Spend enough time around teenagers and you’ll become familiar with the term “YouTubers” and even get to know a name or two. If you haven’t heard the term before, you most likely have this past week, when Lori Loughlin, of “Full House” fame and who has been a Hallmark Channel staple up until now, was brought up on federal charges related to bribes to secure her two daughters entrances into University of Southern California (USC).
Lori’s younger daughter, known in the YouTube world as “Olivia Jade“, is seeing more backlash than her older sister because of being a highly visible social media influencer. Almost 2,000,000 people follow her on YouTube and that gives Olivia Jade Giannulli the power to influence others, most likely teenage girls, and receive endorsement deals from well known companies such as Sephora and TRESemmé. Both these companies have severed ties with Olivia Jade since these allegations have surfaced.
I find two things curious. The first is once Olivia Jade was admitted and starting to attend USC, how did she or her parents expect her to graduate. It doesn’t sound like she ever planned to do so on her own merits. She’s more than once admitted school was not her thing and she didn’t care about it, but at the same time, she exploited her short lived college experience. Olivia Jade wasn’t even present when the first week of college started at USC, and she felt entitled enough to tweet about talking to her deans about balancing her education and her career. She didn’t plan on talking to her professors, but going straight over their heads to her deans.
The second thing that remains to be seen is what will Olivia Jade post about in the future, should she decide to continue with her YouTube channel in an attempt to continue capitalizing her influencer status. She no longer has her upcoming college experiences to provide content, nor a college degree to fall back on for when her days of glitz and glamor are gone. Amazon furnished and photographed her dorm room, which she posted about and plugged Amazon Prime for Students; another post featured her in a varsity jacket, which in itself is ironic because she was admitted to USC as being a crew athlete, but never participated in the sport. Another touch of irony is that this all came down while she was aboard a boat associated with USC. It wasn’t a rowboat for the USC crew team, like you’d expect from someone who was recruited for the college’s crew team. In actuality, she was the yacht of the Chairman of USC’s Board of Trustees, heading towards the Bahamas for spring break.
As she is being trolled or even bullied on social media, I don’t think there’s much remorse for her because Olivia Jade willingly chose to make her life public and was loving it when everything was sunshine and rainbows, and the money rolling in. I don’t think she’ll be finically ruined, because even with all the negative press, it’s still press and she’s still getting hits and comments on her social media profiles. Whether good or bad, she’s still capitalizing on the traffic she attracts.
One good thing I hope comes out of this is that she’ll influence her followers to take school seriously and make sure they have something to fall back on should things not go as originally planned.