Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Hey Jade! Care to Explain?

Initially when writing this I was debating if it would be worth the online onslaught from fans of Jade, but then I remembered I'm a small blogger with fuckall of a following so I should be pretty safe. 

Today I want to talk about the questionable and irritating actions of Jade Bowler, known more famously as the studytuber Unjaded Jade. I don't want to seem as though this is a hate post, or that Jade has committed some irredeemable, forever-to-be-cancelled act, but in a global pandemic where everyone is being told to stay home, I want to know what is up with Jade's silence and dishonesty about her travels.

Firstly before anyone jumps their guns, I am not specifically attacking Jade's choice to move to Seoul for her next semester of study with Minerva University. I personally made the decision to comeback to my Edinburgh flat to resume my studies, though I am aware there is quite a difference between a 4 hour car journey with a household member and a ~13 flight (plus stops) with the general public. Regardless, she is currently in quarantine for two weeks which is commendable, albeit the government-mandated sort of bare minimum. The two things I am going to take issue with in this post is Jade's unnecessary movement between Switzerland and Berlin before Christmas without adequate practice of self-isolation, as well as Jade's seeming attempt to lie about her reason for travelling to Seoul, and then her attempt to hide said lie with no further explanation.

Since her little online blunder about claiming she had no choice but to travel to South Korea (which I will go into detail about later) I figured I'd give Jade some time to see if she had anything to say, but alas a week has passed and Jade seems reluctant to talk about this incident as well as her cheeky trip to Switzerland, so lets start with three Youtube comments from fans that can probably summarise the situation better than I can. These are taken from Jade's "First Day of Quarantine in South Korea for University":


Emma writes: she is quarantining now yes and that is good! But her university is online, and she blamed them, and then retracted that blame - there’s just no need to travel. She also didn’t quarantine or isolate or get permission to travel 10 hours from Berlin to Switzerland and 10 hours back for a little trip in December when things were looking poor for both Germany and Switzerland - that’s what we were upset about. Nobody is trying to be mean or toxic, we are mostly long-time viewers of Jade who just feel let down by the situation.

 

Cat writes: Wait, the description first said you had to be in SK cause it counted towards your credits and now that whole paragraph is deleted? I was happy your finally addressed this topic but stating the whole reason why you travelled was due to Minerva making you go and then quickly backtracking feels so off? I've always loved witching your content because you felt genuine and relatable, but I'm sad to say those feelings are changing due to how you're handling this situation.

 

Yoonieorbit writes: Hey jade I am really disappointed in the dishonesty we know from other Minerva students that you have not been forced to travel but had a choice. and you said in your other video that not all Minerva students are traveling and will be studying from their home countries? I have also just been made aware of the Switzerland situation and I think it’s really irresponsible as an influencer to gloss over this and glorify travelling to a high risk zone (deemed by German government) and back to berlin without isolating yourself during a pandemic. it is really disappointing to see this :(( I usually defend you but simply telling people consume content is not validly taking accountability. we would appreciate the honesty and you would still have a solid fanbase I don’t know why you’re glossing over it? just know that this is coming from people who usually defend you.

*Comments only edited in the case of spelling error. 


Oh dear Jade.


Jade's Travels to Switzerland

Let's start with Switzerland, this is pretty much a no-brainer that it was irresponsible of Jade to travel. She had the same responsibilities as everyone else to essentially stay put. In Jade's case, she was coming to the end of her studies in Berlin at the time (please correct me if I'm wrong) so I can see the attraction of wishing to visit another very beautiful country so close by before the time is up. But that does not change the fact that it was not the time nor place for unnecessary travel - especially as there is no evidence of Jade self-isolating after the 10 hour journey there, nor the 10 hour journey back (again, do correct me if I am wrong). The silence on the situation only seems to confirm the suspicion that Jade knew all too well this was an irresponsible trip she shouldn't have made.

To prevent this from sounding like an unnecessary bash on Jade, I don't necessarily mind  the fact she made a mistake, people have made mistakes during this pandemic, I have too. Granted, the mistakes of influencers have been on a slightly larger scale, with many out partying in Dubai and claiming travel is an essential work purpose, but it was a mistake nonetheless. What I take issue with is the fact that Jade has so far failed to take responsibility and publicly discuss why she made the trip in the first place. The trip could very much have been essential, though I have a sneaking suspicion it's more a Dominic-Cummings-Durham-Castle type vibe. We are not looking to "cancel" Jade, rather it would be nice to see some accountability and admitting she was at fault in this situation.

Globetrotting unnecessarily in a pandemic is selfish and sadly reeks of privilege, however refusing to acknowledge when you're at fault is far worse.

Jade, please acknowledge your trip to Switzerland, and if it was in fact non-essential please take some accountability and apologise for the choices you made as an influencer with such a large audience.


Jade's Travels to Seoul

Now onto Seoul, like I said, I don't necessarily take issue with Jade moving to South Korea. She has taken the necessary precautions in terms of quarantine and though it is a display of rather large privilege to be able to move globally in a pandemic for just a semester, if she has the financial resources and opportunity, I don't actually blame her for taking that chance. Like I said I am not one to pass too much judgement here as I made the decision to drive back to my flat in Edinburgh, and many UK students have travelled back to their respective university campuses. 

The issue here is the fact that it seems Jade lied about being forced to travel to Seoul for necessary course credits. Unfortunately I did not get to witness this paragraph before it was deleted, but the hundreds of comments questioning the removal of said paragraph certainly confirms it's existence. Jade appeared to claim that her move to South Korea was a necessary thing in order to obtain course credits tied there, and seemed to insinuate that she didn't have any other choice. This paragraph was deleted some hours later, and Jade has offered little to clarify what she meant. As a result many people, myself included, have no choice but to believe this was a lie. This is also supported by the fact many Minerva students have confirmed that they were given the choice to stay at home to study, and many indeed have. The whole point of Minerva as a university is that there is no campus and you don't need to travel, making it rather well equipped for the whole pandemic thing (and something I seem to remember Jade quite proudly writing about for a newspaper article ... link anyone?)

If it is in fact the case that this wasn't a fib and Jade genuinely thought she had to move to Korea then damn, that's one hell of a miscommunication. But in the more likely scenario that Jade made a silly excuse in her reason for travelling to avoid backlash, all we ask is for some clarity and honesty. A bit of backlash is inevitable for moving to South Korea, just like all students that moved will get a bit of backlash, but Jade faces a hell of a lot more backlash by not being truthful about why she moved.

Jade, please recognise that you made a mistake claiming your travel was mandatory, and simply own up to the fact you chose to travel because you had the choice. You are normally a wonderfully self-aware influencer that often talks about privilege, why are you choosing to be quite now?

At the end of the day Jade is an influencer with a very large platform, that alone gives her more responsibility than the average student making dumb decisions. Jade owes it to her followers to be a good example, explain her actions and take some accountability.

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3 comments

  1. I've always been a little bit confused with why she wasn't studying from home seeing as it is all online learning! I mean, I've only been able to spend 3 weeks at my uni, missed out on freshers events, haven't been able to get to know my flatmates or even met my coursemates. I think that it is so unfair! I love Jade and her content but she should really address what's gone on x

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  2. I agree. I am moving to Korea next weekend for two years for work. Do I feel somewhat guilty for moving during a pandemic? Yes of course. You can't fault Jade for going when the Korean government still allows ALL visas except for regular travel visas which they have cancelled for the foreseeable future. She is also very lucky she got in when she did as Korea has also stopped processing UK visas at the moment due to the current strain of coronavirus coming out of her home country. In saying this, I think she should take that into consideration and be VERY grateful that she is in Korea right now as I know UK citizens who were less than a month out from moving to Korea for the same job as me but have had their visas cancelled. The two weeks quarantine is mandatory in South Korea. Who knows if she would have done it or not if it wasn't (as evidenced by her seemingly not isolation after her Switzerland trip).

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  3. I totally agree. What I find problematic the most is that she lied to her entire following about university credit. I think that and the fact she did not quarantine for the necessary ten days after she returned to Berlin from Switzerland are the two glaring things that hit us fans the most. What's even worse is that she's prancing around in Seoul in her classmates' posts and stories while we're left in the dark. All we want is an explanation, not to cancel her.

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