Serena Shahidi Is Redefining the ‘Girlboss’

Name: Serena Shahidi, a.k.a. @glamdemon2004

Age: 21

Location: New York

Following: 410,000 on TikTok

Content: Serena Shahidi is a TikTok creator known for her frank and comedic videos about dating, and navigating life in New York City in your early 20s. She also shares book recommendations, Twitter threads and YouTube videos she enjoys. “I cast a wide net when it comes to the type of content I make,” she said.

A frequent topic of her videos are scammers and “girlbosses,” including Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced founder of Theranos. “Girlboss been through quite the internet cycle because it started off a genuine feminist thing,” she said. “And then, as it was being critiqued, it went into this ironic concept.” Now, she added, it is somewhere between ironic and not. When asked if she would consider herself a girlboss, Ms. Shahidi replied, “I’d like to think so.”

Before fame: She began posting TikTok videos last spring while quarantining in her windowless room in a nine-bedroom apartment in downtown Manhattan. Ms. Shahidi, who grew up in suburban North Carolina, came to New York City when she was 18 to pursue a career in fashion and, until recently, was a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

But she has since dropped out to become a social media creator and comedian. Last August, Ms. Shahidi created a podcast titled “Let Me Ruin Your Life.” She makes money through sponsorships and selling shout-outs on Cameo.

“I love comedy, I love standup, I love podcasting,” she said. “I also love the idea of just kind of being notorious for being a socialite.” She added: “I love the idea of just being an icon and representing something. And when people hear Serena Shahidi they have an image in their heads.”

Advice: Ms. Shahidi would tell her followers not to take the internet, and the opinions of others on the internet, too seriously. “I’m kind of grateful that I spent my teenage years not having many friends and being online,” she said, “because I really started to understand the internet and the cycles that creators go through and how the internet works in terms of people liking and disliking people very quickly in a very predictable cycle.”

Favorite follower: Ms. Shahidi said she will never get over the fact that Hank Green, known for his YouTube videos about science, follows her. “It was a big milestone,” she said. “And personally I just think it’s such a riot that the guy who taught me science in high school is witnessing my shenanigans and debauchery.”

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