Meet Bobbi, Your TikTok Friend Who Knows Just A Little Too Much About Pop Culture
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Meet Bobbi, Your TikTok Friend Who Knows Just A Little Too Much About Pop Culture

"If I can teach one person something that they didn't know before, then all of this is worth it."

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Meet Bobbi, Your TikTok Friend Who Knows Just A Little Too Much About Pop Culture
Photo by Bobbi Miller

When you scroll through your For You Page and see Bobbi Miller, the host of TikTok account @theafternoonspecial, you already get some insight into who she is. You see her colorful wall of pop culture references behind her, feel her warm presence, and listen to her innate, and well-researched knowledge of pop culture. Watching her videos refreshes you, and it feels like you're having an interesting, eye-opening conversation with a friend.

In each of her videos, she introduces herself as "your friend who knows just a little too much about pop culture," which sets the tone for her page of over 60K followers. "I like creating the environment that I'm not speaking from a place of authority, but as a friend who is just sharing this thing that I know with you," said Miller.

www.tiktok.com

Miller, a recent graduate of University of Georgia, has always been a self-proclaimed pop culture nerd. Curious since she was young, she'd go beyond just watching a TV show or movie, she'd immerse herself in it. She'd watch behind the scenes videos, making-of documentaries, and think of unique questions throughout watching.

As an adult, she looks back at the media she consumed as a child with a more critical eye. With the knowledge she's gained over the years, and the drive to research different themes and tropes in media, Miller's understanding of popular media has grown tremendously and become a huge part of who is.

Miller said, "It's a fun exercise to go back and look at things that I used to watch as a kid because I look at it through the lens of 'why as a child did I like this?'" She can also look back on certain media she watched throughout her life and see it for its complexity and larger meaning in society. (See Sesame Street video below.)

@theafternoonspecial on TikTokwww.tiktok.com

Through her TikTok account, Miller is able to share her knowledge through planned-out, one-minute video bytes. To Miller, these short videos are almost like mini productions to her: "I saw that there were other people doing similar things to what I'm doing, but they were a little more candid," she said. "They would pop onto the camera and start talking, whereas with me, I felt like there could be a little more production value brought to this process." Miller uses a short video-essay format with clear evidence, images and structure to get her points across.

After her video about how food intermixes with film blew up with 37.6K likes, Miller "was so happy to see that people were learning something," because that was the ultimate goal of her page.

Now, with this ever-growing platform and open communication with her followers, she is able to spread her message of unapologetic authenticity: "I hope through my content I'm allowing space for others to not have to feel guilty or closeted about liking certain pieces of media, because we all like what we like."

Going along with this important message, in our over-the-phone interview, Miller and I had engaging dialogue about how said "guilty pleasure" movies like Bring it On and Mean Girls don't have to be "guilty" because society said so, they can just be "pleasures."

She also dove into how she believes that loving animation is not something people should be ashamed about, which was the topic of her first video she posted. As someone who genuinely appreciates animated media for its storytelling and intricacy, Miller equates both critically-acclaimed live-action films and animated films with each other "because they're accomplishing a very big feat of telling a story that is both visually engaging and naritively sound."

No matter your opinion on a certain piece, genre or form of media, Miller wants to cultivate a community of respect and learning within her page. She hopes to promote the idea of "always think[ing] critically" and "hav[ing] fun" with anyone that interacts with her content.

"If something brings you joy, whether it's a TV show or movie, let the joy that it brings you supersede anything else," Miller said.

To watch Miller's videos and learn something new about pop culture, check out @theafternoonspecial on TikTok.



"Being a black woman, especially a black woman who loves animation, there's not a ton of examples of black people in animation," Miller said. So she included this representation of characters she relates to her photo wall. "This wall is me in photo form," she said.

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