Drew Afualo, a popular figure on social media, entered Tompkins Square Bagels, a deli located in the East Village of Manhattan, on a recent morning. After perusing the intricate descriptions of the breakfast sandwiches that were written on the blackboard menu, she decided to order something straightforward: an everything bagel that was toasted and topped with butter.
Ms. Afualo, who has more than seven million followers on TikTok as a result of her no-holds-barred video commentary on gender politics, proceeded into Tompkins Square and sat on a mossy bench with the bagel in a white paper bag on her lap. The bag was on her lap while she ate the bagel.
On average, each of Ms. Afualo’s short videos that she posts on TikTok receives more than three million views, and some of her films have had more than 16 million views. This indicates that at the age of 26, she already has a larger viewership than many presenters of daytime or late-night television shows who have been in the business for a great deal longer. She spends all of her time on TikTok and other platforms, and she makes money via advertisements that she posts on her page as well as through corporate partnerships. Philip Battiato, Ms. Afualo’s manager, who works for the firm Whalar, followed closely behind her as she strolled through the East Village.
Ms. Afualo delivers a tape of a young male TikToker who has expressed a perspective on women that would have sounded out of date even a century ago in the most of her work. After the clip, she then goes into a hilarious and often vulgar takedown of the young man’s viewpoint.
The roasts have also drawn a substantial number of people who disagree with them, the vast majority of whom are males. Some of these individuals have attacked her in their own TikTok videos. In a recent video clip, she makes direct eye contact with them and says, “My stuff is not for you. It’s at your cost. Your education is not part of my remit here. It’s meant to put you in your place.” She signalled a victory for Team Afualo with a delighted laugh that she sprinkled throughout her speech.
When her followers come across a video that they feel violates women’s rights, they often bring it to her notice by naming her in the post. This acts as if they are sending a bat signal to someone who they have grown to see as an online defender.
Ms. Afualo was seen walking about in what seemed to be a brown dress, stockings, and a long brown leather coat. Her fingernails were long and painted a minty green tint all the way around. As a tribute to her ancestry, she had a malu tattoo on the back of her left hand. This is a kind of tattoo that is usually only given to Samoan women who are descended from royal families.
Ms. Afualo also related her experiences of being the middle child while growing up in Southern California. She claimed that the strong-willed person she was when she was younger, the version of herself that she referred to as “Baby Drew,” is now a more subdued version of herself.
After coming out on the losing end of a fight with some of his canine companions, a corgi began barking at Boris and Horton, which is a café for humans and their dogs. Ms. Afualo extended her hand to pet a Labrador Retriever called Callie as the dog approached.
Ms. Afualo purchased a berry dessert from Veniero’s Pasticceria & Caffé in Venice. Nearby, on a stoop located on East 10th Street, she noted that she is a strong believer in daily affirmations, which have reportedly assisted her in maintaining her composure in the face of the onslaught of criticism that has been posted online. She said, “Sometimes I say them to myself in the mirror, which seems dumb, but I feel like it’s necessary.” “Sometimes I say them to myself in the mirror,”