it’s hot to change your mind
+ SKKN is robbing us
This week we’re talking about stan culture— which is something I think about a lot. We’re touching on the Amber Heard/Johnny Depp trial (as required by law), Kim’s new skincare line is already lying to us, and two odd things happened to two different popstars that for some reason I thought were worth mentioning. This one is thicc
I do not know anything about Astrology though I would like to. I know that my sun is in Libra, my rising is Leo (very much so), and my moon is in Taurus. My chart has no water in it, and that checks out, because I am a land creature who hates the sea.
I want to be that girl who says things like “oh that is so Pieces of you!” or, “of course you’re feeling congested, your moon is conjunct!” or, “good luck out there today, your node is in the south” or whatever. I would like to know what a ‘node’ is. I thought a node was something that…..Yeah no, I don’t know what a node is.
But what I do know is that Mercury is in retrograde. And is it ever! I love retrograde because it’s a lovely catch-all for all my problems. My complete lack of focus? Retrograde. The fact that I suddenly have a feral fondness for veggie burgers? Retrograde.
Please, if you are someone knowledgeable about astrology, tell me what my chart means. And I don’t just mean describing my personality, I mean let me know what to expect. Give me a heads up! Had I known that I was going to be in a deep funk (name of my next album) for two weeks I would have planned ahead and ordered some kind of fancy cookbook to keep me entertained and comforted by carbs. And maybe a few more bottles of Les Dauphins rosé, which slaps.
Instead, because I was unprepared for this deep funk™, I slept 12 hours a night and completed zero tasks. I’m calling it self care, but we all know what it is…. the planets.
Anyways, let’s begin.
Ariana Grande’s website was hacked and they are not wrong
I don’t know what cruel minded hacker decided to spend their evening demanding that Ariana Grande return to her Dangerous Woman era by dismantling the homepage of her website… But they have a point.
Kim Kardashian is not real
No real human would give the below quote:
“If you told me that I literally had to eat poop every single day and I would look younger, I might. I just might.”
I would do a lot of things to curb the signs of aging. Among them is spending all of my money on botox and creams with empty promises. But eating poop? Girl, please.
This quote comes from her New York Times profile which came out alongside the launch of her new skincare line, SKKN by Kim— a bad name.
This is her fist skincare line and it’s coming out in the wake of her discontinuing her previous “KKW” brands which included makeup and fragrance.
In her line she’s selling a hyaluronic acid serum for $90, which is extortion. This Vichy hyaluronic acid serum is $20 and it’s my favorite thing in my routine. In no world does there need to be a $70 markup. The line also claims to be a “nine step system” meaning you’re meant to buy all of the products which would set you back a cool $630. In the profile, she vows to make us feel like this is necessary:
“Her nine-step system “might seem scary to some,” she said. “That’s why I’m here — to break it down, to be like, ‘They’re all necessary.’” If any step is to be eliminated, it’s the exfoliators (there are two), which, depending on your skin, don’t require daily use.”
Oh thank god! You can switch out 2 of the $100 products and use them less. Great. That will save me zero dollars. The profile insists that she’s not “terribly concerned” about whether or not people can afford these products. Classic. Of course she’s not! She hasn’t had to look at a price tag since 2008.
“It’s definitely more prestige, and in order to get the types of ingredients that I would not really miss out on, it was kind of a necessity,” she said. “The products I was using that were comparable were way more expensive, not to compare anything. I tried to get the quality for the best price that we could, especially the vitamin C serum.”
Not to compare anything, but what I was using was even more expensive, so this isn’t that bad. Stop complaining.
Kim’s line also claims to be refillable. Which is really interesting, because it is not refillable. The skeleton of her packaging, the stone-colored exterior, is reusable. The inner pump/dish of the products can be replaced when they’re empty, and added back into the product’s skeleton. This is called: unnecessary.
“Refillable” would mean that you only buy the packaging once, and that you’re able to refill it without creating any more waste. In SKKN’s case, the pump or dish that the product is in still needs to be replaced and put back inside it’s exterior package.
Greenwashing is nothing new in the skincare space, so many companies use words like “clean” to insinuate some kind of Earth-friendliness without backing it up with any real actions.
Some companies, like Plus body wash, on the other hand, have actually mastered this. Their body wash comes in dissolvable sheets that turn into soap when mixed with water and wash down your drain like nothing happened. Avant Guard came out with a reusable sheet mask made of silicone. Both of these products reduce waste, no more plastic body wash bottles, and no more one-time-use sheet masks.
Ultimately, less waste clogging our planet is the goal. This skincare line doesn’t offer us that, and claiming that it does just opens up the floor for other brands to deceive their customer bases under the guise of similar buzz-words.
The line hasn’t launched yet but I cannoth waith to sink my teeth into these ingredient lists.
It’s hot to change your mind
We need to talk about Stan Culture
I would consider myself a Kardashian expert, a stan. However, I have no interest in defending their poor behavior. (see article above) I both love them, and hold them accountable; both of these notions exist at once.
Stan Culture is often described as heated fandoms that attack anyone who speaks out against the person they love. Think about when Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift’s feud first started back in 2016, all of Kim’s stans flooded Taylor’s instagram and twitter with snake emojis insinuating that she was a liar and a snitch.
On the flip side, think about when Taylor spoke out about wanting to own her masters and her fandom flocked to Scooter Braun’s profile to blow him up for being a traitor.
And then there’s the K-Pop stans, which have the power to become the New World Order, should they organize.
This is usually where our minds go when we think about stan culture.
But there’s something much more basic here, more topical. The term ‘stan’ comes from an Eminem song (this is a good time for me to tell you that I’ve never seen 8 Mile.). A ‘stan’ is someone who passionately loves something despite its flaws. Or, in extreme cases, someone who passionately loves something regardless of its flaws.
This concept zaps you of your critical thinking. There aren’t any other relationships in your life where you love someone without seeing their flaws: romantic partners, who could be the love of your life, are never without their flaws. Families certainly have them, friendships too. There is something about the specific relationship of fan-to-artist where the fan feels as though the weight is on their shoulders to defend the artist they love.
I talked about this with my friend Abby Gardner, who writes an incredibly fun pop culture newsletter and hosts the iconic We Have Notes podcast. Abby brings up a larger point about playing nice on the internet and how being too quick to defend someone can make an environment more hostile than it started:
“It’s so representative of internet-brain in general to me, and also why I think it’s also okay to not put every thought on the internet. Extreme opinions are so rewarded, and I get why, it’s so easy to fall into that way of thinking. I’ve been there myself. And the instinct to automatically defend someone you love is very real, but we all have to take a step back sometimes and use that critical thinking. Honestly, I’m of the mind that if we all used a little more critical thinking and a little more kindness, the internet and the world would be better for it. Not that I see that happening.”
This keyboard-happy behavior creates dividedness; it strips people of their humanity. Celebrities become demi-gods and the people who comment on them become enemies. An environment like that is far too black and white where nothing has a chance to breathe.
The mindset lacks nuance. You can love someone without loving everything that they do; you can also dislike someone, but still appreciate some of the things that they do.
Here’s an example of how this plays out: I posted on @rodeobreak awhile back about how I don’t love everything Kristen Stewart wears. In response, I received messages saying that she’s one of the best actresses of our generation. Now, that’s a leap. I understand if you disagree with my take that her bedazzled Chanel romper is ugly, but in no way does my opinion of her romper affect my opinion of her acting. In no way does my criticizing her outfit translate to ciritszing her craft, her career, or her as a person.
Having nuance in the way we approach celebrity culture is so important in an age where money and influence have the power to change or reshape critical aspects of our society. It’s important to hold people accountable; especially people who become wealthy off of your clicks. In the age of social media marketing, your fanbase is also your meal ticket. If a fanbase doesn’t want to buy 818 Tequila because of Kendall Jenner’s offensive campaign, then she will be forced to refocus. If you don’t want to buy SKKN by Kim because she’s not actually making sustainable changes, she will be forced to refocus.
When the fanbase thinks that everything the celebrity touches is gold, the stakes become far too low for the celebrity. If you don’t use your critical thinking on the things that you love… well… that’s how cults and MLMs start.
This is the “instinct to defend” that Abby touched on: when you love something, it’s only natural to want to jump in, puff up your chest, and make a point that you feel is protective. But that reflex can overpower our ability to see the bigger picture: we’re all just human. Even the famous ones. Even the loudest @’s on the internet.
Speaking of stans, I didn’t realize Johnny Depp had any.
The way the internet ripped Amber Heard to shreds says everything we needed to know about this case.
I personally do not have many nice things to say about Amber, I’ve only heard bad and bizarre things about her and I do believe she was probably part of the abuse in this toxic relationship.
That doesn’t mean the public has the right to take her image, her words, her emotions and turn them into a farce.
I agree that Johnny Depp’s legal team was exciting to watch—but we shouldn’t have been watching. The fact that they held this case in Virginia, where cameras are allowed in the courtroom, is part of the PR campaign that Johnny’s team leveraged. They needed the public to be on their side so they treated the courtroom like a heist movie and kept the stakes high. They came off more like bullies than superheroes.
Amber should have fired her team, who were underprepared, easily intimidated, and frequently at a loss for words. I agree that Amber’s story didn’t always match up. I agree that she handled herself poorly on the stand, but to me that is a glaring example of her team not properly protecting her during this process.
Johnny is powerful. In winning this case he just gave every other powerful man a template on how to sue the women they abuse. Why don’t women speak out about abuse? This is why.
The most disgusting irony is that her initial headline that launched this case now reads more true than ever.
And with that, I’m filing this right next to “The Slap” under ‘things I never want to talk about again’.
Camilla Cabello hates football
Camilla performed at the opening of a
soccer football game match and tweeted out defending her vibes less than an hour later.
I watched this and I did not personally hear any sports chants. But also I did not finish it, because it’s six minutes and that’s not my journey.