Fierce

FAFSA Put A Latina On Notice After She Posted Her Lavish Prom Video That People Read Too Much Into

In late March, 17-year-old high school student Lizbeth Rivas opted to have a video taken of her prom experience, instead of traditional photos. In the prom video, Rivas appears to be living the high life. She dances to the song “Clout” by Offset and Cardi B, models her expensive-looking white prom dress, and flashes a luxury Mercedes-Benz with her crew of friends. To any of her followers, it looked like Rivas was living a life of privilege.

Rivas’s video went viral, prompting comments that mentioned the disparity between her lifestyle and those who can’t afford the same prom experience.

One Tweet in particular took off: Twitter user @_Ferrrg responded to the video with a meme that alluded to FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid organization) watching the video and keeping note of Rivas’s extravagant lifestyle.

Although the official FAFSA account was never tagged, FAFSA itself responded through Twitter with a meme of a little boy side-eyeing and sipping a cup of tea. Translated to internet speak?: “We’re watching you“.

Most found the interaction hilarious and it wasn’t long before the response from FASFA went viral.

FASFA’s tweet received over 13K retweets and 48K likes. Though many users found the interaction funny, some expressed concern Rivas would have trouble with financial aid.

According to Rivas she is just an average student struggling to make ends meet like anyone else.

Rivas revealed that the videographer of the high-quality video wasn’t an expensive professional they hired, but a talented friend-of-a-friend. “We wanted to do something different and memorable to us,” Rivas explained to mitú. “I honestly did not think it was going to blow up like how it did on Twitter nor was I looking for attention.”

Rivas went on to state that she paid for her luxurious-looking prom from money she earned at her job at the mall. “People started speculating that my parents paid all this money,” Rivas said. “When in reality, I have a whole job that I was saving up checks since December”.

According to Rivas, people on Twitter have made wrong assumptions about her financial situation.

FAFSA’s response prompted Rivas’s initial Tweet to go even more viral, putting Rivas in fear of receiving the financial aid she sorely needs.

“How [FAFSA] responded made me upset because that just fueled more people and their misconstrued opinions,” Rivas said. According to Rivas, her parents are neither in the financial situation to give her an expensive prom experience nor in the situation to pay out-of-pocket for her college tuition.

Rivas worries now that the viral video and its response could damage her access to financial aid for college, as well as her dreams of going to art school.

Rivas revealed that due to her financial situation, she’s looking at public universities for a college education. “I wanted to go to art school but it’s really expensive so I’m just looking at public universities,” Rivas says.

This ordeal brings up a larger conversation about privilege, the performance of wealth that many participate in (regardless of their financial status) and the crisis younger Americans are currently facing when it comes to paying for higher education.

Hopefully this will be a lesson for everyone not to assume what’s in someone’s bank account based on what they see on that person’s social media–especially when most of what we see on social media rarely represents reality anyway.

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Lizzie Velasquez Calls Out Mother Who Used Her Image To Scare Son During TikTok Challenge

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Lizzie Velasquez Calls Out Mother Who Used Her Image To Scare Son During TikTok Challenge

Rich Fury / Getty Images for Girlboss

Lizzie Velasquez is no stranger to bullying. The anti-bullying activist has been relentlessly bullied on social media and a TikTok trend brought it all back. The “FaceTime Prank” is already showing how hurtful people are online and Velasquez was once again bullied thanks to this trend.

The “FaceTime Prank” trend on TikTok is revealing the worst of humanity.

Lizzie Velasquez is a well-known anti-bullying activist. Her work has taken her around the world as she has spoken to politicians about the dangers of bullying. In a post to Instagram, Velasquez admits that she saw this coming when the trend started to pick up steam. Mainly because she knows that some adults still aren’t strong or reasonable enough to realize how hurtful they are.

Velasquez is calling for TikTok to do better in making sure this kind of bullying doesn’t grow on it’s platform.

In a video, Velasquez is calling out not just the people participating, but the platform that is letting this circulate. TikTok is a growing, albeit potentially canceled, social media platform. The video showing a child’s scared reaction to Velasquez is part of a larger problem of bullying on social media.

People are ready to stand up for Velasquez.

It is just common courtesy not to make fun of people and their physical appearance. It is something that good parents teach their children. Velasquez called on basic human decency when it comes to the challenge that has led to people being made fun of for their physical appearances and disabilities.

People are surrounding her with love.

Velasquez has long used her own experiences with bullying to fight against bullying. The activist is no stranger to being the butt of people’s jokes but it doesn’t make it any easier. Her strength has made people feel seen in their own journeys to empowerment.

People are just furious that people are so shallow that Velasquez could be the butt of the joke.

Lizzie Velasquez has become a beacon of hope in the fight against bullying. She has stood before Congress and spoke to them about the importance of fighting against bullying. Her latest moment of calling attention to unchecked bullying in a public realm is just part of her longlasting legacy standing up to hate.

Thank you, Lizzie.

READ: People Said A Writer Was Too Ugly To Take Selfies And Now She’s Getting Support From Twitter, News Outlets, And Even Brazil

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Military Members Are Sharing Stories Of Sexual Assault In The Military Using #IAmVanessaGuillen

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Military Members Are Sharing Stories Of Sexual Assault In The Military Using #IAmVanessaGuillen

David Dee Delgado / Getty Images

Vanessa Guillen went missing on April 22 from a parking lot at Fort Hood. Before going missing, Guillen confided in her family about alleged sexual assault and harassment she faced at the U.S. Army base. Her story sparked an online movement to talk about sexual assault in the military.

Women are using #IAmVanessaGuillen to talk about sexual assault in the U.S. military.

It wasn’t until recently that movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp made it clear that society was done with making excuses for sexual assault. Powerful and influential men have fallen because of their behavior. The disappearance of Vanessa Guillen is shining a renewed light on sexual assault in the military.

The stories range from inappropriate behavior from superiors to rape from fellow soldiers.

Women see themselves reflected in Guillen and her story. Former military women are shedding the shame and fear of coming forward to tell their stories in a public space. The unity on social media is offering women comfort and support as they open up about the most personal thing someone can talk about.

Some of the stories are absolutely heartbreaking.

According to a report from the Defense Department, sexual assault in the U.S. military went up 3 percent between fiscal years 2018 and 2019. The department reported 7,825 reports of sexual assault on service members. However, Pentagon officials assert that the change cannot be characterized as an increase in assaults. A prevalence survey on sexual assault in the military is conducted every other year.

According to some women, the assault and harassment started quickly.

The same study found that sexual assault at the 3 military academies saw a spike of 32 percent. The figures show an increase of 117 reported sexual assaults in 2018 compared to 149 sexual assaults reported in the academies.

“Our Academies produce our future leaders. At every turn, we must drive out misconduct in place of good order and discipline. Our data last year, and the findings from this year’s report, reflect the progress we have made in some areas, and the significant work that remains,” Elizabeth Van Winkle, the executive director of the Office of Force Resiliency, said in a statement obtained by ABC News. “We will not falter in our efforts to eliminate these behaviors from our Academies and to inculcate our expectation that all who serve are treated, and treat others, with dignity and respect.”

Some men have also used the hashtag to share their own experiences.

According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, 1 out of every 10 rape victims is male. The study also shows that 1 out of every 33 men will experience an attempted or completed sexual assault.

If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone, you can call 1 (800) 656-HOPE (4673) or visit RAINN by clicking here.

READ: Partial Human Remains Found Near Fort Hood During Search For Vanessa Guillen

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