Sometimes I’m really depressed about all the ways TikTok flattens culture, how it bombards its users with a completely random trend or subculture that becomes a nationwide talking point for about three days and doesn’t. never matter again.
It’s depressing for me because the joy of TikTok is supposed to be getting lost in the thick of it, and yet so many of us end up in the same places, even though we assume the videos we’re seeing are in. sort of a reflection of our own hyper-individual tastes. It’s depressing because if you spend enough time on TikTok you’ll start to notice how many creators are starting to embrace each other’s cadences and editing conventions, and how a whole platform of weird and totally dissimilar may end up being labeled as “TikTok humor.”
But every once in a while I run into a TikTok user who is so funny and so captivating that it makes me forget all about it altogether. One of those people is Alex Consani, a role model and fun person about the city that I started to follow because I needed to know where she bought some dress, and after watching more of his videos, I realized that I needed to know everything about his life.
Like all the best people on TikTok, however, she leaves the details a mystery and instead shows up in absurd situations (the outside the Pasadena Scientology Building in a semblance MTV cradles episode in which she tells people they can buy the Hunger games series of books there, for example), while contort her face in a way that is unmistakably s.
However, Alex Consani’s internet life existed long before TikTok. she was gone viral in 2016 at the age of 12, after reporting in Cosmopolitan Germany about her life as a trans model. Which, yes, only makes her 18 now, a number I was shocked to learn considering how successful she was to create such a unique brand of humor and over 600,000 subscribers.
From the Bay Area – though heading to college in New York this fall – Alex chatted with me over the phone about her TikTok fame which, like many creators, exploded after the pandemic. The interview has been edited and condensed.
What happened first, modeling or being professionally funny?
I started modeling around 2015. My mom saw this really creepy, dull Facebook ad for a modeling agency, and she said to me, “Oh, Alex, would you like to do that? And I was like, “Wait, that would be fun.” It was actually a very good experience and it helped me a lot in my career. It was an LA-based agency, so it was a lot of travel to LA, mostly to learn the ropes.
How did you get started on social media?
I’ve always had a Play-Doh face. I am very expressive. When Instagram was at its peak after Vine died, I was trying to be one of those finsta Instagram creators. [a.k.a more alternative, edgy Instagram influencers who shitpost freely rather than curating a polished aesthetic]. I was proud of what I post because I always thought it was so funny. So when TikTok came out and we were in quarantine, I saw this as an opportunity for me to release this to a wider audience. And obviously, I didn’t expect anything to come of it, but it ended up happening. I’m not sure if my modeling agency likes what I post sometimes. It can be a little crazy.
What was your first introduction to the Internet?
I grew up on YouTube, obviously. I remember watching a lot of makeup tutorials from the 2000s and 2010s. Also just seeing movies and tv shows like Hannah montana where they were, texting and using social media apps and stuff.
How was it when you started blowing up on TikTok?
I have changed a lot since I started social media. I got my own sense of humor, instead of taking inspiration from other designers or things like that. Having this unique sense of humor is really what TikTok specifically lives for. I still don’t really feel like I’m funny. But once I found my ability to be comfortable on the internet and post whatever I wanted in the moment, I started to think of myself as a funny person.
You have a popular store on Depop; is this where you find most of your clothes?
I love Depop, but most of the time I can’t find the things I want at the right price because I’m very frugal with my money where I can be. I really like supporting thrift stores, and a lot of my friends are reselling clothes, so I’m just going to go buy from them. [My style is] like, Kesha mixed with Rihanna from the early 2000s.
What does your page look like for you?
Oh my God. I have the impression that my For You page is very mixed. It’s like weird audios. I don’t get much other than random compilation videos of random stuff. I love watching hair tutorials.
How do you deal with all the brands that contact you about referrals?
I want to make sure my content isn’t branded, because I like the personalized aspects of other creators, and I’m the funniest and most positive when posting things that I really want to post. So I get these branded sponsorship offers, but it’s really hard to choose what to take. When it comes to big contracts, I will definitely contact my modeling agent to make sure everything is going well.
Honestly, I haven’t made any money yet believe it or not. I am not in the Creators Fund, I just like to do [social media] to have fun. I have the impression that there are other more profitable companies, more “Alex”.
Where do you want to take your social media followers?
Modeling and being a content creator are very short careers. I’ve always had a goal of starting a business, and that’s kind of why I tried to switch to Depop a bit, just to see how I could do in the business world. This is something that I could really see myself doing and see myself really loving, a business related to fashion. I’ve worked in the fashion industry long enough that it’s something I get tired of quickly, so I don’t really know, honestly.
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