Authenticity and Advice from a TikTok Creator

By Lauren Filippini (Alpha Chi, Butler University), editor

One million followers. It’s a milestone for any social media content creator, and Madison Anne (Gamma Chi, Stetson University) hit that number on TikTok within two years of her first video. That video focused on how to find your bra size and set the course for Madison’s career – one that she had never planned to pursue!

“I didn’t intend to go viral. I had like seven followers,” Madison says of her first video, which garnered a million views in its first two hours and brought her 100,000 followers in the first week. Madison had just returned to Atlanta from London in March 2020, where she’d been living after completing her master’s degree in museum curation. While she was unemployed due to the pandemic, a friend suggested Madison make a TikTok using the knowledge she had from working at a lingerie store – which could be especially helpful with stores not doing bra fittings due to COVID-19.

“I never intended to make a bra education TikTok, but people started asking questions,” Madison said, pointing to the lack of education for how to size for a bra. “There was a lot of shock that cup sizes go above a D cup! There’s power in having the right size bra and wearing the right size underwear and making sure you’re comfortable and it supports you physically and emotionally.”

A career with social media is a dream for many, and while Madison doesn’t deny it’s been a great experience, she also wants others to know it’s hard work. “It’s seen as this outlet for being your own boss, and while that’s true, it really is a full-time job,” she says. “I’m up until 1 a.m. catching up on emails and fielding offers from brands and working on my posting schedule for the next month.”

Amid videos about how to fix underwire digging into your skin and how to properly wash your bras, Madison has learned a lot along her social media journey. For example, she shares that TikTok is not a profitable platform compared to sites like YouTube and Instagram, so she does work with paid advertising; for those posts, she’s committed to only working with brands that she has used herself or that she thinks her followers would benefit from. TikTok is also a volatile platform and has rigid content guidelines. “It really does not like if you say the word ‘bra’ or show any cleavage in a video,” she points out, which is obviously quite difficult given her focus on bra education. “TikTok could ban me or go down at any time.” So part of her efforts are considering new platforms and other opportunities for engagement, such as one day providing online virtual shopping and bra fittings.

Working full-time on social media content has also taught Madison the key to success: authenticity. “The biggest thing is being your best, most authentic self, which is something I know Alpha Chi really taught me in my collegiate years,” she says. “People gravitate toward creators who are open and honest and being themselves. Talk about what you do know. For me, that happens to be bras.”

Madison says she hopes she’s fostering a community of inclusion, accessibility and acceptance. She’s heard from followers that her content and education have helped them feel comfortable in a bra for the first time or finally find a bra that fits.

When thinking about the future, Madison shares, “If anything, 2020 taught us the universe doesn’t really care about a five-year plan.” She’ll continue building her brand, answering questions and, above all, helping people find the right bra size. Beyond that, the possibilities are endless.

“I didn’t really expect this to be going on this long. I wake up every day still amazed that people have an interest in what I have to say,” she says. “I’ve always wanted to be someone who made sure to help other people. I do hope that comes across, the genuineness of wanting to help.”

You can follow Madison at her handle @madisonanneh on TikTok and Instagram.