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OPINION: Zackary's weekly pop culture recap



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This week has been quite an eventful week. Not only have classes started back here at IU, but the pop culture world has been busy as well.

Here's my take on the biggest pop culture stories of the week.

James Charles and Shawn Mendes giving back

James Charles recently launched a huge giveaway partnered with Omaze that will not only give a fan the experience of a lifetime but help out minority communities as well.

One lucky winner will win the donation drawing and stay in a 4-star hotel, win $1,000 worth of makeup and spend a day with James Charles.

The donations will benefit two organizations: The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and GLSEN. Both organizations support the LGBTQ community, of which Charles is a member.

As influencers and YouTubers gain more attention and credibility, doing this kind of philanthropic work is even more vital for stars like Charles and Shawn Mendes, who have the opportunity to use their platforms for good.

Mendes recently launched his own organization, The Shawn Mendes Foundation, to “Inspire. Empower. Act.” 

The website claims that the foundation is focusing on children’s healthcare, youth empowerment, sustainability, education, anti-bullying, human rights, mental health and other topics that Mendes’ fans choose to donate to on the website.  

Mendes announced the new foundation in an Instagram post.

“For a long time, I’ve wanted to find a way to amplify the causes that my fans care deeply about and to further help them make their voices heard,” Mendes said on Instagram. “Our generation has the power to change the future of our planet and to help carry that change forward for so many generations to follow.”

Lindsay Lohan returns to music

How many times are we going to listen to Lindsay Lohan’s new song? The limit does not exist.

Lohan is making a comeback with a new song titled “Xanax” that is planned to drop soon. 

On May 31, Lohan made an Instagram post of her in the studio, making lots of fans question what exactly she was planning. 

Then, Lohan made another studio post on June 2, sparking speculation that she may be releasing new music soon. 

Dubai Virgin Radio premiered a 30-second debut of Lohan’s new song on Wednesday during the Kris Fade Show.

"It's about anxiety and pressure and just taking care of yourself," Fade said. "And I think that's really, really cool. I think there's a really cool message behind it."

Lohan’s comeback is major for those who grew up looking to her as a role model. After derailing her career with drugs, she is back on the path of handling her anxiety.

Troye Sivan claps back at interviewer for inappropriate question

Troye Sivan has become an LGBTQ icon by representing the community throughout his music career. 

According to Independent, an interviewer asked Sivan whether he was a “top or bottom,” referring to Sivan’s sexuality and what his preferred sexual position was.

The invasive questions did not stop there. Next, the interviewer asked Sivan if his boyfriend would allow him to have sexual relations with Shawn Mendes.

Mendes has disregarded sexuality rumors many times recently, only adding to the invalidity of the question.

Once the interview was released, fans noticed how intrusive the questions were. Sivan replied to a fan in a quoted Tweet about the questions.

“I thought about asking the interviewer about his absolute fave sex position after that last question, but then i remembered how wildly invasive, strange and inappropriate that would be,” Sivan said. “Didn’t stop him though!”

Sivan’s unfortunate situation should send a message to those outside of the LGBTQ community. It is essential to avoid asking questions that are offensive or intrusive.

Kerry Washington gives her phone number to fans

"Scandal" star Kerry Washington has done what many consists of what many stars find unthinkable: given out her number.

Thursday morning, Washington posted a one-minute Twitter video discussing the decision to release her phone number.

"Hi, you guys, so you know how private I am, but I am going to do something crazy,” Washington said. “I am going to give you my phone number, which I know sounds insane."

Washington carries on to tell how she has missed the love fans have given her and would like to connect with them.

With this in mind, I decided to give it a shot and reach out to her.

Once I texted though, I immediately got a response. 

“Hey it’s Kerry! Real quick — click this link and sign up so I can add you to my contacts and respond to you directly. Can’t wait to hear from you!”

Once I clicked on the link, it took me to a website called “My Community,” which is apparently used for celebrities and others to contact their fans.

The website seems a bit sketchy to me, so I opted to not sign up for it. However, this app may make it easier for celebrities to actually communicate with their fans, which would revolutionize fans’ experiences completely. 

MythBusters star Jessi Combs dies in car crash

Jessi Combs had appeared on MythBusters many times and became a familiar face to fans around the world. 

Combs garnered the title of the “fastest woman of wheels” in 2013, with a record of 398 mph, and beat her own record in 2016 with a new best, 483.2 mph.

Combs died Tuesday after a crash while attempting to break her land speed record.

Co-host of MythBusters, Adam Savage, reacted to the news on Twitter and issued a statement.

“She was a brilliant and top-notch builder, engineer, driver, fabricator and science communicator and strove everyday to encourage others by her prodigious example,” Savage said. “She was also a colleague, and we are lesser for her absence.”

Combs was a trailblazer for women’s representation within the racing community and brought awareness to women racers. 

Her death is a tragedy, but Combs’ life should stand as motivation for women across the world to stand up for their rights and break through the barriers that men and society try to put upon them.

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