WARNING: This post will be completely different from anything I have written on this site. Not a stitch of politics, social justice, legal analysis or right wing propaganda. Instead, it will be an introduction to a 21-year old lipsyncing phenom that is taking over TikTok with his perfect smile, floppy hair and piercing eyes -- and what his rise to viral fame says about social media, gender roles and the psychological brain melt he is causing men.
The man is William White, aka whiteyy18. He is a new face at Mode Models and, up until this past weekend, was a regular kid, living in Canada with his family and working landscaping. Until...this video:
Then came Mandy and the ladies went CRAZY. Women were posting videos of themselves wearing nametags that said "Mandy". A group of nurses even posted themselves in uniform with a shift sign - and all of their names were Mandy. Then came Betty Davis Eyes. And Heaven. Of course, Stacy's Mom - literally the BEST song he could have done for his target audience. Some Police Every Breathe You Take. This guy knows his audience. Finally, Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics.
The entire place went nuts. Duets, comments and whiteyy18 fan groups popped up. In hours. Every other video on your fyp page (for you page, the algorithm that suggests content based on what you have recently watched or clicked on) was flooded with his content or duets. No one could escape him. Which women loved...and men hated. The counter videos were funny, for the most part, but many men tried to replicate his charisma (and failed) or posted videos insinuating that women that were flocking to this 21-year olds page were doing something wrong because they are adults and he is too young for them to admire.
Now, let's take a step back and think about that. Social media is filled with older men creeping on younger women - Charli D'Amelio is only 17 and the comments from men are vile. Remember all those countdown clocks that tracked when celebs, like Lindsay Lohan or the Olson twins, turned 18? And people just chuckled - men being men!
That is why I am so incredibly fascinated by this whiteyy18 viral sensation. I actually posted my own video talking about this phenomenon from a psychological perspective and how it completely flipped the narrative in a way that shook social media, and men, to the core. For as long as time, older men admiring younger women has been the norm. From tv to movies to real life - it is practically expected that men dating women 10, 20, 30 years younger is acceptable.
Russell Crowe, 56, has a new girlfriend, aged 30. Leonardo DiCaprio always dates models in their early 20's. Currently he, at age 46, is dating a 23-year old. Dennis Quaid, 66, is married to a 27-year old. Brad Pitt, 56, was rumored to be dating a 27-year old model in early 2020 and no one flinched.
Think about how often you see older women with younger men? Rarely, if ever. When a woman dates a younger man, she is called a Cougar. When older men date younger women, they are called...men. Many studies have researched this phenomenon and found that women hit their prime around age 18, while men hit their prime around age 50! That is...shocking. A study by dating app OkCupid found that “the median 30-year-old man spends as much time messaging teenage girls as he does women his own age”.
So back to William White and his rise to viral fame. He has managed to do something absolutely astonishing - he took his cover model good looks and natural born charisma and realized that what women want - what ALL women want - is to be SEEN. To feel valuable, special, noticed, desirable. They want to be serenaded by music from THEIR youth. They want to be transported back to a time when they were not known as a Mom or Wife or a Housekeeper or Cook. They want to be SEEN. And wow, does he see them. Not only does he post brilliantly simple content, but he does live videos where he reads comments and answers questions. He politely replies to comments on his videos in a tone that fits his age - polite, appreciative, kind.
So to this young man - thank you. From all of us unseen women, thank you for SEEING us and for making us feel valued.