E! News host Lilliana Vasquez SLAMS Cosmopolitan México for featuring controversial white influencer Arielle Charnas on its September cover – as magazine faces furious backlash for failing to choose a Latinx woman
- The 33-year-old has landed of the cover of Cosmopolitan México for its September issue
- Several readers are angry about the choice and criticizing the magazine for not picking a Latinx influencer, saying there were plenty of options
- Vasquez said she and others in the Latinx community are ‘tired of being invisible’ and called the cover ‘problematic’
- She argued that Charnas has done nothing for the community and the cover sends the message that Latinas are not enough as they are
- Charnas has been in hot water several times this year after ‘skipping the line’ to get a COVID test in March and then fleeing to the Hamptons while sick
Controversial fashion influencer Arielle Charnas is facing backlash yet again for gracing the cover of this month’s Cosmopolitan México.
The 33-year-old has landed the cover of the publication despite her numerous scandals this spring — and her appearance on the front of the magazine has some Latinx readers, like E! News’ Lilliana Vasquez, absolutely ‘exhausted.’
After posting a short rant on her Instagram stories, Vasquez shared an hour-long video in which she and other women discussed why the new cover is so ‘problematic,’ arguing that Charnas has done nothing for the Latinx community and giving her the honor sends the wrong message.
Uh-oh… Controversial fashion influencer Arielle Charnas is facing backlash yet again for gracing the cover of this month’s Cosmopolitan México
Spotlight: The 33-year-old landed the cover of the magazine even after facing numerous scandals this spring
Charnas has found herself in the midst of firestorms again and again this year — and while she recently changed her Instagram to private to filter out her critics, the mother-of-two shows no sign of retreating from the spotlight.
Back in March, the Something Navy founder infuriated New Yorkers when she managed to get her hands on one of a limited number of COVID-19 tests thanks to a personal connection, in spite of the massive shortage at the time.
Then, when she tested positive, she didn’t self-isolate for the required two weeks, and fled Manhattan with her family for the Hamptons.
Once out east, Charnas was accused by a Southampton florist of skipping out on a bill and then lying about it.
She also reportedly received between $150,000 and $350,000 in coronavirus relief funds from the Paycheck Protection Program for her fashion line, Something Navy, which she re-launched in July — with $10 million in funding round.
Now her problems are playing out on the international stage as she has landed the cover of the September issue of Cosmo México.
On Instagram, the magazine even alluded to her troubles, calling her ‘the influencer who got something positive out of such a difficult time.’
Not happy: The cover has some Latinx readers, like E! News’ Lilliana Vasquez, absolutely ‘exhausted’
The post has earned less than a thousand likes so far, and several of the commenters have chimed in to voice their disappointment with the choice.
‘Is it that a Mexican or at least Latin influencer was not available?’ asked Lissette Calveiro.
‘FAIL,’ wrote another commenter. ‘Honestly of all the incredible Latina women that have worked hard to build their businesses, from NOTHING, you feature a esta papita sin sa [this potato without salt]l? … What a waste of a cover.’
‘We as Latinos have to take a deep introspective look at our colorism and elitism,’ wrote yet another. ‘Why her? Why whitewash a magazine that is meant to represent us, the Hispanic community?
‘Not only does she not represent us because she isn’t Latina, but she is so out of touch with reality, flaunting her wealth (getting a drive thru Covid test during the time they were scarce) while literally hundreds of thousands of people are dying.’
Also piling on the criticism is E! News host Lilliana Vasquez, who first admitted on Instagram that she needed to ‘calm down’ before sharing her thoughts.
‘I am so tired, OK?’ she said. ‘I am exhausted. We collectively as Latinas in media are tired. We are tired. We are tired of being invisible in mainstream media, on TV, in magazines, in films.
The issue: Vasquez shared an hour-long video in which she and other women discussed why the new cover is so ‘problematic’
She said: ‘What Cosmo is signaling to millions of Latinas across the globe is there is not one Latinx influencer that deserved to be on that cover more than Arielle Charnas’
‘This one f***ing hurt. This hurts my heart because this is one of our own magazines choosing another,’ she went on.
‘What Cosmo is signaling to millions of Latinas across the globe is there is not one Latinx influencer that deserved to be on that cover more than Arielle Charnas, someone who has done zero for our community.’
Charnas is not the first white star to cover the Cosmo México, though the magazine usually chooses Latinx celebrities.
The only other white star on the cover this year was Lucy Hale, who fronted the May-June — after also covering the American edition of the magazine in March. It is not uncommon for photoshoots and interviews to re-run in international editions of magazines like Cosmo.
Charnas has not covered the American edition of Cosmo, however, so her place of honor on the front of the Mexican edition has proven hurtful and unnecessary to several of its readers.
‘When I saw this cover today, it broke my heart,’ Vasquez said in a follow-up IGTV video, adding that she was feeling frustration and anger.
She said that the cover sends the message to its readers that they are not enough, and that they don’t deserve the accolade of the cover.
Agreement: Other social media users are in agreement and re-shared Vasquez’s videos
Yes! Vasquez talked to several other people in her IGTV video, discussing how they believed the magazine could have easily found a Latinx influencer for the spot
‘Is there a way that Arielle has championed our community?’ Vasquez asked
She also took issue with the cover line, which reads in Spanish that Charnas is ‘the influencer that risked it all when no one else would during the pandemic.’
‘I am unclear on how Arielle risked it all,’ she said, before mentioning her PPE loans. ‘I’m not sure what she risked other than government money.’
‘Is there a way that Arielle has championed our community?’ she went on.
‘Shameful’: Dozens of people chimed in to share their upset over the cover, with one person naming ‘a few of thousands of amazing LatinX women’ who could have been featured on the cover instead of Charnas
Vasquez talked to several other people in her IGTV video, discussing how they believed the magazine could have easily found a Latinx influencer for the spot.
Commenters appear to be in agreement. On her page and the magazine’s page, dozens have echoed those sentiments.
‘What a disgrace. How dare you name her as a Latin influencer?! What has she done? She’s not even Latin! So disappointed,’ wrote one.
‘This is the problem with some of the Hispanic publications/media channels — especially those in Latin America — that continue to idolize white women,’ wrote another.
‘It’s very obvious that @cosmopolitanmx PR and editorial team is not well versed with all the backlash tied to Arielle nor did they do proper research to FIND influencers, better yet LATINAS who could’ve graced the cover loud and proud.
‘As a Latin magazine, we want to see more women of color. I want to see an Afro Latina, an indigenous woman, a transgender woman, a plus size woman. The list goes on. But not someone who OBVIOUSLY flaunted her white privilege during the beginning of the pandemic. I can’t and will never idolize or a support that type of influencer.’
Upset: The magazine’s post has earned less than a thousand likes so far, and several of the commenters have chimed into voice their disappointment with the choice
Charnas has been fielding criticism from all sides since mid-March, though none of it appears to have dinged her follower count.
The drama began when she posted a video on Instagram saying she was ill and detailing her symptoms, which she feared might be coronavirus. At the time, tests were particularly hard to come by, and patients had to meet certain requirements to get one.
But after reaching out to her friend, Dr. Jake Deutsch Charnas was in a car with her husband Brandon, pulling up to a clinic as a health professional performed the test through the window.
Later, she updated followers to say that while a flu test came back negative, she tested positive for COVID-19.
‘I wanted to give you all a health update,’ she wrote. ‘This morning, I learned that I tested positive for COVID-19.
‘While the virus seems to be everywhere that you turn, it’s meaning and importance completely changes when it affects you personally.
Sick: Charnas complained of coronavirus symptoms in March, when it was still quite difficult to get one of a limited number of tests
Connections: Though she didn’t meet the requirement, she got a test through a friend
Privilege: She filmed herself driving up to get the test in Manhattan
‘Now that I’ve officially tested positive, here is my plan per the recommendation of my doctors: Continue to quarantine/self-isolate, get lots of rest and drink fluids, get in touch with the family and friends that I’ve been in close contact with over the past 2 weeks so they can be even more diligent in their own self-quarantine and look out for any symptoms.’
‘We are truly living in an unprecedented time, but if social media has shown us anything in the past couple of days, it’s that we are all in this together.’
Critics quickly piled on, accusing her of ‘cutting the line’ to get a test. At that time, many other people across the country were being denied tests despite showing similar symptoms, and critics didn’t like that she used personal connections to skirt around the rules.
Charnas addressed those who were upset that she managed to get a test, but mistook the anger as being about her ability to access healthcare when others can’t — rather than the fact that she used a powerful connection to get a test that is being rationed for the most vulnerable.
‘I realize that there are many individuals, both in New York City, and nationwide, who do not have the ability to receive immediate medical care at the first sign of sickness, and access to care is #1 priority in a time like this.’
Update: She later told followers she tested positive and tried to address the anger that she got a test when so many other people are being turned away
‘It is the responsibility of our government offices to ensure all American can access necessary tests and I acknowledge how lucky I am to have had that access.’
However, the diagnosis didn’t appear to have stopped Charnas from doing whatever she wanted to do, despite strong warnings from doctors and epidemiologists.
Ignoring calls to self-isolate for 14 days, Charnas has continued to live in close quarters with — and hug and kiss — her family, and she also kept using the services of a nanny.
Others in her house got sick. Charnas said her husband was ill as well, and she also seems to have inadvertently revealed that the nanny was still working and had the virus too.
According to Charnas, she and her nanny ‘got sick together.’
And just eight days after her diagnosis, on March 26, she left her New York City apartment, went down the elevator, walked past her doormen, got into a car, and drove out to a rented home on Long Island, possibly stopping at a gas station or rest stop along the way and exposing even more people to the disease.
Unsurprisingly, furious comments poured in, blasting Charnas for her dangerous behavior, calling her ‘selfish’ and ‘irresponsible.’
What happened to isolation? Charnas traveled to a rental home in the Hamptons just eight days after her positive test
In the family: The Instagrammer and her husband have two daughters together
Staying inside: Charnas, a fashion influencer, claimed she was quarantining herself
‘Wow. Wow. Wow. Shocked and Sad you all couldn’t stay quarantined to slow the spread when you posted sooo much about staying home. You’re probably still shedding. I’ve been a big fan for a long time and this makes me sad,’ wrote one.
Another accused her of ‘setting such a bad example to millions of followers.’
Then, in July, Page Six reported that Charnas got a loan of $150,000 to $350,000 through JPMorgan and Chase on April 13, 10 days after the loan program launched.
Charnas relaunched her fashion brand, Something Navy, on July 13, and grossed $1 million in just 30 minutes, according to the influencer and the brand’s CEO Matt Scanlan.
‘The velocity and speed of sales totally broke our back end,’ Scanlan said on the Glossy Podcast.
The brand is valued at $45 million, and Charnas herself is belived to be worth around $2.5 million.
Hong Kong billionaire Silas Chou, along with Box Group, M3 Ventures, Silas Capital, Third Kind Venture Capital and Rent the Runway co-founder Jennifer Fleiss are all investors in the brand.