Tik Tok Fame Brings Recognition And Rage

Brenna Nelson

Brenna Nelson

Bayla King, Staff Writer

Being Internet famous is a dream for many young people today. While it can bring unique opportunities, for young women it can also draw the attention of sexist trolls. Brenna Nelson, a senior at Ida B. Wells has not let them deter her from reaching her goals. 

With over three hundred thousand followers, Nelson shares her art, interest in fashion, and all of her other passions with the world. In life outside of the Internet, Nelson is a senior at Ida B. Wells-Barnett and is about to graduate and start her adult life as an artist, model, and creator. 

Nelson’s time on Tik Tok has started to open new doors for her future. She went viral from a short video of her showing different waist-rise trends in jeans, receiving 789.2 thousand likes and 4.3 million views. This Tik Tok catapulted her account as a way to share her artwork and love of fashion. 

Some of her artwork is in the form of portraits featuring animals, pop icons, and more in mediums such as oil and acrylic paint, charcoal, and graphite. She even is gifted in digital art and ceramics. Nelson has been an artist her whole life and names her inspiration as her grandmother. “The main reason I started social media is so in the future I can grow my art career,” said Nelson. “The amount of people that would be interested in purchasing my art is wild. I didn’t expect that.” Due to the support she’s received surrounding her work, Nelson says “It makes me very hopeful about my goal to become a self-made artist.”

 Although she hasn’t been a creator on Tik Tok for long, Nelson’s begun to receive modeling opportunities and art commissions, been able to work with companies, and has realized she can work hard and make a career out of her platform and art. “ I have only been doing social media for seven months and in that short time I have been able to have multiple paid brand collaborations which I think is crazy,” said Nelson. “I never really thought that this could be an actual career, but I’m realizing it definitely is.”

Young women like Nelson are beginning to become more recognized online for their content, but this support has not come without negativity and hurtful comments. 

Nelson often posts videos of her art on her Tik Tok to showcase the pieces she creates. These videos get a lot of support due to her talent, but when posting videos about her life, appearance, or other interests, Nelson is burdened with hateful and inappropriate comments and messages telling her to post her art only. This hate gets intensified when she posts content related to modeling or her appearance. “I show off my body on social media (fully clothed) a fair amount, but I post my art just as much,” says Nelson. “Then those same men that are calling me an incredible artist are the same ones saying I am an object or other degrading names.”

Along with comments on her posts, Nelson also receives messages that she says are “Disturbing and objectifying.” Getting unsolicited, inappropriate messages is common for women in influential positions and it’s one of the bigger negatives about having a following. Although these kinds of messages and comments can be frustrating to her, Nelson says  “I’m at an age where I don’t take it to heart and I’m happy with myself.” 

Overall, Nelson’s success on social media has given her the courage to jump at the amazing opportunities presented to her. She is not going to let the double standards and sexism she experiences stop her. “In the future, I want to move to California to do modeling and my art, and build my social media more,” Nelson says. She is not limiting herself and is pursuing all of her skills to make it her career as a multifaceted young woman. 

To follow Brenna and see what she does you can check her out on Tik Tok: @Brennanels0n Instagram: @brennanelson03 Depop: @brennanelson03