Human Perseverance and the Social Media Climb

A Lil Huddy adjacent editorial: human perseverance in relation to the social media climb


Today Testing (for derivative), CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Recently, I got to listen to Tik Tok star Lil Huddy’s first album (review to come soon!), Teenage Heartbreak. I really did not like the album as a whole, for a multitude of reasons, however I was struck by a couple things in the process of listening.

The first, was (what I saw to be) the simple compliance of other people and reviews that I read. I dove in, expecting to find the kind of scathing negative commentary that I was writing myself, but instead found what seemed like a lot of empty praise and useless grabs for the artist’s attention. Everyone in my life who I had forced to listen to parts of the album, had shared the same rather negative opinion as me, and while I knew there would be some people who were into it, I truthfully couldn’t imagine being so public about it. 

My second thought, though, was that I was a little bit impressed by the perseverance of someone like Chase Hudson. Yes, I think his music is a senseless cash grab, but amidst my opinion, and I’m sure thousands of others that are similar, he stands tall. Even though he is simply famous for being famous, he continues to try and put work out there and do things. 

I think Hudson is part of a new generation, speaking to the previous thought, where it is really easy to gain a lot of popularity and earn a lot of validation quickly, for very little effort. And I think that when that happens, people are left flailing on top of the pedestals that we put them on, doing anything that they can to stay there.

The idea is reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s fifteen minutes of fame concept, but it almost feels as though that fifteen minutes is being stretched out by this new type of star, as far as it can be. And I am not sure that we have seen the breaking point yet. 

 Upon Googling his name, Hudson’s Wikipedia Bio says “an American social media personality, singer and actor, known for his relationship with Charli D’Amelio, co-founding the TikTok collective the Hype House, and popularizing the e-boy fashion style and subculture.”

To me, those seem like less than valid reasons for someone to be the center of the teenage society in which we live. 

This is a pattern that I see very obviously as I watch people rise to fame in a social media dominated world. Someone goes viral for doing something, they do more of that thing, people get bored and hate on them, and then said individual moves on to the next thing, seemingly for the attention. I always believed to get famous for something, you had to be really good at it, but now it almost seems like all you have to do is seize people’s attention for just long enough.

I look at people like Addison Rae, another Tik Tok star. She started out dancing on the app, but now has a beauty line, has released several songs, starred in a movie, and is best friends with Kourtney Kardashian. If you watch or listen to any interview, she will speak about being passionate about all of these things, and maybe she is, but it seems hard to believe. 

What is absolutely astounding to me though, is that no matter how much hate these people get, no matter how bad their work is thought to be, no matter how random their career trajectory seems, they just keep going. They keep creating things, and trying to expand their influence and continuing the constant social media stream. And somehow that makes them all relevant.

I wonder if these people are being looked up to, not because of their actual works, but because of the way that they respond to the hatred that seems so common for people to receive nowadays. I wonder if this is the new age of celebrities, just the people that we admire for having the strength to push all the way to the top.

For me, this all points to something bigger than just a bad music album. I think what is made really beautifully visible here, is the awkward, silly system that we have created for people to become “famous.”

What is also visible here, is how cynical and distrustful it seems like teenagers of today have had to become, just in order to survive the constant negative input that comes with the (mostly) empty validation of climbing up the social media ladder. I do think that social media can be used in really cool, helpful ways, but the way that we have wrapped ourselves around it feels like an endless spiral leading nowhere. 

While I think my opinions on the work of people like Hudson and Rae are clear, I do admire their will to just keep going. I think that beautiful things can be admired for being beautiful, and great people can be admired for being great people.

This has given me the opinion though, that even when people create things that maybe aren’t the best, we can still admire them for how they react to that input. I still, however, do not see that as a valid reason for fame; I believe that we can do that with the people that we see everyday in our lives. 

As a current high school student, I (sadly) do not think that you have to be attempting to climb that social media ladder to receive hatred. And I think that we can, and should, admire people for how they react and persevere through that.

We should more often tell people that we are proud of them, and admire them, for just keeping going.