Have you ever had a moment where you put on a cute crop top, bikini, or any other stomach-revealing outfit and felt a little insecure? Or maybe you see your tummy sticking out a bit and immediately feel regret or shame regarding your last meal?
For many, our instinct in these situations is to pull up our pants or pull down our shirts, hoping to cover up. But Sienna Mae Gomez, a new young influencer, is helping change the body-image game one TikTok at a time.
After giving in to all the rage about TikTok and downloading the app this March, I was drawn in by TikTok’s ability to help creators, both known and unknown, to grow at rapid rates. As I became more familiar with the app and the different types of content creators on it, I quickly realized that a lot of the videos had the potential to be triggering, potentially influencing young audiences in harmful ways. For example, I kept seeing a constant flow of influencers advertising weight loss pills or waist trainers on all different types of social media platforms.
With over 800 million active users worldwide, it’s clear that TikTok has taken the social media arena by storm, but a rapidly growing platform requires equally adaptable and sensitive content creators who spread the right messages. I was disappointed by much of the content I was seeing and became discouraged, and I even considered deleting the app after a couple weeks.
I first discovered Sienna when one of her TikToks popped up on my “for you” page. It was her first major viral video: a passionate dancing TikTok with her pants pulled down to her hips and the caption, “I just ate,” made in response to fellow TikToker Olivia Ponton. This TikTok has since garnered over 18 million views and 3.3 million likes. Following her upload, Sienna has accrued more than seven million followers collectively on multiple platforms, including TikTok and Instagram.
After stumbling upon this TikTok, I was immediately drawn to Sienna’s overflowing confidence. The content that appeared on my “for you” page was becoming exhausting, and seeing Sienna was like a reset button. It felt refreshing to see such candid content and vulnerability. Sienna has personally helped me feel beautiful in my own body and given me the confidence to strut in my bikini and remind myself that I am all that!
If you know Sienna, you know she’s unapologetically herself in her videos, showing off all the new TikTok dances while not being afraid to embrace the pooch. These characteristics reveal how Sienna has risen to fame at the rate she has: her relatability and confidence make her a friend-like figure rather than an unattainable celebrity-like presence. Preaching body-positivity in almost every TikTok, it’s not surprising that her tradition for reaching a follower-count milestone is to eat a large chocolate cake while dancing in her bikini.
Since her rapid rise to fame, Sienna has utilized her platform in many productive ways. She makes TikToks where she sits down and eats with her followers to help those with eating disorders as well as videos encouraging citizens to vote – even though she herself is not of legal age to do so. She is also known for her signature squirrel dance and her iconic High School Musical pink-sequined hat.
Sienna is still a junior in high school; however, her positive platform reaches many of all ages. TikTok is a fairly new social media platform, where young influencers can achieve fame almost overnight. With these newfound opportunities and young audiences, it’s important that influencers use their platforms for good and spread the right messages. It’s clear that Sienna has done just that, and I’m so excited to see what she’ll do in the future!