Who is TikTok's number one trending influencer, "Tube Girl"? This summer, Sabrina Bahsoon uploaded an iconic video of herself dancing on the Tube. Unlike millions of other dancing videos on TikTok, Bahsoon showed off her creative camera work and confidence as other passengers watched her in the London transit system called the Tube.
Bahsoon quickly went viral, garnering hundreds of thousands of followers in as little as four months. She's nearly at a million now. She was soon known as the "Tube Girl," and other girls took on the challenge to record themselves in public to get over their fears of being perceived and judged.
Then, celebrities started hopping on the trend – including Troye Sivan, Penn Badgley, Bella Poarch, and Yungblud.
MAC Cosmetics soon got ahold of Tube Girl too. She was featured in their ads, and they got the influencer walk at their Face Show, a runway show during London Fashion Week. Since then, Bahsoon has been booked nonstop for modeling gigs by numerous brands like Valentina and Boss.
However, not everyone is a fan of the "Tube Girl Effect." Some people have even equated the phenomenon as the "first step to social media dystopia." @adamkindacool on TikTok brought his hot take to the platform, saying the trend "empowers" individuals to "look stupid on social media." He added, "And what that's really saying is that your presence on social media is more important than your presence in real life."
I get what he's saying. My concern is that women fall victim to valuing their online personas more than their real-life interactions. In seeking constant validation from likes and views, people may lose their sense of self-worth rather than gaining it and engage in behaviors that are performative rather than authentic. At the same time, I think girls recording themselves dancing in public is the least we have to worry about. If the trend does help a lot of women get over their social anxiety and find confidence in themselves, then is it really that bad? In my opinion, Bahsoon is one of the most harmless and inspiring creators. She's helped other women disregard what other people think of them, and we witnessed her go from being a random graduate riding the Tube to suddenly becoming a media sensation and model.
Who Is Sabrina Bahsoon?
Bahsoon, 23, is beautiful and very intelligent – in fact, she is a law graduate from Durham University. The new model was born and raised in Malaysia; her father is half Sierra Leonean and half Lebanese, and her mom is Malaysian. She relocated to London for college, and while she did work hard to excel at her studies, Bahsoon admits that she always wanted to be a "rock star" but was discouraged by her family. "Every Southeast Asian girl can relate to this. When you have a talent that’s not traditional, you’re not super encouraged to follow it as a career," she told Glamour Magazine UK.
"The kind of community pressures you have to face, sometimes that shapes who you are and how you act. That’s why I’ve only started now rather than before. I was concerned about what will my family think, or family friends," Bahsoon continued. "That’s why a lot of Southeast Asian girls are scared to put themselves out there. Our stereotype of being nerdy, and the transformation when we take our glasses off – I’m sick of seeing that."
“We’re baddies! We have our fashion, our jewelry and makeup," she added. "We can show up and show out. I want to show that side of us. There are so many of us unapologetically ourselves being ourselves, just not in the influencer world."
The biggest reason why Bahsoon went viral is because she doesn't seem to care what people think about her. Be honest, how many times have you tried to take a mirror selfie in a public restroom only to put your phone away as soon as another woman walked in? We do that because we fear being judged for taking selfies in public. Sometimes, we even judge others for doing the same. Bahsoon says she doesn't do that, though, and it's obvious that her positive outlook has tremendously helped her out in life. “I’m not a judgemental person. If I see someone doing something crazy, I think you live your life, you do you," Bahsoon said. "So I don’t think about people judging me. If they do, that’s sad for them. Also, people will think about you for five minutes and then think about themselves for the rest of the time.”
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