Hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of views have proven the power of social media and changed the life of one former student.
Brittany Tomlinson, Class of 2019, or “Kombucha Girl” as her followers call her, has quickly become a viral sensation after posting a TikTok video of her taste-testing the popular probiotic drink.
“I was grocery shopping and I saw kombucha in the aisle, and I had heard of it all over the internet, so I was like, ‘You know what? Let’s try it,’” Tomlinson said. “I bought the kombucha, I brought it home, and I set up my camera and started filming my reaction.”
From disgusted, to intrigued, to somewhat satisfied — the 20-second video of Tomlinson’s emotional journey can be best described in two words: meme gold.
“It’s nasty, but also not, but still kind of not great,” Tomlinson said. “What happened on that video is my honest-to-God reaction to trying it.”
That reaction has garnered over 100 million views and earned her over 300,000 followers on Twitter alone. Many Twitter users have put their own spin on the kombucha tasting video, turning it into a reaction meme that can fit almost any situation.
When someone asks me if I think A&M can win one of the games versus Clemson, Alabama, or Georgia this year...pic.twitter.com/cHM1f8YayC— Shooter Flatch (@texasagsec) August 13, 2019
“Let’s go out tonight”— Kara 🖤 (@KaraKempp) August 12, 2019
“When this all started my Twitter was private and I only had about 400 followers, and they were all my friends,” Tomlinson said. “It has been retweeted, liked, screenshotted and shared so many times that it has turned into sort of a business ordeal because so many people love the meme.”
In fact, the video has become so recognizable that Tomlinson is often stopped in public and asked to recreate the internet-famous meme for excited fans.
Twitter user @camyounot spotted “Kombucha Girl” at Torchy’s Tacos on Texas Avenue and had her recreate the video with a bottle of Coca Cola.
I just saw kombucha girl at torchys I am DEAD pic.twitter.com/wLkygQeJDk— cameron valenzuela (@camyounot) August 25, 2019
Because of her overnight viral fame, having people meet her in public and ask for a picture or video is still something Tomlinson said she’s still getting used to.
Twitter user @MadisonJaco and some friends saw “Kombucha Girl” outside of a bar on Northgate during Howdy Week and used the opportunity for a few photos.
“Sometimes I really do forget that the whole Kombucha thing even happened, so it stays pretty fun,” Tomlinson said. “It’s so weird if you think about it — I posted a funny video and now people are like fangirling over me. I can’t wrap my head around it.”
“I still have the revelation daily of, ‘This isn’t a dream — this isn’t a fluke,’” Tomlinson said. “It has all been cool but come back and talk to me in six months and I may give you a different answer — I’m very overwhelmed right now.”
However, through it all, friends of Tomlinson will quickly remind you that she has not changed one bit.
“All of her friends know that she has always been the same hilarious person with an outrageous personality that makes her so easy to love,” long-time friend Angel Franco, Class of 2019, said. “She has brought so much joy into my life, so seeing her tweets and videos making other people happy too is pretty great.”
Just one video was enough to change the path of Tomlinson’s life, and she says that although so many great things have already happened because of her new-found internet fame, interacting with her fellow Aggies is still one of her favorite things to do.
“The coolest thing ever is all of the Aggies that [direct message] me,” Tomlinson said. “It’s so rewarding because I really do feel like I’m making A&M proud.”
Editor's note: Angel Franco is a former sports editor for The Battalion.