Meet Shauni Kibby, the UK's 4th-most-popular TikTok star who spreads body positivity and goes viral for decapitating toys
- Shauni Kibby is the UK's 4th most popular TikTok creator with 14.1 million followers.
- Her young fanbase love her toy videos, which often rack up millions of views.
- Kibby also posts messages of body positivity and self-love in between.
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In one of TikToker Shauni Kibby's mega-viral videos, she beheads a plastic Pikachu doll to find a smaller one inside. It's a clever editing trick, but it's a format her fanbase, which she says is mostly comprised of 13- to 17 year-olds, loves.
In between the toy videos, which rack up millions of views, Kibby sprinkles messages of body positivity. In one recent post she showed herself struggling to put on a pair of jeans. Rather than getting upset or promoting weight loss, Kibby just smiled and danced with her jeans undone.
THANKYOU SM FOR 13.6Mil! (What should I do for 14Mil!? ##bodypositive♬ His & Hers - Internet Money & Gunna
It's a contrast to many celebrities who promote unrealistic body ideals to their fans. "Because I've got a young audience, I feel like it's really good for me to do that," Kibby, who goes by @itzshauni on TikTok, told Insider.
A survey from the Mental Health Foundation found that 79% of children aged 11-16 said how they look is important to them, and 52% often worry about how they look. Of those aged between 13 and 19, 35% said their body image causes them to worry. Kibby's TikTok is a place where young teens may find some of those feelings of inadequacy subside.
Kibby doesn't live a traditional influencer life
With 14.1 million followers, Kibby, 21, is the 4th-most-followed TikTok creator in the UK. She began posting on Musical.ly - which would later merge with TikTok - in 2016 when she left school. It's now her full-time job. She's constantly brainstorming ideas and films for several hours a day, she told Insider.
Kibby lives in the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare in the UK with her family and boyfriend, fellow TikToker Jake Sweet, who has 9.1 million followers.
Last year, the couple spent some time in the London influencer collective house ByteHouse. It was a temporary experiment that ended in March 2021, but Kibby probably wouldn't have stuck around if it had continued.
"They were already a formed a group before we joined," Kibby said of the other members. "And going into a friendship group doesn't really always work out."
While it started out as fun, Kibby realized the lifestyle probably wasn't for her after a few weeks. She much prefers her current living situation, where she has a big garden for filming and is surrounded by countryside.
Wing wing wing @itzshauni♬ original sound - Jake Sweet
Kibby hopes to be a positive role model for a young generation
Kibby occasionally gets hateful comments about her content, but the majority of her messages are overwhelmingly positive.
"When I first started posting, I knew that if I was going to do it, I was going to get hate," she said. "I'm good at blocking it out. I don't think it really bothers me at all."
Kibby said she's quite shy and introverted and enjoys being able to do her work from behind a screen. She said she's struggled with confidence since being a teenager at school and has "bullied" herself about her appearance.
She wants to spread the message of self-love to her young followers who might be going through the same thing, she said - and wants her fans to know they don't have to constantly compare themselves to the influencers they see on their phones or the people they see out in the real world.
"I went to a water park the other day, and I was just looking around and I was like, 'Oh my gosh, everyone's so beautiful, why can't I be like that?'" Kibby said.
"But actually, we're all just there for a good time. No one's judging anyone. Just be yourself, have fun, and don't worry about what others are thinking, because more than likely they're not thinking anything."
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