This past week, TikTok influencer Bella Poarch, most well known for her lip-syncing videos geared towards her 69.7 million followers on the app, released her debut song “Build a Bitch” with a music video to match. The song, which’s title is a parody of “Build-a-Bear,” is a girl power lullaby, rejecting the expectations that she, both as a woman and internet celebrity, must endure.
Poarch is not the first influencer to venture into the music scene. Music has become an expected stepping stone for influencers as they develop their stardom. Jake Paul, Chase Hudson (Lil Huddy), and Dixie D’Amelio have all dipped their fingers into the musical pot. However, with each musical release comes viewer backlash, primarily in the comment section. Influencer music is often deemed shallow, uninspired, or undeserved, much like the nature of social media itself. This sets up a unique challenge for any influencer wishing to pursue music as they must face pre-concieved notions of themselves, distorting the response to the music rather than have the music speak for itself.
It is these criticisms and challenges that Poarch’s song pushes back against. Being an influencer, Poarch is constantly under the public eye of the internet, the digital place filled with perhaps too many opinions. With lyrics like “Boys are always playing dolls/Looking for their Barbie/They Don’t look like Ken at all,” sung in a soft, dreamy vocal style, the TikTok star calls out the unfair standards that watchers place her under instead of accepting the star for who she authentically is. All of this takes place in less than three minutes, marketing the song as an ideal candidate for Poarch’s native TikTok and other social media platforms.
The music video reflects the message of the song, taking place in a Build-A-Bear-esque workshop which sells women instead of bears and has a line of men outside the door. Poarch plays a defective doll who rebels against the system she was built under, resulting in femme-bot uprising. You can watch the full music video below.
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