Before finally downloading TikTok, I assumed that the moment I did, a bunch of teen girls would drop from the sky and tell me I was wearing the wrong bike shorts. After attending VidCon this summer, I knew the meme-centric video app was a big deal — maybe even bigger than YouTube itself. I told myself it was not for my millennial eyes, that I wouldn't actually find anything I liked on there, much less understood. I feared that by interacting with it, I'd feel like an outsider depending on a bunch of exasperated Gen-Zers to explain to me their inside jokes. The best thing I ever did for myself was get over that fear and dive in.
It all changed when I watched this "Mr. Sandman" video. The "Mr. Sandman" meme had been spreading on the platform using an in-app filter that lined up perfectly with the lyrics of the classic song. However, when that template was then used in conjunction with an apathetic orange cat, that was all I needed to hear. If TikTok was for that, then it was for me.
"On TikTok, you can be your most authentic and interesting self. Amongst the talented musicians and comedians, you can find orthodontists, plumbers, flight attendants and baristas all showing their daily lives in creative and inspiring videos," Kudzi Chikumbu, Head of Creator Partnerships at TikTok, told Refinery29 in a statement. "They proudly show who they are to the world in entertaining ways — that can mean being a body positive influencer, a representative for Black women in STEM, or a language teacher. No passion is too niche on TikTok because you will be celebrated for having fun being yourself."
But since the app is such a wealth of content, the hardest part is knowing where to start. While just scrolling through the "For You" feed delivers varied content from accounts big and small, we've curated a list of specific creators who best exemplify TikTok's diverse and curious spirit.
Ahead are all the best TikTok accounts you should be following on the app.