Bella Poarch is quickly becoming one of TikTok’s fastest-growing content creators, even rivaling the likes of Charli D’Amelio — but some critics aren’t a fan of her style.
Poarch is known far and wide across the internet for her viral lipsyncing vids, one of which broke a record on TikTok for gaining the most likes on a single video.
The clip in question showed Poarch lip syncing to Millie B’s “M to the B,” with the star nodding her head to the song’s beat after the singing stops. Many of her videos show Poarch making various facial expressions, like puffing her cheeks full of air or crossing her eyes.
It seems that quite a few critics of her videos aren’t too pleased with her aesthetic, though, with some claiming that the TikToker is blatantly trying to be childlike in order to attract a certain problematic audience.
She isn’t the only one coming under fire for this, either, with a particular internet e-girl who sold her own bathwater to fans also facing similar accusations of baiting an incredibly unwholesome sort online.
Poarch hit back at these accusations in a Tweet on October 12, dubbing her style “kawaii” in reference to Japan’s pop-culture obsession with the uber-adorable (take Hello Kitty and Sailor Moon, for example).
“Why is it not allowed to act cute?” Poarch asked. “It’s a natural thing to most Asians. But people seem to hate me for it. I’m Filipino, and in the Philippines, we love ulzzang and kawaii culture. I grew up with it, so why can’t I just be myself?”
Why is it not allowed to act cute? It’s a natural thing to most Asians. But people seem to hate me for it🙁 I’m Filipino and in the Philippines, we love Ulzzang and kawaii culture. I grew up with it so why can’t I just be myself?
— Bella Poarch (@bellapoarch) October 12, 2020
While Poarch has been met with ample support from fans, her Tweet has sparked controversy across the social media sphere, with critics arguing to the contrary.
“It’s not cute when you’re a 20 year-old-acting like a 4-year-old,” one commenter said via Instagram.
“Tt’s just the fact that grown people are fetishizing acting childlike or acting cute, it’s not ok and it feels very off,” another added.
“I’m Asian, and there’s a difference between kawaii and being a 20-something-year-old acting like a child,” yet another said.
While this isn’t the first time Poarch has been wrapped in controversy, it does open up an interesting discussion about how social media stars act online and how their style could be viewed by some audiences.