From friends to acquaintances: the importance of standing for what you believe in

Allyson Phung, Editorial Board

Deemed as one of the celebrities that has defined Gen-Z, Trisha Paytas rose to fame in 2007 when she started to post videos on the Youtube platform. However for many, what made her an “icon” were her absurd videos.

Over the years, she has developed a diverse group of videos.They range from when she dressed up as Zac Efron and covered “Bet on Me” from the High School Musical movie trilogy to her more recent mukbangs, a type of video that records someone eating large amounts of food. Unfortunately,  these popular videos also mask her more controversial posts. One titled “I AM TRANSGENDER (FEMALE TO MALE)” posted in 2019 received criticism from the transgender community for its dangerous comments and lack of care. In 2021, the trouble continued when she referred to Ethan Klein, her former Jewish co-host on their podcast Frenemies, as “jewy” during a financial dispute. In this context, Paytas was clearly referencing the stereotype that “all Jewish people are greedy for money.” 

Despite all of these seemingly controversial actions, you can find her on various social media platforms with people commenting “I love you Trisha” or “Trisha, you slayed!” Her Youtube channel boasts five million subscribers and over 900 million views.

The continuing amount of support Paytas receives shows us that her controversial actions are still being accepted by society. At this point, Trisha Paytas has become “un-cancellable.” She says something awful, there’s backlash, she apologizes and then two weeks later does the same thing. Yet this treatment is hardly reserved for our favorite celebrities: we can see it in our day to day lives.

Most agree that there are certain moral lines that we shouldn’t cross such as being racist, homophobic, or misogynistic. However, many find an ethical crossroad whether or not they should entertain others that hold these hateful opinions.

On Instagram, we can find an assortment of Instagram stories or posts of people that support feminism or Black Lives Matter. Yet when someone makes a comment that directly contradicts what they supposedly stand for, people seem to gloss over their comment. Instead, I’ve seen people laugh it off and continue to converse with them – almost like it never happened. 

I understand that sometimes it’s easier to ignore and carry on rather than confronting and explaining why their statement is incorrect. However, there are ways to stand up for what you believe in without direct confrontation.

Confrontation doesn’t necessarily mean you attack or humiliate them, but you should let them know where you stand. This means you don’t support their opinions by continuing to act like friends.

Sometimes direct, one-on-one confrontation can be harmful depending on the person. If they are aggressive or violent, confronting them can place you in danger of being attacked or killed. And besides the physical threat, constantly having to confront and correct others can be mentally draining. However, there are options for people that don’t have the ability to directly confront others. Instead, stop supporting them by ceasinging friendly comments on their Instagram posts and ending friendly conversations.

It’s always easier to act like friends to avoid conflict and drama but remember that by doing so, you are a disservice to yourself and others. I’m not saying you should make a complete-180 and treat these people like they’re less than human. But your actions inherently give them permission to spread these hateful comments to others. By standing for what you believe in, you help protect yourself and others from hurtful comments.