People Are Forgetting That Charli D'Amelio is a Child, and That Scares Me

Charli D'Amelio is a fifteen year old girl who rose to fame on the widely popular social media app, TikTok. For the most part, TikTok is an app that allows users to create and post short videos of themselves performing dance routines, comedy sketches, lip syncing clips, you name it. It's insanely popular amongst teenagers, and it's meant to be a fun and creative outlet. 

In order to create an account, users must be at least 13 years old, and anyone under the age of 18 must have parental permission. Children's accounts must be supervised, but we all know how simple it is to lie about one's birthday. When I was a teen, we all made up fake birthdays for MySpace and Facebook, and we definitely never told our parents about it (sorry mama), so I highly doubt Gen Z kids are any less clever than Millennials. 

Original Illustration by Gina Escandon for Her Campus Media

Out of millions of TikTok users, Charli D’Amelio is by far the most popular -- she has accumulated 49.1 million followers and 3.2 billion likes. She’s appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and taught him some of the most popular dances. She’s an immensely confident and vibrant girl, and is a trained, competitive dancer (which is probably why she is so good at TikTok).  

But here’s the thing that I feel that too many people are forgetting: Charli D’Amelio is a fifteen year old girl. Regardless of her fame and talent, she is a kid. I do not care how many billions of people follow her on social media, I do not care how many viral video clips she has. That does not make her any different than a regular fifteen year old. 

So, why is it that when you google her, within seconds you find numerous tabloids “reporting on” her dating life? WHY DOES COSMO HAVE A TIMELINE OF HER RELATIONSHIP WITH ANOTHER TEENAGER? 

I thought Cosmopolitan was an online magazine where women go to read their sex horoscopes, The Bachelor analysis, things to watch on Netflix while you drink wine and eat popcorn on your couch, and reviews of a cornucopia of trendy shit you will forget about in 2 weeks. Ya know, stuff that I do as a 22 year old woman. Stuff that is appropriate for 22 year olds. 

Seventeen Magazine is not innocent on the matter, and neither is Vulture, Insider, E News, amidst others. They’re all trying to deconstruct a child’s relationship with another child. They’re scrutinizing and analyzing and commenting on the life of a little girl. Their odious hyperfixation on a little girl is deeply problematic.