by Sanjana Deshpande & Jocelyn Wu, Features Reporters
photo illustration by Kaila Hanna
Senior Grace White opened TikTok one August morning to discover unexpected success.
“I had 30,000 more followers than I originally had,” she said. “The day before I had 9,000, then I woke up the next morning and I had a ton of followers, and it kept on growing.”
In a matter of a few days, Grace’s TikTok follower count increased from 10,000 to 100,000. She had begun creating videos in April, inspired by a competition between her brother and his friends to see how many followers they could get. Grace experimented with a series of Point of View (POV) videos, in which she dressed up as Greek gods attending school. Within four months of starting her account, her Greek Gods POV content rose in popularity and gained over one million views.
Grace said that despite her large audience, she doesn’t feel pressure when making videos.
“I don’t really stress that much about it,” she said. “There are people out there with 10 million followers, and I only have 150,000. In comparison, it’s not that much.”
Although TikTok is not a stressor for Grace, she said that it has been challenging to balance her social media success with her academic commitments.
“I was shadowbanned for a little bit because I didn’t post for like two weeks because I was pretty busy studying for the SAT. So that brought my views down, obviously,” Grace said.
Junior Nicholas White, Grace’s brother, said that, despite her TikTok fame, Grace has remained humble.
“She isn’t really carrying it around and is not like, ‘Oh yeah I’m the most popular person in the family’ or anything like that,” Nicholas said.
Grace’s friend senior Jack Corcoran said he’s proud to see how she’s grown her social media presence.
“It’s so cool that this person getting thousands of likes on all of her TikToks is somebody I’m close to,” he said.
Grace’s TikTok fame has impacted her friends positively, too, junior Maite Garcia, Grace’s friend, said.
“I don’t think it changed anything with the way I view her,” Garcia said. “I was just really happy because it was making her happy to see that she was appreciated and people liked her.”
Corcoran said that Grace’s fame stems from her dedication to her content.
“She puts effort into her videos,” he said. “She has the right outfits, the right music and everything all set up to really set a mood for whatever she’s doing.”
Grace’s success extends beyond TikTok.
“I just got the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America,” she said. “I might be the first or second girl in the state to get it, so I’m pretty proud of that.”
Grace said she hopes to continue motivating her TikTok followers to be their best selves.
“I like to post positive things, and I like to inspire,” she said. “Whatever they can put their mind to, they can get.”