From being accused of “taking jobs” with her UFC reporter role, to being shredded for her pronunciation of ‘Versace,’ TikTok sensation Addison Rae is no stranger to her every move being picked apart online. But what is it about her that keeps the hate rolling in?
If you ask someone to name a TikTok star, the chances are that one of the first names out of their mouths is going to be Addison Rae.
The 20-year-old started on TikTok back in 2019, and thanks to her popular dance videos, within only a few months she garnered millions of followers on the platform. This even led to her dropping out of her broadcast journalism degree to move to LA and pursue this new career.
She now has over 85 million followers—but it’s clear she doesn’t want to stick exclusively to social media, launching both singing and acting careers within the past year.
But despite her immense popularity, there are still legions of people out there waiting to criticize her for her every move.
In the past year alone, she’s been slammed for: watching anime, playing Among Us with Dream, being “boring” in a Jimmy Kimmel interview, being “awkward” when presenting at the BBMAs, allegedly smoking a cigarette, pronouncing Versace wrong…the list goes on.
So, what is it about the influencer that fuels this perpetual undercurrent of hate?
To say Addison is the epitome of TikTok virality would be an understatement. Addison had her popularity and fame literally fall at her feet—as is the case for many TikTok stars. Without even intending to, she managed to become a celebrity practically overnight.
As a direct result, she has received countless career opportunities in a number of different industries.
Of course, for many, the idea alone is a frustrating one. TikTok has become intrinsically linked with the notion of “talentless” but conventionally attractive people being handed a world of opportunity—and Rae has unwittingly become the poster child of that.
However, it’s easier to hate people than ideas, so the star has become a punching bag for those who resent the phenomenon of TikTok fame as a whole. Because people feel her fame isn’t ‘deserved’ in the first place, they also feel justified in tearing her apart. People aren’t just waiting for her to slip up, they’re actively looking for holes to pick. And in some ways, criticizing Addison has become a ‘meme’ in and of itself.
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Rae, more than anyone, is aware of the effect she has on some people. In an interview with Mane Addicts, she said: “I receive a lot of hate and for the craziest things. People seem to hate me for being too nice… they just hate it. People are actually so upset about me smiling all the time. They’re like, what the [expletive] is this [expletive] happy about?”
Rather than lash out at hate, Addison tends to take a more lighthearted approach in her response, more inclined to react to the backlash with a joke, even if it’s at her own expense. Unfortunately, this often spurs trolls on even more.
Addison believes the negativity stems from a need to project, and an assumption that their words won’t have an effect on the recipient. “When you see someone on the internet who’s getting a lot of likes or followers, you don’t necessarily think they’ll see [negative comments], so you just want to project that onto them,” she said.
It’s not uncommon for entire videos and comment sections to be dedicated to hating on Addison, with the culture of negativity on TikTok progressively becoming more accepted—but stars like Charli & Dixie D’Amelio have proven that this culture is not without consequence.