The untold truth of the D’Amelio family

The D’Amelio family is known around the world as “the first family of TikTok,” as noted by The Guardian. Like fellow TikTok star Addison Rae, Charli D’Amelio took the fledgling social media app by storm, charming her followers with seemingly effortless dance moves and other quirky and wholesome content. That’s when the whole family — sister Dixie D’Amelio, mother Heidi D’Amelio, and father Marc D’Amelio — got super active on TikTok as well, amassing millions upon millions of followers between the four of them. That’s why, chances are if you use TikTok, you already know all about the D’Amelio family.

However, if you had asked the family if they knew they’d become famous for perky dances and loose lip-synching, they would have thought you were out of your mind. Indeed, before the D’Amelios ascended into the stratosphere of social media, they were a regular family with regular goals and regular plans for the future. So if you’re wondering what the D’Amelio family was like before all of the fame, or what their plans are for the future, read on to find out! This is the untold truth of the D’Amelio family.

TikTok changed everything for the D'Amelio family, especially their future

Before TikTok became the viral sensation that it is today, the D’Amelio family was, by all measures, a normal family living in Connecticut. Patriarch Marc D’Amelio worked in sportswear, and matriarch Heidi D’Amelio was a model and personal trainer. Their two teenage children, Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, were just coming into their own as well. “We were kind of on autopilot as a family at the time,” Marc recalled in an interview with The Guardian. “Dixie was about to go to college. She was driving Charli to school in the mornings.” He added that he and his wife were essentially “looking at the finish line of parenting,” ready to adjust to an empty nest within a matter of years.

That all changed once Charli blew up on TikTok, which quite literally upended everything for the D’Amelio family. “We really thought we’d figured out how to have two kids,” he continued. “Then this was thrust on us.” That’s when all of their best-laid plans — including college and a home base in Connecticut — were pushed to the side to make way for Internet fame and all its trappings.

Fame happened super quickly for the D'Amelio family

One thing that can’t be overstated is how fast the D’Amelio family came into their celebrity. It was only in the earlier part of 2019 that Charli D’Amelio started using TikTok, and before the year was out, she’d amassed millions of followers (via NBC News). And with the followers came fame, not just for Charli but for her whole family, who became TikTok stars in their own right — as well as millionaires.  

Can you imagine your life changing that much within the space of a few months? It’s certainly been an adjustment for the D’Amelios, according to Heidi D’Amelio. “Seeing the whole thing happen so quickly, I think … that’s probably the craziest part of it,” she explained to Entertainment Tonight. “Everything else, we kind of just take in stride.” She added that the most important thing for the D’Amelios has been taking care of themselves as a family.

The D’Amelios relocated to Los Angeles to pursue their newfound career in entertainment, and their new digs are super posh. They reportedly listed their Connecticut home for sale in 2020 (via The Hour), so chances are the move is permanent.

The D'Amelio family lost their private life because of their TikTok fame

While becoming rich and famous seemingly overnight — all for making casual dance videos in your home — sounds like a dream, it’s not without its perils. In fact, as Dixie D’Amelio tells it, having a normal life is impossible now. “The worst part is that I’ve lost having a personal private life,” she revealed in an interview with Grazia. “When your life is on the internet there is no privacy. Normal teenage and young adult stuff unfolds in front of a huge audience.” Not surprisingly, that hasn’t exactly been easy for the D’Amelio family. Can you imagine the pressure?

To that end, the D’Amelios’ private lives have become viral stories in and of themselves. For example, Charli D’Amelio went through a very public breakup with fellow TikTok creator Chase Hudson, which she posted to her Instagram story (via Seventeen). Additionally, according to E! News, Dixie D’Amelio also split from her boyfriend, Griffin Johnson, in 2020. Of course, the Internet had plenty of opinions about both of breakups, showing how much interest there is in all aspects of the D’Amelio family’s lives.

Charli and Dixie D'Amelio are super tight

You may have noticed that, at times, it can be difficult to tell Charli and Dixie D’Amelio apart, thanks to their strong, slender builds, similar facial structures, and flowing brown tresses. And though the sisters do look alike and share similar ambitions, the D’Amelio girls have their own unique approaches to the world. “We couldn’t be more different,” Charli revealed in a chat with Highsnobriety. “But we’re used to getting, ‘Oh my God, you guys look like twins!'” Given that they’re the same size and share clothes, that’s really not surprising.

Additionally, Charli and Dixie look out for each other, always making sure to have the other sister’s back. “Dixie is my number one go-to person,” Charli continued. “We’re just so close, and our fights usually last two seconds and then we’re over it.” After that, the pair moves onto whatever the next activity may be, whether that’s going on a car ride or making a TikTok video.

Heidi and Marc D'Amelio work hard to protect Dixie and Charli

Charli D’Amelio was barely 15 years old when she started posting to TikTok, and her sister, Dixie D’Amelio, is less than three years older than her. To that end, Marc and Heidi D’Amelio have had the unique challenge of parenting teenagers who became stratospherically famous. Fortunately, they were up for the challenge, says Heidi. “I protect my family online, offline and always,” she explained to Grazia. “As a parent, I try to be present, to always listen and to give them enough freedom so they learn and grow, but not so much that I’m not aware of what they are doing.” Talk about a delicate balance.

In addition to guiding her children in their celebrity careers, Heidi also makes sure to keep everyone grounded as a unit. “We always make sure that we carve out time that we can just be a family, not a ‘working’ family,'” she continued. “They’re still teenagers, so we’re still parenting teenagers and their emotions.” And naturally, that can be pretty rough at times.

Marc D'Amelio fends off marriage proposals for Charli and Dixie

Ascending into the realm of celebrity may have upended the D’Amelio family’s lives, but overall, Marc D’Amelio says the experience has been overwhelmingly positive. That even includes Dixie and Charli’s many suitors and admirers, who’ve sung the girls’ praises to their father. “Even the boys, it’s been funny, they’ll approach me and say, ‘May I marry your daughter?'” he revealed in an interview with NBC News. Hey, at least they’re drawing on some old-school manners by asking pops for permission!

Of course, not all of Charli and Dixie’s fans are the epitome of politeness, but fortunately, so far it’s been nothing Marc can’t handle. “Every once in a while you’ll get someone who crosses the line, and I’ve gone back and checked them and it’s worked out fine,” he continued. “It’s all new to us but we’re figuring it out as we go and it so far is working.”

The D’Amelio family has also hired security to protect the girls as well, as noted by TMZ.

Dixie D'Amelio used to be ashamed of doing TikTok videos

Believe it or not, but TikTok hasn’t always been en vogue — far from it. In fact, back when Charli and Dixie D’Amelio started using the app, they hid it from their friends as much as possible. “Ew. People at school made fun of TikTok,” Dixie revealed to The Guardian. “It was looked down on.” That’s why when she discovered that Charli was uploading videos of herself dancing to TikTok, she was mortified. “I was, like, Charli, dude, what are you doing?”

However, as Charli’s videos started to get more and more popular, more and more people learned who she was. Still, that wouldn’t be a badge of honor until later. “Do you remember when people first started recognizing you? They would say, ‘Where do I know you from?'” Dixie continued. Too embarrassed to confess they probably saw her on TikTok, Charli would say “social media,” to spare herself the humiliation. Oh, how the times have changed.

What the D'Amelio sisters really think about their parents' dance moves

Charli D’Amelio became insanely successful on TikTok thanks to her impressive dance skills, which she spent years honing in dance classes and competitions. But as she and her sister, Dixie D’Amelio, tell it, their parents are no slouches in that department, either. “They’re both really good dancers,” Dixie shared in an interview with Highsnobriety. “There’s a lot of pressure at family reunions, weddings, and birthday parties.”

When it comes down to who the better dancer is, Marc or Heidi D’Amelio, Charli laid it out for the curious. “My mom grew up a competition dancer and sometimes does TikTok dances with me, but my dad did breakdancing, and that’s raw,” she explained, “so if I had to ask someone to break it down in the middle of a party, I would have to say my dad.”

That explains why both Heidi and Marc have sizable TikTok followings of their own. The whole family has moves!

Dealing with haters on TikTok is something the D'Amelio family had to adjust to

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who’s big on social media — whether that’s Instagram or YouTube or TikTok — who doesn’t have to deal with their share of trolls and haters. Unfortunately, that’s also the case for Charli D’Amelio and her family, who’ve had to adjust to unsolicited and unwarranted hate. “I’m trying to show people that I’m a person, and I deal with the same things as you guys,” Charli revealed in an interview with NBC News, noting, “I think I’m working on being a lot more positive in my everyday life because I realize comments and things can hurt.”

In addition to cruel comments about her appearance, Charli has also been the victim or multiple threats and calls falsely reporting emergencies at her home, according to TMZ. It’s not surprising then to learn that Charli has almost quit social media altogether on more than one occasion. “Luckily I have a very good support group around me and they made me want to continue,” she shared in an Instagram live (via Cosmopolitan). So Charli and her family do their best to ignore the haters and lean into the love.

The D'Amelio family doesn't understand why they're so huge on TikTok

If you’ve never heard of Charli D’Amelio, let alone her sister and her parents, you might have found yourself wondering: why her? Why them? What is it about a teenage girl bopping around to popular hip hop songs that has such a mass appeal?

For one, Marc D’Amelio sees his daughters’ viral fame as the result of the “lightning in a bottle” effect, according to The Guardian. Thanks to their likable personalities, impressive (yet effortlessly executed) dance moves, and a lot of luck, they’re relatable to their entire generation. What he didn’t mention is that they’re both gorgeous, and that certainly has to help!

While Charli has in the past put it bluntly that she doesn’t get the hype either (it used to say as much on her TikTok profile), experts chalk it up to her affable charm, down-home spirit, and overall aura of authenticity (via Highsnobriety). Who says being humble and polite never get anyone anywhere?

The D'Amelio family would love to have a reality show

With the enormous social media following that the D’Amelio family has — one could argue they rival the Kardashians, with their tens of millions of followers on TikTok — they’re no stranger to having seemingly everyone privy to what goes on in their lives. To that end, it’s only natural that the gregarious clan want to star in their own reality show, something that’s already in the works, according to Charli D’Amelio. “I mean, [it’s] definitely something that would be super fun,” she revealed in a chat with Entertainment Tonight. “I feel like no one really gets to see, but, people are always talking about how they think our family dynamic is pretty cool.”

So will the D’Amelios grace our screens à la Keeping Up with the Kardashians? Marc D’Amelio says it’s pretty likely. “This has all kinda happened all really quickly,” he shared. “But we think if we’re gonna do it, we’ll go all in with it. And like Charli said, let everyone get to know us a little bit more closely.” We can’t wait for it!

The D'Amelio family isn't afraid to say no to deals

Becoming an internet sensation has certainly made the bills easier to pay for the D’Amelio family. Since Charli D’Amelio uploaded her first video, she, her sister, and her parents now have a net worth of $8 million, according to Celebs Fortune — indeed haters gonna hate, but this crew is laughing all the way to the bank.

Part of that is thanks to the brand partnerships the D’Amelios have signed onto, including Dunkin’ Donuts (Charli has her own drink on their menu), Hollister, Morphe Cosmetics, and Sabra Hummus (via E! News). What you might not know, however, is that Charli is extremely picky about anything she promotes, says Marc D’Amelio. “We’re offered deals all the time that we turn down,” she told The Guardian. “Charli will not promote something she doesn’t like.”

Additionally, as Heidi D’Amelio tells it, Charli has some serious chutzpah, even in front of business bigwigs. “I’ve seen her sit in a room full of executives and say no,” she shared. “I couldn’t have done that at her age.” Talk about sticking to your guns!

Marc D'Amelio always knew Charli was special

At the end of the day, what’s made Charli D’Amelio such a sensation on TikTok is simply her ability to dance and to dance well. Given that moving her body is her passion, Charli is glad that it’s what she’s known for on TikTok. “So many people can see my content and see that I dance and maybe it’ll draw them to my Instagram where I have longer clips,” she told NBC News. “TikTok is definitely a great place to show people that dancing is something that I do, and it’s very fun for me.” Hey, it’s made dancing fun for all of us, thanks to Charli!

As for the fact that Charli is a standout, that’s not lost on her father, Marc D’Amelio. In fact, he and his wife have always known her dancing would take her places. “We knew that she was a special dancer, so we knew at some point we’d see her on stage,” he gushed. “We knew that she would do great things at some point in her life, it’s just come a lot earlier.”

The D'Amelio family is the real deal

While the entire D’Amelio family is wildly famous on social media, none of it would have been possible without Charli D’Amelio’s early TikTok videos, which eventually made them mega-celebs. Interestingly enough, however, at the outset, Marc and Heidi D’Amelio didn’t understand Charli’s strategy. “As parents, in the beginning we were sometimes, ‘Why are you doing videos in your room with your bed unmade and clothes on the floor?'” he shared in a chat with Highsnobriety. “But Charli understood instinctively that not only did she want to portray her true self but that the people consuming her content wanted to see that from her.”

That honesty hasn’t waned, either, as Dixie D’Amelio says her sister is and has always been the real deal. “I think she’s so happy to have the platform to talk about things that mean a lot to her,” she explained. “That’s important for me, too, but I don’t have the pressure that she has.”

While the pressure has to be enormous, the internet is a better place with Charli and her family on it.

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