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The success of Alix Earle’s TikTok and Instagram accounts are emblematic of the nature of social media growth, in which an account’s followers grow slowly and steadily until hitting a critical mass, at which point that growth becomes fast and furious. That was particularly true in December 2022; that was the point that Earle gained 600,000 followers in just six days. In fact, noted Headline Planet, a single post in celebration of her own birthday garnered more than 100,000 likes within one hour.
How to explain those extraordinary numbers? TikTok strategist Keith Blackmer offered his theory (via TikTok, of course), positing that Earle had managed to be in perfect lockstep with the zeitgeist surrounding social media at the moment. “The Instagram era of perfect, photoshopped lives, where everything you do is perfect and beautiful, is over,” he declared. “If you want to be a viral account on TikTok, you’ve got to be imperfect, open, honest, authentic … Alix Earle is like a Barbie, but who’s everybody’s best friend.”
It also didn’t hurt that Earle is among the rare minority of people who are entirely undisturbed by nasty online comments to their posts. “People always ask, ‘Like, aren’t you afraid to get mean comments?’ I don’t know if this is weird, but I really like them,” she explained in a TikTok post. “Because they’re true! If you can’t take a good self-roast, then come on.”