This TikTok Star Is Turning the Tables on Microaggressions
Name: Clare Brown, a.k.a @clarabellecwb
Location: Central Virginia
Following: 176,400 followers on TikTok
Content: Ms. Brown is a TikTok creator known for her short, comedic skits acting out microaggressions against white people — or, in her words, “European Americans.” Those include but are not limited to: people commenting incessantly on a young girl’s “flat” hair, showing discomfort with the word “white” and calling the name Catherine “exotic.”
She came up with the concept last summer during the Black Lives Matter protests as a way to educate people on racial bias. “I noticed there were so many amazing Black creators talking about their experience, talking about their perspective,” she said. “I think that message fell flat to white people.” Part of the success of her content is because her skits are funny, not “preachy,” she said.
The experiences of her followers can sometimes inform her videos. “I did one about dance and how there’s this pressure, especially for Black dancers, to totally change their hair in order to perform, and that kind of came from a comment,” Ms. Brown said. “I was like, ‘Oh, I can relate to that. I can do something about that.’”
Before fame: Back in 2009, Ms. Brown created a fashion blog called Clarabelle. “It was just me, I would find fashion editorials and post them,” she said. She then went on to develop an audience on Instagram. She now works a regular 9-to-5 job from home in addition to making TikTok videos.
“I’m an OG fashion blogger and that’s how my account sort of started, and now it’s morphed into like this sort of millennial mom account,” she said, referring to her Instagram page. “But on TikTok, it’s all my racial education videos.”
Advice: To be successful on TikTok, Ms. Brown said it’s important to stay on top of what’s happening. She urges content creators to use the app as they would Twitter, responding to trends in the moment. “You can’t do a content calendar,” she said. “You have to you have to be ready.”
Favorite follower: Ms. Brown said she doesn’t have one favorite follower, but Flossybaby, a fellow TikTok star who has created political parody content, has engaged with her videos. “She is so funny,” Ms. Brown said. “She liked one of my videos and I was like, ‘I made it.’”
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