Ah, celebs. The famous among us never fail to entertain with their talent, glamour, and frequently questionable antics. So without further ado, let’s take a look back at a week of star-studded news.
Taylor Swift has been accused of racism, thanks to the music video for her new single, “Wildest Dreams.” Set in 1950s Africa, the video features giraffes, lions, zebras, a generically handsome white man, and a noticeable dearth of black people. Critics say the video’s style appeals to European colonization fantasies and romanticizes a period that exploited African natives. Though the director of the video has spoken out to defend his work, Swift has yet to comment on the outcry—presumably because she is too busy frolicking about with her ubiquitous “squad” of cool and beautiful friends.
A photo shoot featuring Korean actor Kim Byung-ok has come under fire for glorifying violence against women. The cover of Maxim Korea’s September issue shows Kim smoking a cigarette next to the trunk of a car, where the bound legs of a woman hang lifelessly. Inside the magazine, he is shown pulling the woman from the trunk, and carrying a black garbage bag by a body of water. The editor-in-chief of Maxim Korea responded to the backlash by saying the magazine portrays “a heinous crime such as murder and abandonment of a dead body, but the image does not depict sex crimes.” Oh. Well, that’s fine then.
Eighty-seven-year-old Instagram star “Baddie Winkle” (also known by her real name, Helen van Winkle) opened up to Refinery29 about her alter ego, who is known for wearing marijuana-print dresses and T-shirts emblazoned with slogans like “Drake would never treat me like this!” The great-grandmother explained that “Baddie” helped her cope with the deaths of her husband and son. She also elaborated on her raver style: “I don’t like ‘old women’ clothes … But I would also never be caught dead in pasties or short-shorts that show half of your butt.” Preach, Baddie. Preach.
The latest edition of Taipei’s metro cards will feature photos of Yui Hatano, a famous Japanese porn actress. One picture depicts Hatano as a “devil,” dressed in black and looking sultry. Another features her as an “angel,” dressed in white and looking, well, sultry. The images caused a public outcry and invoked the ire of Taipei’s mayor, but the metro passes still sold out within hours of their release. We’ll just assume that thousands of Taiwanese commuters were suddenly seized by the urge to reduce their carbon footprints.