nternet influence comes in all shapes and sizes, especially spawned by future-thinking influencers. As we, the creative collective, further virtualize our lives and the lives of those we onboard to virtual worlds, everything before our eyes will be fully constructed, adopting whatever forms we desire.
In the metaverse, any reality goes.
Now, the inevitable androgenization of icons already shines through virtual beings achieving significant fandom today in 2021. If you use TikTok, you may have seen two colorful, ambiguously-shaped beings bless your feed in recent months. In September, virtual influencer BumBailey posted a video using hit song ‘Rumors’ by Cardi B and Lizzo, racking up 7M+ views, inspiring thousands of duets, and catching the attention of Lizzo herself.
BumBailey is not your typical virtual influencer. In fact, the singular noun “influencer” doesn’t even begin to describe the collective that is “BumBailey”. They are composed of several characters, each with their own body shapes, names, and personalities.
Neeka may have been the star of the Rumors TikTok (pictured far left in the cover photo), but they are just one member of the Bum family, evidently all on a mission to spread body positivity and all-around good vibes online.
I’m excited to sit down and learn more about BumBailey’s rise to fame on TikTok, and their plans for future content. Enjoy.
[Christopher] Hey BumBailey, it’s great to meet you! How are you doing today?
Wonderful to meet you, too! Me and the entire Bumfamily are doing great! How are you?
I’m great! Congrats on passing 1M fans on TikTok—what’s your favorite thing about being a virtual creator on the platform?
Quite honestly, the fact that we can make people smile even for a few seconds out of their day, is perhaps the most meaningful and rewarding part of our presence on all our social media platforms including TikTok.
Reading our followers' comments saying: “You brighten my day”, “This account gives me life!” “This is what I'm looking forward to everyday” or better, ''Finally, I feel represented and validated”, is all we could ask for.
To reach the hearts and minds of those who you create content for is the most important and fulfilling part of being a creator.
I love that! You also just had a trend go viral with some major stars participating… what was that like?
We’ve been creating viral videos such as these for more than a year now but of course this was even more special with Lizzo and Selena Gomez joining! Currently there are more than 9000 duets with Neeka video, as well as thousands more with our other videos, so it’s safe to say that it was overwhelming in the best way possible!
What was your reaction to Lizzo’s video when you first saw it?
We had been manifesting this for a while! When we first put out our signature fashion walk, I tagged Lizzo and Cardi B hoping they’d see it! After a month and no reaction, we thought that was it. Cardi however had previously re-tweet our video on her Twitter feed from one of her fan accounts, but we hadn’t heard directly from them.
But, then the duets kept pouring in, and once Selena dueted us, Lizzo left a comment saying she would do hers!
Of course we were psyched to say the least, but we didn't know how and where it was going to take place. Next thing we knew, Lizzo had duetted our TikTok w/ Selena on stage with 80 thousand screaming fans! It was followed by her solo duet the week after with Neeka! It was a beautiful moment! Moral of the story: what you manifest can actually come true!
Your toks feature all sorts of unique body shapes and sizes. What inspires your content style?
Body-positivity, inclusivity and representation is the very essence of who we are and shape our community values. We are and were the first virtual influencers to be showcasing cellulite, body positivity and acceptance on social media platforms.
We are proud to be pioneers and take that role very seriously. We believe that everybody should be seen, heard and represented. Human or not, we are all beautiful creatures and should be seen as one.
That is a major first. I love your fashion sense, too… Do you design your own fits?
All the looks are designed by our Nana, made in her fashion studio! She’s been a garmentist for a long time and had closed down her fashion house, Nana Couture, over 50 years ago.
Since last year, she re-opened her studio and it's soon to be available to our followers in BumBaileyWorld metaverse. Nana customizes the dresses for our unique shapes and sizes and takes into consideration our ideas and feelings too.
BumBaileyWorld… went mint? On that note, I notice you recently launched your creator token. Do you have any further plans for the $BUM coin?
Yes! Boris helped me set up my ENS addie, too, at BumBailey.eth — we launched our creator token with Rally.io and have a lot more to share soon!
It’s part of our Web3 plan to share ownership with our amazing fans and create a safe space for BumBailey community to come together around their shared interests; ‘Nana Couture’ & ‘Bianca Beauty’ will be the first brands to launch their products as NFTs which fans can then collect using $BUM or $ETH. Look out for updates on our IG!
Will do! You also launched a ‘Meditation Chamber’ on your website. Can you tell us more about that and what was the intention behind it?
I love to meditate, it helps me to slow down and get away from all the stresses and the social media craze that surrounds us all the time. I had this idea to meditate with fans and that’s why we made the ‘Meditation Chamber’; soon they can earn rewards for their participation. ‘Meditation Chamber’ will also soon be available through BumBaileyWorld play-to-earn game experience.
More alpha… So, what is one thing you would like your fans to know about you?
That I and the entire Bumfamily, care about our fans and your representation. We care about inclusivity; we celebrate what society deems as strange, unattractive or unwanted. Whether it’s cellulite, stretch marks or any other perceived physical, emotional or mental ‘flaw’+, we see it and validate its existence. More importantly, It’s ok not to fit society’s norms and standards. It’s ok to look and be different, in fact it’s perfect!
We believe anyone of any race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, of any size, shape and color is to be seen and represented. BumBailey’s account is a safe space to spread positivity and have a little bit of silly fun!
Finally, the question I ask every virtual I meet—who are you, BumBailey?
BumBailey is anyone who you’d want them to be.