Levi’s is facing backlash for planning to use AI models to “increase diversity”
Levi’s recently announced they plan to start using models made by artificial intelligence—but their motivation has the internet upset. The brand is partnering with “digital fashion studio Lalaland.ai to make custom artificial intelligence (AI) generated avatars” with the intention of increasing diversity among their models. Lalaland.ai is designed to provide brands and retailers with hyper-realistic models that can appear in any size, skin tone, age, and body type.
But many are questioning why Levi’s can’t find and use actual models to reflect diversity; on Twitter, users reactions have ranged from shock to swearing off the brand completely. One tweet sharing a link to the story reads, “Feel like this has been the clearest illustration of how diversity doesn’t equate to inclusion.” Another with more than 100 retweets shared a link of a critical review of the announcement from The Cut, with the caption “When companies fall onto Ai hype trains without thinking about actual real world consequences and implications you get this…idiocy” and the hashtags “#FAKEDiversity #AiDiversityIsntDiversity #Duh.”
The brand is justifying the use of the AI tech by saying “diversity, equity, and inclusion are a ‘top priority’…[and] while AI-generated models are a way to help reach its goals in this area, it’s not the only solution it is using.” They aren’t doing away with human models and photography altogether, either, and they’re claiming that young consumers have a desire to see more than just one model wearing a piece on their website. But clearly, young consumers would much rather see a real human be paid to show off the clothes on a diverse range of bodies. YPulse’s Representation in Action (Revisited) trend report shows 63% of young consumers think more positively of brands that feature diverse models in an ad, but their response to this AI integration shows its clearly important to them that a diverse range of real-life models are given jobs—much more than seeing new tech take the spotlight.
TikTok’s parent company ByteDance just launched a new app in the U.S. and U.K.—and it’s already a hit
As lawmakers trudge on with their plans to ban TikTok in both the U.S. and Europe, the app’s parent company is going full speed ahead with another one of their social platforms and it’s topping charts. Lemon8 is designed as an Instagram rival (with static image posts only) and was soft launched globally back in 2020. This week, the app was “officially” released “meaning it was accompanied by this clearly sizable spend on paid discovery or app install ads,” according to TechCrunch.
In just a few short days, Lemon8 has reached number 10 in U.S. app stores top charts across overall apps and games and ranked number nine on top charts excluding games. This brought the app ahead of YouTube, WhatsApp, Gmail, and Facebook. Prior to this week, Lemon8 was not even listed among the top 200 apps in the U.S., according to data.ai, and Apptopia’s data shows that Japan is the app’s top market, “accounting for 38% of its total installs.” While the influx of U.S. users is still so new there’s no definitive figure for the number of installs, Apptopia estimates that Lemon8 now has approximately 4.25M monthly active users.
Over on TikTok, buzz about the new app is circulating swiftly, and creators have been posting about Lemon8 nonstop. The hashtag #Lemon8 current has 2.3B views, but an almost concerning majority of the videos are extremely positive, even though none of them are marked as sponsored. Many are comparing Lemon8 to both Instagram for the social aspect and Pinterest when it comes to the actual layout. The aspect that’s making the app stand out most is that it incorporates “Canva-like features” that allow users to aesthetically label their photos. While Gen Z and Millennials are pretty much set in their favorite social platforms, the idea of their favorite app disappearing is making them open to new spaces—and Lemon8 can be added to the roster.
The TikTok girlies are channeling their #DarkFeminineEnergy
Young women on TikTok are unlocking newfound confidence by embracing their dark feminine energy. Like main character energy, the trend is goes beyond aesthetics and has young women feeling powerful and seductive. On TikTok, you can find videos of young women wearing Morticia Adams-like dresses with long dark hair, deep red/black lipstick, and long red nails teaching their followers how to unlock their own dark feminine energies. The hashtag #DarkFeminineEnergy currently has 876.9M views and is flooded with content that shows the trend’s fashion, related books, music, and clips of famous women who are considered dark feminine queens (i.e. Cher, Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox, Naomi Campbell, and Alexa Demie).
However, there is a dark side (pun intended) to the aesthetic where young women are embracing the idea of mastering the art of seduction to be used as a manipulation tactic against men. The ultimate dark feminine woman can be described as dominant, assertive, and above all, sultry, making them an ultimate weapon against the patriarchy. These women are setting boundaries by saying “no” when they feel like it and manifesting success by being unabashedly independent.
Links We’re Passing:
Social Media: A couple’s proposal went viral online for channeling Gen Z and Millennials’ favorite movie Everything Everywhere All at Once
Gen Z and Millennials still can’t get enough of Pedro Pascal—and now his high school yearbook photo has gone viral
Images of the Pope in an AI generated puffer jacket made the internet do a double take
TV & Entertainment: The creators of Disney channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place revealed Selena Gomez’s character was intended to be bisexual, but they got as “close as they could”
The Onion is directly addressing the anti-trans controversy surrounding J.K. Rowling—and the internet is eating it up
Shopping & Retail: Grocery shoppers are divided over Costco’s new sample kiosks
Gen Z has finally determined that skinny jeans are back—although not in the same way they were before
Life Milestones: A Millennial woman has gone viral for sharing her breakup story—and viewers sent her thousands of dollars’ worth of home items on her registry