Addison Rae was thrust into the limelight at age 19 when TikTok videos the Louisiana native made for fun caught the attention of millions of users. Now, at the age of 20, the school leaver is still figuring out who she is as she makes big career moves, including co-founder of ITEM Beauty, hosting a podcast, launching a music career and starring in the upcoming Netflix movie He is all that.
“There is no right answer for how to deal with it,” she told She magazine of her sudden fame. “Everyone handles it very differently. Some people are super strong and can go through a lot. Others have moments of weakness. I have to admit that sometimes I also have moments of weakness. It’s hard to look at your life under a microscope if you’re not I haven’t figured everything out myself. I’m still learning, I’m still young.”
Putting the complexities of her life into further context, Rae clarified that she had just graduated from high school in 2019. She had started college at Louisiana State University the following fall before taking the opportunity in California, just three months into the semester.
“If I’m from a small town…I feel like a lot of people don’t normally hear someone say they want to go to Hollywood and be an actress. That’s not very common. Or maybe it’s something people say, but don’t really get a chance to do it. I felt like it was unattainable at the time,” she explained of previous dreams of pursuing a career in Hollywood. “When my videos exploded, some people in LA contacted me and I was like, ‘I have to go. I have to go.’ So my parents fully supported me.”
There is no guide to the kind of fame she has achieved in the short time since, especially since she was one of the first to achieve such success from TikTok. “That’s the part where experience comes through. You live and you learn, and that’s how you figure out exactly how you’re going to cope [trolling] from that moment on. I’ve done that a lot. I think living and learning and figuring out what are the things that are personal and private to me, and what are the things that I want to share. And then really make sure I differentiate the two, always,” she said. She adds that she’s still going through a learning curve when it comes to branching out into other areas. “When you come into this industry and become like one thing labeled… people like to keep you there. That’s understandable, and I understand, but what people don’t realize is that I’ve always wanted to act, I’ve always wanted to make music. …I try to tell myself, ‘You have to work that much harder to get people to take you seriously.'”
Seeking help from professionals also seemed to relieve some of the pressure, as Rae told me, “I’ve also started therapy, and that’s a tool for me to have an outlet and be able to express my opinion and get advice from someone who is on the outside. … I now do it once a week. But sometimes I do it twice a week when I’m having a hard time.”
Fortunately, Rae also has her family along for the ride.
“My mom just tells me, ‘Remember who you are. You know who you are, and that’s all that matters,'” she said. “You can’t control anyone’s perception of you. That’s something I’ve had to accept. I’m not going to make everyone love me or love me. That’s not possible – and then I just don’t have that unrealistic expectation for myself and knowing that I am human and if I make mistakes, I can learn and grow from them.”