Culture Work is dissecting celeb culture from the inside
The TikTokker, and now Substacker, brings expertise from behind the Hollywood curtain.
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One of the reasons criticism and essays might be waning in traditional journalism is because people like Culture Work are doing them better on TikTok. The creator, who prefers to go by her username, joined the platform in late 2021 and has accumulated 57,000 followers for her breakdowns of celebrity culture and the TikTok discourse of the moment. She also now publishes a Substack.
Culture Work also recently played a role in drama surrounding the cosmetics brand Tarte. After a Black influencer, Bria Jones, claimed she was shafted on a Tarte brand trip to Miami in favor of white creators, Culture Work called out CEO Maureen Kelly for a weak (now deleted) apology that scapegoated the central issue of race. She went on to hold the company accountable for seemingly never fulfilling the promises they made during the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020.
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Culture Work is a TikTok thought leader; people tag her in comments on videos in order to get her take so they can better process their own feelings about a given topic. But for Culture Work herself, whose professional life has elevated her to the same circles as the celebrities she reports on, TikTok is a much-needed outlet for her thoughts about everything from Rihanna’s Super Bowl performance to the logistics of staged paparazzi photos.
“I have always content-created on my own personal Instagram to my own little small group of friends,” she tells me over Zoom. “I did not like sharing content with those people so in some odd way felt more comfortable with talking to strangers and building a small community of people who are very like-minded.”
Now that she’s expanded to Substack, we got on a Zoom to talk about how TikTok and newsletters serve each other, the logistics of building an online community, and how she’s able to so effectively report from inside the world of celebrity culture.