For anyone who hasn’t yet graced TikTok with their presence, I’ll give you a quick synopsis about why this is such a hot-button issue:
- A pair of sisters, the D’Amelios, get famous on budding platform TikTok for their lip-syncs and dances. They are at least part of the reason the app is as successful as it is.
- They have combined yearly earnings of 7 million, at the ages of 16 and 19 years old.
- In a scripted video, they badmouthed their personal chef (yes, they’re really rich) when he serves them snails in a paella
- In the same video, Charli openly stated that it would be nice to get to 100 million followers within a year of hitting one million.
- They are “canceled” by the internet so quickly it was almost like we’d all been waiting for it. This cancelation included death threats.
The sequence of events is bizarre to me because all of the D’Amelio’s detractors hate them for…. being famous? For being too popular on TikTok? For being too dramatic on their videos? Many of the comments are about the chef incident, talking about the rudeness of the incident, which while overblown are at least understandable.
But many reveal a deeper anger: that they don’t deserve their fame; that this cancelation has been long-coming; that they needed to be taken down a peg.
I mean, yes, they’re spoiled. How can two young girls who become multi-millionaires over the course of a year on a nascent platform not be? But both the speed of the response and the severity revealed our influencer double standard. Young men, when they are ambitious, are applauded and hyped. When they admit to wanting more success, more fame, more followers, we laud them.