In the US, the Biden administration is trying to reach the young and unvaccinated, so who better to help spread the message than the current reigning queen of teen angst, Olivia Rodrigo. Yesterday, she joined President Biden and Dr. Fauci to record videos encouraging young people to get their shot; it’s good 4 u.
Olivia Rodrigo is at the White House today to meet with President Biden and Dr. Fauci and discuss the importance of young Americans getting vaccinated. pic.twitter.com/s95KtOkrsF— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 14, 2021
She also made an appearance at the lunchtime press briefing, but for me, the event started when she walked up the driveway at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in a pink tartan, Chanel jacket and skirt set, circa 1995. A power suit, because in this situation she has the platform, influence, and cool factor, and the administration wants every ounce of it. It’s a perfect styling choice for Olivia because her 90s alt-pop aesthetic is elevated for the business attire brief instead of being muted to conform to a Washington, DC room full of black and navy.
The images of her walking up to the White House, in white pumps over black socks with a matching tiny purse, look more like a photo shoot than press images. But that’s the goal. Half the appeal of visiting the White House is the photo op, juxtapositioning your glam against the cold walls of America’s executive branch. Remember when Rihanna got her Olivia Pope on back in 2014? Is it ridiculous that I feel I’ve aged myself by referencing the pop star of my times while writing about the pop star of today?
Singer Olivia Rodrigo walks into the West Wing of the White House to help promote the COVID vaccine with administration officials. pic.twitter.com/U7NzCyrReI— Evan Vucci (@evanvucci) July 14, 2021
Olivia, who is 18, is expected to share video PSAs with her 28 million followers after vaccination rates in the US have slowed. Biden had set a goal of 70% of adults getting their first dose by the 4th of July, but missed the mark — partly due to Olivia’s generation. Last month the CDC reported only 38% of Americans 18-29 had received their first dose. To me, that sounds shockingly low, so you can see why Biden’s bringing in the big guns. It’s better to get Aunt Liv to tell her friends to get jabbed than have Uncle Joe trying to dance on TikTok.
Olivia’s already shared a photo with Biden that’s almost angled in a way to look like it’s a selfie. His shoulder is up, making it seem like he took the picture but I won’t accept that narrative. The best part, however, is the caption. She ends her post by saying, "EVERYONE GET VAXED IT’S SO IMPORTANT”, which is correct but also sounds so painfully Gen Z. And that’s the point. She’s speaking to her demographic in their language and they’re listening. One of the top comments under her post simply says, “You are beyond inspirational”. So yeah, Olivia’s doing the lord’s work so we all look happy and healthy (if you ever cared to ask).