Nothing is off-camera for Victoria Paris, New York’s suddenly everywhere TikTok star
The 22-year-old has brought vlogging back into the mainstream, and via tireless uploading and interacting with “Victorians”, she’s reached one million followers in less than six months.
A google search for “Victoria Paris”, at least in this present moment, will yield an IMDb listing for a film titled Deep Inside Victoria Paris, a link to purchase a used copy of Porn Star Annual Men’s Magazine featuring Paris, and an interview with her former colleague, the adult film legend Christy Canyon.
These search results are about to change, as Victoria Paris, star of Breast Things In Life Are Free, is usurped in renown by Victoria Paris, the hard-nosed, often bikini-clad TikToker who recently hit one million followers on the app.
“When will I overcome this porn star?” Paris frets jokingly after we’re installed in a back booth of Café Bilboquet on New York’s Upper East Side. “I hope never, honestly. I hope we’re both of equal stature.”
Paris belongs to a new subset of cultural relevance: those who weren’t expecting fame but upon whom fame was thrust. She is an influencer. Victoria Paris are her first and middle names; her last she would rather keep to herself.
She’s 22, grew up half in New Jersey and half in North Carolina. She’s 5’9”, has a Coppertone complexion and what she describes as a “Jew-fro” secured in place with a silk bandana, which she often pulls down in front of her face to smooth out her hair as she talks.
Followers of @victoriaparisf are treated to upwards of 30 TikToks a day. She has been hailed as the future of vlogging by High Tea’s Gen Z‑focused newsletter and will post about rewarding a five-mile run with a Sweetgreen kale caesar salad. Later, she will “duet” that video, calling herself out for being a hypocritical workout-and-kale influencer. “Shut the fuck up, bitch,” she groans into the camera at her previous “cringe” post.
To gauge her popularity, two facts: Paris started her account just five months ago and averages 1.1 million views daily.
But for every “you’re so raw and real, bestie” comment, there are others who say she’s a “pick me” egocentric who doesn’t deserve the hype. Wherever you land on the Victoria Paris spectrum, it’s impossible to excise this girl from your scroll.
Most influencers hedge their bets on being relatable, then somewhere along the way they grow distant and famous. Audiences are more interested in their mundane tasks or driver’s seat thoughts than they are in seeing them flex in front of Bentleys or move into shared Hollywood mansions with other famous TikTokers. BOA Steakhouse? Unfollowed.
Yet the more followers glom onto an influencer, the more their following balloons, the more brand opportunities and paid collaborations, the more that influencer’s life inevitably changes. They get busy. The point is to grow with your audience, and not forget that their support translates into income. Paris once said she would never wear jeans, and now she is on the For You page in an ad for Levi’s 501s.
Still, she’ll be the first to acknowledge when she’s a hypocrite. People can change their opinions, she says. When she gets onto a topic she’s passionate about, Paris verges on logorrhea, talking at a pace that makes you grateful for subtitles on TikTok.
Being hoisted up as a role model for the tween fans in the street who ask her for selfies “scares the shit out of me,” she said in a recent post, before explaining that she feels it’s important to idolise people who make mistakes. It reminds me of a Winona Ryder quote in Seventeen magazine, when asked how it felt to be an idol to young girls everywhere.
“I know that a lot of people look up to me,” she said in 1990. “But hey, I change my mind all the time, and I could be wrong about a lot of the things I say. I just live my life and try to be an honest person. I mean, I’m only 19.”
Paris actively encourages her followers to call her out or correct an offensive or ill-considered opinion. “I constantly want my followers to critique me and have a conversation. I literally have my fan accounts giving me shit, sending me emails, DMs out the ass,” she tells me. “They’re keeping me accountable.”
“My comments recently are: ‘You’re famous because you’re a skinny white girl who lives in New York City.’ There’s a grain of truth to that. And I’m sitting there, like, I’ve lost 50 pounds in my life, I come from a family that – they don’t even know the story, things that I’ve overcome. But they’re right, right now, in this instance. And the only thing is to actively try to even the scales and do my part.”
Upon passing the one million mark, Paris and the “Victorians” celebrated by volunteering at The Bowery Mission, a lower Manhattan shelter serving the homeless and hungry.
“The minute I can afford to, I want to start a charitable organisation,” she insists. “The thing is, you can be a bitch who got famous because you’re skinny and white, but you can also give back.” A few weeks ago, she posted about a small business, Choeying garments, that sells skirts on Houston Street. Hours later, the skirts sold out.
Before all of this, Paris was arrested in high school for racing her car and was relentlessly bullied for her looks. Her parents didn’t pay for college. She just graduated with a history degree from The New School in NYC, paying tuition through scholarships, loans and working first at Urban Outfitters, then later as a nanny for a rich New York family. (She still has student loan debt.) She was a ghost on all social media platforms but Snapchat, where she would upload 20 to 30 stories a day.
“Everybody would be [like]: ‘Victoria, you’re a freak. Why are you broadcasting your life?’” she says. In the same breath, interested parties would tell her to vlog. Her TikTok was created to drive traffic to her Depop account. When the views quickly notched up, she realised that the algorithm favours volume.
She began posting as frequently as she did on Snap – about cooking pasta, rants on the stair climber at Equinox, workouts with her friend, social media star Suede Brooks – and cultivating a diehard fan base by replying to comments with “Ily!” or interacting when her handle was tagged in the comments of another user’s video.
Her frankness can scare some. The strange thing is, people often don’t know why. She got into a tiff with another TikToker, Brianna LaPaglia (aka @briannachickenfry) because Paris thought LaPaglia was making fun of a video she posted about thrifting. Paris called her out in a TikTok, including her handle in the caption. Then the death threats rolled in.
“I was the lowest I had ever been,” Paris reflects now. “Damn near suicidal over this shit.”
Paris reached out to LaPaglia to quash the beef by admitting what she did wasn’t cool. She apologised. They posted a TikTok hanging out together in New York and are back on good terms.
“I don’t see anybody writing articles about that because, the thing is, I’ve never seen an amicable make-up on the internet like that,” she says, fiddling with her bandana.
Paris says that when she hit her first 100,000 followers, “I wrote myself this list”. She puts down a chunk of pain au chocolat to read verbatim from her Notes app.
“Things you have to be if you don’t want to get ruined by the internet. Honest, willing to apologise, willing to change, willing to be wrong, willing to share why, willing to share your experiences, willing to listen to critique, willing to acknowledge who you used to be, actively trying to do the right thing and actively educating yourself on what’s affecting the masses.”
And finally: “Not greedy.”
In order to avoid getting burnt by the magnifying glass of attention now trained on her, Paris is taking back-to-back meetings with agents, scriptwriters, botox clinic owners – towards the end of our interview, she shows me a before-and-after video of her forehead injections – and media types whom she hopes will help realise her grand scheme. A business, a charity, a marathon… Because she knows this could all end tomorrow.
As we leave the cafe, she gives me her phone number and suggests we keep in touch.
Only days later, she posts a TikTok saying her number was leaked publicly and she was forced to change it. She’s getting death threats and fans grabbing at her in public. She’s getting brand deals and LA mansion TikTokers asking if she’d like to hang out when she heads there soon. The fuse of her fame has been lit.
I google Victoria Paris again, barely a week later, and none of the top results relate to the former adult film star.