Gorilla Glue
Gorilla Glue

Viral Diagnosis: The Gorilla Glue Girl

During quarantine social media and apps have been the outlets of communication amongst people. Apps like Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, and Facebook help has been the source of passing information around or gaining notoriety (whether it’s wanted or not) on situations that are compelling to society.

Earlier in February a woman by the name of Tessica Brown shared a video on her Instagram account. In explaining her situation at the time, she had run out of her hairspray glue so she decided to use Gorilla Glue spray (a strong adhesive usually used to bond surfaces) to help slick and hold her ponytail down. As a result, she claimed her hair had been stuck in the permanent ponytail hairstyle for almost a month. She also stated that her hair didn’t move and that she had attempted to wash it fifteen times.

Social media users were so intrigued by this story that Tessica went viral. She became known as the “Gorilla Glue Girl” gaining over 2 million views on Instagram and 21 million views on Tik Tok. A few days after the post on February 7, Ms. Brown posted photos to her social media account of her visiting St. Bernard Parish Hospital in hopes of getting medical attention that could help remove the adhesive from her hair. Healthcare workers attempted to remove the glue with acetone, but it was a failure. At this point it wasn’t just the story that was intriguing, it was the road to finding a solution.

Ultimately, people that had been following the story felt bad for the “Gorilla Glue Girl” and figured monetary donations could help so she set up a GoFundMe account. When she first set up the account, she only asked for fifteen hundred dollars, I’m guessing it was for medical bills. She ended up surpassing that amount and receiving over twenty-three thousand dollars in donations. GoFundMe put a hold on the account due to potential fraud and she wasn’t able to withdraw any money from the account.

Tweet about Gorilla Glue Girl.
Tweet about Gorilla Glue Girl.
Tweet about Gorilla Glue Girl.
Tweet about Gorilla Glue Girl.

She has since then stated that she would donate twenty thousand dollars from the account to Dr. Obeng’s charity. Dr. Obeng is the doctor who successfully surgically removed the glue from Tessica’s hair at no cost. He did the surgery for free because he probably genuinely felt bad for Tessica and wanted to take her out of her misery. She feels as though the GoFundMe account has brought negative attention to the situation because now people may feel as though it was all just for money.

Social media users question why she started to take such strong action on removing the glue only after telling social media about it. Some people also feel as though she should have known the difference between Got2B Glued hairspray and Gorilla Glue adhesive spray. They feel as though it was common sense to not use it and some people truly don’t understand how she confused the two. Since going viral her management team decided it would be best for her to launch a merchandise line and capitalize from the situation. Tessica now has 786,000 followers on Instagram, way more than she had prior to the situation. She has since then started a website, TessicaMerch.com, that sells T-shirts and hoodies with either her picture on it, a graphic designed imaged, or a quote that says “bonded for life” on it for about $28-50.

From a PR perspective I think that was probably the best thing for Tessica to do. People were going to ridicule her situation whether she capitalized off of it or not. The situation was a crazy mistake and people in the world look down on mistakes. Her social media following skyrocketed off of this situation and this was definitely one not to forget. I don’t think her “Gorilla Glue Girl” title will always be relevant. So, she felt as though this was the thing to do right now for that very reason.

Cases like this are good to examine because it helps understand that social media and the hype behind it, well the hype surrounding Tessica at this time won’t last forever. I feel like now social media users have somewhat forgotten about that situation. They don’t care to know about any updates or the situation anymore because now her problem is fixed. In their eyes the journey is over. I don’t think we will hear about her on social media anymore unless she does something else or has another crazy situation (which I don’t think will happen).

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