The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
With the rise of TikTok came the rise of influencers who gained a following on the app. The most followed person on TikTok is currently Charli D’Amelio, who has amassed over 100 million followers since 2019. Charli is known for doing short dances, which is what made her go viral on the app.
With the rise of Charli’s fame came the rise of fame for her family. Most notably for her older sister, Dixie. Dixie is also known for posting TikToks and has released several songs. Their parents are Heidi and Marc.
Since TikTokers have become so popular, people have become invested in their lives beyond what they post. This led to The D’Amelio Show, which was released on Hulu on Sept. 3, 2021. This show features eight episodes, each lasting about 30 minutes, that focuses on the family and their lives.
The show is primarily focused on Charli and Dixie, but rather than focusing on petty drama, it focuses on their mental health. It exposes how draining social media can be and how negative comments affect their self-image and confidence. I was anticipating it to be like every other reality TV show, but it surprised me in a good way. The discussions of mental health in this show set it apart from other reality TV shows.
At the start of each episode, there is a trigger warning that mental health and anxiety are discussed in the show. Then at the end of each episode, there is a clip where they tell you that you are not alone in battling mental illness and they provide links to resources to help those in need. I think putting this is so important since they are opening up conversations about mental health. I really appreciate that they chose to include it.
Charli and Dixie go through so much at their age. Charli is seventeen and Dixie is twenty and they both are constantly working and trying to find balance in their lives. They talk a lot about how they never know how the internet will react to them and the things they do. Sometimes the internet is on their side and other times the internet is completely against them.
In the first episode, Dixie is doing a video with Vogue where she takes Vogue through a day in her life. Before filming, she is super excited, but then video gets released and the internet tears her apart for looking “musty” after going to the gym. Dixie is then shown crying hysterically to her parents about how it is so unfair. No one looks picture perfect after the gym, yet the internet refused to cut slack for Dixie.
In later episodes, Dixie talks about how she has chronic pain because of her anxiety. She is constantly shown checking the comments on her recent posts or her recent projects. She is suffocated by so much unwarranted negativity. Because sometimes the internet is in Dixie’s favor, and sometimes they are totally against her, it is impossible to know what to expect. For example, in the show she does an acoustic version of her song “One Whole Day,” which was not well-received when she first released it. But when she does the acoustic version, everyone loves it. It just shows how nerve-racking it can be for them to post because they never know if the internet will build them up or break them down.
Charli is also open with her anxiety on the show. She posted a video of her dancing to a song by Billie Eilish. Charli is a trained dancer and had been out of practice for a few months, so she had been nervous to post this video. The video was very much not well received, so she took it down very quickly after posting it. After she does this, her family asks her if she felt good about the video and Charli said she did but not anymore after seeing all the hate. This is obviously not good for her mental health, but it is not her posting that is the problem. People being mean on the internet is the problem.
In a later episode, Charli and Dixie are going shopping. They pull up to the store and immediately spot a paparazzi. Charli is seen freaking out and ducks down. She starts saying she wants to go home and this is why she hates leaving the house. They go into the shop anyway and Charli is seen shaking and anxious and they leave soon after, but not before the paparazzi asks Charli a question. Charli responds with a joke and is later shown having a panic attack over what she said. She had not even seen how the internet responded to her speaking with the paparazzi, and was already freaking out over it.
Now, why does all of this make the show so amazing? Reality TV has a track record for having a ton of drama between the cast members all the time. Part of the cast will gang up on one person or they will exclude someone purposefully or something else of that nature. The D’Amelio Show is so groundbreaking because it digs into what it is actually like to be under the scrutiny of the public eye. It emphasizes the importance of having family on their side, rather than being at constant odds with one another. They are constantly supporting one another and showing concern for each other.
This is a show that is showing young people that being not okay is perfectly normal. Anxiety and depression suck and can be difficult to overcome. Just because Charli and Dixie are living so many people’s dreams and have so many opportunities does not mean that they do not struggle just like everyone else. That is what makes this show so intriguing.
The D’Amelios are real people with real emotions, just like everyone else. Just because they look perfect on social media does not mean they are perfect. Showing that struggling with mental health is normal, even when you have millions of followers, is so important. Especially since Charli and Dixie have a mostly younger audience.
The D’Amelio Show was really eye-opening for me, as I hope it will be for you. I also think it can teach everyone a little more about empathy and showing others empathy online. Just because someone has millions of followers does not mean they are invincible. This show has expanded my idea of what it takes to be an influencer. I really encourage you to take the time to watch this show. I think it was phenomenal, and I hope you will as well.