Why do we idolize teenage TikTokers?

Emily Dvareckas, Photo Editor

I have spent an embarrassing amount of time on TikTok, so much so that I shed a tear when my phone decides to send me a notification about my screen time. My For You Page is a mess that truly encapsulates my personality.

I’ve got a 19-year-old Willy Wonka, an abundance of cats and a whole lot of TikToks that are deemed to be on the alternative side of the app. I am not privy to the short videos of Charli D’Amelio dancing to Doja Cat or Addison Rae dancing to a song most commonly associated with eating disorders. We get it, the lyrics in that The Kid Laroi song about you are heartfelt because you are, in fact, Addison Rae.

Addison Rae is 19 years old and worth over $2 million, bringing in about $14,500 for a sponsored TikTok she posts. Charli D’Amelio is 16 years old. Let me say that again — SHE IS 16 and worth over $4 million. When I was 16, I was worth about $20 and a piece of chewed bubble gum.

Of course, I would love the opportunity to be able to make $100,000 on a singular 15-second video of me dancing but that isn’t the point. Charli is not a bad person, she’s a good dancer and donates a lot of money to charity. What I don’t fully understand is how she got to be in that position.

She posts videos on an app that people used to be embarrassed to even be on. She’s been given a platform that lets her earn money for moving her arms around. She is still a child being paraded around on TikTok, while being hailed as an inspiration and an idol to young kids. She is followed by paparazzi on a daily basis and paid to collaborate with people.

Celebrity culture is weird enough with society treating other humans as gods, and adding teenagers on TikTok to that pool of people is just a step too far. I do not see what the appeal is in idolizing a 16-year-old girl from Connecticut because of her short dancing videos. I am sure she is a lovely lady but she’s just a teenager who has a talent for dancing, something a lot of teenagers have who have spent many years practicing.

Charli and Addison are not the only god-like creators on the app. There are literal mansions dedicated to housing these TikTokers. All they do on the app is post videos of them dancing and every time they post one, it’s like an asteroid has hit the Earth and changed the world. I can’t be the only one who thinks this is weird.

I feel like we should have learned our lesson with the fame that came to a group of people from Vine. They were teenagers brought into the spotlight who quickly made heaps of money before becoming problematic. At least those creators were creating content that was (at a minimum supposed to be) funny.

TikTok teenagers are forming egos that will continue to grow until they have to come face to face with the real world, where dancing for 10 seconds won’t get them thousands of dollars in a day. It is bound to happen and there will be consequences. So, please stop idolizing teenagers. It is possible to enjoy content and not see the creator as something beyond human or untouchable.