Another week, another bunch of things I did not want to entertain. But alas, here we are, because online discourses quite literally never take a day off. Here are just a few of the discourses I hated this week:

The Academy Awards

It looks like the Oscars have yet again found a way to not be inclusive. 

This year the lack of inclusion is most glaring in the Best Director category. It’s a shame, especially after the last two years with Chloé Zhao winning for Nomadland in 2021 and Jane Campion winning for The Power of the Dog in 2022, there appears to be no room for women at all in the category for 2023. 

The films and directors instead nominated were Steven Spielberg for The Fablemans, Martin McDonagh for The Banshees of Inisherin, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for Everything Everywhere All at Once, Ruben Östlund for Triangle of Sadness, and Todd Field for Tár. 

As you can see, it’s truly a boys club this year.

While all these films have received such high critical acclaim and are definitely deserving of an Academy Award, what about the stellar films from this year that were directed by women? I’m thinking about people like Gina Prince-Bythewood for The Woman King, Charlotte Wells for Aftersun and Sarah Polley for Women Talking. 

One reason I hated this discourse this week is because it would be nice to not have reverted back to what feels like the old days of the perpetual boys club throughout the award season. Only seven women directors have ever won the Best Director Oscar and this is the 95th Academy Awards, how telling. 

As many online have felt, it would have been nice to not have this conversation again, and yet, here we are.

The Tarte Influencer Trip

About a week ago, makeup and skincare brand Tarte Cosmetics hosted an influencer trip in Dubai. Popular beauty influencers such as Monet McMichael, Alix Earle, Meredith Duxbury, and the Mian Twins were all flown first-class, out along with a plus one to a dream trip that looked like what dreams are made of.


how mom and I didn’t bite each others heads off on a 14 hour flight - idk 😀✈️💕 but it was honestly so fun and special, WERE OFFICIALLY IN DUBAI YALLLL

♬ original sound - monet mcmichael 🤍

The trip of course came with what we expect, beauty content, vlog content, and TikTok collabs from some of the biggest beauty influencers in the game today. While it was fun sitting from the comfort of our homes and living vicariously through influencers during this branded trip that most of us wish we were invited to, many on TikTok took to their sleuthing ways to find out how a trip of such luxury could even be possible. 

Ever since news dropped about the Tarte Trip, marketing strategists and those who work in branded content, and random people with no qualification all took to the platform to give their two cents on how they think a trip of such luxury could have even happened to begin with and how it was afforded. 

Why do I hate this, you might ask? 

I can’t help but wonder what the collective interest is in trying to figure out the financial logistics of a successful beauty brand flying out majorly successful influencers? The online investigations went so far as to show screenshots of job postings in marketing on Tarte’s LinkedIn page. But like, who cares? 

The uproar caused such a commotion that beauty publication Glossy released an interview with Tarte Cosmetics CEO Maureen Kelly where she had to “break her silence” on how this trip was possible. The article outlines how these types of brand trips are pretty routine but they just weren’t always widely accessible for everyone to see because influencer culture is considerably different in 2023. 

While many were trying to figure out the purpose and the finances of this trip, does it not simply make sense that this brand would find the exposure to their brand and the marketing by these incredibly successful influencers to be enough of a return on investment? 

Even if we do care, by publicly interrogating the mechanics of this specific brand trip we’re giving Tarte Cosmetics exactly what they want: engagement. We’re giving more and more people exposure to their brand, even if it is simply through suspicion and skepticism. 

Discourses really have such a range in which you can hate them. You’re either hating that you have to talk about something yet again, like the Oscars fiasco, or you can hate something because it feels like the discourse was unnecessary to begin with, like the Tarte fiasco. Either way, there’s always something to hate on, so for the rest of the week I will be taking time away from being a hater. 

Until next time, folks!


About the author

Monika Sidhu

Monika Sidhu is a freelance multimedia journalist based out of Brampton,ON. She loves covering all things arts and culture and enjoys telling untold stories coming out of her community. Monika recently graduated from Western University receiving a Master’s of Media in Journalism and Communication. In her off-time, you can find her discovering new music, spending time with her dogs or hiding the fact that she is binging reality tv shows.


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