Are you longing to return to the 90s? Do you miss the glitz and glamour of the y2k era? Can you quote Legally Blonde and Clueless off by heart? Want to teleport back in time, away from today’s worries? Then look no further than Rich Caroline’s TikTok account.
Rich Caroline is my favourite TikTok personality. Sometimes Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae just don’t cut it when we want a bit more flavour, and @richcaroline is a breath of fresh air. Played by real life YouTuber Caroline Ricke, the TikTok socialite is 90s/2000s nostalgia personified; everything you loved about the movies, TV and general pop culture from those decades can be found on her page.
She’s a simulacra of iconic personas such as Elle Woods, Cher Horowitz and Paris Hilton, an ironic amalgamation of familiar faces mashed together. Like Paris Hilton, she even has her own catchphrase, “okay! so…” which she uses to segue into each quotable line. My personal favourites are: "sugar daddies can be dangerous because an excess amount can lead to type 2 diabetes" and "I actually wear make-down instead of make-up, or else I'd look too good and that would just be unfair for everyone else". Caroline’s 60 second skits feature her clad in vintage Von Dutch and Abercrombie and Fitch while Avril Lavigne blasts in the background. Her fashion is so essential to her portraying the spoilt rich girl that she does up to 5 wardrobe changes in one TikTok alone. She even has a gigantic store-sized wardrobe full of clothes your younger (and current) self would envy. Her style-while made her own- satirises the outlandish and downright shameful trends the 2000s were notorious for: bedazzled trucker hats, furry crop tops, denim on denim and dresses over jeans.
Caroline is just the right mix of parody and pastiche. Her humour indulges in sarcasm and a hilarious misuse of puns and vocabulary: her TikTok bio reads, ‘I’m affluent in 7 languages’. Caroline lives in an ‘influencer house’ with her friends, called ‘The House Nobody Asked For’, making fun of The Hype House and collaborating with them to film wild skits. Her content - all comedic in nature - ranges from fashion tips, to movie recreations, to life guides and how-tos, to just being pretty in general. The editing of her videos is of a high quality, adding to her image that the Disney Channel threw up on her. She cuts to her wardrobe ‘app’ in the style of Clueless, pastes herself onto old school Mozilla Firefox webpages and makes liberal use of her green screen. The camera follows her like a reality star, but cuts to her doing slapstick - walking the wrong way or ducking away from transitions - to hint at her self awareness.
On an app filled with influencers, you could read her as a critique of this modern culture and its rampant materialism, or you could simply enjoy her fun character. Seeing as fashion from 20 years ago is now coming back in style, through vintage finds on Depop, charity shops and the like, the 2000s are calling...and so is Rich Caroline.