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Student Spotlight: Elizabeth Weiss

Courtesy of Elizabeth Weiss
Villanova student Elizabeth Weiss has amassed a following on social media app TikTok.

Everyone has their own campus character. Maybe yours is a TikTok user named “skinniraini.”


Elizabeth Weiss is a senior Communications and English double major at Villanova. However, people may better know her as @skinniraini on TikTok, where she has garnered almost 5,000 followers and five million likes across all of her videos.


Weiss downloaded TikTok at the end of her junior year of high school, keeping the account private for a while and then going public during quarantine. However, it wasn’t until her sophomore year at Villanova that she began posting as consistently as she does now.


In regards to her username, Weiss said that, in order to avoid using her real name and squander the potential for a digital footprint, she decided to make use of one of her favorite memes about Raini Rodriguez. The meme was entitled “Skinny Raini.” However when she tried to input the username with the traditional spelling of the word “skinny,” a message appeared indicating it had already been taken. Thus, she ended up as “skinni” with an “i.”


Weiss is best known for her TikToks that “teenage girls in their twenties” can relate to, a phrase she characterizes herself by. Topics that fall under this category include but are not limited to Taylor Swift, The Summer I Turned Pretty and Olivia Rodrigo. However, her TikTok account cannot be defined by just these topics alone. In fact, much of her TikTok revolves around her experience at Villanova. She makes “OOTD” videos on her way to classes while also making TikToks around campus that many Villanova students can relate to. And this is reflected in her following, as most of her followers are from Villanova or the wider Philadelphia area.


“[The demographic of my following] makes sense,” Weiss said. “Even the other non-Villanova content I create is catered for college-aged women, making girls at Villanova my target audience.” 


However, Weiss’ time here cannot be solely characterized by her TikTok presence. She is also President of Alpha Phi at Villanova where, through her TikTok, she was able to create a hashtag for her sorority. The hashtag is #villanovaalphaaphi, and all Villanova Alpha Phi members on TikTik now use it when posting videos. She also is a member of Blue Key, where she has previously served as PR Chair, allowing to use her creativity and passion for TikTok in a way that directly gives back to the Villanova community. 


Weiss’ TikTok has also allowed her to make connections with organizations and people that she would otherwise not have. One of her videos was posted on the well-known clothing brand Anthropologie’s page, and she is mutual friends with Eli Rallo (a TikToker with almost 800,000 followers). 


She has also been able to connect with local followers. 


“At Admitted Students Day, when I was in the Spirit Line, a girl came up to me and said she knew me from TikTok,” Weiss said. “[Another] experience that was really crazy to me was, one time, I was out in Philly and a girl came up to me and asked if I went to Villanova. I said ‘yes’ and was wondering how she knew that. She said that she followed me on TikTok and had seen my videos. We actually both follow each other now and like each other’s videos.”


This connection is one thing that she wants her audience, specifically the Villanova community, to take away from her TikTok. 


“Villanova is a medium-sized school, where we see similar types of people every day,” Weiss said. “It’s not likely that you are going to meet every single person who goes here. I like to think of my TikTok as a way to connect a bunch of different people who otherwise would never meet.” 


As for her future with TikTok, Weiss says that, while she would love to make some money from it, she does not see that happening anytime soon. For now, her plans include moving to New York City for her post-grad job, and she plans to keep TikTok as more of a hobby. 


Weiss feels lucky to have been able to connect and create community with people through an app.


“I just feel lucky for people to see me as this presence on campus. This is something that I would have never envisioned for myself.” 


You can follow along as Weiss finishes her time at Villanova and starts living in New York City on her TikTok: “skinniraini.”

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About the Contributor
Kailey Fahy
Kailey Fahy, Co-Opinion Editor
Kailey Fahy is a freshman Co-Opinion editor of The Villanovan studying Communications with a specialization in journalism. As the oldest daughter with four younger siblings, Kailey is often described as a people pleaser who is no stranger to chaos. Kailey has always had a passion for English and writing and has even been published in The America Library of Poetry. She especially enjoys being able to give people a voice to share their opinions through her articles. As a New Jersey native, you can find her spending every sunny day between Memorial Day and school’s start at the Jersey Shore, Playa Bowl in hand.
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    ameliaSep 20, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    omg love her