At TikTok, we're incredibly proud of the millions of inspiring women on our platform, all of whom bring creativity, talent and strength to our amazing community. So this year, to celebrate International Women's Day, and as part of TikTok's mission to consistently support, spotlight and recognise the diversity and strength of women, we're highlighting the incredible trailblazers who are using TikTok to share their experiences, talent and strength with our community, supporting the progression of women in the UK and around the world. Check out our newsroom post for more information.
For this week's creator spotlight, meet everyone's favourite LGBTQIA+ historian, Ellie Medhurst! Ellie is the history teacher you never knew you needed, serving up all the sides of Queer history that have previously been silenced, all whilst making it fun and accessible to all!
If you're looking to learn more about LGBTQIA+ history in a fun and engaging way, Ellie's your guide! Ellie's channel spotlights the lesbian experience, sharing everything from the history of lesbian hair to where the word lesbian originated from. Her content on TikTok has been such a hit that she's even landed a book deal - we can't wait to read her book that's all about the history of lesbian fashion, being published this year.
For IWD, she shared her lesbian icons to watch and we loved it! But that's not all, if you want even more fashion inspo and to explore underrepresented history, check out her website for cool and educative content that's bound to spark joy.
With 46.8k followers and 659.3k likes, Ellie's account is a testament to how underrepresented histories and communities are at home on TikTok. We sat her down to learn more International Women's Day and her favourite TikTok accounts.
What does International Women's Day mean to you?
International Women's Day is important because it gives the world - especially in online spaces - an opportunity to stop and think about the place of women in our current society and our broad, varied histories. The category of woman can mean so many different things, and International Women's Day can fill just as many roles. To me, though, it's a time to really highlight how proud I am to be a woman, especially a woman who loves women. I share content about lesbian fashion history in my online spaces, including TikTok, every day, but IWD means that more people have sat down to listen!
What do you love most about sharing content on TikTok?
TikTok is great because it introduces people to ideas they might not have come across otherwise. Lesbian fashion history, my area of expertise, is something that most people have never really considered before. The way that TikTok works means that people can be introduced to the concept, and I've found that the exchange between myself and my audience can be really inspiring. This is especially true when it comes to other lesbians or members of the LGBTQ community.
What first inspired you to create on TikTok?
My wife! I'd been writing articles for my website (dressingdykes.com) and posting on other social media for around half a year before I joined TikTok. I hadn't really used the platform beforehand, but my wife had, and she thought that creating videos on the app would really expand the reach of my work. She was definitely right!
What is your favourite recent challenge or trend on TikTok?
In all honesty, I don't really keep up with challenges or trends on TikTok! I think that's actually part of its appeal, though: there's something for everyone. Some creators make educational content, which continually exists in its own niche. Others connect with the TikTok community by engaging in trends or challenges and finding common ground. Saying that, I have loved all of the content coming out for International Women's Day!
What is your goal on TikTok?
My goal on TikTok is to share information. First and foremost, I'm a historian, writer and researcher. TikTok allows me to share my work and the wonderful, diverse stories within the history of lesbian fashion. I want to pique people's interest, with the hope that they'll come back for more.
What other women creators appear on your TikTok For You feed?
So, a large amount of my For You feed is normally cat videos. I can't stop watching them! Sometimes, though, the cats will be interspersed with some of the incredible female creators that I follow, including activist and guerilla gardener @octaviachill, author and video essayist @heyrowanellis and historical costume maker and fellow fashion historian @charlottar_.
What is your favourite TikTok you have made to date and why?
It's hard to pick! I find everything I post fascinating, which is why I research it in the first place, but one of my favourite videos is actually a less viewed one - it's a vlog-style TikTok of a research trip I took to the lesbian archive housed in Glasgow Women's Library, where I was looking at examples of lesbian activist t-shirts from the 1970s/80s to the present. It's a memory of my own as well as an educational video, and I love it for that reason.