Gaining millions of followers in the space of just a few months, SIENNA MAE GOMEZ experienced a meteoric rise on TikTok.
Now, with a dedicated fanbase, Sienna was chosen by TikTok as one of 12 trailblazers in the Latinx community and was included in TikTok’s Top 100 list as one of the most impactful creators as a voice of change.
We caught up with Sienna to talk about her incredible journey – becoming one of TikTok’s most beloved influencers.
AC: In just a few months, you’ve amassed millions of followers. Does life feel surreal right now?
SIENNA MAE GOMEZ – There are definitely days where my life feels surreal! But my family has been so supportive and my close friends have been in it with me every step of the way. Life is good!
AC: How did you start on TikTok?
SIENNA MAE GOMEZ – I first started making content on what’s now my second account (@siennamaegomezz) in mid-2019 because the app was gaining popularity and my friends and I thought it was so cool to have this “new” platform to post fun videos. I didn’t start posting to what’s now my main account (@siennamae) until August 2020. I posted my first video there as a total joke because I set it up as a spam account for my closest friends and family. I didn’t realize that the settings were public, not private, and woke up the next morning to the video going viral, which I did not expect at all! I was just having fun and posted the video as a joke; I literally had just finished a bowl of ice cream, put the bowl in the sink, and hit record on my phone. It was just me being me!
AC: What do you feel has contributed to your success on TikTok?
SIENNA MAE GOMEZ – My parents always taught me that living in authenticity happens when who you are on the inside mirrors who you are on the outside; that when those two things are in alignment, it makes life much easier. I’m finding out for myself how true this is! I think part of my success is due to the fact that I’m unapologetic about being myself on TikTok, that the content I’m putting out is totally authentic. People who see me on social media see the real me and that is so freeing! I love not having to put on an act or keep in a certain character. I’m able to post what I like, when I like, and seem to be inspiring others along the way, which really just makes me so happy.
AC: How do you typically find inspiration for your videos or your choreography?
SIENNA MAE GOMEZ – Like a lot of creators, I pay attention to what’s trending. But I also text ideas back and forth with my friends; we’ll send funny videos to each other and songs we like. Some of my very best friends, Jack and James Wright, are also influencers and because we live down the street from each other we love getting together to make content. A lot of what we post is just us hanging out and being regular teenagers. As a trained dancer, I pick up choreography pretty fast and take inspiration from dances already made and in making my own. Mostly, I get inspiration from what is fun, what will make me and hopefully others laugh, what will cause conversation, or what will help or inspire people.
AC: You recently partnered with Maybelline. What can you tell us about the partnership?
SIENNA MAE GOMEZ – I am so honored and excited to be Maybelline’s newest ambassador. It’s the first time in Maybelline history that they have enlisted a Gen Z, Latinx, digital-first talent for a long-term partnership. I’ll be working with Maybelline on digital campaigns throughout the year, helping them conceptualize social content across channels. One of the first campaigns I did was with celebrity makeup artist Ariel Tejada, who has now also become a good friend. We are featured in a four-part YouTube series on Maybelline’s channel which helps girls learn how to properly apply makeup using their newest collection. I love that Maybelline respects the fact that I like being a little more “natural” looking and actually worked that into our campaigns together. I knew from the start that my values were very much aligned with Maybelline’s values: That all of us are beautiful just the way we are. I’m also really excited about hopefully attending New York Fashion Week this year as part of the Maybelline team. I love getting dressed up and going to events, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it happens!
AC: Do you have ambitions to use your platform for social impact?
SIENNA MAE GOMEZ – That is an interesting question. Creators like me are constantly being asked by fans and organizations to support various causes – everything from global causes to local causes. In a perfect world, I’d support everything and lend my voice and my platform to all that I’m asked to. But realistically, I can’t do that. First off, I’m only 17-years old and there’s so much I don’t know. That’s why I try to steer people to other influencers or professionals who are passionate and knowledgeable about specific causes so that together, we can learn more and then take action. To throw my name at something just because I’m asked to is performative activism, and I don’t feel comfortable with that at all. But where I do feel comfortable using my platform for social impact is around mental and emotional health issues, especially for young people like myself. As a teenager who has struggled with anxiety, and because I have friends who have struggled with depression, eating disorders, and their sexuality, this is where my passion is. Singer Sam Smith and I recently partnered to raise money on TikTok for the Trevor Project; I worked with Instagram to donate $25,000 to Teen Line, a teen-to-teen hotline run in conjunction with Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles; and part of the reason I wanted to partner with Maybelline was because of their global cause initiative around mental health, called Brave Together. Over the next 5 years they will donate $10 million to global and local mental health organizations. I’m very honored and excited to be part of that.
AC: Since we’re still in the midst of a quarantine, has this time period prompted you to find any new interests or hobbies?
SIENNA MAE GOMEZ – Yes! And it’s also kind of forced me to find peace in being with myself. Because I was a competitive dancer for so many years, and also super active at my high school, I would literally spend my days going from one thing to another with absolutely no downtime. Quarantine has forced me to slow down, connect with myself, and be okay just sitting in silence – which is something I never liked before. In these silent spaces, I’ve learned that I really love to journal. I’m also trying to learn everything I can about Astrology, yoga, the laws of attraction and manifesting. It’s been fascinating to learn new ways of thinking about myself, my friends, my journey, and my health.
AC: What are some of your long-term goals as an influencer?
SIENNA MAE GOMEZ – If long-term I can be someone who girls continue to look up to, then I’ll be happy. As an entertainer, I expect my goals will evolve as I continue to get older and wiser. I would love to try acting, and once the pandemic is over, I’d love to go out on some kind of dance tour so I can meet my fans in person. I’m such a people person and just want to hug everyone who supports me! Jennifer Lopez is one of my inspirations. She went from dancer, to actor, to singer to business mogul and at age 51, is still one of the best performers of our generation. If my career can look anything like hers, then I will have achieved every single one of my dreams.
AC: What can fans look forward to in the upcoming year? Any future projects you can tell us about?
SIENNA MAE GOMEZ – I definitely have some projects in the works, like designing and launching my own line of swimwear! You’ll also see me partnered with Maybelline and IPSY. Additionally, I have a fun TV project coming later this year and a few other opportunities that I can’t share quite yet. I feel so blessed and grateful for all of the incredible things I’m working on in 2021!
PHOTOGRAPHY: FLIGHT HOUSE
INTERVIEW: ADAM CROOKES