Marlene Méndez is Taking TikTok By Storm

Marlene Méndez is Taking TikTok By Storm

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Marlene Méndez is Taking TikTok By Storm

The California-bred creator talks Tik Tok beginnings with Hot Cheetos, gossip, and her effervescent Latina energy.

The California-bred creator talks Tik Tok beginnings with Hot Cheetos, gossip, and her effervescent Latina energy.

Photography: Danielle Levitt

Styling: Miso Khe Dam

Text: SAMUEL ANDERSON

Marlene Méndez went viral with a series of duets, or simulated FaceTimes, with Adam Ray—a TikTok star known for his outrageously disheveled “Rosa” character. Despite never having met Ray, Méndez’s spliced deadpan responses were the perfect foil to his chaotic ad libs, giving the impression of solid teen bonds. “I went to a [predominantly] Hispanic school,” says the Downey, California native.

Marlene wears Armani Exchange throughout.

“The hot Cheetos, the gossip, and the attitudes were all the same.” Though Méndez’s iron- perfected femininity made for an odd-couple visual pairing, she and Ray approach TikTok with the same unabashed cultural specificity. “People assume I don’t have an accent in real life,” she says. “I always say, ‘No, that is how I talk.’ I’m Latina, and super proud of it.” Given Méndez’s penchant for authenticity, it’s no wonder that her online chemistry with Ray has blossomed into an IRL friendship. “The first time we FaceTimed for real, we talked until 2:00 am,” she says. “We still talk every day.”

Credits:
Photo assistants Luiz Méndez (Marlene), Tahlia Munoz (Salina

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