A TikToker's design hack to make her refrigerator look more 'vibey' using antique picture frames hugely backfired, resulting in a flood of hate

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A TikToker's design hack to make her refrigerator look more 'vibey' using antique picture frames hugely backfired, resulting in a flood of hate
Many viewers hated Wagner's refrigerator makeover.tiktok.com/@itsaverywagner
  • 30-year-old Avery Wagner thought she was posting a harmless hack to help viewers spruce up their refrigerators.
  • She went viral and was met with a flood of negative comments.
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A TikToker who thought she was posting a helpful interior design hack to make her kitchen more "vibey" went viral for unintended reasons. Her post has been viewed 1.2 million times over the last month — and was flooded with more comments trolling her than taking her design cues.

Avery Wagner, 30, who happens to work in social media strategy, told Insider the backlash left her feeling "paralyzed" from posting in the future.

In mid-February, Wagner shared a video that she called "the greatest hack to make your basic bitch fridge look vibey as fuck." Wagner took ornate picture frames she'd thrifted for $10 and affixed them to her refrigerator doors before taping artwork inside each frame. "I love this because I can change my art in and out," she said. "And voila, you have a whole new kitchen."

@itsaverywagner you guys out here merchandizing the inside only…how about the outside?? #fridgetok #fridgecheck #apartmentliving #kitchendecorideas #fridgehack #stylingfridge #fridgegoals ♬ I Think I Like When It Rains - WILLIS

Commenters didn't share her enthusiasm. "You're honestly brave for posting this," wrote a TikTok user. "Bless your heart."

Others were were unclear whether she was being serious with her hack, writing, "Is this a prank?" and "Oof the term vibey gives me full body shudders."

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Wagner, who operates a social media consultancy in Tucson, said in a follow-up video a few days later that the flood of mean comments had given her anxiety.

"Because I'm in the [social media] space, I logically know that I created a good piece of content because people were organically engaging in debate in the comments," she told Insider. "But then that logic side of my brain quickly exited the building and I started taking it very personally."

As a self-identified people pleaser, she felt like she'd "let people down," she said.

@itsaverywagner lil miss anxiety would really like to thank all the haters in the comments section on this one.. @itsaverywagner ♬ original sound - FJerry

Wager has wanted to go viral — and the video did hypercharge her personal TikTok account from 120 to 1,200 followers. But the experience has made her more hesitant to post. Before her now-infamous hack, she was posting two to three times per week. She's only posted two videos since February.

"Getting that negative backlash definitely put the brakes on everything," she said. "I don't know where to go from here."

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Over time, however, the gut punch gave way to some levity, as she and her mom are now able to laugh about the ordeal. (The picture frames were initially her mom's idea.) And when she looked at the comments a month later, something strange had happened: The tide had shifted, and the messages of support were starting to rival — if not outweigh — the hate.

"Wait I love this so much," a commenter wrote more recently. "Why do y'all hate it??"

"That's also an interesting commentary on TikTok," Wagner said. "There's all these negative bullies and naysayers, and then there's plenty of people that come to your rescue and are like, 'No, let her live.'"

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