Hot and fresh off the desks of Much HQ is this week’s serving of Hot Takes. Packed with the biggest headlines from the week, read on to read about our takes on Selena Gomez’s comeback, Miley Cyrus’ apology, and AubRih (or as one writer puts it, “Rizzy”).
“You don’t have to be gay,” Miley Cyrus declared. “You just gotta find a dick who’s not a dick, you know what I mean?” Not really, Miley. In the Instagram Live heard round the world, Cyrus put her foot in her mouth with comments that are problematic on at least three levels. First, Cyrus made it sound as if queerness was a choice that could be changed by the “right” kind of dick; this is an incredibly harmful cultural myth that is the basis for things like conversion therapy and “corrective” assault of LGBTQ+ individuals, especially queer women. Second, she also falsely equated “dicks” to “men,” aka equated sex to gender. This idea is so passé and transphobic and jarring to hear from the mouth of someone who identifies as genderfluid. The most insulting part, however, is the insinuation that Cyrus dreaded being gay. She talks as if the right man has saved her from a terrible fate, as if not being with that man would have been doomed her to some kind of lesser existence. As if no one would choose to be gay if they didn’t have to be. As if the entire notion of LGBTQ+ pride isn’t centred on destroying exactly this kind of internalized homophobia. Cyrus’ lacklustre apology stated, “It has always been my priority to protect the LGBTQ community I am a part of.” Let’s be clear: re-identifying yourself as a part of a marginalized community is not an apology. You can’t play the gay card when it’s the gays who are mad at you. Like the Ellen-DeGeneres-George Bush debacle, the takeaway is this: white, cis, affluent celebrities are steeped in so many layers of privilege; they often remain ignorant when speaking on behalf of the marginalized communities they are a part of. If Cyrus wants to position herself as a public figure of the LGBTQ+ community, she needs to consider the power her words wield and do better. —Rachel
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) October 21, 2019
Amidst YouTuber Olivia Jade Giannulli’s college admission scandal, there’s much to be said about where she stands in the public eye. Now no longer enrolled at the University of Southern California, with college currently out of the picture, the rumour is that once the scandal blows over, Giannulli wants to try and rebuild her brand and get back on YouTube. Is this a good idea? Probably not. She took away a rowing scholarship from a deserving athlete, which is not a good look. We get it, parents donating lump sums of money to get you a spot at an Ivy League school is just how life works for people like Giannulli, but to take that opportunity away from someone deserving? That’s a little pathetic. The arrogance truly sets in when we see that in one of the few times she appeared online since the scandal broke, she posted a photo where she’s flipping off media outlets. She didn’t deserve to go to USC, nor did she want to, yet here she is playing the victim. With that being said, Olivia should stay off of YouTube. No one wants to see the 20-year-old flaunting her privilege in her parent’s Bel-Air mansion while giving makeup tutorials anymore. Maybe she should take up rowing instead? —Giulia
Olivia Jade flips off media outlets who reported on the College Bribe Scandal in Instagram photo. pic.twitter.com/uEBngN6XRm
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) August 15, 2019
You’d think that North, Saint, or Chicago West would fill this role. After all, their dad is Kanye. If what they say is true—in that you end up like your parents when you grow up—then they won’t take release dates (or music) seriously.
Stormi is a different story because both of her parents are musically talented. On top of all of Travis Scott’s success with Astroworld, his recent single “Highest in the Room” peaked Billboard’s Hot 100 when it dropped. Just around the same time, the Internet combusted and flooded with memes of Kylie Jenner’s “Rise and Shine.” Stormi already knows what good music is and may even have a new musical mentor on the way. She has all the right cards to build a bright musical career, with the perfect stage name to get her started. We’ll just have to wait and see what her future holds. —Alex
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It’s been four years since Selena Gomez’s last album release, so naturally, stans were quaking when she finally announced that she would be dropping a single this week. A lot has happened in her life in the past few years: she had a serious health scare, underwent a kidney transplant, and entered rehab for her mental health. I was looking forward to Gomez’s return to the spotlight, but “Lose You to Love Me” was not the triumphant return I wanted to see from her.
While she spent most of the promotion of her comeback single painting “Lose You to Love Me” as an empowering self-love anthem, the lyrics of the track simply recount how her ex-lover failed her, how he moved on too quickly, and chastising him for singing off-key in her chorus (She did try to deliver the self-love anthem fans were waiting for with “Look At Her Now” the following day, but the momentum had already faded).
Fans and media alike were quick to connect the lyrics on “Lose You to Love Me” to her ex Justin Bieber, sparking news stories and Twitter trends. Some even went as far to suggest that wife Hailey Bieber posting Summer Walker’s track “I’ll Kill You” in her Instagram story was directed at Gomez.
Gomez had everyone’s attention. This track could have been her “No Tears Left to Cry.” Her “Head Above Water.” Her “Wrecking Ball.” But instead of giving us an emotionally raw ballad that showed she was back and better than ever, she delivered the same tired tabloid-fodder that put her name and Bieber’s in the same headline. —Celina
This week Rihanna was surprisingly spotted at Drake’s 33rd birthday party, reportedly laughing, dancing, and hopefully finally getting together with The Boy! According to whoever leaked the info to E! News, it was a chill night at the Goya Studios in Hollywood and the pair were just hanging out as friends. But given their long on-and-off romantic history, you can’t help but speculate that there’s more to this story. Personally, I am heavily rooting for Drizzy and Riri, or Rizzy as I like to call them… and here’s why.
First, I am a Drake B-sides kind of guy, and given the classic sad boy songs and lyrics that Rihanna has inspired, selfishly I would be happy to see this play out, especially if it gives us another record like “Faithful.” Second, they make dope feel good music together. To this day, I’m hyped anytime someone plays “Take Care,” “Work,” “Too Good,” or “What’s My Name,” on the aux. Third, Drake looks his happiest when Rihanna is twerking on him, and he deserves to be happy (if you haven’t noticed, he’s sad a lot). Lastly, as a Toronto mans myself, Drake is an inspiration who makes me believe anything is possible, even coupling with Rihanna. So yeah, I’m rooting for Rizzy. —Vernon