“The D’Amelio Show” attempts, poorly, to humanize privilege

Ashley Mata , Staff Writer

“The D’Amelio Show” follows the turmoil faced by TikTok stars Charli and Dixie D’Amelio as a result of the centrality of social media in their lives. However, the show begs the question: how should viewers empathize with those who have unlimited access to wealth and resources?

The eight-part series repeatedly addresses mental health. Charli and Dixie talk openly about their battles with depression and anxiety, demonstrating the pressures of social media. Viewers can easily empathize with two teenage girls whose actions are constantly criticized and who consequently experience severe breakdowns. 

However, as the show progresses, it reminds the audience that the D’Amelio family sits at the top of the social ladder — something most Americans, even those living in Los Angeles, cannot relate to.

Every scene is laced with family assets. Charli learns how to drive in a Tesla.

The sisters discuss the tribulations of mental health and eating disorders at a rented pool overlooking The Valley.

Charli recounts the hardship of living in the spotlight and enduring hate on the internet before flaunting Alexander Wang shopping bags in her next Instagram post.

Charli and Dixie also enjoy the comfort of their parents’ unconditional support.

The sisters’ Hollywood lifestyle is worlds away from the realities of unhoused and disenfranchised communities one encounters by just driving through downtown Los Angeles. “The D’Amelio Show” attempts to humanize the sisters, but when its imagery consistently reiterates their affluent lifestyle, it falls flat. 

One of the show’s greatest disappointments is Dixie and Charli’s missed opportunity to use their platform for good. While the series shows the D’Amelios’ suffering, the sisters’ Instagram highlight reels give the impressions that they do not experience any troubles of their own. Why couldn’t they use their platforms to show impressionable teenagers that they don’t need perfect skin, a perfect figure, expensive clothing or a perfectly harmonious group of friends? 

While the series fails to fulfill its potential, it does open conversations surrounding mental health stigma, internet hate and gender equality. Charli briefly talks about how women and men are treated differently on social media: women are criticized for being imperfect role models to younger women while men receive little critique for acting insensitive and belligerent toward other male influencers. 

While the show furthers the family’s illusion of endless affluence, it also reminds viewers that no one, not even the wealthy or famous, is exempt from struggles with mental health. Ultimately, viewers should commend the D’Amelio sisters for their vulnerability and simultaneously ask them to do better.

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