Pop Culture Mondays/6.13.22

The “ICON” Edition

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Happy Monday, my darling pop culture junkies. We are HERE again. And there is a lot…so many different things that have popped up this week, but thankfully we are taking a much-needed break from Johnny and Amber, and Elon. I know I am cursing us all by even writing these words, but that’s the risk I am taking to acknowledge my gratitude for the break. Last week seems like a year ago, but if you want to catch up on it, the pod was GREAT fun, so give it a whirl:

While our socials have been filled with weddings and graduations, a few other things are happening that your kid or colleagues MIGHT be talking about, so let’s get to it. Oh, and I am not talking about the primetime special — THe JAN 6TH Hearings. Unless they hire Johnny Depp’s TikTok team, it just isn't going to break through. I am not saying it is NOT important…it very much is…but that’s not the newsletter I write. BUT if you are a NYT subscriber, check out my take on TikTok and the hearing..among other things…at the end of Kara Swisher’s column this week:

OK, let’s GET TO IT…

MOTLEY CREW

WE ARE NOT OK:

Look…this photo is maybe the most crucial picture ever to exist. IN case you are not aware, Britney Spears got married over the weekend to her longtime partner, who apparently was not allowed to marry while she was under the conservatorship. And while we have watched her adapt to her independence with SOME concern over social media, she seems to be happy and supported and loved, and really what more can anyone ask her. When Britney was “flawless” and dancing around in tiny outfits with perfect hair and body, society freaked out about how this will impact young girls into thinking that is achievable. When she became more real and maybe disheveled and at times unhinged, we mocked and sneered. The poor girl could not win and, on top of it, seemingly had a family who, instead of supporting her and embracing her and loving her, used her for money and fame. So, it is beautiful to see her new family — the one she created on her own through friendships coming around to hold her up.

SO, let’s talk about this photo. You have Donatella Versace, who is…ICONIC and who made the dress. Was it my fave look? No, but guess what…not about me, it’s about Brit Brit. But Donatella has been there in Britney’s life from what seems like the very beginning. And what we know of Donatella is she is strong, she is vocal, and she is protective.

This is from around 2002.

Next up, we have Paris Hilton, who is…ICONIC. And is seemingly one of those great girlfriends who has been by Britney’s side through thick and thin over the years. Let’s never forget this also ICONIC photo that was taken when Paris and Brit were leaving a nightclub, and a troubled Lindsay Lohan hijacked the moment and left the other two very confused:

This is from around 2007, which feels like another world entirely. But these women have BEEN THROUGH IT.

OK, next up, we have…well, do we even need to say it? OK…in case you are confused, it is MADONNA who is….? Yep. ICONIC. Now look, am I a fan of 2022 Madonna and the butt implants and lip filler and all that? It is not MY thing, but she has always been a woman of reinvention…I do hope she reinvents back to Ray of Light days, but I digress. We all know Madonna and Brit have been like peanut butter and jelly since the beginning of Britney’s reign. NEVER forget this iconic moment from the 2003 MTV VMAs.

I mean…I remember EXACTLY where I was when this happened. My boyfriend and I at the time were traveling in Europe, and this was before iPhones and YouTube and ubiquitous wifi, so I was reading it in the NEWSPAPER, and we were talking about big a moment this was going to be pop culture-wise and he thought it was terrible and exploitive, and I thought it was sexy and empowering. WE BROKE UP SOON AFTER!

Anyway, they relived their iconic kiss here:

And something that is mainly forgotten, but there was another person on stage with them who has been cut out from memory due to the KISS…and that was Christina Aguillera:

OK, so NEXT up in this picture of pictures is the youngest gen to be represented in this group, and that is ALSO the iconic Selena Gomez, who was around ten years old when Brit and Madonna had their kiss. But apparently, they became friends in recent years and have collaborated on music…but here is the earliest photo I can find of them from several years ago.

Ok, and then last up is one near and dear to my heart. I have long been compared to Drew Barrymore ever since ET came out. We have similar voices and at times, had a similar look, and I will NOT blame Drew for my bad girl wild phase. Many parents saw me as Drew-like early on, so when she started getting into trouble, I was weirdly treated as a troublemaker and sort of became one myself. Long wild unruly hair and tight clothes? I, too had that. Short pixie hair with butterfly barrettes and glitter? OBVIOUSLY, me too. Dating rockstars and having a crush on David Letterman? WE were practically twins. Drew Barrymore, from her “ET” days to her “Firestarter” days to her “Poison Ivy” days to her “Mad Love” days I was there…and I hold her personally responsible for my eyebrow battle ever since, but that’s another story.

To me…of all these women…Drew is MY icon. As an example:

Me trying to be my best Drew I think, in 1998:

Drew in 1998:

I mean…I did my very best, I guess. She is to me…the MOST ICONIC. And maybe out of all of them, the one who could understand the journey Britney has been on due to her own similar path and struggles. And like a true ICON, she posted this to Insta comparing Brit to Drew’s character from “Ever After,” her modern day take on Cinderella and a movie I have seen a BILLION times.

And Brit did rescue herself…well, she DID have a little help from another ICON, and that is lawyer Matthew Rosengart who I know and is truly a wonderful human. He represented Britney in her fight for freedom and won her that freedom. And he seems to have taken on a father-like role with Brit — -not the father she had who was controlling and abusive — but a loving and supportive and proud one who walked her down the aisle. I love this pic of him in the background being like PROUD DAD taking pics:

And with that…let’s hope for a happy and healthy future for our beloved and cherished BRIT.

A ROUND-UP OF SORTS:

There were a few viral things to unfold on TikTok that crossed over into the mainstream, so I figured I would put it ALL in one place.

#HEALTHYCOKE

Let’s start with HEALTHY SODA TIKTOK. If your kid is asking for a bottle of BALSAMIC VINEGAR, they are NOT looking to make a salad. Here is what’s happening:

This thing went VIRAL. Everyone started trying it and making their OWN videos for their audience to give them their honest take. I mean everyone. But maybe my favorite take on it from a creator was this one:

NOW this is more my jam.

OK, moving on to the next viral trend…

#internalshower

YEAH…so, another tip for parents of avid TikTokers. If they ask you for CHIA seeds, here is why. They have seen this viral craze happen that I guess coming from the wellness space. The idea is this concoction clears out the system lie a colonic or basically good old-fashioned laxatives. This can lead to some dangerous practices, especially those susceptible to eating disorder tricks, so keep an eye out!

Water. Lemon. 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds and….💩💩💩

There are SO many of these videos, but if one video could explain why I love Irish women with my entire heart and soul, THIS IS WHY:

GOD BLESS THE IRISH. 🇮🇪

AND one more VIRAL thing happening on this word platform… we have this line dancing dude that has flooded everyone’s FYP (For you page) as of late. I THINK he is Chinese. I have no idea if this is actually the music that they are dancing to or just what someone has overlayed, which has stuck…and I honestly have done zero research on it because I DO NOT CARE. I just am here to deliver the good you guys…but you might have heard this music coming from someone’s phone lately, so here you go:

There are MANY…

And while there is a TON of other music, this is the song that has dominated the socials as of late. And the TikTokers are all rallying behind this creator, LORI who apparently comments on literally every single video ever of him, and when she hasn’t commented, people get worried:

So Lori is commenting as she does. BUT wait…when she doesn’t show up…they start asking questions:

AHHH…such is the weird, wild, viral world of TikTok. And lastly, in TikTok news….a famous and beloved creator, Cooper Noriega, who was 19, passed away last week. He had over 2 million followers and was very open about his mental health and substance abuse struggles. This was his last video which he posted shortly before he died, which is tragic. It has been millions of millions of times:

His death is still being investigated, but there was an enormous outpouring all over social media:

It’s a tough time to be a teen with all of the pressures out there.

AND NOW FOR SOME OF MY FAVORITE THINGS (OR SOME OF THE DESPICABLE ONES…)

  • JOHN CENA. The man behind the famous “YOU CAN’T SEE ME…” line. In case you are unfamiliar, Cena rose to fame as a WWE star and became famous for the line “YOU CAN’T SEE ME,” where he waved his hand over his face. People went nuts and would take pics and say John Cena was in it, but YOU CAN’T SEE HIM. Here is him telling the origin story:

I mean, I remember being in NORTHERN TIGRAY in Ethiopia, a region currently being ravaged by war tragically. But this was ten years ago, and all the kids, no matter where were in the region, were wearing John Cena shirts and would cry out to us, “you can’t see me!!!” and laugh and run away. It was remarkable.

And Cena, it turns out, is talented in other things and is now acting and is apparently one of the nicest humans in the entertainment business. And leave it to Cena to ALSO be a hero.

I am honestly crying as I write this, and I will continue to cry anytime I think about this. A young man named Misha, who is a non-verbal young man with Down Syndrome, had escaped Ukraine with his family. He was distraught but his mom kept telling him they were on an adventure to meet John Cena, who was his idol. This was what kept him going and eventually to safety.

There was press on Misha as he had had panic attacks while in shelters, and his mom explained in order to calm him down, she had told him it was an adventure to hunt down John Cena. This calmed him down. Here is that story.

And Cena saw that story. And this happened:

Truly…the man is a hero. And…an icon.

  • The Tony’s were last night, and one thing is clear, the darling of Broadway is the musical, “A Strange Loop,” which won basically all the awards it could win and made producer Jennifer Hudson a member of the prestigious EGOT club (EMMY, GRAMMY, OSCAR, TONY). So if you are in NY, apparently we all must RUN to see this show about a gay, Black hotel bellhop:
  • You might remember my love for the first season of Amazon’s “THE WILDS,” which showed a group of young women stranded on an island after a “plane crash.” It’s a psychological thriller meets Young Adult coming of age, and I loved it. Season 2 is out now, and it has a twist…the women are still very much the center of it, but there is a side story going on with the same premise but now…young men. And while I personally think the female actors are better than most of the male counterparts, I binged it this weekend, and I loved it and hope there is a season 3… I HIGHLY recommend:
  • And lastly…while I am skipping over a few things because of TIME…this is a story sent to me by my darling friend Frances who is a New Zealander and was finally able to get home recently after several years. And this was headline news she wanted to share…behold, MEOW MEOW:

THAT IS IT, my darlings…

Have a wonderful week, my darlings. Stay cool out there. Stay healthy. Stay KIND.

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