Leave Charli D’Amelio alone, and let teen girls live their lives

By Kaitlyn Fehr, Chief Copyeditor

Everyone needs to stop griping and moaning, there’s no way Charli D’Amelio is coming to Emerson next fall. I know what the rumors are saying, but TikTok’s most successful 17-year-old doesn’t need college. 

Since the Emerson class of 2026 Instagram page posted a photo claiming that D’Amelio would be attending the college this fall, complaints from people who don’t want her at Emerson have been nonstop. I’ve had to witness people in their 20s threatening to drop out if she comes here. 

Look, I’m not personally the biggest fan of D’Amelio either, but these comments are beyond dramatic. If you’ve read any of my other articles, you know I am quick to judge. In this case, I think it’s everyone else who needs to take a breather and stop judging a literal teenager. 

As a society, we have a habit of condemning teenage girls for everything they love. If teenaged girls enjoy it, it’s immediately labeled “basic” or “dumb.” I’m not into dancing content personally, but for the teen girls that are, let them enjoy it. 

D’Amelio has made a career out of something she is passionate about, and has had the world’s attention forced upon her at a young age. Because of Charli, the D’Amelio family now has a net worth of eight million dollars, which makes it easy for us to say that it’s dumb for someone to make that much money off of dancing. Instead, however, consider how much pressure it would have put on you as a 17-year-old to be that famous and the sole bread-winner for your family. 

Somehow content creators like James Charles have gotten away with literal crimes, but it seems as though Charli D’Amelio and every other young girl on TikTok face more ire from the internet than those who truly deserve it. Everything that this teenager does is judged so harshly by adults who should know better. 

When D’Amelio’s Dunkin order was added to the Dunkin menu, people were quick to make fun of it and every young girl who ordered it. Again, comments of Charli and her viewers’ “basicness” abounded. I was ordering a cold brew with whole milk and caramel long before I even knew who Charli D’Amelio was, simply because it’s a normal and delicious order. Suddenly, a normal coffee order was something to bully people over simply because it was attached to a teen girl. 

Back in 2020, Charli and Dixie D’Amelio came under fire for the way they acted when served a gourmet meal by a home chef. Both girls made faces, and Dixie (Charli’s older sister) pretended to vomit at the table while Charli asked for dinosaur nuggets.

While yes, their behavior was uncalled for, the way the internet reacted was even more so. People called for the sisters to be de-platformed over this, and chastised them for showing this disrespectful behavior when both of them are role models for young children. Again, let me remind you that Charli is still a child herself. Are you really going to sit there and say that you were never disrespectful as a teenager?

The only difference between Charli and a normal American teenager is that she is in the spotlight, and everything she does is put under a microscope of criticism and scrutiny. It’s also important to note that if Charli was a male creator, she likely would not be facing the same criticism. Even her ex-boyfriend Chase “Lil Huddy” Hudson has faced less outcry over allegations of racist behavior than Charli has for simply existing. 

This phenomenon is not limited to just Charli D’Amelio. From coffee, to makeup, to music taste, and what TV shows a teenage girl watches, all of it is judged. If you drink a Frappuccino, you’re basic. If you listen to pop music, you’re basic. If you spend too much time doing your makeup in the morning, you’re basic. If you watch Euphoria, literally one of the most talked-about shows on TV right now, you’re basic. But only if you’re a teenage girl partaking in these things. 

I can’t sit here and say I’ve never taken part in calling these things basic, because I have. The latent misogyny everywhere in our society impacts all of us, and we have to fight to recognize and overcome it. At first, I was part of the crowd of people judging D’Amelio for her dancing TikToks, and I couldn’t understand why she was famous. 

I understand now that part of it was the internalized misogyny, and part of it was bitterness that someone younger than me was this successful for something so simple. D’Amelio was a competitive dancer long before she joined TikTok, and her fame on the app is an extension of the hard work she has put in for her entire life.  In truth, Charli D’Amelio is incredibly talented, and a combination of both that talent, hard work, and luck have brought her success. 

We can all recognize that, and recognize our own dislike of her dancing TikToks, without bullying a teenager whose only “wrongdoing” is dancing on an app and getting famous for it. D’Amelio has millions of followers who clearly do enjoy her content, so she must be doing something right. I don’t think any of us would throw away a chance to be famous for doing something we’re passionate about, so why do we judge Charli for just that? 

It’s okay to be jealous of Charli D’Amelio’s success. At 17-years old, she has a clearer life path ahead of her than most people reading this article, myself included. She has more money than most of us will ever see in our lifetimes. Again, it’s okay to be jealous of that. What’s not okay is bullying a teenager for making a career out of something that they love, and are good at. 

If in some insane twist, D’Amelio does end up coming to Emerson, we should welcome her with open arms. She’s a creative just like all of us, and she already faces so much resentment from the rest of the world— why should we hurl more of it at her here? Hell, maybe she could convince Lee Pelton to come back and film a dance video with her.