Chrissy Chlapecka On Going From BimboTok To Pop Star
The TikTok personality’s ultra-femme pop is just like her: very fun.
Chrissy Chlapecka wants her music to be an extension of who she is on the internet. Lucky for us, the 22-year-old – known as one of the primary figures to lead the resurgence of the term “bimbo” — is someone quite fun to be around. Think of Chlapecka as your unhinged friend who says what you really need to hear, like, “He is not the love of your life, he’s literally just a guy. Hit him with your car,” which she advised me, and her 5.2 million other TikTok followers, a few weeks ago.
After spending far too long feeling judged for who she was (aka a bimbo), Chlapecka’s journey through TikTok stardom has allowed her to fully create the Chrissy she was always meant to be: with pink hair, tiny little outfits, dramatized high voice, and all. She knows it’s polarizing, especially for men, but she really could care less. “I did not put myself out there for people to necessarily love. The people that love me, love me, and the people that just dislike me, really dislike me, and that's totally fine with me,” she tells NYLON via Zoom, smiling as she does.
What matters is that she has managed to re-create what a modern bimbo is (which is someone who is very emotionally and politically literate, may I add) and amass a community of fans through a doctrine of self-love. Now, she’s ready for the next part of the journey and what she has always wanted to do: music “Online is very important to me but my music is my most vulnerable self,” Chlapecka says. “I want to intertwine those two things.”
With two ultra-femme hyperpop singles out in the world, Chlapecka has so far managed to do just that: create a throughline between her content and her sound almost flawlessly. Here, Chlapecka talks about her journey to reclaim the term “bimbo,” dealing with alpha males online, and how she decides a song is worth releasing (hint: it involves lots of replay potential in a car).
How did you find out that you were a bimbo?
My whole life people looked down on me as a stereotypical dumb, blonde girly. I never excelled in school and my interests were in fashion and music and stuff in that world. I was always seen as less-than and that definitely affected me growing up, especially with my mental health and my self-worth. When I turned 20, I got myself out of a very abusive relationship and I started doing Tiktok and reinventing who Chrissy is. It was the way I always wanted to be and embracing the things about me that maybe people didn't like about me before, and I instantly went viral. One of my friends, Griffin Maxwell Brooks, had commented “bimbofication” and hearts on one of my videos, and it was like, Oh my God, I'm a bimbo. That's what it is. And, from there, I just started making content about how bimbo doesn't have to be a term that men give to you. My whole life men have been calling me things and treating me [in] certain ways so I thought, “We’re gonna take a step back and I'm going to do it myself and I'm going to do it in a way that is the most Chrissified way I can.” And that's how the birth of the Gen Z bimbo began.
The Gen-Z bimbo is playful, but she’s also really radical and progressive. How do you keep that balance between being silly and then also saying really important, leftist things?
I think there's beauty in the humorous way I can say some very important things and get it across with a silly little joke or a silly little thing I do. There are very big messages and very big things to be talked about — and certain things should be talked about very seriously, of course. But sometimes you need help to lighten that, or to say it in a way that helps someone else understand it. That's how I digest things. And I don't know if it's the trauma or if it's just who I am, but I'm just being creative with it. You don't always want to read a news source; maybe you need to hear something in another way. Having someone with pink hair and silly little outfits talking about body positivity and self-love, if I was younger and I had someone like myself to look up to, I’d think, “I can do that and I can be cool and I can love myself and do all the things.”
When you released your first single, you did a video with Sugar and Spice, who are also certified bimbos. What I really loved about the crossover was that on Drag Race, they were doubted for being TikTokers and bimbo-ish, but quickly became fan favorites and this collab was them once again owning it. Do you feel like when you're known for being a TikToker but then you have these other aspirations, whether music or drag, people doubt you?
It's very easy to giggle and make fun of TikTokers. I get it. Sometimes people look at other people on TikTok and they don't see any kind of talent or story, and it's just the videos they're putting up and that's it. So on Twitter, I saw people being so mad that Sugar and Spice were on the new season of RuPaul’s and it was like, “They’re drag queens! This is the show!” Just because they have done something great and found success online doesn't mean they're going to be bad. And you saw on the season, they were incredible and they're hilarious and they're made for TV. Even in my case, being a musician now and being an artist, I get a lot of comments that are like, “I thought this was just gonna be stupid new music, but I actually really like it.” And it's like, I know you're complimenting me, but that's also kind of rude. How dare someone who is brave enough to post on social media have dreams or feelings or other aspirations?
“I don't want to bullshit my audience, I want to be honest and real.”
It's so true. For you, what made now feel like the right time to release music?
Music has always been my end goal. Growing up, I was in every band and every choir and did musical theater up until I went to college. When I popped off on TikTok, I saw that as an opportunity to use my platform for music, but continue the things I say in my videos in my music and have them be very similar to each other. I really want to intertwine those two things. That's why “I'm so Hot” was my first-ever single because that's totally me online. Like, “I’m so hot, I’d f*ck myself.”
What inspired your latest song “Alpha”?
It's heavily inspired by my experience as a gal online. My biggest haters online have been men who probably call themselves an alpha male or a self-proclaimed incel, or, you know, both. So I really wanted to write about that experience and my thoughts on it, but also address the Andrew Tates of the world who are just spewing horrible, abusive behaviors online, hoping that people pick up on them. Even outside the internet, I am a gal with a lot of experience with shitty men who would also probably call themselves alpha males. I just think I had enough and I was like, “Let's put this into a song.” It’s about the irony of these guys online who go on every woman’s page and call them mid or are attacking them and their views and how they look and everything, and then you go to your DMs and there they are. And there’s that d*ck pic. Why not write a f*ck you to that?
It's interesting because it’s a little darker than “I'm So Hot” but still has such a similar vibe. Did it feel like the right follow-up song, or was it a lot to think about?
It felt like the right follow-up. I am trying to tell stories that are told on my TikTok and my Instagram of my life, not just because they're important, but also because I've most likely experienced these things. I don't want to bullshit my audience, I want to be honest and real and I want there to be a direct line between my content and the things I say to my music, and the things I care about. So “Alpha” is definitely darker, but it fits in the world that I'm creating and it has a fun little Y2K Twist. I really love both songs. I am definitely the girl who blasts her own music in the car.
I love that. You need to be your biggest fan.
Yes! I have to like the song enough to release it. I need to be able to loop it a million times in my car like I loop Lady Gaga or CharlieXCX or Slayyyter. It needs to be of that caliber in my mind. If I have a song in my hands that I can't do that with, I’m not going to release it. It’s not worth it.
Chrissy Chlapecka’s “Alpha” is out now.