In her typical signature fashion, Chrissy Chlapecka appears on our video call wearing bedazzled hoop earrings and an intricately done full face of makeup. Her vibrant pink hair complimented her lip gloss and accessories. It is clear that Chlapecka’s image and her music are to be inextricably linked. Since 2020, Chlapecka’s homage to y2k style, theatrical vocal range, and Ariana Grande impressions merged together to create a massive fanbase on TikTok.
The term “bimbo” has a complex history–initially derived from an Italian word meaning “infant boy”, it lived on in popular culture to describe women that were perceived to be more attractive than intelligent. Chlapecka, perhaps TikTok’s most well known self-proclaimed bimbo, has led the charge on the platform in the reclamation of the word. Chlapecka’s content, while brimming in glitter, pink, and makeup, is also brimming in deeper topics.
Chlapecka is a champion of modern intersectional feminism, and creates a unique sphere where hyper femininity and intelligence are certainly not mutually exclusive, as older waves of feminism have commonly presumed. Chlapecka, who identifies as bisexual, has also expressed how important her LGBTQ+ community is to her. She frequently collaborates with fellow TikTok creators Griffin Maxwell Brooks and Anania Williams, who both identify as nonbinary.
After three years of building a platform and finding her identity after an abusive relationship, Chlapecka is delving back into her passion for music. Her single, “I’m So Hot”, drops on streaming services today. Chlapecka has dropped covers of some of her favorite artists, including Lady Gaga, on her TikTok account, but did not speak to her aspirations of making pop music until recently. After teasing her first single, “I’m So Hot,” Chlapecka found herself on the pop artists to watch list from Rolling Stone.
THIS IS INSANE AND I HAVENT EVEN RELEASED YET?? i’m so emotional oh my god thank you @Rolling Stone PRE SAVE IM SO HOT NOW #greenscreen
The Birth of Bimbo-Tok
“Who Chrissy is, is a walking political statement in a way, and I think it will definitely carry over into my music,” said Chlapecka. “With ‘I’m So Hot’, it’s like, ‘Whoa, I’m talking about myself.’ That’s kind of a bold statement to put out there. And I think with my music, I’m really going to encapsulate all of those things that I am online, and keep talking about things that need to be spoken about.”
TikTok’s algorithm curates the for-you page primarily based on content you engage the most with, which occasionally creates an echo chamber of communities of like-minded individuals with similar identities. Chlapecka hopes to bridge the gap and use her new platform to reach people offline. “I want to reach other audiences that aren’t just on my TikTok, because of course, my TikTok is curated to people that are like me and agree with me. I think music is a beautiful outreach of thoughts and expressing who you are to millions of people who have no idea who I am,” said Chlapecka. “I’m really excited to bring bimbo into that. I want to also bring my morals, and keep being unapologetically feminine and queer and a supporter of everybody being themselves. I’m so pumped to do it through music, because that’s the way I’ve always wanted to do it.”
2020, a time of global uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic, also proved a personally uncertain time in Chlapecka’s life. She made the choice to drop out of college, where she was studying musical theater, and subsequently leave her abuser.
“I still have a great love for it [musical theater]. I think it’s amazing. One day, I would love to do my Broadway debut,” she says with a hopeful grin. “I just thought that was how the trajectory of my life was gonna go, because I always really wanted to do music, but I wasn’t sure how to start. I thought, I know how to sing. I know how to play instruments, I just don’t know how to record and I don’t know how to make it sound like the music I want to make.”
Chlapecka felt too boxed in as a musical theater performer, and she knew she’d have to make changes to truly develop as an artist. “I wanted to be different, like I want to dye my hair pink and create my own persona rather than playing a part.”
Chlapecka committed to taking a year off school to figure out her next career move. In the meantime, she worked at a local vintage store, and began posting humorous TikToks of herself impersonating Ariana Grande and giving brutally honest dating advice.
it’s time to go girls he’s not worth it
Chlapecka’s theatrical sense of humor may have been what earned her first few viral videos, but ultimately, her commitment to uplifting women and the LGBTQ+ community while sporting hyper feminine fashion trends is what garnered her a fan base that really stuck. She eventually spoke about the overturn of Roe v. Wade in June of 2022, and former boxer turned media personality Andrew Tate’s dangerously sexist and violent rhetoric that led to his eventual arrest for human trafficking. It became her trademark to end every video singing “oh me oh my” in homage to Slayyyter’s hyperpop hit “Mine,” and by including the reference to the viral track, her videos centered on political issues reached a vast audience.
i love u ????
im so mad
Replying to @Paynter get a grip
The Journey to Pop Stardom
Musically, hyperpop and y2k pop are some of Chlapecka’s biggest inspirations. Many artists that fuel her creativity inspired her own self love and coming out journey. “Britney Spears is my biggest inspiration for the project I’m working on–her Blackout era especially. Definitely even Paris Hilton, just the vibe she was giving with her music career. I think it’s fun in simple ways. There’s a very beautiful artistic connotation to it,” said Chlapecka on her lyrical inspirations.
Sonically, likely due to their shared backgrounds in musical theater, Ariana Grande is another inspiration. “I think her musicality is something that I really want to embody in my music because she’s just so smart about what she does with her music. How she stacks harmonies and how she builds is something I really admire,” said Chlapecka.
Chlapecka hopes to bridge the gap between more traditional pop and hyperpop music. She cited Lady Gaga as another major inspiration, in her avant garde self expression, vocal range, and outpouring of support for the LGBTQ+ community. “Mother monster! She’s a huge inspo for me because she’s so versatile and that is what I want to do within my career,” said Chlapecka. “She can just sing anything she wants to in any style and that is so admirable. Also, she’s just so herself. She’s so unapologetically herself, and does things to make people look, and that’s kind of what I’m also about.”
“I’m So Hot,” Chlapecka’s debut single, goes much deeper than its upbeat sound. The self love anthem is born from a long and arduous journey that Chlapecka endured herself, and what led her to become the intersectional feminist bimbo the internet loves. “The song is kind of a love letter, to myself and to other people that have really struggled with self love or self confidence and are kind of beginning that journey,” said Chlapecka. “I only began that journey, maybe two years ago, and I’m still on it. And I think I’m always going to be, because I don’t think there’s ever a moment when you’re just like, ‘I love myself and everything’s fine.’ It’s a journey and that’s totally okay.”
Chlapecka chooses to speak openly regarding a previous abusive relationship that shaped much of her career as an activist, and now musician. “The song is also for those who have experienced sexual trauma– I’ve experienced a lot of it, and it kind of made me feel broken, or damaged, or not good enough. And I really had to rethink how I was thinking about myself and the way I was going about the world. I had to really be like, ‘no, I am worthy of being respected and worthy of love and worthy of loving myself,’” Chlapecka said.
so happy where i’m at now
Throughout her development as a TikTok creator, Chlapecka has been a proponent of sexual liberation, and whatever that means to different people. “The song is about sexual liberation and taking that back and being like, ‘I deserve respect. And I can give myself respect, and that’s exactly what I want. And that is exactly good enough.’” Chlapecka’s main goal as a musician and a content creator is to make her audiences feel welcome however they identify, and remember that trauma or purity culture do not define their self worth. “You are not damaged. Whatever has happened to you does not define who you are, and you are just so worthy of all types of love,” Chlapecka said.
With a fan base composed primarily of young women and people who identify as LGBTQ+, Chlapecka hopes her advice on coming out and finding appreciation for oneself will help someone in a tough spot. “Take it one step at a time, you’re not in a rush, especially with coming out. Never feel pressured to do any of that because someone else wants you to take your time. And don’t be hung up on labels, you are on your own journey. And your journey does not need to look like somebody else’s,” said Chlapecka. “You get to do it in the time that you are comfortable with, with your own boundaries, withhold your boundaries in every situation, because they’re important, and you deserve to have them.”
Chlapecka also offered words of wisdom to anyone struggling to leave an abusive partner. “It’s a very, extremely difficult process. And it is not something that is just going to be overnight, that you’re just feeling better. And I would just remind them that self confidence does not need to come from another human being,” she said. “Loving yourself does not need to come from someone else, you are already whole and you are already amazing. And no one can take that away from you.”
With plans in store for an EP this year and an eventual tour, Chlapecka hopes that her music will become an anthem for Pride month 2023, and for anyone who needs cheering up. She looks forward to collaborating with her drag queen friends on future performances and songs. “I’ve really blossomed into the girl I am because I allowed myself the space and the time to really figure out who I was and like how to love myself properly. And I hope this helps them blossom,” said Chlapecka. “I want them for those two minutes and 30 seconds to just feel on top of the world, and so worthy and so whole.”
With a dash of hot pink, glitter, and lip gloss, Chlapecka hopes to bring smiles to the people on the other side of the screen. “If I can make someone happy for the two minutes that my songs are, that’s what matters, just like in my videos. If I can make someone feel better about themselves for just a little bit, that’s worth it to me.”
Chlapecka’s debut single, which was recorded in Los Angeles with co-writer Alex Veltri and producer Dallas Caton, drops on streaming services today.