Dear TikTokers, dancing to trends does not equal celebrity status


Corinthiann St.Andry

TikTokers are continually labeled as celebrities for just dancing in their room. They do not deserve to have a celebrity status for doing the same thing as millions of other users on TikTok.

Charli D’Amelio is the most followed influencer on TikTok. She rose to fame for doing the renegade, a stolen dance, on camera. TikTok influencers, also known as kids who dance in their room on camera for money, are beginning to be labeled as celebrities.

TikTok “famous” influencers are on the rise. TikTok gained 130 million downloads in the U.S. alone in the beginning of 2020 . “Celebrities” like Addison Rae, Charli D’Amelio and Chase Hudson have acquired attraction on the app for dancing and lip syncing to popular songs.

TikTokers put in minimal effort, yet they still get credited as celebrities. Authentic celebrities like Naomi Campbell or Taylor Swift actually work hard and deserve to be where they are now since they came from nothing, but they rose to the top because of their talent. Celebrities have to go through rejection after rejection until they make it to the top with their talents and skills.

TikTok influencers’ “jobs” are to follow trends. They don’t need to come up with original dances. Sometimes they don’t even lip sync to the audio, which is just mind-boggling to me. I personally grew up on the notion that in order to receive awards, one should put in legitimate time and effort. Anyone can learn popular simplistic dances and lip sync to popular songs and audios. It is not a talent if everyone else can do it.

The most problematic issue with these TikTokers being called celebrities is that several of them steal from underrated African American creators. Actual celebrities don’t just steal content from other celebrities. For example, Adele writes her own songs, which means she creates original content. However, this is not the case for TikTok “celebrities.” Charli D’Amelio was recently exposed for stealing the renegade dance from a Black creator, Jalaiah Harmon, who was not credited until D’Amelio got called out for it. She may have not known who the original creator was, but she made it seem as if the dance was her own through her delay in crediting Harmon. D’Amelio gained an immense amount of followers after her renegade video went viral. During June of 2021, Black TikTok creators began protesting about white creators not crediting their work. These TikTokers discourage any type of credit for black creators.

The age demographic for TikTok is made up of young teens with 60 percent of TikTok’s users being 16-24. The majority of them find these influencers entertaining because of the popularity of the app and the TikTokers themselves being in almost the same age demographic. U.S. TikTokers have the highest global engagement rate with the engagement rate being almost 18 percent. Being entertaining should not earn someone a celebrity status. For example, I may think my dad is entertaining, but he is certainly not a celebrity.

These influencers get to go on shows like The Tonight Show and get featured on Vogue because they are known as “famous” influencers. They also get paid millions for being “celebrities” as well. They are respected as celebrities, but shouldn’t be because they are just influencers, nothing more.

Celebrity status is earned, not merely given. Talents like being a good actor or a good singer are rare and coveted. If everyone in the world could do those things, we would not have celebrities. The fact that these TikTokers are being put on a pedestal for simply following trends is astonishing.

Becoming a celebrity in the span of a couple of months can have its negative effects. These TikTok influencers are mainly teens and young adults, so it’s hard to be put in that position of celebrity status in such a short amount of time when they are so young to begin with. It is hard to deal with so much hate and attention when they have never experienced that before. So much weight on their shoulders can cause stress which then leads to depression. Labeling these TikTokers as celebrities just puts them at a disadvantage.

Gaining a lot of followers on any social media platform does not credit people as celebrities. That is why TikTokers and Instagram models are influencers. Having TikTok followers does not make these influencers celebrities.

While they only carry as much talent as their pinky finger can fill, TikTokers should keep their dancing and lip syncing “skills” on TikTok.