In the ever-churning whirlpool of trends and viral sensations that is TikTok, one video has risen above the rest in 2023. Not a dance challenge, not a hilarious skit, but a seemingly simple makeup tutorial posted by beauty influencer Nyadollie Deng. With over 500 million views and counting, her video has smashed records and become a cultural phenomenon, sparking conversations about representation, inclusivity, and the power of beauty in its broadest sense.
Nyadollie, a South Sudanese model and advocate for representation in the beauty industry, posted her now-iconic video in March. In it, she walks viewers through her everyday makeup routine, her radiant smile and infectious confidence captivating the audience. The video itself is deceptively simple – foundation, concealer, brows, eyeshadow, blush, and lipstick. But it’s in that simplicity that the magic lies.
Unlike the heavily filtered, perfectly sculpted looks often dominating the world of online beauty, Nyadollie’s tutorial showcases her naturally flawless dark skin, celebrating her unique features and beauty. This refreshing embrace of individuality resonates with viewers who crave a break from the cookie-cutter standards often seen online.
“It was just me doing my makeup like I always do,” says Nyadollie in an interview. “I didn’t expect it to blow up like this. But I think it touched a nerve with people. They were tired of seeing the same kind of faces, the same kind of beauty. They wanted to see someone who looked like them, someone they could relate to.”
And relate they do. The comment section under the video is a testament to its impact. Viewers, especially women of color, share stories of feeling seen and empowered by Nyadollie’s confidence and genuine approach. “Finally, a makeup tutorial for someone who looks like me!” writes one commenter. “I never thought I could be beautiful with my dark skin, but seeing you makes me feel so much better about myself,” says another.
Nyadollie’s viral success transcends the realm of mere makeup tutorials. It speaks to a larger societal shift towards more diverse and inclusive beauty standards. 2023 has seen a growing appreciation for different skin tones, features, and body types, with platforms like TikTok becoming a breeding ground for this change. Influencers like Nyadollie, along with brands that are finally embracing inclusivity, are paving the way for a beauty landscape that represents the true spectrum of human experience.
Of course, the journey hasn’t been without its bumps. Nyadollie has faced criticism and negativity, particularly from those who cling to traditional beauty ideals. But she remains undeterred, using her platform to advocate for change and challenge narrow definitions of beauty.
“There’s still a long way to go,” she says, “but I think this video is a sign that things are changing. People are starting to realize that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and that’s something worth celebrating.”
Nyadollie’s viral tutorial isn’t just about makeup; it’s about self-acceptance, empowerment, and breaking down barriers. With over 500 million views, it’s not just a video; it’s a movement. And in the vibrant, ever-evolving world of TikTok, that’s a pretty big deal.