Last Call: Is this TikTok Midwestern Mom a loving tribute or a nasty skewering?

Aimee Levitt
·1 min read

It’s been a busy month here in Takeout-land, what with the proliferation of NFTs and chicken sandwiches, which is the only explanation we can offer for why we’ve slept on the TikTok account @ThatMidwesternMom. By which I mean, we only learned about it today. But for the past month or so, Amber Schwarzrock has been sharing a new Jell-O salad nearly every day—in a singsongy Minnesota accent.

Schwarzrock is an actual Minnesotan, from Frazee, in the northwest part of the state, and, she told Fargo’s Inforum, she ate her share of Jell-O salads growing up. (And then she studied to become an opera singer and took diction classes to erase her natural accent.) Originally, her TikTok feed consisted of meditations on mom life, but on St. Patrick’s Day, she decided to make a Pistachio Jell-O Fluff Salad and, just for fun, introduced it with The Accent and a jingle: “Minnesota salads that aren’t really salads!” Her followers were delighted and told her she had a Rose Nylund/Kitty Forman vibe. So she decided to go with it. She popped some curlers in her hair and put on some bright red lipstick, and That Midwestern Mom was born. That Midwestern Mom has proved incredibly popular—she now has more than 140,000 followers and her Snicker Salad video has 2.6 million views—and has been featured on TV news in Fargo and the Twin Cities.

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The commentariat seems to agree that the representation of That Midwestern Mom is mostly accurate, although the accent is a bit exaggerated. But what do you all think? Is Schwarzrock paying tribute to Midwestern moms or mocking them?