TV News

Are You Dreaming This?: Donald Glover's Amazon Deal Proves That 2021 Is Just a Weird Dream

Why would a remake of Mr. and Mrs. Smith star Donald Glover and Phoebe Waller-Bridge?

Things just seem a bit off lately, don't they? Not quite real?

If you're not feeling it yet, that might be because you haven't yet looked into the insane eight-figure deal that Donald Glover just signed with Amazon.

Previously we talked about how Armie Hammer's disturbing DMs and Elizabeth Smart on "Masked Dancer" were signs that this whole year might be a fever dream. But with the new details of writer-producer-actor-rapper-comedian Donald Glover's massive deal with Amazon, we can now confirm that the events of 2021 are all in your head.

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Culture Feature

14 Celebrity Endorsements That No One Asked For

Not every endorsement is about a paycheck.

Jimmy Kimmel Live

The world of celebrity endorsement makes for some strange spectacles.

From Penelope Cruz dressed as Mario, to Snoop Dogg rapping about Hot Pockets, it sometimes seems like celebrity's will back any brand that offers them a paycheck. But that's not the case with the celebrities on this list.

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Film Features

7 Iconic Filming Locations You Can Rent for Your Next Vacation

Because we all need an escape from reality now and then.

Instagram

Since lockdowns and social distancing have taken over the world since spring, we've had to become more creative about vacations.

For some people that means going on a camping trip or renting a cabin in the middle of nowhere to escape the city and pretend the world doesn't exist for a while. But for those of us who aren't up for roughing it, there are some options for a different kind of escape.

If you would rather relax in luxury, pretending to be a celebrity, or a character in your favorite movie or TV show, these vacation rentals may be right for you...

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Netflix

With all the Golden Globes hype surrounding Netflix's Marriage Story, a familiar argument has once again resurfaced on social media: Is Adam Driver hot?

Normally, I'm not a fan of these Twitter circlejerks dwelling on the attractiveness of a particular "not conventionally attractive" celebrity. To be perfectly honest, these conversations strike me as deeply hypocritical, typically propelled by the same woke Twitter personalities who promote body positivity while simultaneously delighting in picking apart an (almost always) male celebrity's physical features.

But one Tweet amidst the recent Adam Driver fervor stood out to me, and I think it's worth discussion.

The Tweet comes courtesy of sociology professor and acclaimed author Tressie McMillan Cottom, who writes: "Straight men don't want Adam Driver to be hot because he is hot for reasons they could also be hot but aren't because they're lazy. He is interesting and has a personality. It's easier to think hot is just genetic symmetry because that lets them off the hook."

Cottom follows up with two subsequent Tweets, stating: "Although he is also tall, which yeah," and "Also, it is rumored that he is *signal drop*."

So first things first, let's address the fact that Cottom's follow-up Tweets do undermine her initial point (at least to some extent). Adam Driver is 6'2", and the suggestion that a tall, well-built, and allegedly well-hung man is not hitting a lot of conventionally attractive benchmarks is, well, just outright false. Adam Driver has a lot of features that do play into conventionally attractive standards, and I imagine life is a good deal harder for men who don't have any of those features.

I still think Cottom's original point mostly stands on its own. Judging by our celebrities, Western culture has certainly seemed to prop up symmetry, along with sharp, defined facial features, as a prerequisite for beauty. So when someone like Adam Driver––who, regardless of whether or not he's deemed "hot," is certainly not "symmetrical"––becomes a prominent object of women's desires, men who never balked at women drooling over Brad Pitt suddenly dig in their heels. "How could Adam Driver possibly be hot?" they wonder. There's subtext: "And if Adam Driver is hot, how come I'm not?"

But as Cottom points out, in spite of popular myth, there's a difference between "symmetrical" and "hot." In truth, there is no universal beauty standard. Different pockets of different cultures lean towards different aesthetics at different times, but by and large, there's no magic combination of features that will make a person attractive to everyone. That also means that, statistically speaking, there are some people somewhere in the world who will find you attractive, regardless of whether or not your features adhere to any culturally prevalent beauty standards.

Adam Driver Amazon Studios

So if we know that we're stuck with the bodies we have (give or take a little self-care) and that someone out there will find our features attractive, then it follows that our best course of action––if we want to be "hot" like Adam Driver––is to maximize our personalities and our interests.

Do women find Adam Driver hot because he's their perfect representation of the male form? Possibly. Does him being a talented actor who seems to have an incredibly deep appreciation for his craft and a solid sense of humor add to his attractiveness? Almost definitely.

And while we might not all have the potential to become an award-winning actor like Adam Driver, we do all have the potential to become really good at something. Almost all of us are capable of practicing something meaningful to us, or honing our skills pertaining to a particular interest or inclination. We're all capable of improving ourselves by some measure, be it how much weight we can lift or how funny our jokes are or simply how confident we are in our own skin––and improving yourself in any way will likely help with the latter.

The reason so many straight men are afraid of Adam Driver being hot is because if Adam Driver is hot, that means most of them can be hot, too. But being hot like Adam Driver requires hard work. It means not looking at your face in the mirror, deciding you don't meet whatever arbitrary standards of attractiveness you've decided to hold yourself up against, and then giving up on being a decent person worthy of being deemed attractive. And perhaps there's nothing quite scarier than the realization that your own "hotness," at least to the degree to which you'd be hot to a specific subset of people, hinges on your own actions and efforts rather than luck or genetics.

Of course, I'm speaking generally here, and general terms are never a catch-all. I'm sure that there's someone out there who truly is so physically unappealing that literally nobody else in the world would be sexually attracted to them. But at the same time, I've browsed through enough incel forums (out of curiosity) to know that for the vast majority of people who self-identify as being the lowest of the low on the totem pole of physical beauty, their self-assessment is almost always incorrect. The vast majority of them are totally normal looking guys who, I imagine, suffer from some degree of unchecked body dysmorphia.

But I'm not just talking about incels. Almost any guy who secretly struggles with his own self-image and wonders what it would take to be viewed as hot can learn a thing or two from Adam Driver. Cliches exist for a reason, and your personality counts for a whole lot. With some hard work––and the hardest part might be admitting there's work to be done in the first place––you, too, can be hot like Adam Driver.

If you haven't heard, Marriage Story exists, and the memes are abundant.

After many years lurking in the shadows, tall man Adam Driver seems to be undergoing a transformation from mid-level meme to mainstream meme, and here at Popdust, we're very happy for him (albeit still half-convinced he's just a knockoff Keanu Reeves).

Marriage Story has received glowing reviews so far, and has also been excelling in screencap format. Most likely, this is thanks to the strength, notoriety, and expressiveness of its stars. Though most people would struggle to compete with Scarlett Johansson, who is capable of playing a tree, Driver seems to be even more distraught and emotive than our resident foliage impersonator in the film's seminal fight scene.

One frame in particular has captivated our imaginations:

Yes, it's a glorious before-and-during image of Adam Driver hitting a wall. It's the depressing, dramatic, suburban norm-core version of a primal scream, and it's instantly, beautifully relatable. In 2019, a year of chaos and pent-up energy, I'd imagine most people can relate to this image for one reason or another.

Perhaps 2020 will be better, a decade of change and action. But for now, no one is okay. There are just so many questions. Can we stan ScarJo after her Woody Allen comments? Just how tall is Adam Driver, really? How tall is Adam Driver, spiritually? Do we need another film about white people getting divorced within the confines of a beige room? The climate is changing so why even get married and have children when you're going to damn them to a future of unbearable suffering?

But we human beings are resilient. Maybe we will institute a Green New Deal and Medicare For All so people can suffer through unbearable marriages on this unbearable yet shockingly magnificent planet in relative peace and harmony.

Regardless, Kylo Ren, we relate.






CULTURE

The Double Standards of Lena Dunham Hatred

The Lena Dunham-Brad Pitt kiss does reveal a glaring double standard, but it's not the one people think.

Getty Images

When tabloids ran a story about Lena Dunham trying to kiss Brad Pitt on the lips at the Once Upon A Time in Hollywood premiere, people on social media immediately reacted with outrage at the glaring double standard: "Imagine if the genders were reversed! That would be sexual assault."

Certainly, if Lena Dunham sexually assaulted Brad Pitt, he should hold her accountable. But that doesn't actually seem to be the case here. The coverage and reaction to the Lena Dunham-Brad Pitt kiss does reveal a glaring double standard, but it's not the one people think.

Every story involving the Lena Dunham kiss revolves around this one picture:

lena dunham brad pitt "Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood" UK Premiere - VIP Arrivals Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

It looks awkward, sure. But it's a single picture from what could very possibly be a bad angle. Even zoomed in, it's hard to tell whether or not she's actually touching his lips.

Here's Page Six's take on the situation: "...She made her way to Pitt and went in for a kiss on the lips. She caught about half his mouth." This seems like a hefty bit of conjecture, especially considering the fact that Page Six includes no witness accounts or statements from anyone involved.

Yahoo put out on an article titled "Lena Dunham accused of being 'inappropriate' after Brad Pitt kiss." The article never clarifies who is accusing her. Nobody involved with the situation has seemed to accuse Lena Dunham of anything at all.

Yet, the articles furthers the narrative by including an earlier Tweet from Lena Dunham in which she talks about flirting with Brad Pitt for her job. The comments are full of people accusing Lena Dunham of sexually assaulting Brad Pitt.

But if Brad Pitt didn't accuse Lena Dunham of sexual assault and the only "evidence" of sexual assault is a single picture that other people, who were completely uninvolved, are interpreting as assault based on zero knowledge of the situation, what grounds are there to claim that any unwanted contact occurred?

Hypothetically, it exists within the realm of possibility that Lena Dunham and Brad Pitt have a friendly relationship after working together and were greeting one another with a kiss on the cheek as friends sometimes do. Perhaps, the picture in question was taken mid-motion from a weird angle. If only there were a second picture showing the completed action with Brad Pitt returning a kiss on the cheek.

lena dunham brad pitt Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood UK Premiere - London PA Images via Getty Images

Amazingly, People was the only major source to include this second image, and they accurately characterized Lena Dunham's action as planting "a kiss on his cheek." As a side note, Margot Robbie and Leonardo DiCaprio's nearly identical positions in the background of both pictures suggest that the photos were taken within a very short time frame.

Barring further information or Brad Pitt actually alleging sexual assault, it seems fairly obvious that the story of Lena Dunham non-consensually kissing Brad Pitt is literal fake news. It's working, too. The comments on New York Post's Twitter are full of venom towards Lena Dunham.

To be clear, if Brad Pitt does feel sexually assaulted by Lena Dunham, his experience should 100% be taken seriously. But that does not seem to be the case, and we are not entitled to characterizing his experiences for him when he's fully capable of doing so himself.

The truth is that there is a double standard at play, but it's not that sexual assault is brushed off when the victim is male. The double standard at play here is that Lena Dunham is a contentious public figure and not considered traditionally attractive, so a poorly timed photo generates rage and a false narrative that would not spread if it featured a traditionally attractive, well-liked female star.

If Margot Robbie had greeted Brad Pitt in the exact same way, odds are that most people would not be making the same allegations against her. They would assume the two were friends and the greeting was consensual.

Due to her appearance and her reputation, Lena Dunham is not offered the same benefit of the doubt, in spite of nobody having evidence to the contrary. There are legitimate reasons to criticize Lena Dunham. This completely fabricated sexual assault narrative is not one of them.