The speed at which TikTok’s celebrity machine moves is too fast, even for me, a woman too old to be looking at the app in the first place. Much like the cutthroat environment of Bravo’s Project Runway, one day you are in, and the next day, you’re out—honestly, not a bad thing given that TikTok-famous individuals are often in desperate need of a timeout that they won’t take unless handed to them by their legions of fans. This appears to be happening to a woman named AmandaLee Fago, the self-described “aunt” of TikTok, whose imminent cancelation drama is the low-stakes shit I need and crave at this very moment in history.
From what I can tell, Fago is a nurse and a mother from Staten Island who has made herself famous by doing mukbang-adjacent videos and speaking in a broad outerborough accent that, to my untrained ear, is probably a put-on. She has a husband named Joey, an incredible French manicure, very nice eyelash extensions, and the most appalling taste in food. Something about this combination has made her very popular on the app, for reasons that I’ll never quite understand, but her content has been pushed into my feed and occasionally, when. the mood strikes, I find myself in thrall to her questionable charms, mostly because the food that she makes and eats on camera is so fascinatingly revolting to me that I cannot look away.
Here’s Fago eating one of her keto-concotions, most of which are bell pepper-forward and feature heavy, exuberant use of Truff hot sauce, Tajin, and Tastee cream cheese.
Other examples of her work in this genre include Double-Stuf Oreos topped with whipped cream, and the following nightmare scenario, which I understand is keto-friendly, but I also can’t look at it without feeling both hunger and nausea at the same time.
I’m here for the chicken cutlets, the provolone, and even the barbecue sauce, but I personally draw a line at the lashings of French’s yellow mustard; also I know that this is for keto diets, but please, put that shit on a Dutch crunch roll and call it what it is, which is a disgusting sandwich, thanks. Anyway, the food isn’t what got Fago into hot water, but it’s part and parcel with her whole shtick. Fago’s other videos are in the POV genre, which is what it sounds like, but not porn-related. Assuming the role of a generic “aunt,” Fago makes stuff like this, clearly meant to be comforting to... someone, but I’m not sure who.
These POV videos, of which there are many on the app, comprise the bulk of her latest work, and are truly unsettling to me, but if they’re helpful for others, who am I to judge? Regardless, this is Fago’s brand: she’s young, she’s a mom, and she talks like she’s auditioning for the role of Mona Lisa Vito in a summer stock stage adaptation of My Cousin Vinny. Oh, and she’s a Trump supporter! There’s the drama!
Fago went live on Tiktok on Election Day, showing herself watching the returns from an indoor gathering, accompanied at times by a blonde woman draped in a MAGA banner.
This woman was not interested in voting, per her videos leading up to the election, because she wanted to “exclude herself” from the political process altogether. That’s an interesting statement, and one that Fago eventually walked back, perhaps after realizing that being visibly pro-Trump was terrible for the brand.
“No mattah what happens,” she says, through mouthfuls of chicken cutlet, “I love every single one of you guys. No judgement.” Unfortunately, the fans she depends on do not share this sentiment! Though Fago has turned the comments off all of her posts, I discovered this drama while staring into the void of my FYP sometime this week when I needed a break from Steve Kornacki’s khakis. This “audition” for the role of TikTok’s auntie was pushed into my feed, and because my brain is full of oatmeal, rotting fruit, and an intimate knowledge of Fago’s content, something clicked.
The comments on this video are full of Fago defectors, eager to dethrone their queen in favor of someone who does not (apparently) support Donald Trump.
It’s pointless to remind people that TikTok is not an accurate representation of what anyone is actually like in real life, but that reminder is necessary and evergreen. Fago’s popularity and her subsequent fall from grace is a perfect example of how fickle the community is but it’s also a reminder that genuine, actual authenticity performs better than the alternative.