At this point in time, I would be surprised to hear you were unfamiliar with the college cheating scandal that came to light last week. If you are, in fact, unfamiliar with said national scandal, then here is a short overview of what is going on:
The FBI recently uncovered that Lori Loughlin, among multiple majorly wealthy celebrity figures, paid both of her daughters', twenty-year-old Bella and nineteen-year-old Olivia Giannulli, ways into the University of Southern California (USC). Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli allegedly paid a total of $500,000 in order to forge fake athletic profiles which stated her daughters rowed in high school, allowing them entrance into the school based on false athletic scholarships. They even photoshopped Olivia onto a rowing machine to make it look like she was doing her workouts- ha!
Now, when I caught wind of the scandal, I was not only shocked like the rest of the population but also devastated. Being the avid fan of YouTube that I am, hearing that one of my favorite YouTubers had been part of such a disgusting ploy simply because her family is wealthy and she could clearly not gain admission into USC on her own, was borderline heartbreaking. I have been watching Olivia's YouTube channel (where she is known as Olivia Jade) since I was a senior in high school, so I feel as though I have been able to watch her grow up and develop her channel.
I raced to Princess Polly's website when she dropped her collaboration with them and instantly spent more than fifty dollars on clothes and shipping from Australia because of how excited I was to see her doing such great things with her YouTube channel (not to mention her line was perfect). My boyfriend bought me her highlighter palette from her collaboration with Sephora Collection for Christmas this past year because I made him watch the video she posted where she announces it, as well as many, many other videos of hers just because I thought she was the coolest. Her style, makeup tutorials, and overall aura of coolness had me swiping up on her Instagram stories the second she announced a new video.
I especially remember watching the video she posted in which she disclosed that she would be attending college. For those that watched Olivia like I did, this was a shock. The question of whether or not she would go to college was very hyped up by her fan base, mostly because she had gotten so far with her YouTube channel that it was clear that a college education would end up being just another thing to add onto her resumé. Now, after the release of the details of the college cheating scandal, I cannot help but think back to the reason behind the previous speculation of whether or not she would attend college.
There are clearly many unsettling things that revealed themselves during this scandal. First of all, Loughlin and Giannulli committed a felony. Second, Olivia and her sister Bella not only took away two spots from hardworking high school students looking to get into USC, but also two scholarships for their crew team, which could have gone to two rowers that have been training for years and years to receive a spot on USC's team.
One of the most unsettling things for me, however, is that Olivia built herself a legitimate career from YouTube, with her multiple partnerships and ambassadorships with renowned brands such as Princess Polly, Sephora Collection, and TRESemmé. She even attends New York Fashion Week for crying out loud- clearly, she does not need a college education to enable her success in her life.
Additionally, Olivia made it clear that she does not care about her studies at all, according to the same video she made in which she declared she was going to college. She literally said, "I don't really care about school, as you guys all know." So with this, she cannot even justify her fraudulent admittance to USC by claiming that it was her dream school or she just wanted to have a normal experience or continue her education or whatever. She made it clear she does not care about school, and evidently truly cares only about fashion and beauty.
So, when you have finally gained a legitimate career doing what you love, and have gained so much success from just a YouTube channel, why go to college? Why take away someone's spot when you know that your degree from USC is not going to do anything for you?
If you love YouTube and fashion, have your own clothing collaboration with one of your favorite brands, and a highlighter palette with a renowned makeup retailer, then there is no shame in pursuing that and making that path your path. If you don't love school and have the opportunity to be rich and famous without it, then why not go for it?
There is no shame in seizing that opportunity, especially if you are able to do what you love. But now, one devastated high school student cannot do what they love; he/she cannot row on USC's team or continue his/her education at his/her dream school. He/she will not end up on his/her desired life path, possibly doing what he/she loves, because he/she did not get accepted into USC. This, to me, is the most upsetting part, for Olivia would have always been able to do what she loves, but the narrative is not the same for the individual who's spot at USC she took.