It’s easy to draw a comparison between Addison Rae and Britney Spears. The all-American teen blondes both danced their way from Louisiana to Los Angeles and into unfathomable fame, but the key distinction between the pair lies in their strategy—being that Rae never really had any. While Britney Spears was conceptualized between Max Martin and Disney, Addison Rae captured the attention of teens across the nation and catapulted to superstardom entirely on her own. The recipe was simple: After witnessing the popularity of Music.ly’s latest iteration with preteens, the cheerleader signed on. Soon her smile and side split had amassed tens of millions on TikTok and beyond…but you best believe this is only the beginning of the Addison Rae entertainment experience.
Written by: Beatrice Hazlehurst
There must be immense pressure that comes with having a platform so big, so quickly:
“Oh, 100 percent, that’s a big part of it. It’s hard to figure out the right thing to do, what to say… It’s definitely been a challenge. But at the end of the day, my family lives with me, so having that support system around me has kind of been everything. We have all kind of been going through this together. It does make it hard to have a personal life with social media, because there are some things that you want to keep private when so many people are interested in those details. But it kind of just comes with experience and time. You learn how you can continue without letting it get to you.”
It’s interesting because you grew at the same rate as the platform itself—how did your parents factor into that journey? Your mom is truly an icon:
“She will love to hear that. She has always supported me; any time I posted absolutely anything, she was the one to watch and like it. But I think I happened to get on it at the right time, and it was just me with my friends, you know, being myself. It was so unexpected and unintentional. I never set out to get followers, it just happened out of nowhere for me. I did what I loved to do, and everything just happened.”
What do you think it takes for someone to make it to a similar level?
“I think it’s bringing something that people haven’t seen or bringing what they have seen in a new way. Trends are always great, especially having fun with them. When someone sees someone having a good time, they’re automatically more attracted to that. People love to see others be who they are and do things the way they do because it might be different to them.”
How was navigating the mental health repercussions of that?
“I’m kind of taking it day by day. I have my family for support, and I lean on them any time it’s getting a little hard. It’s also just knowing who I am and staying true to myself, and a lot of people that are hateful at times don’t know me or haven’t met me, so I can’t let it get to me too much because those who do know me have a different opinion from others behind a screen. So I don’t think fighting hate with hate is ever OK. So when I see a hateful comment, I don’t reply, I just recognize that this person might be hurting or going through something themselves or may be just not in the best headspace. I feel like that comes with growing up and recognizing you have to love to receive love, so I try my best to do that. As long as I stay grounded and remember where I came from, it never goes too deep.”
I would love your take on TikTok as one of its biggest stars. Do you think it has the longevity to become an Instagram or YouTube?
“You know, when I started TikTok, I wasn’t really familiar with it. I never had Music.ly, which is what TikTok was before. A lot of my younger friends had TikTok, and at the time it wasn’t a popular app as far as I knew. I was 18 when I heard of it and ended up downloading it in July of last year, but even then I didn’t know anyone who used it over the age of 16. Then I noticed so many people getting it around the same time as me, and the growth just progressively happened. Now it’s like everyone in the world loves TikTok. And anyone can take the following they have and expand—there are so many avenues you can go down after making it big. As for whether it will last, I’m not sure. Hopefully! But nothing is ever promised.”
Have you started dipping your toes into other sectors of entertainment?
“There have just been so many opportunities brought to me from TikTok, which I am insanely grateful for. At this point it’s doing things I love and what makes me happy, which are the kinds of things I’ve always been interested in. I’ve done a lot of acting classes and readings, and I’m dabbling in some music and taking voice lessons, working on podcasts. I’m out here following my dreams and taking on new adventures.”