TikTok’s Favorite Southern Lesbians Apologize for Racist Tweets on Their Honeymoon

Lunden Stalling's old tweets surfaced the weekend of her wedding to Olivia, presenting a limit to the paradox the couple puts forth.

TikTok’s Favorite Southern Lesbians Apologize for Racist Tweets on Their Honeymoon
Screenshot:Lunden & Olivia TikTok (Fair Use)

If you’re a woman who falls anywhere above a 2 on the Kinsey Scale, there’s a good chance your TikTok has served you content by America’s royal femme lesbian couple: Lunden and Olivia Stallings. The couple are 26, live in Georgia, and have such thick and shiny hair you wonder if they are part golden retriever. This past weekend, the duo got married to the delight of their 700,000 TikTok followers, and their wedding was documented by a People exclusive spread.

But nary a fortnight after the brides said I do, some other, grossly racist stuff that Lunden said in the early 2010s surfaced. Around the time she was 16 or 17, it seems, Lunden was in the habit of tweeting the N-word. A lot. She was using it as liberally as a Southern woman would’ve used Aqua Net in the ‘80s. So, a lot, a lot.

On Wednesday, Lunden apologized for the old tweets that she’s since deleted. “I am completely and utterly disgusted and ashamed and honestly embarrassed at how normal it was for me to speak that way on Twitter,” she said, while Olivia stoically sat behind her dissociating into the camera. The 10-minute-long apology, in which Lunden tried to emphatically distance her current mature and accepting self from her ignorant past self, was posted to the couple’s TikTok stories, meaning it’s already and perhaps calculatingly disappeared from the account. (Of course, Reddit archivists preserved it here for eternity.) I imagine this is not how they wanted to be spending their Palm Beach honeymoon.

TikTokers immediately reacted to the admittedly weak apology from their former faves. A lot of white women in the comments graciously accepted Lunden’s apology. Others were skeptical about why the old tweets were left up for as long as they were, especially considering how the chronically online couple have built their influencer stardom off of being woke and accepting Southerners. What I’ve been struck by, as these lesbian influencers fall off their pedestal, is how the aesthetic Lunden and Olivia capitalized off of has, in some ways, come back to bite them.

The two young women look like they could be the main characters on Bama Rush-tok—upperclass preps with pristinely blown-out hair, manicured nails, and Southern drawls straight out of an Eudora Welty novel. Their initial appeal was derived from the paradox they present: two Lily Pulitzer ladies emblematic of Southern class and grace embrace progressive values and each other.

Admittedly, anytime they came across my feed, I’d scroll through their account, humbled by my desire and inability to easily categorize them. And they knew that, too! In their People wedding exclusive published on Sunday, Lunden said, “I think that by showing two feminine women in a relationship in the South, I think that it breaks a barrier.” In a lot of ways, she is right!

But this recent development also highlights the limits of the paradox they created. Can the aesthetic of white Southern femininity ever be fully untangled from the appallingly racist historical context from which it originated? Yes, these two lesbians are de facto queering that aesthetic, but they’re simultaneously upholding it, too. So when Lunden’s old tweets resurfaced, it took almost no stretch of the imagination for many of her devoted followers to accept that she would have once used that sort of language. What’s surprising about a Southern belle dropping the N-word? Nothing! No amount of relatable TJ Maxx clothing hauls or light rants about how devoted they are to “women’s rights” can override the deep-seated expectations we hold for them.

Time will tell if and how the newlyweds spring back from this ordeal. And it will be especially interesting to see if their aesthetics change at all, knowing what we know now: that Lunden’s look isn’t wholly separate from the connotations it conveys.

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