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William White is TikTok’s ’80s Heartthrob

Name: William White, a.k.a @Whiteyy18

Age: 21

Location: Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Following: 1.5 million on TikTok

Content: Mr. White is a TikTok creator and model who lip-syncs retro hits like “Mandy” by Barry Manilow and “Into the Night” by Benny Mardones. His videos are zoomed in, usually with close-up shots of his face and coifed mullet; he wears decade-agnostic clothing like a plain cotton tee or hockey jersey.

Mr. White’s videos have become popular among older women on TikTok who say he reminds them of the ‘80s heartthrobs of their youth. “He reminds us Gen Xers of our crushes when we were young,” said Brooke Hammerling, an entrepreneur, who wrote about Mr. White in June. He has embraced this audience, often taking suggestions on songs to sing and leaning into this retro look.

“I feel like 40-year-old in a kid’s body, like I’m definitely an old soul,” Mr. White said. “It means a lot to have the older generation looking up to me because it’s like, older generations are not smarter, but more knowledgeable since they’ve lived the years. So it’s cool that they see a light in me.”

Before fame: Growing up in Ontario, Mr. White wanted to be a professional hockey player. Last year, while working as a landscaper, he began to make videos while waiting at the Starbucks drive-through. “It’s always such a long line there,” he said. “I made TikToks. That’s when I started playing the older music because I was like, ‘yo, I get a good vibe from this.’ I feel like an ‘80s heartthrob.”

He recently quit his landscaping gig to make content for TikTok and model full-time. “I’ve been getting so many photo shoots lately and I’m making enough right now from TikTok to do what I want to do,” he said. “I’m just saying, ‘Let’s just put all my eggs in one basket.’”

Advice: Keep it real. “My biggest advice is to be your authentic self,” he said. “If you can just be your authentic self, people relate no matter what.” He also suggested looking for inspiration from other entertainers outside of TikTok. “People I look up to are definitely Rob Lowe, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise,” he said.

Favorite follower: Mr. White said that Addison Easterling, a.k.a. Addison Rae on TikTok, and Chase Hudson followed him not long ago. “They’re like huge TikTokers, so I was so excited about that,” he said.

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