So Long, Summer Flings! The Pop Culture Obsessions We're Ready To Forget This Fall

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage.
When you're in the midst of a summer fling, it doesn't seem like it's temporary. You can't even imagine how your cool-weather self won't be just as enamored with this new love. That's kind of how we feel about the pop culture news stories we've been devouring all season. We thought our obsession with the likes of Rachel Dolezal, Josh Duggar, Cecil the Lion and the latest Taylor Swift Twitter beef would last forever.

But now, as August winds down and sweaters appear in store windows, our minds are becoming a little bit clearer. Why were we so into that Justin Bieber butt meme? Can we please stop giving Donald Trump new platforms on which to insult women? It seems like a good time to ditch these stories for more important stuff.

Before we leave these all behind for new obsessions, like the fall TV lineup (and you better believe we're stoked for both dramas and comedies), let's say goodbye to the things we hope fade from memory faster than that farmer's tan we got over Fourth of July.
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Photo: Nicholas K. Geranios/AP Photo.
Rachel Dolezal

At first, the idea that a Caucasian woman had been passing as African American for so long, she could actually become the president of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP seemed like a mildly amusing bit of news of the weird. And then we thought about it some more and realized how offensive it was — not the least because Dolezal coverage was nonstop for a week, distracting us from more important issues of race. Let us please never utter the word "transracial" again and only remember her in terms of Maya Rudolph's spot-on impersonation.
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Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP.
Bachelorette Slut-Shaming

No one ever said reality-TV viewers weren't a fickle and hypocritical bunch. Still, we're scratching our heads over the controversy Kaitlyn Bristowe caused when she had sex with contestant Nick Viall before the traditionally recognized sexy time previously observed in past seasons. Is no one familiar with the concept that sometimes girls want to have sex with men they are dating non-exclusively? Did we doze off and wake up in the 1950s?
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Photo: Courtesy NBC/Universal.
Selfie Sticks

We're not just talking about the annoying devices people are using to take even more pics of themselves than they had before. We're talking about how much people seem to need to talk about them. <-Irony.
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Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic.
Justin Bieber's Butt

Speaking of selfies (again!), there was one particular Instagram shot some wish hadn't been taken down this summer: A flattering pic of the Biebs' bare behind as he admired a beautiful ocean view from a boat. The silliest thing about this story is that the normally unapologetic singer took down the photo, because he didn't want to hurt the sensibilities of a friend's daughter. Never mind, the Internet had already taken hold of the image and made it their own. Is this all that was needed to restore Bieber to our good graces again? In that case, nice job, Scooter Braun.
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Photo: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP.
Transphobic Celebrities

The public attitude towards transgender issues has shifted quite quickly in recent years, and that's only been highlighted by Caitlyn Jenner's televised transition. Amazingly, many celebrities missed the memo that it's not okay to make fun of people for being themselves. Seems like a no brainer to you? Not to: Peter Berg, Drake Bell, the folks behind the Pretty Little Liars Instagram, Alice Eve, Chris Brown, and Jamie Foxx.
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Photo: Larry Busacca/LP5/Getty Images.
Squad Photos

That'll do, Taylor Swift and other people who really like showing off pics of your large group of friends. No, really, it's sweet to post a good squad photo now and then, but when you overdo it, it feels like when the popular girls used to get dozens of carnations delivered to them on Valentine's Day in middle school. You are a nice and fun person, and gosh darnit, people like you. We get it.
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Photo: Willi Schneider/REX Shutterstock.
Violence In Movie Theaters, Churches And On Live TV

We have nothing dismissive or witty to say here. Just, how lovely would it be if after this summer, we could never have to read a story about shootings again? Thanks, Amy Schumer, for speaking out about gun violence. RIP to the victims in Charleston, New Orleans, and Roanoke.
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Photo: Photoshot/REX Shutterstock.
People Not Getting Cara Delevingne

In our idea of utopia, no one will think it's appropriate to label anyone's sexuality, no matter how fluid, as some kind of phase. That Delevingne's transition from supermodel to actress on the cover of Vogue. Another tenet of our perfect future is that people will understand those of us with a dry sense of humor rather than assume that we're dummies in a bad mood, as those folks at Good Day Sacremento did. Be better at your job, anchorpeople, because we'd like to move on.
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Photo: D Dipasupil/Getty Images.
Josh Duggar & Family

Ugh. We thought after TLC finally canceled 19 Kids and Counting, and the family went on Fox News to share how much they forgive Josh Duggar for molesting his young sisters, and the horribly passive way the Duggars' homeschooling method advised parents to deal with sexual abuse was exposed, that the Duggars would fade into the woodwork. Nope. The Ashley Madison leak brought Josh Duggar back to our headlines, though we have to say, once you admit to molesting your sisters, cheating on your wife seems pretty mild. Now that Josh is in rehab, you can bet we're going to get updates about his progress and how he's a changed man sometime in the not-distant-enough future.
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Photo: George Pimentel/Getty Images.
Drake Vs. Meek Mill

Remember when rap beefs were over more serious situations? When you read any full account of the "war" between Nicki Minaj's old buddy and her new boo, it sure sounds petty. Mill was mad that Drake didn't tweet about his album, so he tweeted that Drake has ghostwriters. And after some more back and forth, Drake writes two diss tracks, performing one at a music festival. The other track pokes fun at Mill for opening for Minaj, which strikes us as rather sexist. No one looks good here, guys. Let's have the next story be about a double date with Mill, Minaj, Drake and Serena Williams. That's a thing we'd like to write about forever.
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Photo: Courtesy Of Ashley Madison.
The Ashley Madison Hack

At the time of this posting, the stories of people who may or may not have signed up for the extramarital affair dating website are still rolling in. Nope, cheating in a supposedly monogamous relationship ain't cool. Nor is hacking and making it your business to put great big scarlet letter A's on the alleged users. Every minute we spend enjoying the schadenfreude of this story (Ha! Did they really think their info would remain private?) is also encouraging the degradation of privacy in all other areas of our lives.
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Photo: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP.
Nicki Vs Taylor (and Iggy vs. Britney, Miley vs. Taylor)

Since the dawn of Twitter, lo so many years ago, celebrities have been too quick to react to each other via this very public forum ... and paid the price. This summer alone, there was the back and forth that happened after Nicki Minaj felt snubbed for a Video of the Year VMA nod, while "other girls" with skinny women in their videos were recognized. While Taylor Swift took immediate offense, things were soon smoothed out between these two girl-power icons. Britney Spears, who weirdly seems like the elder stateswoman of this group, wisely did not take to Twitter when Iggy Azalea made a passive-aggressive remark in a Q&A, sort of blaming the failure of her collabo with Brit, "Pretty Girls," on their lack of live performances together. Spears fans were up in arms, however. Back in the land of Swift, there has been a mild spat surrounding her and Miley Cyrus, beginning with a silly Taylor-Justin Bieber face swap Miley re-grammed back in June. It continued, not on social media but in a good old-fashioned magazine, when Cyrus complained to Marie Claire that no one is offended by Swift's violent "Bad Blood" video but are constantly shocked by Cyrus' sexually suggestive performances. Ugh, no one is winning here.
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Photo: Courtesy Of YouTube.
Trophy Hunters

The death of Cecil the Lion at the well-armed hands of American dentist Walter Palmer flooded everyone's news feeds in late July. It was a tragedy, sure, but just one of many. Did one lion's death inspire everyone to drop everything and donate to a wildlife conservation fund? If only. After the initial echo chamber of shock came another realization: Why are people more upset about a lion being killed than they were about all the unarmed Black men shot down by police this year? That may be apples to oranges, or it may be a worthy commentary on the news cycle in the age of Facebook. Either way, pause the chatter and do something, people!
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Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage.
Jen and Ben's Breakup (and Gwen and Gavin's, and Blake and Miranda's)

For so long, we think of these celebrity couples as our very role models for a perfect marriage. We hear tales of how they met, coo over the pictures of their first not-so-covert dates, dream of getting married in their dresses and tuxedos, and anticipate their children's births as if we were about to become aunts and uncles. But really, we have ZERO idea of what happens in these relationships. And that's probably why when Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, and Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert announce their splits, it hits us hard. Then we can't get enough of the juicy details about alleged nanny affairs, career rivalries, tour dalliances, or whatever the latest rumors are. It would be nice (and probably unlikely) if we could turn off our curiosity and behave respectfully, as if these really were our friends splitting up. If they want to tell us why, they will one day.
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Photo: Seth Wenig/AP.
Donald Trump Insulting Women And Immigrants

It's probably wishful thinking to label any Trump stories as "summer," when in truth the real estate mogul has the money to keep his presidential bid running until the end of time. The astonishing fact is that almost any other public figure who generalized an entire population as "rapists" would have apologized by now. Any other man who had dared blame a woman's determination to do her job as a result of PMS would have his publicist arranging for him to do some kind of work with women's charities. Not Trump. He's on a roll, and each time he comes out with these outrageous statements, the media (us included!) is giving him all the attention he so craves.
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