|When Brittany Tomlinson tried kombucha for the first time and filmed herself on a whim, she didn’t think it would explode as much as it did. Almost instantly, her face was emblazoned all over Twitter / Photo by: zeevveez via Flickr|
When Brittany Tomlinson tried kombucha for the first time and filmed herself on a whim, she didn’t think it would explode as much as it did. Almost instantly, her face was emblazoned all over Twitter. Her disgust-and-intrigue facial expression became the most recognizable and relatable reaction meme for every time someone tried or did something they felt disgusted about and later on changed their minds.
It was a crazy few weeks; in no time at all, her face made numerous people laugh in Twitter replies. It was the meme that spoke to closeted lesbians, even, and a whole host of other things. But when asked about it herself, the “Kombucha Girl,” a.k.a. Tomlinson, says she’s really just tired of seeing her own face on social media.
How Big Was It?
When it comes to viral videos, the barometer for actual virality is often different for each video. Some become viral as a one-time thing, and some become “icons” for the many people always active on social media.
And Tomlinson has definitely become an icon.
TIME reports that TikTok actually hailed her video as one of the top ten videos of 2019 for garnering a grand total of 11 million total engagements, this includes collective likes, comments, views, and shares.
Adding how many times her video was also regurgitated to add different captions in, it’s safe to say that Tomlinson’s TikTok video skyrocketed her to fame she didn’t know she could attain. She told TIME in an interview that she had taken selfies with fans who knew her from her TikTok, and its subsequent iterations, and sometimes she would even hear someone yell kombucha “and I answer to it,” she shares.
That fame helped her grow her follower count, and now she has more than 100 videos and two million followers on TikTok. It’s even come to a point where she would occasionally get stopped at bars and asked if she could re-enact her viral TikTok live.
According to an article by The Daily Dot, a digital media company covering internet culture and life on the web, Twitter users @camyounot and @SamanthaRay16 have both posted videos they took of Tomlinson when they ran into her at the bar and requested her to re-enact her videos.
Mostly, she takes it in stride, but hilariously, she also admits she’s just sick of scrolling through Twitter -- where the video really took off -- and seeing her face everywhere. So much so that she even made a TikTok meta joke about it, and like that kombucha video, it was darned funny, too.
Behind the Viral Video
These days, Tomlinson switches between sponsorships, collaborating with other content creators, and continually touching base with her audience on TikTok, and she’s making enough money from it. After working at a call center and even at a bank, she is now rubbing elbows with companies like Chipotle, Crocs, KIND, and even GT, a kombucha brand; talk about serendipity.
Her endeavors these days are lucrative, to say the least. All those collaborations and partnerships with companies are what take up most of her time, and though her team declined to disclose to TIME how much she now makes, the estimate is around $1,000 and $3,500 per sponsored post.
Her fame has landed her the chance to move to LA, too, where more content creators reside, all because of that one video. In an interview with The Eagle, a website with news and updates from Brazos Valley and Texas A&M University, Tomlinson says she was inspired to try kombucha after she watched Cody Ko and Noel Miller, two YouTube creators, interview the CEO of one of the largest kombucha companies in the world.
“I had never heard of kombucha,” Tomlinson admitted, “so I was like, ‘What is this? It looks disgusting. I went and grabbed it, and then I literally just got home, put my groceries away and sat down and filmed myself trying it, and literally the rest is history.”
|After working at a call center and even at a bank, she is now rubbing elbows with companies like Chipotle, Crocs, KIND, and even GT, a kombucha brand; talk about serendipity / Photo by: Miosotis Jade via Wikimedia Commons|
She did share that she hoped her new career path will eventually make her known as more than the Kombucha Girl.
“Hopefully if I put out enough content, people will start to recognize me just as being my face and not just one specific thing,” she tells The Eagle.
When asked about whether her online persona is different from how she really is in real life, she said that the two personalities are not at all different. As the resident “funny friend” in her friend groups, it was practically etched in her past that she would eventually, at 22, give the world some hearty laughs as well.
In fact, before TikTok, she shared with The Eagle that her earlier content was just videos she would make for her high school friends. Her transition to TikTok was actually motivated by a friend who saw her original video on Snapchat and encouraged her to try and post it on TikTok.
Still, Tomlinson says she will still continue to make content for her followers first. “You’ve gotta listen. You’re making content for these people. If they don’t like it, don’t make that kind of content.”