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California TikTok superstar has her roots in her “Samoanness”

IN THE METAVERSE — Two national publications are each boosting the buzz around Samoan TikTok superstar, Drew Afualo.

What, you’ve never heard of her? 

“With 7.1 million followers on TikTok, the content creator is known for her biting humor and quick wit, which she sharpened through years of being at the receiving end of jokes in her Samoan family,” Teen Vogue Magazine opines in its article titled “Drew Afualo on Samoan Representation, Misogyny, and Taking a Joke.”

Meanwhile, yesterday the New York Times followed Drew on a breakfast cruise through the city in their article “TikTok Star Goes On a New York Breakfast Crawl” where with a bagel, an iced latte, and a berry tart “the feminist firebrand”  carried on a conversation with a NYT reporter about how a Samoan girl handles the ups and downs of online fame.

Afualo grew up in Southern California, and is the middle of three children. “[We’re] relatively small for a Samoan family,” she jokes, “(my own Samoan mother has 11 siblings in total).”

She makes her living on TikTok and other platforms — it’s her full-time job; she earns money by posting ads on her profile and through collaborations with brands. The graduate of the Univ. of Hawaii earned two degrees — and originally planned on pursuing a career in sports journalism. 

Sports, especially football is a prime stepping-stone for success for Samoans and, “Football is in my bloodline — it’s a Samoan rite of passage,” she joked to Teen Vogue. Though she had her heart initially set on sports, Afualo feels as though her career trajectory played out exactly how the universe intended, she told the magazine.

Some of her most popular posts are reprised in the NYT piece and strike out at young male TikTokers who offer “opinions on women that would have seemed out of date even a century ago; and then she goes into a funny, often profane takedown.

“When her followers come across a video that strikes them as misogynistic, they often bring it to her attention by tagging her, as if sending out a bat signal to someone they have come to see as an online protector,” the NYT wrote.

Humor was core to her upbringing and Afualo says another journalist once told her that her humor is very Samoan, which elated her as she credits cultural humor being the reason why she’s so good at her quick-witted jokes in her videos.

And while she is a fitness enthusiast and a fashionista —  in true Samoan style, Drew says, “f I can’t eat 3 lbs of Mac & Cheese in the outfit comfortably, I don’t wanna wear it.”

Drew Afualo in one of her TikTok posts. Bet she didn’t eat 3 lbs. of Mac & Cheese while she was wearing this dress. [photo: TikTok}

You can check out her posts on TikTok, Instagram and a myriad of other popular social media sites where she’s spreading Samoan humor, vids and her quick quips throughout the Metaverse.