Everyone’s an influencer these days, but how many who rep that ubiquitous title can claim to have ever influenced anything? Sure, they may have zombied out a dance trend or helped to make some big red boots momentarily chic. But Blizzy Mcguire, the 22-year-old tweet genius, TikTok prophet and rising fashion it-girl has truly influenced us all. Whether you know it or not, you’ve probably parroted her exact verbiage. Her words, infectious as a plague, lodged themselves into your psyche and there you were: speaking Blizzy.
“There’s a lot of things I see where I’m like, I definitely had a finger in that,” Blizzy offers, pinching her fingers to sprinkle just a small touch of, well: “Like a little dusting of Blizzy,” she laughs.
“I love Troll Twitter,” Blizzy smiles, her brain astral projecting through a Library of Alexandra-sized catalog of digital detritus. “It’s like: How can I be the stupidest person on this app right now?” Lucky for us, she wins the stupid-wars every day.
Blizzy has been on Twitter since she was 14, immersed since adolescence in the strange particulars of the queer web. Virality for Blizzy is a studied craft. “I can feel it in my blood when a tweet is gonna do good,” she says. Plus, she knows her audience. “I feel like it’s a lot easier to influence gay culture, just because it’s a much smaller, tighter community. Once you get something going in those kinds of communities, it spreads out. Everything comes from, you know, LGBT stuff.”
On TikTok, though, Blizzy has moved from semi-anonymous master-troll to IRL comedienne. Speaking directly to her 240,000 followers (and counting), Blizzy delivers her signature isms with an infectious ease. Her voice, on the perpetual edge of a giggle, sounds as if she’s babbling to the world’s goofiest child. This could grow stale if only it wasn’t so tempting to mimic.
It’s one thing to go viral; it’s an entirely different caliber of accomplishment to produce multiple universally recognizable memes. As one TikTok she compiled explains, Blizzy has “changed society.”
For example, there’s her ultra-viral pop-punk ode to Burger King, which inspired multiple, even-more-viewed copycat videos. And then there’s the banal elements of Blizzy’s life, which she’s transformed into memes unto themselves. A particularly inspired hair day became memorialized as the yassified image of George Washington. Her bedroom, which she pictured adorned with nothing but a Grimes poster and a dildo strapped to the wall, has morphed into a visual symbol for LGBT bed death. And then, of course, there’s Christian Girl Autumn: a meme that rolls out seasonally to indicate idyllic, pumpkin spice fun. That, too, was made by Blizzy.
In August 2019, on a now-banned Twitter account, Blizzy tweeted “Hot Girl Summer is coming to an end, get ready for Christian Girl Autumn,” atop a picture of influencers Caitlin Covington and Emma Gemma draped in sumptuous fall layers. The innocuous play on Megan Thee Stallion’s “Hot Girl Summer” went ultra-viral, snowballing into a true cultural moment and a uniquely universal internet reference.
“I remember tweeting it and then all these people were asking me for an interview,” she recalls. Outlets like BuzzFeed and Vox were compelled to explain the term’s rise. And then Covington, using the meme’s clout to bolster her already successful influencer career, turned her yearly autumnal photo shoot into a lucrative business opportunity. In 2020, The New York Times followed her as she traveled to Vermont to take photos amongst the foliage. During the trip, Saks Off 5th reportedly paid between $10,000 and $15,000 for a single post.
Meanwhile, Blizzy was struggling to get by: “I was really going through it,” she remembers. “I was trying to find a job for almost three months.”
In response to the hubbub, Blizzy tweeted, “These Christian Girl Autumn articles coming out while im struggling to find work and make ends meet… we didn’t do it Joe,” along with a link to her Venmo account. Covington shared Blizzy’s call with her followers. And then Twitter pop culture juggernaut Pop Crave, reporting on Covington’s support, amplified the story further. Blizzy, usually the covert culture shaper, briefly became the center of the story. For a fleeting moment, attention and influence did in fact equal money for Blizzy.
For those of us who have not found hundreds of thousands of followers on TikTok or authored multiple tweets that are canon on the queer internet, it may seem obvious that a consistent digital impact such as Blizzy’s would lead to at least some financial upside. But Blizzy, who works full time in retail at Marc Jacobs, admittedly doesn’t have the time nor the highly specific know-how to hack the strange economics of online influence. She’s a working girl, just like us.
Except for the fact that pop culture icons are fans of her. Charli XCX, whose songs she spends considerable time singing renditions of on TikTok, DM’d her, asking if she would want to make music one day.
“I was like, yes,” Blizzy says, her eyes widening. “For someone who I’ve admired for so long to be like, ‘Are you interested in making music?’ That was amazing to me.”
Even Tony-nominated playwright Jeremy O. Harris is a supporter. After seeing Blizzy perform “Don’t Rain On My Parade” from Funny Girl on TikTok, Harris invited her to be his date to Funny Girl on Broadway.
“I couldn’t ask for a more beautiful thing to happen,” she says. Blizzy, a lifelong Glee stan, was able to see Lea Michele herself alongside Broadway’s most influential rising bard.
Blizzy’s charisma and nerve have brought her to a place where she is recognized “whenever, just leaving the house,” but the discrepancy between her influence and the high cost of living as a young trans woman in New York can often blunt the sweetness of success. “It feels good [to be recognized],” she admits, “but it’s also like… I wish I had more money. I’m at a minimum wage job.”
And that’s not even factoring in the mental cost of being a trans public figure on an internet that pendulum-swings between vitriolic transphobic hate and parasocial mania. All of which is made worse by the fact that Blizzy has been on TikTok throughout her transition. On the Wild West platform, both bitter conservatives and overeager 12-year-olds offer their unsolicited takes.
“The amount of hate that I’ve gotten ever since even cutting my hair recently has been insane,” Blizzy shares. Her new shorter hairstyle is undoubtedly chic, but to some TikTok users, this change in look is an open invite to weigh in on the politics of presentation. “People are like, ‘You’re not even trying hard enough!’ And I’m like, ‘Shut up!’”
And there’s brands themselves who offer one of the only ways that creators like Blizzy can make money, or at the very least receive some free merchandise. Blizzy does not receive many brand offers, so when a fashion brand reached out to her, offering free clothes from their menswear account, it stung.
“They were like, ‘Hey we love your content. Would you like to pick something out?’” she tells PAPER. “And then it was a link for [men’s clothes]. I was like, ‘What are you doing?’” After the incident, she spoke out, tweeting, “To be a trans girl and reached out to by a men’s brand asking for a tagged post just rubs me so fuciing wrong.”
Digital creators who struggle to monetize their platforms, it seems, are supposed to be thankful for the scraps they’re given. This is especially true for queer and trans creators who, by virtue of their identity, may lack the ultra-broad appeal of their #blessed straight, cis counterparts. Blizzy then is meant to accept what’s offered and smile. But she deserves so much more than ill-fitting Shein knockoffs.
I remarked to a friend recently that I feel like the only thing I have in common with other queer people is Twitter. “It’s our culture,” he responded. He was joking, but he was also correct. Before I could speak about my attraction publicly, let alone the embarrassing particulars of my cultural tastes, I had the internet. There, I could be honest with other anonymous accounts about both my desires and Lady Gaga.
In this hidden space, one observes and then learns the vernacular and references of queer subcultures. These subcultural particulars are filtered through the inscrutable virtual hyperbrain. References and slang and memes are all compressed to their most basic elements, reduced down to the surreal poetics of the queer web. To a complete outsider, it’s gibberish. But those that get it, get it, and Blizzy gets it best. Give the girl her Pullitzer.
Thankfully, Blizzy is beginning to get her rightful flowers. In a satisfying twist of fate, Blizzy was asked to sit on the notorious Heaven couch for Heaven by Marc Jacobs’s latest campaign. “As soon as I got there,” Blizzy recalls, “I was like, ‘Do y’all know I work at Marc Jacobs in SoHo? I’m on the clock!’”
Posing alongside supermodels, scene stars and The White Lotus’ Michael Imperioli, Blizzy was among the many noted figures who prompted a whole day of discourse on “clout bombing:” a term used to explain the rising trend of brands photographing a mass throng of “clouty” figures to ensure virality. “Clout bombing,” critics would protest, is a cheap trick to force public attention, but implicit in the discourse was the fact that Blizzy is famous enough to take part in the proverbial explosion.
“I don’t expect anyone to know me,” Blizzy says. “I’m not going into places like, I’m the most famous person in the room. People invite me to things and I’m like, I’m just a kid from Long Island. We went to church food drives. I’m not used to glamour, but I know my references, so I get into it.”
Blizzy’s fantasy for years was to write for a comedy show, but these days she harbors numerous: Modeling, fashion, maybe even a pop star era (cc: Charli). It’s tough, though, to take that leap. The world is hard and expensive. But if there’s justice in it, then a star like Blizzy can shine as she’s destined.
I mean, she already created one season. Why shouldn’t it be Blizzy Season next?
Throughout May, PAPER will roll out our final projects under the most recent editorial team. These pieces continue pushing forward our mission to provide a platform for fresh talent and important stories too often overlooked. From the subjects to the creatives behind the images, our hope is for you to discover new things and be inspired by what you see. As always, thank you for showing up and being part of our community. –Justin Moran, Editor-in-Chief