“What you see on T.V.? She’s the same way. She’s full of fun.”
I’m speaking with Jaricka Hooker, mother of JaBria McCullum, the 5-year-old internet sweetie who dazzles with southern quips and cute outfits.
JaBria first went viral after participating in a TikTok with her godbrother, LaRon Hines. They’ve completed a number of “Are You Smarter Than A videos together that follow a similar format. Hines asks her if she’s smart, she says “Yes!,” with rising intonation and glee. Then he asks her a question or presents a request. The inquiries range in complexity—in their first video, he asked her how to spell “cat,” in another he asks her if she’s gotten a stimulus check. “Mm mm,” she said, shaking her head no. “Cause I don’t have no bills.” The latter video has 13 million views.
“I like Cocomelon!”
JaBria has amassed 70,000 followers on Instagram in just 7 months, a feat some people 5 times her age struggle to do. But even though she’s a star, she’s still a normal little girl.
“I like Cocomelon!,” JaBria exclaimed during our conversation. A parent myself, I’m pretty familiar with the animated musical series that teaches kids manners, emotional soundness, routine and basic school lessons. After some encouragement from her mom to discuss her other entertainment picks, the pre-schooler also shared that she likes Frozen. “I like Jojo…I like learning,” she told me confidently. She then ran through her ABCs, taking little pauses between each letter. JaBria chose her own cadence over the “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star” melody, possibly a signifier of how she does things her own way.
“With JaBria, I think it is the fact that she is very well-spoken for a 4-year-old,” Hines said to Complex earlier this year, before JaBria’s 5th birthday. “She knows how to talk very well. She’s just super funny, to top it all off. She has a lot of energy.”
Jaricka says that she’s shocked by how people have gravitated towards her daughter, adding that she’s been recognized in public. “We went to Florida a couple weeks ago and people noticed her and stuff. They were like Oh my gosh, that’s JaBria from TikTok! She didn’t realize JaBria’s videos had such range and was surprised that people knew the girl beyond their hometown. “Maybe she is a little famous,” she said with a hearty laugh.
Keep up with JaBria by following her on Instagram.
Photo credit: Source