For Gen Z, Playing an Influencer on TikTok Comes Naturally

Rachel Aaron, a 24-year-old who works in public relations in New York, recently dressed up for a work event at Bloomingdale’s. In the era of “get ready with me” videos on TikTok, it was a golden opportunity to create content.

Ms. Aaron, who has just 3,300 followers on TikTok, filmed herself chatting to the camera while selecting a black Skims dress, a blazer and a belt. Her post garnered a few hundred views and some favorable comments like “Slay mamas.”

Ms. Aaron is not a major social media star, nor is she a celebrity. At least not yet. But she is part of a generation that is increasingly posting on social media in the manner of professional influencers: sharing daily routines, pitching or unboxing products, modeling clothing and advertising personal Amazon storefronts. These videos are often viewed as cool and entrepreneurial by peers (and sometimes by bemused parents). They can also lead to free stuff and extra cash.

Ms. Aaron lists an email for brand inquiries on her…

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This article was written by Sapna Maheshwari and originally published on