Samantha Andrew on TikTok, Queer Representation and the New Bonds Pride Campaign
To say that 2020 was a massive year for Samantha Andrew would be an understatement. While in lockdown in Melbourne, the 25-year-old turned to TikTok, where she shared sketches and musings on relatable topics. The video that really struck a chord was one where Andrew parodied what it’s like shopping when you’re 12 years old. That video now has over 550,000 views.
Andrew was shocked at the reaction to her content on the platform, where she now has over 150,000 followers and six million likes. “I was quite surprised,” Andrew told POPSUGAR Australia. “I think especially because last year there wasn’t a lot to do, and a lot of us felt quite stuck.
“This wealth of downtime allowed me to put most of my attention on the platform and observe how well received my videos were. It also allowed me to celebrate and reflect on how rapidly my audience was growing, and in doing so I took it all really seriously. I’m so glad I did because I love what I do and making people laugh on TikTok is such an odd but a welcome change!”
TikTok has also been the place where Andrew has shared her personal life, including her relationship with her boyfriend Cody. In October 2020, Andrew and Cody posted a video on TikTok titled ‘Queer couple life update’. In the video, Andrew and Cody shared the news that Cody is in the process of freezing his eggs so they could one day have a child.
Sharing this part of her life, while it might seem a small gesture for Andrew and Cody, is undoubtedly important for providing visibility. “It is nice to reflect on the doors we may have opened for other people — even if it is just visibility,” Andrew said.
“However, on an everyday basis, my partner and I don’t see it like that. We are merely trying to live our lives as comfortably as possible with as many opportunities as the next couple, even if that means speaking up and seeking out those same milestones.”
Between working on TikTok videos and her show, No Hat, No Play! The Cabaret, which she co-wrote with Mel O’Brien and is making its debut at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in April, Andrew is also fronting the new Bonds PRIDE campaign, called ‘I Feel Love‘, which champions safe spaces for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Joining Andrew in the new Bonds campaign is AFLW star Moana Hope, Trans activist & influencer AJ Clementine, first openly gay Australian male footballer Andy Brennan and First Nations music icon Mo’Ju. Participating in ‘I Feel Love’ alongside so many well-known faces has been an “awesome” experience, said Andrew.
“Seeing the line-up, I was in awe of all the other people involved. I guess I had to remember that I have a place in that line up too — which is so cool and something I’m still wrapping my head around!”
Andrew’s involvement in the campaign didn’t require much thought, as she has been a long time fan of the Australian brand and its previous Pride campaigns.
“I specifically remember being really excited by their Pride campaign last year,” Andrew said. “It was important — to see queer, every day couples and individuals plastered over billboards and in shop fronts — looking hot as heck whilst saying to the world, ‘Queer is beautiful and we aren’t going anywhere’. I was thrilled when the opportunity popped up in my inbox!”