Rickey Thompson is very online. At 23, he has 5 million Instagram followers; a devoted fan base that is likely due to his always-positive, funny, approachable style. But beneath all of the memes, he is a real person, too. So like the rest of us, the comedian is doing his best to keep his spirits high during the holidays as seasonal depression hits.
“Oh my god, girl,” Thompson said, laughing, during American Eagle’s Delivering Good Collection launch on Wednesday. “Let me tell you about it. It’s so hard. I have to keep myself hyped up, surrounded with positive people, good vibes, and I’ll be okay.” Thompson was in New York City for the launch, which features QR Codes encouraging shoppers to donate directly to Delivering Good, an organization that supports those impacted by poverty and other economic tragedy.
“If I’m feeling down, I always want to put something on that’s going to really showcase my cute body,” Thompson said. “So I’ll wear a tight shirt. You know, let the people see what they see and then when I get compliments, I’m like oh, I’m better now.” Naturally, we asked which pair of American Eagle jeans make his butt look the best. “These super skinny jeans,” he said, immediately. “I’m so insecure about my butt, but it’s looking juicy in these jeans.”
It’s that sort of authenticity that draws people to Thompson, following him from the now-defunct Vine to Instagram. He regularly goes viral and offered up this advice if you, too, want to do it for the ‘gram this holiday season: “Be original. Do something that is so you and people will be drawn to that. It will go viral. Trust.”
It seems too simple to be true, but he insisted: “At first, I used to be so scared that it wouldn’t work,” he explained. “But honestly, at this point, I’m just going to post it. If you like it, you like it. If you don’t, you don’t. That’s it.”
If Thompson goes viral from his Raleigh, North Carolina home this holiday, we’re going to bet he’s wearing a sweater with matching knit pants. “This year, I’m going to give you a cute two-piece,” he says. “Warm, cozy, but also very cute.” And the earrings? We asked, gesturing to his curated silver hoops lining both of his ears. “These are just Claire’s, girl.”