Tik Tok Stars Have Power to Spread Positive Influence on Young Audiences


In the past year, TikTok influencers have become prominent in social media and role models for adolescents who regularly consume their content.

In the past year, influencers such as Addison Rae and Charli D’Amelio have become prominent figures on social media and role models for young adults who regularly consume their content. There is no denying that Tik Tok influencers appeal to a much younger audience than most current Hollywood celebrities. This creates a certain responsibility for said creators; it is crucial for them not to expose children to overly mature content, such as drinking, smoking, etc., as much of their fanbase is largely impressionable.

Though many may not consider these influencers to be true celebrities, social media creators have gained mass amounts of attention through popular outlets such as TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. Take Charli D’Amelio, for example; since October 2019, the 16-year-old has raked in over 100 million followers on TikTok, the largest following across the entire app. In a short span of time, D’Amelio has made appearances at multiple high-profile events such as Paris Fashion Week, and guest-starred on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

These influencers are young, but they make a statement. Multiple brands have already capitalized on the increasing popularity of social media influencers, including them in their advertisements and promotions. D’Amelio made a splash during last year’s Super Bowl, appearing in a commercial for Sabra. 

D’Amelio is also the spokesperson for Dunkin Donuts’ new “Charli” drink, which reflects  her coffee preferences. Millions of teens and pre-teens who had reported never having drunk coffee before followed suit in purchasing Dunkin’s new iced beverage. 

Charli D’Amelio isn’t the only influencer making waves in the entertainment industry. Her sister, Dixie, has joined her in a campaign for Hollister, promoting their “MyJeans Lab.” With their faces promoting the new launch, Hollister was able to receive 2.5 billion views on their TikTok platform in less than one week. 

The D’Amelio sisters are accompanied by another major name on TikTok, Addison Rae, who was just an average undergraduate student until she found a passion for TikTok in 2019. The New York Times recently published a feature article highlighting her accomplishments thus far, specifically, the launch of her new makeup line. 

Addison Rae’s release of a makeup line marks a significant shift in the shape of these creators’ influence. No longer are they merely dancing on TikTok for their followers to see; they are now creating tangible products and merchandise for their fans to purchase, much like how a celebrity would. Launching a beauty and makeup line alongside Ipsy was an impactful move to become closer to her audience — Rae is largely followed by teens and pre-teens who are interested in exploring beauty through makeup. This was also a smart move from a business stance; in 2019, Americans spent 92.8 billion dollars on beauty products. 

However, there have been some rocky situations along the way, as celebrity culture would be incomplete without drama. Many scandals surrounding popular content creators are a result of increased demand for older TikTok stars to maintain an acceptable image for their much younger audiences.

Thus far, influencers have largely used their outreach for good. Many of them emphasize mantras surrounding themes of self-confidence and body positivity, which is important for children and young adults to be exposed to. 

These influencers send a unique message, as well. Addison Rae was just a normal college student, and Charli D’Amelio was like any other girl from Connecticut who loved to dance. These sort of figureheads are positive influences on teens who need reminding that their personal and even professional goals are equally as achievable.

Mia Pollack, FCRH ’23, is a psychology and journalism major from Fairfield, Conn.