There’s reportedly no such thing as an overnight success, but one dance-loving teenager from Connecticut is proving to be the exception to that rule.
Charli D’amelio, 15, is the breakout star of video platform TikTok, having amassed more than five million followers on the app in a matter of months – becoming the talk of teens across the country, something that she admits has been incredibly overwhelming, both in a positive and negative way.
While her family try to wrap their heads around her seemingly-overnight viral success, even hosting their first meet-and-greet last weekend, they are also cautious about ensuring that Charli – not to mention her dancing and her looks – does not simply become fodder for social media-obsessed teens.
Normal teen: Charli D’amelio, 15, became one of Gen Z’s most prominent TikTok stars virtually overnight
Bedroom: Since June, her dancing videos, recorded mostly in her bedroom in Connecticut, have led to over five million people following her
Speaking to MEL Magazine in her first published interview, Charli agreed the sudden attention is taking some getting used to.
Model material: With 700,000 followers on Instagram as well, Charli may soon get in on the influencer game with sponsored content
‘It’s very weird, especially like when it’s [from] older people,’ she confessed.
‘Both girls and guys commenting on a 15-year-old’s appearance and her body shape and how she looks.’
And, as is to be expected, the sudden glare of the spotlight that has come from being something of an accidental overnight celebrity is quite the double-edged sword.
As one of TikTok’s most prominent figures and with a further 770,000 fans on Instagram, Charli is often the subject of debates among Gen Zs about whether she’s ‘worth the hype’.
Charli told the men’s pop culture magazine that the negativity both online and off has been ‘overwhelming’ – especially in school.
Her classmates record her, catching her off guard, and film her every move to share with each other.
‘It’s the internet,’ she said. ‘Everything gets around, you know. Like, no way I wasn’t going to see that.’
With over 300 videos on her feed, some of which can receive a staggering 35 million views a pop, Charli’s USP is her dancing.
While she’s an accomplished, award-winning dancer on stage, her TikTok clips are more goofy, un-choreographed routines filmed in her bedroom.
This has led to criticism that her skills are ‘basic’, yet her Instagram account shows her prowess on stage.
Polarizing: With her growing fame, the 15-year-old has become the subject of chatter among teens who debate her ‘hype’
Dancer: While her TikTok routines are relatively simple and off-the-cuff, Charli is an accomplished stage dancer, left and right
‘I don’t know what else to say about that,’ Charli said of the criticism that her dancing is overrated on TikTok.
‘I know all my years of training aren’t helping with TikTok dancing, but I know that TikTok dancing is fun.’
Fun: The aspiring professional dancer said she won’t quit sharing her routines online just because of the nasty trolling
Her own aspirations is to become a dancer, like how her idol Jennifer Lopez started out.
‘Like, so many people do this. Just not everyone posts it. And whatever I did, I guess, worked.
‘I get self-conscious and I get insecure, as everybody else does, but I try not to show that. It’s going to make them feel like they won, and I’m not going to let them feel like that,’ she said.
As of yet, Charli does not appear to be monetizing her platform with sponsored content.
Influencer Marketing Hub’s TikTok influencer engagement and earnings calculator predicts that Charli could potentially stand to make $2,056 – $3,427 per post with her current engagement activity.
Alessandro Bogliari, TikTok expert and CEO of The Influencer Marketing Factory told DailyMail.com: ‘This is just the early era for TikTok and there is not a real pricing model for influencers yet, but in general someone with five million followers could make up to $1,500 for a single video asset, depending on their location and some other factors.
‘It’s a fraction of what a YouTuber or Instagrammer with the same following is currently paid, but that’s normal. The same happened at the early stage of influencers on Instagram.’
In other words, if Charli continues to grow her social media presence as she has, the teen could end up raking in tens of thousands per post – provided TikTok continues to grow to the same dizzying heights as Instagram and YouTube have done.
Cruel: Charli, pictured, reacts to cruel comments on her account that say ‘I don’t understand the hype’
Views: Up to 35 million people can watch one of Charli’s dancing clips, as she tends to dominate TikTok’s home page
In contrast, Baby Ariel, is largely regarded as the most famous TikTok star in the app’s one-year history.
The 19-year-old social media personality has 29.9 million followers and already boasts a reported net worth of $1 million.
While her feed might be polarizing, her notoriety has spread across the country.
One female user posted on Twitter: ‘Ok but real question, thoughts on that charli d’amelio girl that the hype rn?’
Another said: ‘The fact that so many 10 year old boys convinced their mums to pay 100$ to meet charli d’amelio is hilarious to me.’
Teenagers told MEL things like: ‘There are boys in my class that physically can’t stop talking about her’ and ‘She’s over-hyped so much. Low-key the obsession is illegal; she’s 15.’
Obsessed: Teenagers around the country are ‘obsessed’ with Charli and ‘cannot stop talking about her’
Meet-and-greet: A rare chance to meet Charli took place over the weekend, with teens shelling out up to $100 to see her in real life
‘Guys legit travel from different states to ask her if she will go to dances, like, with them, or go on a date,’ another added.
On November 17, the D’amelio family hosted a meet-and-greet (hence the aforementioned 10-year-old boys posing for photos).
Paying either $20, or $100 for the ‘VIP experience’, excitable tweens and teens could not only meet Charli but the higher price, they even record a 10 second TikTok with her.
After the price of tickets caused furore online, Charli clarified that the funds would be donated to charity.
Alongside Charli’s profile rising, her mom Heidi, dad Marc and sister Dixie have all come into the spotlight too.
Sister: Charli’s lookalike sister Dixie, 18, is also finding fame online thanks to her modeling, left and right
Parents: The teen’s mom Heidi, left, and dad Marc, right, often make appearances in her videos too
Model Dixie, 18, has almost one million followers on TikTok, and another 179,000 on Instagram for good measure.
Dad Marc, a businessman and onetime Republican Party candidate, said that the family are being bombarded with inquiries. (His own TikTok account has just shy of 170,000 followers.)
Mom Heidi simply said that herself and her husband are ‘fine’ with the fame if it’s what their daughters want.
‘We don’t need this as a family. We are fine without it, and we’ll be fine with it if that’s what they choose to do… Marc and I are here to make sure they’re good emotionally and they’re supported.’