Raise your hand if you’ve ever cried in the bathroom. Now, raise your hand if you’ve cried in the bathroom and gone viral. I give you Quen Blackwell. The now 21-year-old was the kind of Vine legend throughout the mid-2010s that could whip out superhuman gymnastic abilities, play the guitar with her braids, and oftentimes scream while holding a chicken.

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When 17-year-old Quen posted a video of herself in her bathroom—tears streaming down her face, letting out a guttural scream, in a moment of raw passion and vulnerability—all she could say was, “No… I’m still sad, it didn’t work.” After the app’s tragic demise, she took her talents to YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter. Social media was her thing before it even existed, having first found a webcam to film her antics after elementary school when she was nine, turning it into her “video diary.” Not having anyone to relate to, growing up with sisters over a decade older, experiencing family problems like any other kid, combined with being the class clown? Of course, you’re going to mess around by yourself, might as well have a camera to record it all. And while alone at home, all she could do was joke around, rant, and routinely climb onto dressers.


“Create something that would make you laugh and don’t try to make other people laugh,” Blackwell says. “And that’s what I’ve done my whole career, it has done me well.” Spoiler alert: other people have ended up laughing along with her. Twenty-one years on, even though she’s now making millions laugh, Blackwell still maintains she’s just doing it all for herself. “My job is to bring my personality to a TikTok or Instagram screen,” Blackwell explains. “And I can then go into different avenues and spaces I’m actually passionate about.”

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She wants to dabble in music, but only if it’s her very own style. “I want to be a musician that can make any genre of music [and] release it on any platform without caring about numbers,” she says, unable to compare herself to any other. She wants to become a podcaster, but that’s because she just wants to keep talking. “I do talk a lot, and my whole career has been me talking. So it’s time for a podcast.” So why does the Internet keep going back to someone just doing it for herself? It’s because her pain is our pain. Her joy is our joy. When she says she’s “that bitch,” we think we’re “that bitch.” She may not be the teen messing around at home, but she still feels like it. Now she’s on an iPhone talking to millions, but lack of graininess aside, she’s still the same Quen Blackwell.

Watch Quen on TikTok, @quenblackwell.

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