Rolling Out

Artist and model Takara Lee says she’s not Michelle Obama

Influencer addresses online critics

Takara Lee is not anybody’s role model.

Lee, who also goes by The Plug Daughter as an artist, has built a following of over 700,000 followers combined on Instagram, X, TikTok, and Facebook, largely thanks to her beauty, personality and music.

The North Carolina native is a loyal family member to her father and children while also understanding how she can leverage the internet’s attention into dollars to provide as a mother. The reality she faces is a crossroads many young Black people face in the age of social media, a time when adults humiliate themselves or become more vulnerable than usual with the general public for an opportunity to make more money than the average salary worker.

According to ZipRecruiter, the average social media influencer makes $57,928 per year, just below the average American salary of $59,384, according to USA Today. However, the peak of being an influencer is much higher than a typical profession.

White influencers like Mr. Beast and Logan Paul have net worths north of $100 million. Paul and KSI, a Black YouTuber from London, partnered to launch PRIME, a sports drink business reportedly worth between $3.1 billion and $8.4 billion.

Meanwhile, the highest-paid tech jobs average little more than $300,000.

While hosting an All-White Baddies Bash Pool Party in Atlanta on June 15, Lee spoke to rolling out about the unique lifestyle of being a female content creator and artist.

What is it like navigating the music industry and trying to get people to take you seriously as an artist and a model?

If I’m being 100% completely honest, it’s hard. A lot of the time, I [had to avoid working with people and be okay] with doing it on my own. I know people want to work with me, but it’s like, “What are you going to do for it?” And a lot of the time, it’s some type of sexual transaction that I’m just not cool with.

People expect me to be a certain way because of how I [present] myself on the internet, but if we’re doing business, we’re doing business. You cannot mix the two.

Who is the real you versus Takara Lee?

I’m more reserved. I wouldn’t dare go around my father [dressed like this]. I’m more reserved and modest. Who I am on social media, I’m not that person around my kids … my son knows I do music, but I don’t feel comfortable letting him listen to the more explicit songs.

So why do you put out art like that if you don’t want him consuming it?

I’m myself, and I have a child to provide for. I can’t be everybody’s role model because I have to do what I have to do for myself. As soon as you get some traction or social media followers, people expect you to turn into f—ing Michelle Obama, but at the end of the day, I’m still me, bro.

I grew up Muslim. My father’s Muslim. Who I am today is not a reflection of my father.

What advice would you give to up-and-coming female influencers?

Lead [men] on. Don’t give up the booty. Perfect example: when I used to work in the club, girls used to f— the customers sometimes. It happens. But once you f— your customer, he’s not going to come in and throw you money anymore, he already got the butt …

No disrespect to Rubi Rose. I love her. She’s beautiful, but somebody [tweeted], “If she would have made albums with all the people she slept with, she would be a No. 1 artist.”

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