TikTok: A Tool For Influencers and Fashion Gurus
By Ritika Jain
TikTok will long be known as the app that was downloaded to everyone’s phones during quarantine. The app is compiled with short video clips of all sorts—ranging from dancing to popular songs and notable memes to adorable pet videos and tutorials. It is an unfiltered space, where users have the ability to share their deepest concerns and insecurities in humorous ways that resonate with mass audiences. There are no limits as to what one can share, making it a popular app among Gen Z audiences.
TikTok has given birth to a new set of influencers like Charli D’Amelio, Addison Rae and Loren Gray, who are among the most followed on the platform. Their choreographed dances, endearing reenactments and unique talents are widely shared and celebrated, seeping into the consciousness of mainstream media.
Loren Gray, who is also a singer, is known for her glimmery looks and dressy outfits while lip syncing to sound bites. Her presence on TikTok even landed her the opportunity to star in Taylor Swift’s music video for “The Man,” as Swift said she loved Gray’s videos. Charli D’Amelio is an ordinary teenager and dancer from Ohio who started creating content on the app just a year ago. Since then, she has appeared on “The Tonight Show,” danced with Bebe Rexha at a Jonas Brothers concert and is the most followed on the platform with 64.5 million followers. As a high school student with an ever-so-normal routine, Charli’s rise to fame was short and unprecedented. She posted a video following a dance challenge, which shooted her follower count from 7 to 2,000 in a matter of minutes.
The chances of a video blowing up on TikTok are more likely than on any other social media platforms. The structure of its algorithm allows people to appear on the feeds of users who don’t even follow them, breaking down content boundaries that persist on other apps.
This is how 19-year-old Addison Rae found stardom on the platform: posting dance videos against the palm tree backdrop outside her Los Angeles home. She always appears with a full face of makeup, making any outfit she wears—from oversized sweats to a lace top and jeans—effortlessly beautiful. She’s accrued more than 2 million likes and even created her own line of casual wear.
Aside from those mentioned before, TikTok has enabled many other fashion and beauty influencers to build audiences of their own. Victoria Lyn is a master of makeup and skin care with over 2 million followers, and uploads tutorials on how to use every product in the business. Denise Mercedes, Dominican-American plus-size model, created a series with her best friend called ‘One outfit, two bodies’ to prove that anyone can rock an outfit regardless of size. She’s worked with brands such as Forever 21 and Target and helps to promote body positivity using hashtags like “stylenotsize”. Taylor Hage, a blogger from Minnesota, shows off her chic outfits and style hacks on her account. Her videos can guide those learning how to style certain looks, stay on trend and find practical ways to accessorize. Users can acquire many tips through 60-second videos, which is fitting for our short attention spans. Ms Kristine, who has been blogging for years, shares style advice for curvy figures and positive affirmations to her followers. Zahraa B devotes her account for hijab tutorials and skincare and makeup tips, getting thousands of shares on her posts. These are only a handful of creators that exist on the app.
However, people don’t solely share fashion tips. They also use their platform to dispute politics. Social media is the prime space to make a political statement, and users have not hesitated to do as such. In recent weeks, K-Pop fans on Tik Tok urged their followers to reserve tickets to President Trump’s rally in Tulsa on June 20 and not show up. The trend quickly gained traction on the site and thousands of users spread the word, scoring millions of views on their videos. The arena was half empty at the rally. This form of protest speaks to the racial strife that has long pervaded the country and the disapproval of Trump holding his rally on Junteenth, a day meant to represent the emancipation of slaves in America. With the Black Lives Matter movement, many young adults are holding conversations about it on TikTok, detracting the focus from their memes and dances to advocating for human rights. They realize the influence they have on the fate of political events and social change through the virality of their videos.
TikTok is a blur of fashion, beauty, memes, stan culture and activism. People of different backgrounds, lifestyles and body sizes now have the spaces to share and be heard by audiences who look like them. The beauty of the app allows for the dissemination of thousands of videos that float into #foryou pages regardless of who you follow. There is almost something for everyone, giving creators a broader outlet to display their talents, make a name for themselves and possibly ignite a political protest.
Ritika Jain is an editorial writer who focuses on all things fashion, pop culture, and important social events. Follow her on Instagram.