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Poet, writer, & editor, born in Detroit & living in Miami.

What we can learn from the most recent allegations against high-profile YouTubers

Deja vu: on Friday, an underage fan came forward with allegations that he had been groomed by viral makeup artist and social media influencer, James Charles. This is the second time an underage fan has made such a statement, and at least the third time Charles has been publicly accused of being a sexual predator.

James Charles is merely the flavor of the week when it comes to influencers who are alleged abusers. Earlier this month, former Vine stars and podcasters David Dobrik and Jason Nash were criticized by former collaborators on the H3 podcast. The viral pranksters have been…


Kellee Kim deserved better.

Photo by Engin Akyurt

From the premier of Survivor: Island of the Idols, Kellee Kim was my favorite competitor. Maybe it’s really good editing; maybe it’s an Astrology thing (I love Libras); maybe she’s a naturally charming woman with innate likability that makes her ideal for reality TV show casting. Soon enough, she hid an immunity idol in her hair, and I — like many other viewers — knew we were watching an early front runner. So to watch her get eliminated — two hidden immunity idols in her pocket — should have been a kind of familiar agony for any fan of reality…


The CEO of Makeup Geek speaks out about Lipstick Gate and toxic online culture.

Marlena Stell had something to get off her chest last week. The social media influencer and CEO posted a video to her YouTube channel titled “Dear Influencers.” In the midst of public controversy caused by the launch of makeup brand Jaclyn Cosmetics, Stell’s video spoke to larger truths about the troubling dynamics between makeup brands, social media influencers, and consumers.

Last August, Stell also spoke up after a PR disaster known as “Drammageddon,” denouncing the behavior of dishonest influencers who had gone unchecked. …


When I did report, it was 12 hours after the assault had occurred and already nobody believed me.

My roommate didn’t believe me. His girlfriend sat next to me on my couch and posted funny cat videos to my rapist’s Facebook profile.

The nurses didn’t believe me, and neither did the police, because I came 12 hours after the assault occurred. When the assault occurred, I had been sleeping in my own house, next to my boyfriend, who didn’t wake me when he left for work. I had been drinking. Weeks later, I realized my rapist had drugged my drink.

photo by anthony michael cooremans

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