For most of 2020, our world has been reduced to the experiences we have on our phones. And TikTokers have been leading the charge in creating viral entertainment that keeps us scrolling for hours and hours. So this year's PAPER People shifts its focus exclusively to TikTok — the breakout app our President wanted to ban, that launched sleeper hits and massive pop careers, that ushered in an entirely new generation of influence. Meet our 20 favorites across comedy, fashion, social justice and more, who are owning their spaces and racking in millions of likes. (And follow PAPER on TikTok).
A bright light during quarantine, 22-year-old Toronto resident Boman Martinez-Reid AKA @bomanizer is known for his pitch-perfect reality TV parodies, with full confessional narration and cable channel-worthy sound effects. He's a Love Island himbo with a British accent one minute, a desperate talent competition contestant the next. It helps that he somehow lives in the perfect Bravo house, complete with an extravagant spiral staircase. His mom is also iconic.
Describe the most recent photo or video on your phone.
I found and re-downloaded a photo of my ex and I kissing in grade 10. I sent it to my friends... we simply had to laugh.
Which TV shows are helping you survive 2020 and why?
Tiger King brought my family back together during the pandemic. It was nice to have something to talk about other than COVID. RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 5, RuPaul's Drag Race Untucked, and Canada's Drag Race kept my friends and me busy for a LONG time. Justice for Jimbo.
If you could have a superpower what would it be and why?
I would like to read minds but I feel like if I had that power, I would become a necessary weapon for the government and/ or military and that's a lot of pressure. So my second choice is psychic abilities, but see, yet again I will probably end up as a tool used for the government and the media. That brings us to the third choice: Levitation. A very cool party trick.
What is the most embarrassing thing you've ever done?
Once when I was 14, I began performing the iconic hit song "Gimme More" by Britney Spears — full choreo and live vocals — in my house when I was home alone. I was not home alone.
Pants: Z Zegna, Hat and sweater: Boman's own
Who was your childhood hero and why?
Raven Symoné was my childhood hero. I always thought she was so funny and confident. To this day I think she's such a talented actress.
What was your first reaction after going viral?
I didn't necessarily know how, but I knew I was manifesting something huge.
What's the worst zodiac sign?
Aries. We all know why.
What's your favorite TikTok sound?
"Where you live bitch... what is this honeyy..." ... "I was shocked honey, I was in tears almost and it had a white refrigerator I was like euff ohhhh not a white refrigerator! Girl please put your shoes on let's go find you a home honey euff." —Nene Leakes
Where do you want to be when the world ends?
What's something no one knows about you but you wish people did?
I know all the words to "Now That We Found Love" by Heavy D and the Boys.
Creative direction: Agusta Yr (at No Agency New York) Styling: Erika Golcher Styling assistant: Macauley Deverin Environments: Aspik Tears