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).
Charles Brockman III AKA theonlycb3's TikToks are important. The 21-year-old recreates scenes from TV shows and movies with way too much accuracy, often looking back on Disney Channel and Nickelodeon classics from the 2000s golden age and highlighting how deeply cringey and awkward they were? What were we thinking? Shout out to Bring It On: All or Nothing. He can sing, he runs on the UT track team, and he's getting us through quar.
Introducing our class of 2020 PAPER People exclusively on TikTok💕 I’m crying at this omg @theonlycb3♬ original sound - nussbus13
What's your go-to appetizer?
Chips and salsa and/ or queso all day. You can not go wrong with that.
Where do you want to be five years from now?
I would love to be somewhere happy and pursuing my wildest dreams. My goal is to continue to grow and become a public figure who inspires people around the world. As far as location, I'm not sure yet, but I am sure I will enjoy wherever I am.
What's your next move if TikTok is banned?
If TikTok gets banned, that would definitely be the quickest rise and fall of my fame on the app since I just downloaded it in March. I am so proud of my growth in this little time, but if it all goes away, I will focus more on my YouTube channel.
What was your first reaction after going viral?
When my first recreation video went viral I was so excited and finally felt like people were appreciating my hard work and humor. I watched the views rise up to one million and I knew this was exactly what I wanted to do.
If you could have a superpower what would it be and why?
If I could teleport that would be so convenient. I have so many things to do during the day and sometimes I just want to be everywhere at once. There are also people who I would love to visit.
Clothing: Todd Snyder
When was the last time you cried?
I'm not really a crier. But on August 28 when Chadwick Boseman passed, I couldn't help it. He was a king and inspiration to so many including myself. This year has us all weary because we have been losing icon after icon, but I hope the rest of this year takes it easy on us. Rest in peace Chadwick.
What's one thing you'd change about TikTok?
The algorithm is so tricky and changes often. Sometimes it's inconsistent and I think since TikTok is more interest-based and not chronological, it's not always certain that your videos will reach everyone you want.
Where do you want to be when the world ends?
I want to be safe in my home with my family watching the sunset having one last home-cooked meal.
Who's your TikTok crush and why?
My TikTok crush is @chinamcclain. I love the movies she is in and she has a great singing voice. She was actually my crush way before TikTok but hey, now that she has a TikTok, this gives an excuse to shoot my shot.
What was the last song you listened to?
"Summer 2020" by Jhene Aiko. This has been my anthem for a few weeks now. It's so meaningful and describes this time period perfectly. It is the balance between navigating through the darkness of the world and finding time to appreciate your life and loved ones around you. I play it almost every day.