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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, April 15, 2024

Annika Pillai


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Columns

Tok the Talk: The plight of child stars

“I feel like people just have a consensus that I’m still nine years old, and it’s crazy because I’m turning 18 this year. I feel like people still think of me [as that age] because I’ve been so young for most of my career,” actor Mckenna Grace said, referring to her growth as an actor in the public eye. Grace, who has been acting since she was five years old, starred in several prominent movies and TV shows in her youth — including “Gifted,” “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” and “Young Sheldon.” Grace frequently plays younger versions of other characters, which is perhaps part of the reason many find it difficult to grasp the concept that she is growing up. But beyond that, she is a victim of the difficult pipeline of transitioning from a child star to an adult personality.

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Arts

Nonprofit co-founded by Tufts alum addresses ethics in reality TV

Reality TV has long been critiqued for its false presentation of authenticity. The genre, which rose to popularity in the 90s, has raised several concerns in the eyes of the public. Some argue that the genre’s true purpose lies in deceiving viewers through misleading editing, coaching participants and concocting inauthentic storylines.

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Columns

Tok the Talk: The case of Kate Middleton

Kate Middleton, also known as Princess Catherine of Wales, is dead, and Kensington Palace is trying to cover it up. At least, that’s what several royal conspiracy theorists proposed in the weeks after her public “disappearance.” When a photo released by Kensington Palace of the princess with her three children showed signs of being touched up, the public was sent into a frenzy. Either she was missing, dying or already dead. One X user wrote, “KATE MIDDLETON IS PROBABLY DEAD,” and followed it up with skull face emojis and crying faces. Aptly put by The Atlantic’s Helen Lewis, “The situation quickly turned into a ‘QAnon for wine moms.’”

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Arts

‘Love is Blind’: Experiment or entertainment?

Hit reality TV show “Love is Blind” released its first season in February 2020. Like most reality television, the show is predominantly known for its intense drama, messy breakups and overall entertainment factor. Marketed as a “social experiment,” the show’s purpose lies in ...

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Tok the Talk: The emergence of tradwives

“I chose the trad lifestyle because I believe that women have drifted far from our roots,” Estee Williams, a Tiktok creator and self-described “tradwife,” recently stated. Taken from the name “traditional wives,” “tradwives” are the latest Western aesthetic involving a subculture of women who believe in advocating for ‘traditional values.’

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Columns

Tok the Talk: Celebrity press tours

“They annoy me,” Dakota Johnson recently stated about her co-stars Sydney Sweeney, Celeste O'Connor and Isabela Merced on the press tour for the recent release “Madame Web.” Johnson, perhaps most known for playing Anastasia Steele in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” franchise, has always been known to be something of a loose cannon on press tours.

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Columns

Tok the Talk: Rachel Zegler and gender bias in the media

“If it hadn’t been so successful, I think people would have thought it was really weird. It’s a really weird story. But I think once it becomes mainstream, it’s difficult for people to see how strange the story is.” These wise words were spoken by Robert Pattinson (Twilight heartthrob, though he would probably hate to admit that) in a recent interview with Wonderland magazine. In hindsight, his comments are amusing, and if anything, sensible. The Twilight franchise is known for its peculiar nature, and Pattinson has detailed how the books are like “reading [Myers’] sexual fantasy.” Gross.

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Columns

Tok the Talk: TikTok’s influence on the fashion industry

“Is that Shein?” I found myself asking that on a Sunday afternoon, holding an overpriced coffee in one hand and two shopping bags from the two previous thrift stores my friends and I had just hit up in the other. We had spontaneously decided to stop at a nearby Goodwill to try our luck one last time. I was right: Behind a vintage, very heavily worn camisole lay a Shein bolero (a fancy name for a cropped jacket). 

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Columns

Tok the Talk: Ruby Franke, the reality behind family vlogging channels

Ruby Franke probably would not have seen the lights of superstardom, at least in the world of YouTubing, if it wasn’t for the major influx of family vlogging channels in the 2010s –– oh, and of course, the six children she paraded across the face of the internet, ignominiously, for years. Perhaps the strangest concave curve of the last decade is the rapid rise and painfully slow fall of family vlogging channels. For better or for worse, it’s hard to argue that there wasn’t a huge audience supporting family channels, including “The ACE Family,” “Bratayley” and “The LaBrant Fam.”

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