Kourtney Kardashian and teenage TikTok star Addison Rae have only been friends for a few weeks – but the reality star has already been hard at work teaching the budding celebrity how to handle the negative aspects of life in the spotlight.
Addison, 19, who boasts 51.6 million followers on TikTok, formed a close friendship with mother-of-three Kourtney, 41, last month when they started collaborating on a content for the social media platform.
But the teenager has now revealed that, while she might be teaching Kourntey the TikTok ropes, the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star has also been imparting some wisdom of her own – namely how to deal with trolls and body-shamers.
Superstar: Teenage TikTok star Addison Easterling, who is known online as Addison Rae, fronts a new Back to School campaign for American Eagle
Creative control: The 19-year-old, who is from Louisiana, styled and shot the campaign herself over Zoom as part of the brand’s first-ever virtually-produced shoot
At home: Addison posed for the campaign in her bedroom, styling herself in a host of outfits from American Eagle’s newest collection
Diversity: Speaking about the partnership, Addison praised American Eagle’s ‘commitment to inclusivity’ while also opening up about her own thoughts on body positivity
Addison, who fronts a new campaign for American Eagle – which she shot and styled herself in her own bedroom as part of the brand’s first ever socially-distanced shoot – spoke to People about her latest role as an ambassador for the fashion label, and she also discussed her new-found friendship with Kourtney.
The teenager, who is originally from Lafayette, Louisiana, explained that the mother-of-three has encouraged her to tune out the haters and focus instead on the ‘bigger picture’.
‘One of my friends, Kourtney Kardashian, has told me to appreciate and look at the bigger picture and to not get so caught up in the micro,’ Addison shared.
‘Just enjoy what you have and don’t let things get to you too much because there’s so much else to be happy about.’
And Addison certainly has plenty to celebrate – including her new #AExME Back to School campaign for American Eagle, which sees her leading a cast of six other teens who all shot their own images and at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, marking a first for the popular brand.
Having mastered the art of the selfie video thanks to her wealth of TikTok experience, Addison looks completely at home in front of her iPhone camera in the images and video – which also features a diverse cast of talented young dancers, Donyea Martin, Hannah Hawkins, Irene Luna, Jevohn Gentry, Makayla London and Sumi Oshima.
According to the brand, the campaign is intended to embody its ‘commitment to the customer’ while celebrating ‘individuality, freedom and self-expression’ by giving each of the young star’s full creative control over their own shoots.
Helping hand: While promoting the new campaign, Addison revealed that her close friend Kourtney Kardashian has been advising her on how to handle cyber bullies and trolls
Advice: ‘One of my friends, Kourtney Kardashian, has told me to appreciate and look at the bigger picture and to not get so caught up in the micro,’ Addison shared
Target: The teenager has already faced her fair share of body-shaming and online hate – but she says she is determined to drown out trolls and bullies
And that focus on diversity and inclusivity is one of the main reasons that Addison was so drawn to the brand in the first place – with the teenager explaining that she hopes her work with American Eagle will help her spread a message of inclusivity and positivity online.
Having already faced a slew of cruel comments about her body, Addison, who proudly models the brand’s new Dream and AirFlex+ Athletic denim styles in the shoot, says she is determined to use her online platform to encourage others to embrace their true selves – irregardless of what trolls have to say about them.
‘[American Eagle’s] commitment to celebrating inclusivity is one of the reasons I decided to partner with the brand,’ she told People.
‘I’ve built my platform on being my real self, and I recognize that I can have a huge impact. I’m committed to using my voice to continue to champion for others to love their real, most authentic selves.’
Addison added that she wants others to know ‘it’s not OK and never right to judge someone else’s body’, noting that nobody should ever be made to ‘feel badly’ for celebrating their natural beauty.
The topic of body positivity is one that Addison’s close pal Kourtney has also addressed on numerous occasions, having herself faced seemingly endless scrutiny over her body and her weight.
In May, Kourtney opened up about dealing with cyber bullies, explaining that she tries to ‘kill them with kindness’ while also embracing self love as a means of drowning out the negativity she faces online.
BFFs: Addison and Kourtney, 41, have formed a close bond in recent months after initially teaming up on several TikTok videos
Light-hearted: In several of their collaborative clips, the pair poke fun at scenes from Keeping Up With the Kardashians
Fun and games: Addison has been spending a lot of time with Kourtney and her family, most recently hanging out with the mother-of-three in her swimming pool
‘I do see a lot of negativity, there’s so much positivity as well, and I think we tend to dwell on the negative,’ she said during an online chat for her lifestyle site Poosh.
‘I notice for myself… like the negative questions stand out to me where I just want to respond to those people sometimes even more than the positive ones.’
Kourtney also shared how she recently dealt with remarks about her body, after posting a bikini photo that sparked pregnancy speculation.
‘It isn’t always fair, but you know, I noticed someone left a comment the other day, commenting on a photo I posted saying, “Pregnant, pregnant, pregnant,”‘ she said.
‘I commented back and said, “This is the shape of my body, I’ve definitely gained a few pounds over this quarantine time, and I love my body and I’m proud of my shape. I’m obviously posting it, and this is the shape of my body. I don’t think I look pregnant at all, we’re all shaped differently, and that’s my body and I’m proud of it.”
‘So that’s how I respond to the negative comments I think, it’s not always easy, sometimes I can be more sarcastic. But I think “kill em with kindness” is kind of my motto and try not to let those comments affect you, and if they do, and you know that, just don’t look at comments.
‘And I know it’s easier said than do, but to really try to just keep the positivity and for your mental health.’
Co-stars: Addison appears in the new American Eagle campaign alongside six other talented teens – who all styled their own shoots at home in their bedrooms, including Hannah Hawkins
Talented: Each of the campaign stars, including Irene Luna, had completely creative control over their individual shoots
Individuality: The brand said that it wanted to celebrate ‘individuality, freedom, and self-expression’ with the campaign, which also stars Sumi Oshima
Breaking barriers: Campaign stars like Makayla London all modeled ensembles from American Eagle’s newest collection before shooting the images over Zoom
Original: It is the first time that American Eagle has released a virtually-produced campaign, which also features budding actor and dancer Donyea Martin
Style stars: Addison will also launch a TikTok dance competition as part of the campaign – which saw dancer Jevohn Gentry strike a pose in his backyard
Both Kourtney and Addison have tried to fill their collaborative TikToks with positivity, with the pair teaming up for a slew of videos, including several that see them poking fun at scenes from Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
Other clips posted on Addison’s account show the duo dancing together in Kourtney’s closet while wearing matching sweaters designed by Kanye West, as well as a video of Addison performing a dance while Kourtney, her ex Scott Disick and their children run around the TikTok star.
Scott has also tried his hand at recording a dance clip with the teenager, who posted a hilarious video of herself performing a simple routine while the 37-year-old father-of-three attempted to keep up alongside her.
But while her friendship with Kourtney and Scott may well have boosted Addison’s profile away from the social media app, her standing on TikTok needed no help. In the past year, the teenager’s following has sky rocketed, leading her to become the second most-followed star on the platform.
In addition to her videos with Kourtney and Scott, Addison has also collaborated with the likes of Jason Derulo, beauty guru James Charles, and Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp.
That social media success has in turn led to plenty of other opportunities away from TikTok – including her campaign for American Eagle, which not only sees her starring in a shoot and video for the brand, but also spear-heading a new online initiative in which she will challenge her fellow TikTokers to share videos of themselves doing a new dance in the hopes of winning a $500 gift card.
Just before her role with the fashion brand was announced, Addison also revealed that she is launching a new Spotify podcast with her mom, Sheri Nicole Easterling: Mama Knows Best.