Charli D’Amelio is just 16 years old and has 82 million followers on TikTok — the most of anyone on the app.
The influencer, who is so popular that in my experience it’s almost impossible to open the app without seeing her, has been speaking out quite a bit in recent months about her experience with harassment and body-shaming online.
In a 25-minute interview on her family’s YouTube channel, she finally sat down to talk about the issues at length, alongside her sister and parents.
Charli admitted that her fame has her constantly worried about making mistakes.
“You always have to worry that something from when you were ten is going to get taken out of context,” she said. “Or something you might regret every single day of your life is put on the internet, and you have to relive it.”
She added that she often felt like people on the internet were not interested in her opinions or apologies.
“If you have followers, you’re not considered a person,” she confessed. “You’re just a thing that people get to judge and objectify and call names and bully.”
Charli said comments about her body can be particularly painful because she’s a dancer who has had to deal with that highly personal criticism her entire life.
“If you don’t look the part, and you’re too tall, too skinny, too short, too fat, too muscular — that was my problem, I was too muscular, so I wasn’t a ballerina,” she explained. “I couldn’t be, because that’s what people would tell me, and I believed it.”
“Hearing that from hundreds of people online, it hurts,” she added.
In April, Charli deleted an Instagram photo of herself in a bikini when she was bombarded by trolls who criticized her bodies.
“It’s not your place to tell me if I’m losing weight or gaining weight,” she said as part of a Twitter thread explaining why she removed the post. “Why don’t we all just be respectful and understand that we should just be kind and uplift everyone instead of trying to bring others down.”
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