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I Was Brave Enough To Watch The Bachelor

Is The Franchise Really Back?

Okay let’s just start off by saying that I do unironically enjoy Love Island.I love the chaos, the characters, and shameless self-promotion. Every season, two people on average fall in love while the rest compete for screen time to land brand deals. Isn’t all drama better served in a British accent?

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TV News

"Vanderpump Rules" Controversy: Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute Fired For Racism

Faith Stowers shares her story of the duo's racist actions against her.

Lisa Vanderpump, Lala Kent, Katie Maloney, Stassi Schroeder at the Brent Shapiro Foundation Gala at the Beverly Hilton Hotel

Photo by Kathy Hutchins (Shutterstock)

Staple cast members of the Bravo reality show Vanderpump Rules, Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute, have been fired from the show.

The firings are a result of accusations of racism from fellow cast mate Faith Stowers, who hasn't appeared on the show for several seasons. According to CNN, "New cast members Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni were also let go, after racist tweets from their past recirculated."

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CULTURE

The Sexiest Celebrity Halloween Costumes EVER

Sure, "Trick or Treat" and all that good stuff, but let's be honest, Halloween is all about the sexy costumes.

2019 has been a calamity of a year.

Trump thinks the constitution is "phony" and doesn't apply to him because of his wealth, the amazon is still very much engulfed in flames, and global warming is set to decimate humanity in less than a decade. It all seems quite dire, which is why Halloween is welcomed warmly this year. It's time to give 'em pumpkin to talk about that isn't impending doom. It's time to lift your "spirits," realize life is "gourd" and get done up in boo-tiful costumes to help distract from the actual spooky terror going on outside. To get you amped up, here are a few of the sexiest costumes ever!

Kim Kardashian West as Cat Woman

The Kardashian Klan has dawned a lot of gorgeous costumes over the years, but frankly Kim Kardashian's Cat Woman costume of 2012 takes the cake. Kanye as Batman is also additionally something we can't unsee, but for far different, not sexy reasons.

Kylie Jenner

Photo by Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Since Hugh Hefner's death in 2017, Playboy's been re-branding itself to appeal to millennials by hiring fine art photographers for high concept photo shoots, naming a gay man and proud Taylor Swift fan as its executive editor, re-committing to printing nudity, and replacing its original motto, "Entertainment for men," with "Naked is normal."

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CULTURE

How Kim Kardashian and Donald Trump Profit Off Your Outrage

They both have 61 million followers on Twitter, but the parallels don't end there.

Donald Trump

Photo By Evan El-Amin/ Shutterstock

The Kardashians want you to be reading this article. So does Donald Trump.

If you're already struggling to breathe while wearing Kim's shapewear and/or have fallen so unconditionally in love with Trump that nothing he does could change your opinion of him, they're happy you're here. But they're especially happy if you're prickling with rage, or if you're preparing to share this on your news feed, along with an angry comment about racism or cultural appropriation.

They're happy you're here because they've both figured out something about the modern media landscape and its purportedly elusive algorithm: Trump and Kim Kardashian know that they can profit off your indignation. They make money, they dominate headlines, and they win elections off the knowledge that any and all coverage, no matter how scathing, will benefit their careers.

This week's Kardashian publicity ploy: Kim has released a new lingerie line called Kimono. This has sparked instant rage from Japan, as well as anyone who has remotely paid attention to a single headline or news report or tweet about the problems with cultural appropriation.



A kimono, of course, is a gown tied with a sash that has been worn by people in Japan for centuries. To appropriate a kimono when you don't belong to its culture of origins is bad enough, but to package it and sell it for profit is an even more despicable act. Kim and her team's actions are, far and away, much worse than those of the white girl who received widespread backlash for wearing a traditional Chinese cheongsam to her prom.

That act, though not excusable, was one 18-year-old's poorly thought-out decision. In contrast, Kim's brand had to be conceptualized, vetted, marketed, and handled by hundreds if not thousands of people. Many of these people are extremely intelligent and well-versed in the ways of media and the social world, including Mrs. Kardashian West herself. They knew what they were doing and went ahead and did it anyway, applying for trademarks for the name "Kimono" in the United States, as well as "Kimono Body," "Kimono Intimates," and "Kimono World."

It's insidious—and brilliant. If Kim had simply released an underwear line, maybe it would've sold well among its target demographic; perhaps it would've provoked a few tweets from Jameela Jamil about the body-shaming nature of shapewear clothing. But now, because of this controversy, everyone with an Internet connection knows that Kim has released a new product. Everyone's sharing it, reading it, spreading it around like it's the plague in 14th century England (or its 21st century equivalent: the meme)—and so now it will reach people who might otherwise not have cared but who will now roll their eyes and say something about special snowflakes. Ideally, they'll buy the Kimono line out of spite and wear it as a kind of twisted testament to their all-American brand of kommodified, kolonialist, kapitalist freedom.

This marketing strategy is actually quite similar to the tactics used by the Trump campaign in 2016, tactics that the president will continue to use as he launches his campaign for 2020. It goes without saying that Trump's brand runs on a steady diet of outrage. It works: Studies have shown that negative press coverage helped elect Trump and has helped normalize him throughout his reign. In addition, the media's obsession with his personal controversies has distracted people's attention from natural and political disasters, as well as, god forbid, actual policy reform.

Donald Trump has built an empire by being more of a cultural icon than a politician, providing more personal drama and generating more rabid media coverage than arguably any Hollywood movie star ever has. His ammunition is controversy: His end goal is the spotlight, at any cost.

He shares this with the Kardashians, who have been open about their addiction to any kind of media attention. In 2015, Kim toldRolling Stone, "We'd go anywhere and everywhere just to be seen. We knew exactly where to go, where to be seen, how to have something written about you."

For journalists and people against bigotry, hate, and abuse of power in general, this presents an infinite loop. To remain silent would be to ignore atrocity, yet providing more negative coverage fuels the fire. In short, we are running in circles.

So here's another article about the Kardashians and Trump, to be sent out into the labyrinth of the Internet, where it will join the ranks of millions of thinkpieces that burned brightly for a moment, perhaps sparked a flicker of contempt or conversation, and fizzled out to rest in the graves where all thinkpieces older than one week go to die. They'll be covered up by more outrage, more controversy. Fresh cuts will open elsewhere, distracting everyone from the wounds at hands. In the end, we'll all be left with the scars.

Change, if it's possible, will only occur when we open our eyes and see that we are building the walls of our own cage. Perhaps if we realize that we are being played by the same game, we could begin to dismantle this relentless carousel by forgoing brief flares of outrage for critical inquiry and ongoing protests against systemic issues.

CULTURE

Kim Kardashian Earns Japanese Wrath for Trying to Trademark "Kimono"

It's like when Gwen Stefani culturally appropriated all of "harajuku" sub-culture, only worse.

Kim Kardashian

Photo by Evan Agostini (Shutterstock)

Infamous culture vulture Kim Kardashian West clearly isn't planning on becoming a copyright lawyer after she takes the California bar exam in 2022.

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