Happy Birthday Olivia Jade. Come Back.
Olivia Jade Giannulli, who turned 21 on September 28, has certainly had a leg-up on life as Lori Loughlin’s daughter. But in March 2019, her YouTube career was only just beginning. She had launched a collection with Sephora, collaborated with Princess Polly, and palled around with other creators like David Dobrik. Then, after an Urban Outfitters clothing haul posted on March 11, she disappeared.
Anyone who followed the college admissions scandal (which is everyone) knows why. On March 12, the FBI indicted Loughlin, her husband Mossimo Giannulli, and 50 others for allegedly paying to have their children’s SAT and ACT test scores altered for admission to places like Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, University of Southern California, UCLA, and the University of Texas at Austin. Olivia and sister Isabella Rose Giannulli were, it turns out, fraudulently admitted to USC after their parents paid huge sums of money to improve their test scores and get them admitted as recruits for the rowing team when they had never rowed in high school. Both Loughlin and Giannulli pleaded guilty, and were sentenced to two and five months in prison, respectively.
While Olivia laid low following the scandal (as her videos, with titles like “day in my life college style” and “GRWM for my FIRST college party,” were ripped to shreds in the comments), she did eventually return to Instagram, and even posted a long-awaited YouTube video on December 1, 2019 titled “hi again.”
“I’m legally not allowed to speak on anything going on right now,” she explains in the two minute upload, which has received over six million views. She announces her intention to come back to YouTube, but has only uploaded one video since—an everyday makeup routine two weeks later.
For all of 2020, she’s been silent. She also made an appearance on TikTok late last year, but has since only uploaded six more videos. This is frustrating not because she’s innocent, or because she doesn’t deserve to face the consequences of her and her parents’ actions, but for a reason far more selfish (for me): she was a good YouTuber!
While uploading things like “a few grand later...high end/luxury clothing haul” and “(LUXURY) WHAT I GOT FOR CHRISTMAS 2018” is (understandably) not everyone’s cup of tea during the pandemic, boy do I want to see how Olivia Jade is quarantining. Did she bake banana bread? Get into Animal Crossing? Cut her own hair? Go to one of those influencer pandemic parties? During a time when I need as much content as I can possibly consume, there’s a giant Olivia Jade-shaped hole in my YouTube subscription box. Now that she’s 21—and her parents’ trial is over—maybe it’s time for Olivia to become the Paris Hilton of YouTube we deserve.
So, happy birthday Olivia Jade. Come back?