AS TOLD TO BC PIRES
My name is Skye Lowden-Blaber and I have come off TikTok because I think it’s toxic. Even if my twin sister and I have had millions of views of our videos.
I had 2.7 million “likes” when I was on TikTok.
But I like being off social media more.
I moved to Barbados when I was six and I’m 18 now. So I’ve lived most of my life in Barbados.
I didn’t live in Trinidad long enough for my Trini accent to (remain). But I don’t have a Bajan accent, either.
That wasn’t deliberate. Bajans say I sound British or American and people who aren’t from Trinidad say I sound Trinidadian.
My dad and most of my family is Trinidadian. We have a lot of connections there, people who raised me, even though not blood-related. Granny June, Uncle Jim, Aunty Coreen, Trudy Craig.
Trudy’s Montessori school was the first I went to.
I can’t imagine not being a twin. It would be so weird, to be alone. It would feel like I was missing a piece.
My twin sister is Zoë and myhalf-brother is Elliot Reid.
Elliot just turned 11 and, the other day, he texted me, a whole sentence. It was so weird. Like, you know how to spell words? To me, he’s still a baby!
I’ve been in a relationship with Harry Radcliffe for a year now. He’s a twin, too, he has a twin brother. That’s how we bonded.
But, no, Zoë isn’t dating Harry’s brother. And BC Pires wasn’t the first person to ask that question!
I consider myself a Trini even though I haven’t been there since I was eight. I grew up there for a small portion of my life.
I did Kiddie Kadooment there. I was a lily pad. I was supposed to go to the real Carnival last year but covid cancelled all my plans.
We moved to Barbados with my mom to escape the crime.
My dad is a pilot, so he’s in the Czech Republic now. We’re getting closer, my dad and I, now that I’m a bit older.
For a long time in Barbados, I had a stepfather and that was very nice. Both my father and stepfather are still in my life. And even though my grandparents are my step-grandparents, I consider them my real grandparents.
I transferred to the St Michael School for sixth form, but I consider Harrison College my school.
I was about average academically. I wasn’t extremely smart but I did try.
I was mostly a long-distance runner. Running stopped when I left Harrison College. I’ve been thinking of starting again. But I find excuses every day.
And it’s been easy recently, to avoid running, with all the ash everywhere.
I’ve applied to UWI to do psychology with sociology.
The future feels all over the place. In my mind, I know where I’m heading. But we’re having so many obstacles thrown in our way (as young people today), it feels like a bumpy straight road. If that makes sense.
The volcano ash from St Vincent has been pretty terrible. The world didn’t have colour. It was all grey. Even the grass.
You go outside for fresh air and the air is harsh. We haven’t opened the windows in two weeks. But it does force people to wear masks, though.
I’ve read everything from Enid Blyton to Twilight, but my favourite book is The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. That one I highly recommend. The Hunger Games, books and movies, were really good too.
My favourite film is probably Me Before You. Hopelessly sad romantic stuff.
I’m not vegan or anything so I eat everything.
Even the doubles in Barbados make me feel a little bit Trini. I’m always told they don’t compare to the real Trinidad doubles but I still like them.
Music is important in my life. But I’ll listen to any genre of music. I have Apple music.
I blew up on TikTok when it was known as musical.ly. It was very different back then. People would probably call it very cringey. Zoë started first and gained a lot of followers. The first video I had with her now has 1.2 milliion views.
I deleted it from anyone ever seeing it again because I don’t like it any more.
I think we blew up because being a twin on musical.ly was a big thing. The more videos we did, the more people liked them. It was weird, to me, because I didn’t put much effort into these 15-second videos. But people would like them.
A lot of TikTok had to do with either you have a very funny personality or you’re very good-looking.
I felt weird on TikTok because so many people would contact us and say, “Hey, I’m your biggest fan! Please respond!”
At first I was, “Hey, I’m not someone to be a fan of, I’m just making content.”
But then I started feeling stressed because I felt I had to put out videos each day because people were waiting and they’d complain if I didn’t.
But I had a life other than social media. School. Exams. I was 15!
Zoë is better suited to TikTok/musical.ly because she enjoys making videos for people and for herself.
She’s always been like that. We have videos of her dancing around and singing as a little kid. I shied away from being in them.
I went off videos in 2019/2020 after it transferred to TikTok and a certain group of people came on and it became toxic. A thing called, like, “cancel culture” formed and a lot of creators got cancelled. A lot of people got hate for doing certain things. You couldn’t do this, you couldn’t do that.
A platform that used to be fun turned into something you had to be so careful on, or you’d get bullied. If you responded, people would come at you for being mean. I stopped making videos completely.
I have 108.2K followers, decreasing, at the moment and a total of 2.7 million likes. Zoë has half-a-million-plus followers with 15-point-something million likes.
You can make money doing TikToks but you have to do “lives” and stuff like that. And it feels weird, talking to a screen without anyone talking back to me.
I’m glad to be off TikTok but I don’t look back on it with regret or anything. It’s just something I did when I was 15. And outgrew.
In Barbados, they don’t consider me Bajan. When I say I’m Trini, people are shocked because I don’t have the usual Trini accent.
One time, at work, I was looking at a group of people and my supervisor, who I didn’t know was a Trini, asked me what I was doing.
And I was like, “Oh, I’m just macoing those people.”
And she was, like, “Oh my God, you’re a Trini!” She instantly knew from what I said.
To me, other than the partying, a Trini is probably someone who knows what the word “maco” means. And other Trini words.
To me, Trinidad is where I would consider my home. It’s where all my family is. People who took me in and still do support me.
And I will soon go to Carnival.
Read the full version of this feature on Saturday at www.BCPires.com