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Yasss Teen: Learn What Comes After Fleek For Kayla Newman

Just over a year ago, on June 21st, 2014, Kayla Newman recorded and published what is arguably the most important Vine of all time. Waiting in the car while her mother was inside a Chicago area Burlington Coat Factory, Kayla Newman gave us "On fleek."

Over the next year, pop stars feuded over who said it first. Contentwebsites#explainedit. Taco Bell reportedly made its employees learn what it meant. In March, Newman was profiled by Newsweek. The Awl celebrated One Year On Fleek on June 21st, 2015.

Two months into the Second Year On Fleek, we sat down with Kayla Newman at the Ms. Catwalk Boutique in Chicago's South Loop to talk about Vining, blocking haters on Snapchat, and staying on fleek.

When did you start making Vines?

I started making Vines when the app came out, and it was hot back then.

What was that, 2013, 2014?

That's when I started. I made little Vines, just playing around. But then I guess when June 22nd hit, it blew up then, and I'm just like, "Whoaa!"

How long did it take to blow up?

Not that long, but when I made that, I remember one of the first comments was from KingCurtisJayy, a big viner, and he liked and retweeted it, so I'm like, "OK." The next thing I know my Twitter feed blows up within 30 minutes, it's just, "Oh, Peaches gone be famous." I'm just like, "Y'all, stop playing!"

How many followers did you have on Twitter and Vine when it happened?

At first [on Vine], I had just the typical. 100, 500. After that, 1,000, 2,000, 3,000. Then, the next thing you know, it was like, 80,000. And then on Twitter, I wasn't really on there, but at first, it was about 800. I didn't really tweet that much. But then it went up to 2,000, it constantly goes up, and my Instagram got hacked at that time.

Do you know who did it?

No. That's why I was so mad! My followers started going to that account. My new account is with two underscores, the first one was with one underscore.

Did you ever speak to the person who was faking your account?

No, I just made another one. I'm like, "Well, it is what is is," you know? The account was going up 4,000, 5,000 followers, and then the next thing I know, I can't get in my account. That's the only part I hate. That's the only part I worry about. I try not to say too much or do too much on the media, because somebody that doesn't like you can hack or report, and then you're sweating. You don't remember all your followers. I didn't remember all those people, and I don't even know their name anymore.

Do you have a platform that you think is most important to your brand online?

I say it's Vine, but it's mainly going into Snapchat now. I tell my followers to follow me on Snapchat, and they see my lifestyle, they see what I do. It's my main app, and I try to make videos on Vine and Instagram and Twitter, but it's like Snapchat, [my followers] see me.

How much of your day is maintaining your brand online and keeping your accounts going?

I try to keep it up every day. At least give it 30 minutes to an hour. Just so they can see I'm still here, I still notice you, I hope you guys notice me. I try not to play, like put in skits or act, because you can tell when it's fake. Even with my mom, I try to get her involved. She was into it [at first], but it was like, "OK, why are you video recording me?" And I was just like, "Mom." But now she goes along with it. I just made a video on Instagram and she was talking perfectly fine. Even my family, they're getting adjusted to [the fact that] I have to make videos at least every day, or every other day, so my followers can keep up with that.

How would you describe your brand online?

I've never thought of it like that, to be honest. When you just make videos, it just comes naturally. I don't ever try to plan it out, because with me, it just comes. I could just be at school and something would come up. I do try to make videos in the moment, try to let them see what I go through on an everyday basis. Just little slices. People really connect with that, I learned. When the video blew up, of course I rode on that train, because being popular on Vine takes a lot, and I didn't have to kill nobody or do something stupid, like "Put Em In a Coffin." I didn't have to do that, so I just started making videos about life, and people really connected with that.

How has the the massive influx of followers changed how you use social media? Can you use it just to talk with friends, or just mess around when you're bored, because now you have all of these people watching?

Yes. I still do that, mess around with my friends. I have a close friend, we call him Mango, and most of my fanbase knows that it's Mango and Peach. So I still connect with them, and I still be real. I was thinking that too, like, "OK, do I have to be all, 'Hi,' like in the corner," but I realized you should just be you. And if they don't like it, they could always unfollow you.

Have you met any other of the big popular Viners?

Not really. They be on their own thing, and I be on mine.

Have you made friends through social media?

Yeah, I actually have. I wouldn't call them "friends," but just people I talk with every day. They know me. I try not to talk my business with them, but people feel like they can come be about stuff. And I'll just be like, "Oh!" It'll be shocking.

Like you'll feel that you're not on that kind of level to talk about stuff like that?

Yeah! Like, I wouldn't just come out and tell you about my life automatically. A lot of people feel like they can, though. I don't mind. I feel like that's good for me, if you can come to me and talk to me about anything. A lot of people have done that.

Have you had negative reactions from people?

I have, especially on Vine. But even my friend Mango, I had to ask, "What are you commenting back at them for? What is your purpose?" I'm still gonna make money at the end of the day. I'm still gonna be Peaches Monroee at the end of the day. There's no need to reply back to nonsense. It is what it is. OK, I'm fat. OK, you're ugly. OK! I'm ugly to you but somebody else thinks I'm fine. So I don't pay attention to that. There was a boy at my school, and he was like, "Did you see the comments? They were just all negative, but you're still beautiful." I'm just like, "Thank you!" Yeah, I see them. But I just don't pay attention to them.

Do you ever go through and block people, or do you just ignore them?

Oh yeah, I block a lot of people. On Snapchat: block!

How does hate over Snapchat work? Are they sending you something back?

Yeah, I make a video, and I just talk, and people will be like, "Oh Peaches, I love when you said that," or "Peaches, I love your outfit." They always love my nails. Everybody loves my nails. They all ask where I get my nails done, and I'm always like, "87th & Stony Island," if they live in Chicago. Everybody gives me feedback on the Snapchat videos.

Incognito at its fullest 🎥

A photo posted by 〽️ac Peach 👯👑 (@peaches__monroee) on

After the Newsweek story came out, did you notice different kinds of people following you? People reading Newsweek might not be on Vine looking at the new big videos.

A lot of people in my generation, they know Newsweek magazine, but they don't know how big it is. But when their parents explain it to them, they're like, "Oh!" My mom was like, "Girl, that's good!" After that, older people started coming up to me to say congratulations. They'll be so shocked, because I'm only 17. I was 16 at the time, and the cover was Amanda Knox, so it was a big shock.

Where do you see your online brand going from here? Will you continue it through college?

I want to go into nursing, for OB/GYNs, and then I want to go into acting. I did a few plays at church, and people just fell in love with it. They even told me to go into drama in high school. I wanted to go into that, and start a foundation for teen girls who have low self-esteem, or dealing with stuff at home. Even with pregnancies. Just to let them know, you don't have to stoop down to people. I'm not a real confrontational person, so people might say I'm a punk, and it just is what it is, 'cause I'm not gonna break a nail. I want to teach girls to not stoop down to these girls' level, because first off, they're just jealous of you. The foundation is one thing I want to start while I'm at college -- even when I get out of high school. I told my mom, "I just want to push on that."

Have you gotten offers outside Vine from your social media presence?

Some, but there was something fishy, basically. I look at the offers, and send it to my attorney. If she agrees with it, cool, but the last few of them, we were like, "Nuh-uh, I'm not feeling that." I don't want to sell myself for just weaves, or just for money. I got a few offers, but I'm still personal. I just stay humbled. I can't let this get to my head. I know how young I am, it could just blow up in a minute. I just stay humble, and keep doing what I do.

Do you think you'll ever reach a point where you'll want to step back from social media and take a break?

I tried to. It just didn't work out. People come to me for stuff and advice, so it's like I'm letting them down. Every famous person say that the fans make them. I feel like my fans make me with the feedback, and with the advice. It makes me feel good that you can come to me and I'm a complete stranger. I won't tell. I'm not that female that's going to sit down with you then walk out and tell your business, I won't do that. That's one thing I feel like they're comfortable with. So, no. Stepping back from social media? No, that's not gonna happen.

Do you have anything else you'd like to add?

Just stay on fleek.

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