A Southern Belle: His Journey For Identity

Audrey Fones

Davis McIntire started his TikTok career toward the end of his high school years and in the midst of COVID-19. He created the character Dixie Jewel that skyrocketed his TikTok account to 100,000 followers in just a couple of months.

After starting college at the University of Kentucky, McIntire said that Dixie Jewel stopped being as successful as she was when his TikTok career started. He created a new character named Ms. Edwina, a large southern secretary. She gained McIntire hundreds of thousands of likes. “I created Edwina one night, and that got like 500,000 likes the next day,” said McIntire.

Despite his wild TikTok success, McIntire decided to take a step back from his online personas. He was accused by several people that he was fat-phobic after creating Ms. Edwina. After starting college he struggled through friendships and finding his place in the online community as well as at UK. “It’s hard to come up with ideas, it’s hard to consistently be creating something so I decided to take a little bit of a step back,” he said.

At one point he struggled to decide whether or not he would delete his TikTok or not. He said that when creators don’t post on TikTok they start to lose followers. He also explained his struggles with letting social media affect how he felt.

“A lot of the time I’m just like ‘Why am I even doing this, like why can’t I make the decision whether I am going to stay or delete it all together?’” McIntire said.

McIntire also shared his journey in faith. He was raised in a Christian home and a Christian school. In fact, Ms. Edwina’s favorite line is, “I was raised in the Baptist church.”

During his break from TikTok he was able to focus more on his faith. However, he feels that because he is a man that dresses up as a woman for the internet he doesn’t get the same respect in the church.

“When you do something like I do, like dress up as a woman when you’re a man … you don’t get the same love as you do when you’re just a person in the church,” McIntire said.

He decided to return to where his TikTok career began, Lexington Christian Academy. He walked the halls of his old school and pointed out where his old locker was. However, the real reason he was there was to meet up with the woman who inspired it all: his high school English teacher. McIntire credits the idea for Dixie Jewel to her and her southern personality.

They sat down and caught up with each other, but they also talked about what his life was like then versus now. McIntire shared that he decided to switch his major at UK and wanted to pursue acting. He also said he is ready to get more involved with campus and his college career.

McIntire concluded that his break from TikTok was needed, and everyone needs a break sometimes. He also said he wants his followers to know that he sees the comments they leave. However, he didn’t share when he would be back on TikTok, although he said that he hoped to be back soon.

McIntire’s TikTok personas and videos can be found at @davismcintire.