A biological male who identifies as transgender, and who shot to social media fame for documenting a failed attempt to get into every sorority at the University of Alabama, has now taken a leaf out of Dylan Mulvaney’s book and has launched a series of videos on TikTok documenting the days of being “openly a girl.”
Grant Sikes, whose TikTok handle is @grantelisikes, launched the Mulvaney-inspired series on Nov 18, and kicked things off on day one with a trip to the nail salon, which the influencer describes as being “a staple of femininity.”
Day 5 of being "openly a girl" involved trying on a long-haired wig; day 6 involved some self-reflection around the desire to have “big boobs,” whether or not the breasts would be “hard,” and what type of bra would be necessary, and on day 12 the biological male went shopping for tampons and treated the audience of TikTok followers to an unboxing of the product.
Mulvaney did something similar when the influencer was sponsored by Tampax, for reasons no one can quite understand, especially since Mulvaney calls female genitalia "Barbie pouches" and says girls can have a bottom "bulge."
The adult male Sikes initially appears to be very confused by the tampon’s plastic applicator, and then further confused by the tampon itself. The TikTok audience then gets to watch a grown male ponder about the purpose of the string, before pulling the tampon apart for what reason is anyone’s guess.
Earlier this year, Sikes posted on Instagram about the disappointment of being turned down by all twenty sororities at the University of Alabama, expressing hope “for a future where everyone is welcomed for just being themselves - everywhere.”
Sikes’s style is very similar to that of fellow TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney, who shot to social media stardom with the series 100 Days of Girlhood. Mulvaney has since appeared on the Ulta Beauty podcast to discuss the beauty of girlhood with another biological male, and even received an invitation to the White House to meet with President Biden to discuss trans rights, which he attended. Biden apparently said he was a fan of Mulvaney’s Days of Girlhood TikTok series, and advcoated for "trans kids."
It’s difficult to know whether the latest Mulvaney-wannabe’s documentation of Days of Being Openly a Girl are genuine, a parody of Mulvaney, or a desperate bid for a slice of the attention lavished on Mulvaney, but both individuals would do well to be aware of a concept called “audience capture,” which Gurwinder Bhogal has described as “an irresistible force in the world of influencing” involving “the gradual and unwitting replacement of a person's identity with one custom-made for the audience.”
Gurwinder uses one of the of the most famous, and tragic, examples of audience capture: that of Nicholas Perry, a vegan violinist who documented abandoning veganism on his YouTube channel and soon became captured by an audience challenging him to eat outrageous amounts of food. His persona, Nikocado Avocado, amassed six million YouTube subscribers, but at the cost of his health as he ballooned to being massively obese.
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