A lady, or subscribers?
One of the most surprising things for me to experience as a parent is how hard your children will fight you on things that you want for them for no other reason than that you love them and want the best for them.
Knowing this, I can’t help but feel sympathy for Lori Loughlin.
Loughlin has recently been dominating the news because a twisted scheme to game the college admissions system in exchange for money has been revealed. Lori’s daughters, Isabella Rose and Olivia Jade Giannulli, were beneficiaries of some Machiavellian manipulation resulting in them getting into USC when they really did not deserve to on merit alone. These girls took the places of harder working, more accomplished, academically superior students solely because their mom had the cold hard cash to pretty much buy their way in.
Pretty gross, right?
The story of Lori Loughlin feels different than the stories of others involved in this scandal. Because unlike many parents who treat their children’s college admission as an important accomplishment for them personally, Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli – maker of my most favorite-est Target tank tops ever – seemed to actually just kind of want the best for their daughters. As Olivia Jade herself said when asked why she was going to college (after making it pretty darn clear she had absolutely no interest in higher education beyond partying and sporting events) “Mostly, my parents just really wanted me to go because both of them didn’t go to college.”
Parents, haven’t we all been there?
Lori Loughlin started working as a model when she was 11. She was a regular on a soap by the age of 15 and has been a working actress since 1980. Perusing her filmography, it looks to me like she’s pretty much worked her butt off nonstop ever since. That kind of work schedule couldn’t have left her much time for education or a normal life. Based on Loughlin’s recent behavior, I surmise she didn’t want the same for her daughters. She wanted some semblance of a childhood for them. She wanted her daughters to be well-rounded and well-informed adults, not blithering idiots who can talk breathlessly about makeup for hours on end but have never heard of trigonometry, Toni Morrison, or Titus Andronicus. Lori Loughlin wanted to be a good mom, and fell into the trap so many of us fall into, where we try to give our kids what we didn’t have whether they want those things or not.
The thing about Olivia Jade is that she’s a pretty successful person already in her own right (as is Isabella Rose, but she’s been less in the public eye and thus has made far fewer damning statements). Olivia Jade Giannulli is a social media star and her brand is probably worth around $400,000 on her own. On her OWN. While I know it’s difficult (and indeed, rather soul crushing) to believe, YouTube and Instagram stars can make disgusting amounts of money and Olivia Jade has huge followings on both platforms. And Olivia Jade likes it that way. As she puts it, “YouTube will always be my #1 passion. I promise I’d way rather be filming 24/7 than sitting in classes for 6 hours straight.”
This child did not want to go to college. She didn’t even need to go to college. She was working, she was succeeding, and she just wanted to be left alone to continue doing what she loved. But her parents just could not let go of the dream they had for their children and pushed her into something she had no interest in pursuing. And as they say, you can lead a child to the door of the SAT but you can’t make them study. Olivia Jade didn’t want to go to USC. She wanted to make YouTube videos and peddle makeup and endorse products and she was apparently good enough at doing so that she was making a decent living that way.
The saga of Lori Loughlin is horrifically ironic on about 100 different levels but the worst part is that in the hunger to give her daughters the things she didn’t have, Lori Loughlin also messed up the things her daughters had already gotten for themselves. Olivia Jade’s social media accounts are a trainwreck. Her fledgling makeup line is tanking, buried under the weight of thousands of negative reviews. It’s very, very unlikely she’s going to come out of this with her ability to influence unscathed.
Some people may think it’s funny, that it’s deserved, that these terrible self-absorbed people are getting their comeuppance, but personally I find it completely heartbreaking. It makes me sad to think about this poor woman who’s been working with her perky nose to the Hollywood grindstone, with all the probable awfulness that entails, since she was a freaking eleven year old kid. I feel for my fellow mom who just wanted so badly for her kids to have a somewhat normal existence that she set aside all good sense and inadvertently ended up putting herself into jail whilst screwing over her daughters completely.
This is a story not even O. Henry could write.