Bella Poarch is the latest TikTok star to virtually blow up overnight. Poarch created her TikTok account in April 2020, and at the moment, she has 36.8 million subscribers. According to some reports, Bella averaged close to 1 million followers every day. Poarch’s popularity has also spread to other social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Poarch has a whopping 6.5 million followers on Instagram and over 115K followers on Twitter. She is yet to post any video on YouTube, but she still commands a following of 149K. So what is it about Bella that makes her so popular?
This piece will look at Bella’s popularity, her mental health struggles, her rumored relationship with Tyga, and her controversies.
Bella has faced criticism for being ‘famous for nothing’
Bella Poarch created her TikTok account in April 2020 and started posting lip-syncing videos. Her breakout moment came courtesy of an August 17th video of her crossing her eyes and bobbing her head to the beat of M to the B by Millie B. The clip went on to become the most liked video on TikTok.
Poarch’s popularity grew exponentially after that, despite the basic nature of her videos. Some fans lamented that Bella put little effort into making her videos unique, but the followers kept tumbling in. Bella had essentially become ‘famous for nothing.’
The criticism leveled against Bella for having little value to attach to her fame hasn’t affected her or her rising popularity. She is confident that she will get more followers despite having little special to offer. She has even promised her TikTok fans that she is planning something special for when she hits 40 million followers.
Bella deals with her PTSD and depression by singing and relying on the support of loved ones
Bella Poarch’s age is a mystery because there is conflicting information about the year she was born. The date is certain – 8th February – but some say that she was born in 2001, while others claim that she was born in 1997. It is more plausible that Bella was born in 1997 rather than in 2001 because she served in the US Navy for three years. Bella’s reported 2001 birth-date would have rendered her too young to join the military at the time that she did.
Poarch is yet to reveal her age, but she has opened up about her depression and PTSD diagnosis. She tweeted on 23rd August 2020 that she has a strong support system to help her deal with the mental health issues. In late September 2020, she posted a singing video and revealed that singing is one of her coping mechanisms:
“Singing has always helped me get through anxiety, depression & PTSD. I stopped singing for a really long time because of something that happened to me a few years ago. Thank you guys for helping me gain my confidence and share my happiness.”
Poarch apologized for drawing an offensive rising sun tattoo but she didn’t apologize for referring to her black friend as Harambe
Bella’s first brush with controversy came after fans unearthed a Facebook post in which she referred to her black friend as Harambe. ‘Harambe’ is the famous gorilla who was killed in the Cincinnati zoo in 2016. Some fans suggested that the reference made my Bella was racist, but Bella insisted that Harambe was her black friend’s nickname. She, therefore, refused to apologize for referring to him as Harambe.
The tattooed Philippines native faced further backlash after getting a tattoo of the rising sun symbol. The mark is considered offensive because Japan’s Imperial government used it as a symbol as the country waged an inhuman and atrocious war against its neighbors. Bella apologized, stating via tweet that she didn’t know about the history of the symbol:
“I apologize to Koreans because 6 months ago I got a tattoo of the red sun with 16 rays. At the time, I didn’t know the history. But when I found out, I immediately had it covered and scheduled for removal. I am ashamed of myself for not doing my research. I sincerely apologize.”
Bella appreciates the incredible success she has achieved over a short period, but she does suffer from crippling hate from a section of social media users. Poarch gets spammed a lot, and she was barred from commenting on TikTok because the site received an overwhelming number of reports about her comments. Bella doesn’t understand why she gets reported so much, and yet she rarely posts anything offensive. Despite the setbacks, Bella maintains a positive mindset.