“First Lady of TikTok” Heidi D’Amelio Talks About the Impact of Social Media On Daughters Charli and Dixie
“Sometimes mama bear has to type it out because it feels so good to clap back, and then I just delete it. It’s not worth it.”
on September 09, 2021
How would you describe TikTok in a nutshell?
It’s an app where you can create your own short videos. For some reason when the app started gaining popularity, during the summer of 2019, my kids happened to be two of the accounts that grew really, really fast. And here we are. I know there is a lot between here and there, but that's pretty much it in a nutshell. It's fun, it started out with young users, and we've seen it age up since summer of 2019.
The comments section on TikTok can be a scary place. Has the mama bear inside you ever responded to comments on your daughters’ pages?
I've gotten much better since things first started. When their accounts started growing and negative comments started happening, I would try to find out who the commenters were and what they were all about. And it would be a 10-year-old saying these terrible things, and I would just think, “Where is your mother?!”. Sometimes the mama bear inside me has to type it out because it feels so good to clapback, and then I just delete it. It’s not worth it.
Do you think social media has an impact on today’s kids?
We can't deny it: Social media is a part of our lives and it's going to be even more a part of our kids' lives. I think more and more that it's going to be used almost as currency, when you're going to get a job they're going to look at your social media and see if it looks good. Maybe the other candidate didn't do that. Who's going to represent your company better?
I don't know, I think the person that represents themselves better has some leverage there.
What is your advice for teenagers that are just starting to use social media?
If you put something stupid out there, it’s going to come back to haunt you. When Dixie and Charli had 100 followers and they would get something negative, it hurt the same. Negativity always hurts—let's just be nice.
Your girls are getting older. Dixie is 19 years old and recently moved out of the house and got her own place, and Charli is 17 years old. How do you continue to parent them and help guide their careers without being overbearing?
I’m kind of at this stage, I like to call it, the “consulting” stage. I’m still a parent, both Marc and I are, obviously. But you take on a different role at this age.
Do you have a memory of a magical everyday moment that was captured in a photo?
We went to a UConn vs. Michigan football game when the girls were younger and we lived in Connecticut. The tailgating and the whole experience was wild! I was surprised by how many Michigan fans came out for the game. We had a blast.