Jenny Popach: A Cautionary Tale

By Lindsay Der

Roselie Arritola: a 15-year-old with 6.4 million followers on TikTok…these days, not a surprising concept. However, this Tik Tok star has been at the center of some controversy since she first started posting in 2020. A quick scroll through her profile can give you a pretty good idea as to why. Since age 13, Roselie, who goes by Jenny Popach on her social media platforms, has been posting dancing videos in skimpy clothing and with sexual undertones. Personally, I would never fault a girl for feeling confident in her own skin; however, the implications in some of the TikToks have been enough to make viewers more than uncomfortable. Her comments are filled with comments that either slut-shame or objectify the poor, fifteen-year-old girl. “My god if my daughter was doing this at 15, wow,” one user writes, while the comment below encourages the minor to post on a porn site.

Many of Jenny’s followers and other TikTok users believe that Maria Ulacia, Jenny’s mom, may be encouraging or coercing her teenage daughter to film these discomfiting videos. In fact, the #justiceforjenny has amassed over 661K views and contains hundreds of videos of people posting their theories or old clips from videos in an attempt to prove that Jenny is being manipulated by her mother to post her unsavory content. Jenny’s bizarre relationship with her mother has been the focus of a large portion of the young girl’s fame. The two created many videos together and seemed to have a close, if not strange, connection. Though it is unclear whether Jenny posts these videos of her own accord or her mom has coerced her, one thing is clear: the identity and repercussions that the TikToks have garnered will affect her future for years to come. 

Jenny is not the only young girl who has been victimized by TikTok’s thirst trap and sexual culture: it is not at all uncommon to see a video that portrays an underage user in a sexual scenario or with sexual undertones. In fact, Jenny is not even the only young girl who has built her platform on that kind of content. Since it has been so normalized on the app, most girls do not realize the full gravity or possible repercussions of what they post; their future education, career and family life all may be jeopardized with a fifteen-second thirst trap. In a society where pop culture focuses on the hypersexualization of women, who can blame young girls for using their sexuality to gain followers or views? Still, Jenny Popach must serve as a cautionary tale for all internet users: be careful what you post.