How Doja Cat Sets Herself Apart from the Industry


Wikimedia Commons/Georgebre

Doja Cat’s “Planet Her” took the music industry by storm after its release in June 2021. Filled with otherworldly visuals and hypnotizing vocals and rap, Doja showed her creative prowess that set her apart from other pop and rap stars.

Lalaina Ratsimihah

Amala Dlamini, professionally known as Doja Cat, took the internet by storm in 2018 with the release of her satirical music video, “MOOO!”, that featured Doja in a cow costume, eating burgers and drinking milkshakes and emphatically repeating the phrase, “B*tch, I’m a cow.” While many were stunned with the video and contributed to its spread, this video was only the beginning of Doja’s unexpected comedy. With countless Kardashians and endless perfect influencers, Doja Cat shows a new side of fame rarely seen by the public: a sense of humor.

Doja, like most musical artists, has  gained notoriety for her performances and looks, but her out-there comedy sends a different message than her celebrity counterparts, who instead focus more on aesthetics and curating a perfect image. 

A quick scroll through Doja’s TikTok and Twitter, for example, would reveal that she’s never not being herself. Her videos garner millions of views everyday, yet her account resembles that of a typical teenage girl. Even Doja’s sponsored Tik Toks appear completely casual and free of any forethought or calculation. 

@dojacat♬ original sound – Doja Cat

TikTok | Doja Cat’s promotional video for the Taco Bell Mexican Pizza quickly went viral. The TikTok contains Doja rapping about the menu item. The comments are full of people praising Doja and laughing along with her joke.

Doja’s openness and carefree attitude does come with its downsides, though. Her willingness to talk directly with her fans and make online content leads to fans thinking they can talk however they please with her, as if she was just another close friend. Her comments are filled with hate and overfamiliar meanness that is unique to the internet landscape. Doja has previously opened up about the hurt that these comments have caused her, and she’s even taken hiatuses from TikTok and other social media. 

Doja’s wigs and visible lace-front have been a topic of conversation since she came into  the spotlight. She is constantly getting teased about this photo in particular, and while she has improved her wig-laying skills, she can’t seem to live this one moment down. (Twitter)

“I’m not comfortable making TikToks anymore,” Doja said in a tweet that has since been deleted, “I feel like something is wrong with me. Y’all got me.”

Many TikToks of hers were flooded with commenters asking Doja about her mental state and poking fun at her for being “weird” and “worrying them.” Doja replied to a commenter, stating some were “unintentionally gaslighting” her. 

Doja opened up in another tweet saying, “i’ve actually struggled w sh*t before and i [sic] have a lot of fear in me so it just adds up in the end when i read that kind of sh*t.” 

Doja’s willingness for fun and humor led to an unwelcome vulnerability. Her fans developed a parasocial relationship with her that only increased with every tweet, TikTok, and comment. While many fans were showering Doja with praise and respect, many more were yelling at her and growing inappropriate. Doja has ignored them for the most part, but she can put them in their place when needed. 

Doja Cat quote-tweeting a fan that commented on a photo of a meal she cooked. The rude tone of the fan is not rare when it comes to Doja’s following.

When you contrast this fandom’s behavior with other artists’ like Ariana Grande or Megan Thee Stallion, you see that their fans are considerably nicer to them, but why? Doja has created a comfortable and vulnerable environment for herself and her fan base that has led to them seeing her as more of a friend than a rich, famous stranger. 

While this approach may lead to abuse from fans, it can also lead to high engagement and more sponsorships. 

Megan Thee Stallion’s TikTok gets millions of views a day and has 10.8 million followers. Doja Cat’s views go up to the tens of millions, and she’s gained a total of 21.8 million followers. Even Doja’s promo videos go viral. Her approach is very lucrative and makes sure her fan base sticks with her. 

With only four years in the spotlight, Doja Cat has been able to cultivate a name for herself both in the music industry and on the internet. Her approach has made her a better influencer than most, and she’s only growing from here. Whether it’s dominating the charts or shitposting on TikTok, Doja Cat is definitely making a new lane for herself and staying put.