Charli D'Amelio on 100M TikTok Followers and Life in Public Eye

Charli D’Amelio is all about keeping it real with her fans. ET’s Keltie Knight speaks to the 16-year-old TikTok star on Monday’s episode of Entertainment Tonight, and the teen reveals how she’s using her new book, Essentially Charli, to share more of herself with her more than 100 million followers on TikTok.

“I am a girl that likes to dance, and likes to spend time with her friends, and likes to be around her family. [A girl who] is very normal, and very down to earth and chill, and likes to just watch movies and have fun,” Charli tells ET. “But when you look deeper into it, you see that I am not exactly the person that I portray myself on my TikTok videos. I usually look very put together. I usually make sure all my moves are perfect, but that’s not how it is. I have friend problems. I have difficulty in school with being behind or maybe not learning as fast as everyone else.”

“Everyone puts me on this place where, like, ‘She’s perfect all the time’… but this is the time when you’re 16. This is when you make all your mistakes, and where you grow, and learn, and become a better person,” she continues. “… [With my book, I’m] telling everyone what I want them to know, in the best way possible, where I don’t have comments. People can say, ‘That’s not right. She should do this better. Why’d you do this? Why’d you put this in it?’ It’s a book. You read it and that’s it. There’s no place for negative feedback. This is a place for me to share who I am without having to hear anything.”

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Through the book, D’Amelio says, she hopes to remind her followers that “we’re exactly the same in so many ways.” 

“I feel like it’s important for people to know that because what I’m doing is not something so out of the world when it comes to day-to-day stuff,” she adds.

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One of those day-to-day things D’Amelio deals with is dating as a teenager, something that’s only made more challenging by her fame.

“Having people involved in your relationships can break it,” she says. “It can really tear who you are down as a person when you start noticing yourself getting into that sort of place where you’re like, ‘Wow, these people are more invested in seeing us fail than they wanna see us actually be happy together.'”

“I’ve had relationships before social media… Usually they didn’t end well, but at the end of the day, we kept it to ourselves and moved on with our lives,” D’Amelio continues. “[With social media], you make a mistake and you feel like you have to justify your feelings to everyone. That’s not fair. I should be allowed to feel however I want. It’s my relationship and it shouldn’t matter to anyone else.”

D’Amelio was inspired to be so open with her fans after growing up believing those she admired were perfect.

“I grew up watching people online and seeing how perfect they are and no one really gets into the, ‘Hey, I’m not perfect. Hey, I have lots of things I want to work on to make myself feel better,'” she explains. “… At the end of the day, I still have to go to school, I still have to eat three meals a day, I have to clean my room, I have to do chores around the house… I feel like having people know I do those exact same things that they do is a little comforting and it brings us together.”

“I don’t want to put us on this pedestal that I am perfect 24/7 because I’m very much not,” D’Amelio continues. “I have my bad days, I have my down days. I live a normal life at the end of the day, but I post on social media. I feel like so many people try to play themselves as perfect and I cannot be that person. I cannot do that to myself. That’s too difficult.”

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