Charli D'Amelio has a big reason to dance again, despite last week's backlash.
On Sunday, Nov. 22, the 16-year-old TikTok sensation, who started posting on her account in May 2019, became the first person to reach 100 million followers on the platform and expressed her shock at reaching the milestone. The news comes days after she lost hundreds of thousands of followers due to a YouTube video of her and her family that drew accusations of rude and ungrateful behavior.
"I hit 100 million on TikTok," Charli said in an Instagram Live video watched in real time by more than 300,000 people. "I don't even know how to react, mostly because this doesn't feel real. How do people even react to this? I just genuinely don't know what to do. I'm in my bathroom by myself watching edits on Twitter because they're making me cry and I just genuinely do not know what to do. I'm so confused. Just, life doesn't feel real."
"It's just so weird to think like a little over a year ago I was in Connecticut doing regular school, doing nothing and now I'm living in L.A.," she said, adding. "I have the best friends ever."
Charlie added, "If COVID wasn't a thing, I'd have like a 100 million-person meet and greet right now. But that's not possible."
She also posted a selfie video on TikTok, saying, "Thank you guys so, so, so much. I cannot believe there's 100 million supporters following me right now. That is insane. Oh my goodness. I still can't grasp that this is real. I still feel like it's a dream. I'm kind of waiting to wake up. Very insane. Oh my goodness. Thank you."
Despite some not so shining moments, Charli is using her powerful influence for good. She promoted the American Dance Movement, a group that aims to improve and increase access to dance education in the United States.
"Thanks to TikTok, $100,000 will be donated to the American Dance Movement on Dec. 1," she announced on Sunday. "And with that, $10,000 will be given to 10 different dance schools throughout the country. So if you know me, you know that I've been dancing my entire life and I'm so thankful to be able to give back to the community that made me the person that I am. You guys have no idea how insane this is for me, so thank you."
However, last week, Charli's fame grew for the wrong reasons. Her family released the debut episode of their new video series Dinner With The D'Ameliosa on YouTube. The footage shows them dining with YouTube star James Charles and Charli complaining about not reaching 100 million followers on TikTok yet, to which James responds dryly, "Was the 95 not enough for you?"
Viewers later sent hate messages to Charli and her sister Dixie, 19, the latter of whom gagged when served a dish cooked by their personal chef that included snails. Dixie later said on TikTok she would never disrespect him and was grateful for her own TikTok followers. Charli broke down in tears in her own response video.
"Seeing how people reacted to this, I don't even know if I want to do this anymore," she said. "This is messed up stuff that people are saying. Like people telling me to hang myself. People just blatantly disrespecting the fact that I'm still a human being is not okay at all."
She added, "When I had said about the followers things, I genuinely just thought it would be so cool to hit a huge, huge milestone a year after hitting another milestone. I never meant for you guys to make it seem like you were numbers or did not mean anything."