the pandemic is to feel like they have someone to talk to,” she explains. “They need that connection, they need that community.”

Romano, who had long avoided discussing her Hollywood experience, had an epiphany for what to do next: “Let’s give the people what they want. Let’s talk about Shia LaBeouf. Let’s talk about ‘Circle of Life.’ Let’s talk about what it’s like to have stalkers. Let’s give the people the stories that they never knew I had inside of me.” It was pretty easy since “the media runs with it.” But for Romano, there was a strategy behind it. She ultimately decided that while perhaps the gossip or Hollywood history element would lure people in, she wanted “to extract a bigger purpose” from her 10-minute videos. “I’m trying to provide somebody with something more than just a tea element,” she says.

It was her video about LaBeouf, titled “Why I Don’t Talk to Shia LaBeouf” that went viral — a meditative visual that featured Romano telling her story while walking a path in nature. (Those walks have become hallmarks of her videos now.) The clickbait headline garnered the attention of Disney fans and older millennials, and from there, Romano was on the road to a rebrand. For her, she needed to muddle through the discontent and confusion she endured, and find a throughline into her present-day career. “It’s like, ‘How do you lean into the past, but also embrace it and make it okay and positive?’” she asks. And more importantly, she didn’t want it to be “cheesy.”

You might be wondering if Romano is worried that she’ll run out of stories to share. At the moment, she block-shoots five episodes, which covers her for a while. And because she’s been in the entertainment industry since she was six years old, she has roughly 20 years of stories. Still, she treads lightly with her past and others. “There’s some lines that just don’t need to be crossed, not because I don’t want them to be crossed, but more or less because there’s no value to them,” she says. Some of her audience, she’s found, want her to add a “sense of conspiracy” to her videos.” But she’s here to talk about her lived experience. The reason why she believes her approach works is because she has authority on the topic she’s discussing on her channel, which adds value.

Despite highlighting certain celebrities in her videos – like LaBeouf, Hathaway or Hilary Duff – Romano has yet to hear from anyone she’s included in her storytelling. She’s happier, she says, that it hasn’t happened. “I probably would feel really self-conscious about making any other videos if it came back to me and they were having any kind of opinion,” she laughs. Regardless of what stories she shares, she still has a lot of empathy for the famous people in them. “I still have a respect for them because I know where they’re coming from,” she says of her peers.

For Romano, the Disney characters that have defined her career have remained on her mind. Just like fans have long-theorized that there were queer undertones between her character Jennifer and Duff’s Kelly, she’s thought about it, too. “I personally believe that Jennifer Stone [in Cadet Kelly] would be a really interesting character if she was married to a woman and she was the principal of a school,” she says, before adding, “And there was a Kelly student that came and then she had to deal with that again.” The actress believes it could prompt a reboot that way. She believes it “would be a big deal for Disney” and for representing the LGBTQ+ community in the military as long as it wasn’t “for an inauthentic play.” And Ren? Romano thinks she’d be working in politics and found the man of her dreams.

With her re-storytelling, Romano has reflected on her own experiences working at Disney and what she wants to do to pave the way forward. “What I appreciated about Disney was that they always really did try to make sure that the kids were okay,” she recalls. All film productions, she believes, would benefit from having a social worker or an advocate on set “that would protect the mental health of the children.” Through her conversations on YouTube, she wants to endorse that. “I never would’ve probably thought to advocate for that kind of thing, unless I came to terms with some of this drama,” Romano says. While she thinks people want her to disparage Disney, she won’t – she’s fond of the network. She just wants the entertainment industry to be better for the next generation: “It’s just bigger than the topic of, ‘Did Disney fuck you up?’ It’s more or less, ‘What is the industry doing as a whole to protect kids?’”

Whether her videos center celebrities in them or not, Romano’s channel will remain a place to share her own metamorphosis with the ASMR backdrop of her Austin hikes. If her audience is there, she wants to be the “safe space” for them: “I’m the big sister who figured it out.”

Photo courtesy of Christy Carlson Romano

When We Were Young Festival Memes Are Already Here

In a sign that the nostalgia train is finally catching up with Millennials and Gen Z (and that we as a generation are, in fact, getting older), the newly announced emo/ pop punk throwback festival, When We Were Young, is already getting a lot of buzz.

Featuring a lineup that reads like the t-shirt wall in a Hot Topic, the fledgling festival is set to take place later this year in Las Vegas with headliners My Chemical Romance, Paramore, Avril Lavigne, The Used, AFI, Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday and more. The lineup of emo, pop punk and post-hardcore acts ranges from the peak 2000s to more contemporary artists and the festival announcement immediately triggered a wave of gushing nostalgia from former angsty teenagers who spent their formative years writing Wattpad fanfics and fantasizing about their dream Warped Tour lineups as if they were a fantasy football draft.

Amidst the all the reminiscing about the cringey RAWR xD days, the festival has already drawn its fair share of criticisms from the relatively benign, like the glaring omission of The Killers from an event called “When We Were Young,” to concerns over pricing and organizers. Given the current climate surrounding festival safety in the wake of last month’s Astroworld tragedy, the fact that Live Nation, the same promoter behind Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and said ill-fated Travis Scott festival, were also the same people putting on When We Were Young did raise a few alarmed eyebrows.

That said, a generation that grew up on platforms like MySpace, LiveJournal and Tumblr processed the news using the only way they know how: memes.

me and my friends pulling up to the When We Were Young festivalpic.twitter.com/zEaAeVk8Xr — VS (@VS)

pic.twitter.com/hJLFbjK3Wg — Cameron Hurley (@Cameron Hurley)

Is this a Twitter Spacehttps://twitter.com/wwwyfest/status/1483499818357964802u00a0u2026 — Ghostly (@Ghostly)

pic.twitter.com/u9QNuPQsz2 — BOW!E u2606 (@BOW!E u2606)

my timeline rnpic.twitter.com/GjvMQRLuwk — Soup (@Soup)

rumor has it the when we were young festival wristband will be an i heart boobies bracelet — Molly Sheban (@Molly Sheban)

Me at when we were young festivalpic.twitter.com/q3GJvxkWgO — Sonny Side Up (@Sonny Side Up)

On my to Vegas for the When We Were Young Festivalpic.twitter.com/oty9ocy59S — Larry. 2ufe0fu20e30ufe0fu20e32ufe0fu20e32ufe0fu20e3ud83eudd73 (@Larry. 2ufe0fu20e30ufe0fu20e32ufe0fu20e32ufe0fu20e3ud83eudd73)

get in loser, we’re going to the when we were young festpic.twitter.com/H3VNhUA6XS — luna u1d56u1d57u1d5bu2082u2080u2082u2082 (@luna u1d56u1d57u1d5bu2082u2080u2082u2082)

when we were young fest starterpackpic.twitter.com/qRWLWCw8zO — dut (@dut)

if the entry wristbands at when we were young fest donu2019t look like this, i donu2019t want to gopic.twitter.com/5LmoxFZhGn — gods favourite emo (@gods favourite emo)

Me and my girl pulling up to When We Were Young Festpic.twitter.com/JDiVKwnzG2 — ud835udd88ud835udd8dud835udd86ud835udd95ud835udd86ud835udd98 (@ud835udd88ud835udd8dud835udd86ud835udd95ud835udd86ud835udd98)

When We Were Young Fest: Paramore, My Chemical Romance, Avril Lavigne, Silverstein, A Day to Remember, Pvris, Pierce the Veil, Sleeping w/ Sirens, AFI, Bring Me The Horizon, The Story So Far, Mayday Parade.nnMe:pic.twitter.com/KPemJ0UquV — paramore is back ud83eudd51 (@paramore is back ud83eudd51)

me after reading the when we were young lineuppic.twitter.com/mlkvgq91OY — shelby fine (@shelby fine)

no-one:nnthe When We Were Young fest graphic designer:pic.twitter.com/FEGjgChr1K — Luc (@Luc)

Photo via Getty/ Naki/ Redferns

Meet Froglady: New York’s Rainbow-Colored Soul Singer

It’s impossible to scroll past Jess Girillo (AKA Froglady), the self-declared “frog jester who sings.” Their hair is dyed rainbow, from root to tip, and occasionally shaped into giant spikes that frame their head like sun rays; they decorate their face with clown-inspired glam, extending the corners of their mouth like The Joker, and finish everything off with piercings, stickers, fake freckles, painted tears or multi-colored contacts — a children’s book protagonist who’s been tossed through teenage trauma and dropped into the online algorithm.

A style star in their own right, the 22-year-old New Yorker is also a trained musician, though their sound might surprise you. Taking notes from the likes of Amy Winehouse (a la Back to Black), Froglady revives a neo-soul, rock genre so few of their contemporaries are leaning into, right now. On Faces, Froglady’s indie nine-track debut, they lend their jazzy vocals to a retro band of moody piano melodies, grungy guitars and fuzzy drums. While it could easily be pulled from another decade, the themes explored on Faces reflect that of their generation, from mental health to self-expression and isolation.

“Froglady is the version of myself that I aim to be on my best day” as they tell PAPER. “Bold and obnoxious and dramatic and sensitive and true.” Indeed, a balanced explosion of all this comes through on Faces, bringing together their “kookie little world” of technicolor beauty and Muppets plushies with more introspective, honest songwriting poured straight from the heart. “Froglady tells you stories, and forces you to look at them and to listen.”

Below, PAPER gets to know Froglady a bit more, as we dive into their “lifelong love of frogs” and the many different faces they’ve worn over the past two years that inspired this breakout LP.

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A post shared by Jess Girillo (Froglady)🤡🃏🐸🎪🌈 (@froglady444)

Where did the name, Froglady, come from? How do you feel it represents you as an artist?

My artist name, Froglady, came from my lifelong love of frogs. People always ask me why I love frogs so much and, honestly, it’s hard for me to answer that question. Frogs have just always been a part of my existence and kookie little world. Maybe Kermit from the muppets has something to do with it because I’ve been watching The Muppet Show since I was probably three. The name, Froglady, definitely represents me as an artist because it’s weird and different enough that you won’t forget it. It’s silly, but it stands out, and that suits me as a musician and a performer.

What’s your musical background? How did you get your footing in this field?

I’ve been performing live for years. I started singing in choir in high school, but it wasn’t for me. I was always more drawn to singing songs that meant something to me, whether written by me or others. I did a lot of cover performances in high school and started writing my own music when I was around 16. I’ve only been releasing my original songs for the past four years and my first ever release was recorded in my friend’s dorm room when I was still in college in 2018.

For those that follow your Instagram, the sound of your music might come as a surprise. How did you land on that sound?

I honestly love that my sound and genre come as a surprise to people who may know of me from social media. It’s a juxtaposition that I think works well for me. People don’t really know what to expect when I get up on stage and they’ve never heard of me before. I’ve experimented with a lot of different sounds over the last six years in terms of my own music. I think I landed in the spot I am now because of my upbringing with music. I was raised listening to all the most incredible R&B and soul singers. I can thank my mom for that because I draw inspiration from my soulful childhood music roots. I’ve struggled with the idea that I wasn’t able to use my voice to its full capacity with some of the music I was making in the past. So for this project and moving forward, I wanted to focus on creating music that allows space for me to use my instrument and tell stories that are threaded with emotion.

For you, what’s the relationship between your image and your music?

My relationship between my music and my image is always tied to my intense emotions. I use self-expression as an outlet for my emotional state. Both music and physical presentation create avenues for me to say what I need to say about my experiences and who I am — to pour a bunch of my heart out all over the place, so that you can’t look away or close your ears. Froglady is the version of myself that I aim to be on my best days: Bold and obnoxious and dramatic and sensitive and true. Froglady tells you stories, and forces you to look at them and to listen.

Who’d you work with on Faces? What does that collaborative process look like?

I got to work with so many talented people on this album. Firstly, all of the songs were produced by my friend, Sean Hardin. I’ve known Sean for years and used to work with him at a music school I attended back when I was in high school. I approached Sean about a year ago after I had many of the songs in a really rough demo phase. Sean can play literally every instrument and always knew exactly what vibe or energy I was going for when piecing together all of the final instrumentals for the project. He’s the type of creative that you can sit down with, tell him a few descriptive words for the song, maybe a bit of the story and he’ll give you a track that makes you want to spill your guts out all over it. Which is what I did [laughs].

I also had the privilege of working with so many of my co-workers at Mansion Studios NYC, a recording studio in Brooklyn. I’ve been working there since they opened this past summer and recorded many of the final versions of the songs off the album there. My co-workers have helped me mix and record most of the tracks, and have encouraged me so much throughout my creative process.

What’re some of the themes you explored lyrically on Faces?

A big lyrical focus for Faces is, of course, my experiences with love over the past two years. I like to explore the concept of being or not being a “digestible person,” especially in relation to interpersonal relationships and my relationship with myself. I actually almost named the album, Digestible Faces, instead of just Faces because of that theme. I also wanted to use this project as an opportunity to begin talking about my struggles with mental illness, the joys of self-expression and the love I have for my chosen family. I tend to use imagery throughout the album that you can see in my looks like clowns, bugs and big hearts.

“Froglady is the version of myself that I aim to be on my best days: Bold and obnoxious and dramatic and sensitive and true.”

Is there a song on this album that you feel best represents you as an artist, right now?

I feel the song that represents me most as an artist off Faces is “Cycles.” Not only is it the most recent song I wrote and recorded off the album, but it feels like the closest I’ve gotten so far to emulating a certain sound and feeling through my music. The song tells a story about where I am as a person and creating, breaking old cycles and evolving with every day that passes. “Cycles” is about seeing yourself in love, but it’s also about loving yourself enough to realize you deserve the things you want and work so hard for.

Who do you look to for inspiration, sonically? Who’re your music idols?

My top four musicians that inspire me are Mary J. Blige, David Bowie, Prince and Amy Winehouse. I’ve been listening to these incredible artists for my entire life and know pretty much every song they’ve ever released. I’ve studied them and still refer to them often. They’ve always kind of been like my guardian angels for music making and I wouldn’t be the artist I am today without their magical influence.

How’d you land on the name, Faces, to best wrap up all the songs and ideas of this album?

I ended up naming the album Faces because I feel as though the album does a pretty good job of showing the many faces I’ve worn over the last two years. The concept behind the album is focused on the masks and emotions that have dictated and influenced my life. I wanted to create space to explore my feelings and the layers that exist to Froglady and, of course, the layers that exist to Jess. We all have different faces that we wear.

Photography: Morganne Boulden

SpiceDAO Roasted for Plans to Turn ‘Dune’ Art Book Into NFTs

In a validating development for anyone thats been critical of hypebeast-like culture that has grown around the proliferations of NFTs, a crypto group is currently getting roasted after it was discovered that they massively overpaid for a copy of a book about Alejandro Jodorowsky’s adaptation of Dune under the erroneous impression they could mint and distribute it as NFTs.

Having reportedly paid $2.66 million at auction for the book which is roughly 100 times the original asking price, the decentralized autonomous organization, SpiceDAO, announced their latest acquisition on Twitter, outlining their intention to “make the book public (to the extent permitted by law),” “produce an original animated limited series inspired by the book and sell it to a streaming service” and “support derivative projects from the community.”

However, what they failed to realize is that they had only bought the edition of the book, not the rights to reproduce the work, just as buying a Spiderman comic doesn’t give you the right to make a Spiderman movies as one commenter pointed out. SpiceDAO had in effect purchased a limited edition copy of the book and not the legal rights to the work.

To add insult to injury, the book has already been fully scanned and available online since 2011, making their whole plan to burn the copy as a marketing stunt in an effort to up the price of their planned NFT series. (Though their plan to sell a video of them burning the book as an NFT as well could still work.)

You bought a collectible for 100X estimated value. Do you think if you bought a Spider-Man comic you could start making Spider-Man movies as well?pic.twitter.com/hKDzwn0xN2 — Journalistic Facts (@Journalistic Facts)

pic.twitter.com/sXIEkLdVMY — and enough champagneu2026 to fill the nile!! (@and enough champagneu2026 to fill the nile!!)

I guess this is the natural result of NFT culture. You bought a scarcity-limited copy of a thing, and now you think you u201cownu201d the thing. — Michael Engard (@Michael Engard)

thank you for helping to obliterate the myth that people with a lot of money earned it through skill and intellect — Arlan Hellison (famous) (@Arlan Hellison (famous))

SpiceDAO’s massive financial L aside, it is at least a good opportunity to revisit the illustrations by Moebius and H.R. Giger that were originally used to pitch the film adaptation. Given the popularity of Denis Villeneuve’s latest iteration of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi epic, the phonebook-sized tome full of concept art, notes and more that went into the making of the avant-garde French-Chilean filmmaker’s adaptation.

Photo via Christie’s

TikTok Star Peach PRC Comes Out

Peach PRC has come out.

On Sunday, the TikTok star told her 1.8 million followers that she’s a lesbian in a video featuring her new trending tracks, “god is a freak,” before explaining in the overlay text that she wanted to share “since this song is blowing up.” Not only that, but Peach also took to her Instagram to make the announcement alongside a slideshow of some gorgeous golden hour pics where she’s wearing a sheer, bubblegum pink nightie.

“came out as a lesbian today,” she wrote in the caption.”to be fair the closet was made of glass lol.”

Even so, fans flooded the comments with congratulatory messages, writing things like “regardless, coming out is still a celebratory event” and “I hope life just continues to get better for you now that you can openly live as your true self.”

“THANK YOU for making the world a little more pink and girly and gay and amazing and for just allowing yourself to be vulnerable,” a third commenter said. “Because when you allow yourself to openly celebrate who you are, others will be a lil more okay with loving themselves too!! Congrats on ur new adventure..”

Meanwhile, others praised her for providing the “hyper-femme lesbian representation” we need, with one fan saying that their “young lesbian self could have really used this when I was growing up”

“You have NO idea how many lives you are changing by proudly living as an openly visible lesbian,” they continued, before another added, “incredibly proud to see someone who is both hyperfemme and queer thriving in the spotlight, it gives me hope for myself and my friends.”

As for Peach herself, the social media star told Pedestrian.tv in a statement that the “response has been really beautiful and supportive.”

“I feel so welcomed by the lesbian community,” she said before adding, “and finally at peace with something I’ve been shying away from for the longest time.”

Check out Peach’s posts below.

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A post shared by Peach PRC (@peachprc)


the people on my private account already know this but pls be nice 💖 any negative comments will be deleted

♬ original sound – Peach PRC

Photos via TikTok / @peachprc

Britney Spears Responds to Jamie Lynn’s Interview

Britney Spears has entered the chat, and it’s pretty clear she’s fed up with her sister. After Jamie Lynn Spears did her first big interview with Good Morning America on Wednesday since Britney’s conservatorship ended in November, Britney chimed in to tell her side of the story. She took to Twitter on Thursday evening to address one of the biggest points of contention in the sisters’ back and forth — those remixes that Jamie Lynn did in 2017.

Britney called out Jamie Lynn back in July for performing her songs at the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards. She wrote at the time, “I don’t like that my sister showed up at an awards show and performed MY SONGS to remixes !!!!! My so-called support system hurt me deeply !!!!” But Jamie Lynn said in her Good Morning America interview this week that she didn’t understand why it bothered her sister, even going so far as saying they had worked out the issue already.

pic.twitter.com/yZBEysen4O — Britney Spears (@Britney Spears)

Apparently Britney didn’t get the memo that they’d worked it out, because in her lengthy Twitter post in response, Britney said that the award show set was all she ever wanted amid her conservatorship controversy. “If you were me, you might understand asking for 13 years for remixes to go into a small venue show and on tours !!!! 13 years later they assign me as the MOTHER OF ALL … heart of gold … Britney sitting there seeing a 15 minute performance of everything I have ever wanted.” She also threw in another harsh dig at Jamie Lynn, saying she was the baby of the family, adding, “She never had to work for anything. Everything was always given to her !!!!”

But alas, Jamie Lynn wasn’t about to let Britney have the last word, so she jumped on Instagram to share a note of her own. Calling Britney’s post a lie, Jamie Lynn also added that her family has gotten death threats over this whole ordeal. “Sadly, after a lifetime of staying silent, I have come to realize this isn’t going to be a reality, and I may have to set the record straight myself in order to protect mine and my family’s well being,” she wrote.

Because the primary reason for Jamie Lynn’s GMA interview was to promote her upcoming book, Things I Should Have Said, Britney also called her out for seemingly capitalizing on the situation for profit. And while she sarcastically wished her sister success with her book, Britney clearly felt otherwise.

But Jamie Lynn maintains that she’s not using Britney for any of this — they just have shared experiences. “I hate to burst my sister’s bubble, but my book is not about her,” she wrote. “I can’t help that I was born a Spears too, and that some of my experiences involve my sister. I’ve worked hard since before I was even a teenager, and I’ve built my career in spite of just being someone’s little sister.”

pic.twitter.com/ck3xs31V2j — Britney Spears (@Britney Spears)

It was Jamie Lynn’s Nightline interview Thursday night, though, that brought Britney back today for what is (maybe) the final word for now. In the interview, Jamie Lynn alleged that Britney had once locked the two of them together in a room with a knife, adding that Britney’s behavior over the years has been “erratic, paranoid and spiraling.”

In yet another Twitter note from the pop star, she accused Jamie Lynn of stooping to “a whole new level of LOW.” She added, “So please please stop with these crazy lies for the Hollywood books !!! NOW and only NOW I do know only a scum person would make up such things about someone.” She wrapped up her emphatic note with a trophy emoji, telling her sister she wins at this war of stooping the absolute lowest.

Photo via Getty/ Frank Micelotta

Kylie Jenner Just Hit a Major Instagram Milestone

It’s official — Kylie Jenner is the most followed woman on Instagram. She hit her 300 millionth follower on Thursday, which also means she’s the only woman to top the 300 million mark. Now the only two people with more Instagram followers than her are footballer Cristiano Ronaldo with 389 million and Instagram itself with a total of 460 million followers.

Naturally, Jenner’s mom and biggest fan, Kris, shared the fun news on Instagram on Thursday, writing, “I’m so proud of my girl @KylieJenner!! You are beautiful inside and out and have the most amazing heart! Keep on reaching for the stars and inspiring us with all you do!! I love you my angel.”

See on Instagram

Though Jenner has several companies, TV presence,and an extremely meme-able quality about her, she actually doesn’t post that much on social media. Her pictures are actually pretty sporadic. That doesn’t stop each one from garnering millions of likes, though. Her most liked photo, at 155.6 million views and more than 24 million likes, is the announcement of her second pregnancy with Travis Scott, which she shared on September 7. It’s also holding strong as the fifth most liked post on Instagram.

Her most recent photo is from a week ago, where she’s still visibly pregnant. However, fans are convinced Jenner’s actually already given birth to her second child. Between TikTok speculation and rumors floating around on Instagram, the theories are very, very convincing. Especially when you consider Jenner’s history of trying to keep her pregnancies under wraps. Who knows, the surprise social announcement may even become one of the most liked photos on Instagram when it happens.

Either way, Jenner’s already topped 301 million followers and counting. And while she’s currently the most followed woman on Instagram, both Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez aren’t far behind with 289 million each.

Logan Paul Scammed Out of $3.5 Million Over Fake Pokémon Cards

Logan Paul got straight up scammed.

Back in December, the YouTuber-turned-boxer announced that he’d dropped $3.5 million on a first-edition base set of Pokémon cards, except he didn’t end up getting what he bargained for.

On Thursday, Paul uploaded a very dramatic video where he was joined by known card collector, Bolillo Lajan San, and some people from the authentication company, who originally paid $2.7 million for the set before selling it to him.

However, when the owner of the company opened the sealed box, it turned out it actually contained a bunch of G.I. Joe cards, eliciting an “oh my god, bro” from Paul himself.

“G.I. JOE?? G.I. JOE?!?! It could have been anything else,” Paul yelled, as the inspector said “we all got duped.”

“This is the biggest fraud in the entire history of Pokémon,” another authenticator said before another rep explained they were “confident it was legit” because it was sealed. Unsurprisingly though, Paul went on to express his immense disappointment in his purchase, saying, ““I’m a super positive person, bro, and I’ll always be the one to look at the bright side.”

“And I am trying,” he said, “But this is very hard.”

It’s unclear whether Paul will go after the authentication company and how he’ll find the scammer, but TMZ did reveal that Bolillo Lajan San already reimbursed him for the lost $3.5 million.

Watch the video below.

Photo via Getty / Victor Decolongon

MSCHF Secured the Bags

As much as we may not want to admit it, we live in a materialistic society. We’re swayed by fancy labels, covet shiny things and are awestruck by price tags with lots of zeros attached to it. We aspire to be that person and want to broadcast that as loudly as we can to as many people around us as much as possible, but the reality is that most of us can’t afford to live the life of luxury that we’d like. Fortunately, as the old adage goes, MSCHF has found a way to help you at least fake it until you make it.

The Brooklyn art collective responsible for projects such as Lil Nas X’s infamous Satan Shoes, turning Birkin Bags into Birkenstocks and selling Chick Fil-A on a Sunday is back with their latest drop that lets people buy shopping bags from some of the world’s top fashion retailers — just the bags. Aptly titled, OnlyBags, MSCHF’s new endeavor sees them reselling shopping bags from Prada, Hermès, Burberry, Rolex, Supreme and Ikea, all the way down to a humble plastic bag, so you can at the very least give off the illusion that you’ve just been on a massive shopping spree.

“If there’s one thing we know from acquiring our bag samples, it’s that strolling down the street laden with (empty, of course!) Balenciaga, Valentino, Rolex, et al. is one hell of a power trip,” MSCHF writes in the site’s manifesto. “Carrying an armload of bags puts you in dialogue with all the images you’ve seen of people carrying armloads of bags. Who are they? Celebrities, whether due to their talent or wealth–the most conspicuous of consumers. Who are you? Someone who now has this visual signifier in common with celebrities. At the very least, you look rich.”

Featuring a lookbook of paparazzi shots showing the glamorous A-list life you could be living walking down 5th Avenue or Rodeo Drive with a bunch of bags adorning your arms, MSCHF is selling the facade of materialistic wealth with all the shallow meaning capitalism affords. Those interested in padding out their personal collection can purchase bags at $40 a piece (which is a pretty steep markup for some, but a lot more affordable that even a pair of Fendi socks) or get the whole collection for $480.

See on Instagram

Photos courtesy of MSCHF

Chris Olsen and Ian Paget Explain Why They Broke Up

Chris Olsen and Ian Paget are opening up about their recent split.

Last week, the TikTok stars confirmed their breakup after two years of dating in separate statements issued to E! News, with Olsen writing that they wanted to “take some time apart and grow as individuals” and Paget reassuring fans that his ex was still his “best friend and always will be.” Now though, the exes are giving their followers some insight into what led to their split, and it turns out that a big reason behind their decision was the “pressure” of being seen as this “perfect amazing couple.”

“Being in the public eye the way that we’ve been through these last like year and a half, two years, is wild,” Paget said on Thursday in a joint YouTube video with Olsen.

“For now, we’ve just decided that it would probably be in our best interest to be moving through the world unromantically,” he said, before adding that they were “okay” and also wanted their fans to know that “just because we’re not together in a romantic relationship, doesn’t mean that we can’t work on a very meaningful, deep connection and relationship. I will always love this human so much.”

Olsen then chimed in by saying while they knew no one “meant to put that pressure” on them, being upheld as a romantic ideal still caused a strain in their relationship, especially since they were only together for seven months prior to their accidental TikTok fame.

“When you’ve only been together for seven months, you don’t even know each other that well,” Olsen explained. “So to suddenly be shipped as this perfect amazing couple — who, if we ever were to break up, people aren’t going to believe in love — was just like a lot pressure.”

However, Paget once again stated that they were still going to be close, saying that “life happens and being in this public eye is crazy.”

“So we just kind of ask for some privacy, some support,” he went on to add. “We’ll still be in each other’s lives and we’ll still be in your guys’ lives together, separate.”

Watch their entire video below.

Photo via Getty / Emma McIntyre

Fans Think They Spotted Zayn Malik on Dating Apps

We’re not even two weeks into 2022 and we’ve already been blessed with what might just be Zayn Malik on a dating app. A video that looks a lot like Malik started making the rounds on social media last week, and fans have a lot to say about it. The short clip is pulled from dating site WooPlus, a site tailored to plus-size people, and whoever this man is — Malik or not — looks like someone we’d want to match with.

The name on the profile is “Zed,” with a location of Ottsville, PA (near where Malik was living with ex Gigi Hadid), which could all point to it really being him. We all know how easy it is to create a fake persona online, but “Zed’s” face looks all-too-familiar — not to mention the neck tattoos pictured seem extremely similar to Malik’s.

Fans of the Dusk Till Dawn singer who believe it’s actually him on WooPlus are not amused with whoever shared the video publicly. They’ve taken to Twitter to call out the person behind it all, reminding everyone that he deserves at least a little bit of privacy. Others took a different approach, seeing the video as their sign to join WooPlus and shoot their shot.

If you get the privilege, the opportunity to get paired with THE ZAYN MALIK on a dating app, stop leaking his pictures, yes we’re desperate to see him, but not without his consent. Have some human decency. — strap some f**ing balls ud83eudd28 (@strap some f**ing balls ud83eudd28)

me omw to download that dating app so i can match with zaynpic.twitter.com/6s5pyL4bfF — farahu0fd4 IT’LL BE OKAY u2764u200dud83eude79 (@farahu0fd4 IT’LL BE OKAY u2764u200dud83eude79)

Considering Malik shared with Billboard back in 2016 that he liked “fuller women,” WooPlus — which markets itself as the “best online dating app for all people who love plus size singles” — feels like the right fit as far as dating apps go. Of course, it’s all just speculation right now, but if any of you happen to match and meet-up with “Zed,” we kindly ask that you report back.

Photo via Getty/Axelle/ Bauer-Griffin/ FilmMagic

TikTok Star Rory Teasley Allegedly Strangled to Death by Boyfriend

Rory Teasley, a.k.a. too2pump4tv, has died. He was 28.

On Thursday, authorities responded to a 911 call made by the TikTok star’s boyfriend of 10 years, Docquen Jovo Watkins. Upon arriving at a Pontiac, Michigan apartment, deputies from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office found Teasley unconscious and not breathing. He was then transported to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

According to local news outlet Click on Detroit, Watkins allegedly strangled Teasley to death after the couple had an argument over a video game called Overwatch. When questioned by police, Watkins apparently told them that Teasley was “sleeping” on the couch.

A true social media maven, Teasley’s main platform was TikTok, where he amassed more than 200,000 followers for his dance and comedy videos. He was also a popular Instagram creator who was known to his 62,000 fans as “Everybody Gay Best Friend Rory” and posted under the handle “2Pump4TV.”

@too2pump4tv Getting Old A Mf 😭😭😭🤣🤣‼️😩 #Fyp #ForYouPage #2Pump4Tv #Old #routine #journaling #bye2021 #fitcheck #2021recap ♬ Floor Cracking (Building Wall Ceiling Ground Concrete House Crack Noise Clip) [Sound Effect] – Finnolia Sound Effects

Watkins has since been charged with second-degree murder and is currently being held at Oakland County Jail without bail. He is due in court for a probably cause conference on January 18 and scheduled for a preliminary examination on Jan. 25.

Read Click on Detroit’s full report here.

Photos via TikTok / @too2pump4tv

Meet the Kim Kardashian of FishTok

While you probably have no idea who Luke “The Goldfish Guy” Hagopian is, there’s a very good chance you’ve seen his mega-famous fancy goldfish bobbing around your TikTok For You Page.

The 21-year-old Illinois native is the brains behind Luke’s Goldies, a social media behemoth devoted to chronicling the lives of his fancy goldfish. The channel exploded in popularity at the beginning of the pandemic and has since become one of the hottest properties in the FishTok universe with 3.5+ Million TikTok followers, 400k+ YouTube subscribers and 220k+ Instagram followers. Every day, millions of people tune in just to watch Luke play around with his dopey little army of multi-colored sentient floating matzo balls.

“Fancy goldfish” is their technical name, by the way. We aren’t talking about janky plastic bags full of thin, slimy, ticking death bombs you get for tossing a ball into a bucket at the carnival. Adult fancy goldfish can cost between $300-$500 with certain large Asian breeds running as high as $2,000. Currently, Luke’s most expensive fish is named Brad and is worth about $350. (He gets all his fish for free now, thanks to a sponsorship from Goldfish Island, the StockX of Fancy Goldfish.)

@lukesgoldies Who is Clarence? Do you reallt want to know? #clarence #fish ♬ original sound – The Goldfish Guy

Luke’s Goldies has become so big that he’s been able to launch a successful Goldfish-themed merch line off the channel and has secured enough sponsors to make documenting Goldfish a full-time job. This is all thanks to his roster of internet all-stars like Big Bubba, Lil Dumpy and Clarence, a cute orange blob with stunning flowing white fins that went viral after choking on a plant.

Clarence is far from the most popular fish in Luke’s tanks. That title currently sits with Big Bubba, who gained popularity after wreaking havoc in Luke’s tanks and attacking all the female goldfish during breeding time. Another one of his fish stars is Mr. Cow, who predictably looks like an aquatic cow. This fish has grown such a following that a recent fan art contest for the speckled black, white and orange goldfish received more than 120 submissions.

One unintended consequence of being the biggest name on FishTok is women “swimming” into his DMs. “They’re mostly in their 40s and 50s,” Luke says. “One lady on YouTube kept saying I was cute, but she was over 50 and I don’t think she realized I’m only 21. Also, I’m a religious Christian, so right now I’m only looking for someone to eventually marry.” When asked what he’s looking for in a potential partner, Luke chuckles and responds, “They just have to like goldfish and Jesus.”

@lukesgoldies Bubba almost lost this one to Brad #fish #goldfish #aquarium ♬ original sound – The Goldfish Guy

At no point did Luke think his obsession with goldfish would translate into any sort of social media following or income, as a chemical engineering student from an unassuming religious Armenian family. His father and grandfather worked as chemical engineers, while his two older brothers and one older sister all graduated with, you guessed it, chemical engineering degrees, as well.

Being Armenian, the obvious connection is to suggest that Luke Hagopian is like the Kim Kardashian of FishTok. While he appreciates the title, he’s quick to point out, “My fish are the celebrities. If I was walking around the street with Bubba he would have a higher chance of getting recognized.” So maybe he’s more like the “Kris Jenner of FishTok,” a stage mom for fancy fish.

The rise of Luke’s Goldies to social media glory was partially the result of COVID lockdown boredom. Luke was studying at Illinois Institute of Tech when everything shut down in March 2020, forcing him to move back home. Back then, he was an irrelevant social media user who had been posting pictures to an account, called “lifethroughluke,” with around 2,000 followers.


Mr. Cow is a little gassy today.

♬ original sound – The Goldfish Guy

A few weeks into quarantine, Luke’s brother, who also didn’t have a big online presence, posted something unrelated to goldfish that went viral on TikTok. Luke was fascinated by how videos could circulate the app without having a following, which seemed impossible to do on something like Instagram. So he started posting videos of his goldfish to TikTok and, after three uploads, one hit 10k views — by far the most views on anything he had ever made.

Luke kept posting videos and, in under a month, had his first mega-viral TikTok: a memorial for a goldfish, named Nubbin, that had recently passed. It got more than 1 million views. At that point, his account only had around 1,000 followers. “It was crazy to think. I had never thought a video of mine would reach a million people,” he says. “That’s massive. A million people are watching my fish.”

He began posting three or four videos a day and immediately became the hottest property on FishTok, pouring himself into Luke’s Goldie’s and spending 15-20 hours a week on fish maintenance (cleaning tanks, changing filters, dealing with sick fish) and another 30 hours alone producing content. Within two months, he had more than 100k followers on TikTok.

@lukesgoldies Touching goldfish is not what kills them. 9 times out of 10, it’s poor water quality. #fish #goldfish #aquarium ♬ Sunset Lover Night Trouble – SelteMemset

The secret to Luke’s success was branding each fish with a name and personality. He noticed people starting to follow individual fish storylines and pick their favorites, like Lil Steve and Bethany. Nubbin was frequently compared to a real-life version of Gumbo from The Adventures of Gumball. Followers even began tagging their spouses in videos of the fatter fish.

His next big breakout star was a controversial jet-black lumpy chode of a fish, named Bubba, who rode the coattails of the #MeToo movement to FishTok infamy. Bubba was part of a gift package he got from his sponsor GoldFish Island and came in the same shipment as a female he was supposed to mate with. When Luke put them in the same tank, Bubba became too aggressive with this egg-ramming and he had to separate them to chill out for a bit.

Quick anatomy lesson: Goldfish mate by having the male ram the female to knock her eggs out of her egg sack. Once the eggs come out, the male fertilizes them and, after two to seven days, the eggs hatch. Luke doesn’t keep decorations in the tank because males and females could hurt themselves on sharp corners during rough goldfish sex. (Goldfish are freaks in the sheets, apparently.)

@lukesgoldies Reply to @estelle_1976 And especially being new fish, being stressed from spawning is no good for a fish right after shipping. They need peace #fish ♬ Coffee for Your Head – Vinyll

Luke posted a video of this saga and it went viral on FeminisTok with people labeling Bubba a “typical male” because of his behavior. Commenters went as far as to call for Bubba to be euthanized because of his “history of sexual assault.” Luke eventually responded to the controversy by showing a video of him pretending to execute Bubba in clove oil, the equivalent of a gas chamber to goldfish. (It was actually just a salt bath to help heal up a surface injury he’d gotten the day prior.)

“The FishTok community definitely has some toxic people in it,” Luke says. “If they see people posting videos of alternative ways to raise fish, they will often not accept it as the correct way. Some people get very grounded in their own ways and express their distaste through hate comments.”

A good example of this was “Heatergate,” a FishTok debate over whether you should use heaters directly in the tank. Things got so “heated” in the comment section that users began threatening others with physical violence. “I’m not here to create any enemies,” Luke continues.

@lukesgoldies Reply to @bartwatson1 so how do they survive in the wild? They don’t… these fish are domesticated. #goldfish #fish #ranchu #aquarium ♬ Morning Mood – Ave Maria

Some people say Luke’s fish shouldn’t even be in a tank to begin with. “These are domesticated fish,” he clarifies. “If they were released into the wild, they would be killed. If you release these fish in an open and connected freshwater system, you might have an invasive species problem on your hands. Over time, these goldfish could de-evolve into common breeds that could become an issue, or they would die. Domesticated breeds are not made for the wild.”

Luke contends that he gives them a good life. “You can tell their emotions and mood based on how active they are,” he says. “I’ve been around them enough to know when they’re stressed out and when they’re fine. In hospital tanks where they have little room and no friends, they don’t swim around much and are calm, but in their big tanks with their sand and other fish, they swim, are active, and have a great time.”

Fans of Luke’s Goldies have become so connected to his fish that when one passed over the summer it turned the comment section of his channel into a viral virtual wake.

@lukesgoldies Day 44 Final Viola Update: She is Gone. He cause of death and dissection are discussed in my YouTube video. #fish #goldfish #viola ♬ A sad but beautiful chorus like a church funeral – Kurippertronixxx

Meet Viola, Luke’s third FishTok all-star: Viola was a huge orange female with a red head and yellow eye circles. In July, she became sick and her reproductive tract filled up with liquid. Luke posted a video where he used his thumb to aspirate some of the liquid out by pressing on her belly. This forced a stream of water to shoot out of her like a water balloon that had been punctured. The video got 41 million views and grew an audience of people checking in regularly for updates on Viola’s health.

Unfortunately, after 40 days of medication and TLC, Viola’s condition wasn’t improving and Luke decided to euthanize her. This was devastating to the community of people who had rallied behind Viola during her struggle. (Then, Luke posted a video autopsy explaining how she died, which was somewhat weird to watch. We’d been following Viola for a month and suddenly was watching him knife through her like the fish guy cutting lox at Zabars. It was like if a favorite celebrity died and then you also got to watch the coroner hold up their liver and be like, “Brittany Murphy died from mold, look!”)

In recent months, Luke has decided to scale down the amount of fish he’s looking after because of how time-consuming and expensive it was becoming. Right now, he has around 45 fancy goldfish, but at the height of his collection had close to 140.

@lukesgoldies Thank you guys for an amazing year! We’ve come a long way in 2021! #2021 #2022 #newyear #happynewyear ♬ original sound – MaguireMemes

Raising this many fish is not cheap. With tanks, filters, feed and more, Luke spends around $500 per month to maintain his pod (some months he’s spent as much as $1,500). Now that his account’s gone viral, his costs are covered by sponsorships and merch, but before he was just a guy with a massive goldfish obsession shelling his entire salary from Potbelly into this wildly expensive hobby.

Luke plans on graduating college in a few months and is looking to buy his own property, so he can build a greenhouse, bigger goldfish ponds and maybe even a turtle pond. This will enable him to focus on making more aquatic educational content and continuing to grow Luke’s Goldies.

Though it should be noted, Luke’s Goldies was recently dethroned as the top FishTok account by a rival channel, called Fish4Ever, that now boasts 3.8 million TikTok followers. Luke’s still a whale in the universe though and, because of the money he makes from his brand, can work on the channel full-time after he graduates. Needless to say, he has no plans to work as a chemical engineer anytime soon.

Photo courtesy of Luke “The Goldfish Guy”

Julia Fox Clears the Air About Her Ex

Right now, Julia Fox and Kanye West have got the entire internet buzzing. The unexpected couple made their public Interview debut, with the Uncut Gems actress writing a blog accompanied by professional photos taken on their second date. But this isn’t the first time one of Fox’s relationships has caught a lot of online attention.

Related | Coolest Person in the Room: Julia Fox

In December, the actress — who is also an artist and former dominatrix — took to her Instagram stories to go on a rant about her baby daddy and ex-husband pilot Peter Artemiev. She wrote things like “HAVE YOU SEEN THIS DEAD BEAT DAD? He can be found at most strip clubs, Lucien, Paul’s bbg, Casablanca, the streets etc.” and “This man left me with a 5 month old and a dog and a home and ALL THE BILLS. It’s wrong!!! It’s not fair.”

Artemiev later told Page Six, “I was saddened to learn of the utterly false statements made on social media by Julia Fox, my co-parent, who is clearly struggling. Out of respect for her privacy and to protect our child, I will not comment further.”

This, of course, caused a lot of commotion amongst Fox’s followers. And since her romance with Ye, the drama got resurfaced. So, Fox decided to address the issue in a statement to The Cut.

Related | Why Did Ye Surprise Julia Fox With Racks Full Of Diesel?

“I really just kind of want to clear the air. Because I obviously was not expecting all the publicity to come after I had come for my son’s father online,” she said. “My son’s father and I had our issues and I wanted to scare him into being a better dad, but I went about it the wrong way. My son’s dad loves his son more than anything in the world. He just has some issues that I shouldn’t have made public.”

Later, she added in a text message to The Cut writer Brock Colyar, “The overall message is that if ur in a toxic relationship, get out of it cuz u never who know or what could be waiting on the other side