TikTok famous, Ophelia Nichols loses her 18 year old son, Randon, to gun violence last night. She’s known as Momma Tot on her platforms. Sad. He was so young. #ophelianichols #matrixity #gunviolence #alabama #randonnichols #RestInPeace
Randon Lee obituary
For her more than 600,000 followers on TikTok, Ophelia Nichols has become her mother figure.
Watch one of her countless viral videos and you’ll see why: The 39-year-old Alabama native and mother of four, known on the platform as @shoelover99, has her soothing, Dolly Parton-like her voice and her understanding eyes.
But what Nichols has done for her TikTok peers — or “Tater Tots,” as she affectionately calls them — goes far beyond her relaxing Southern accent.
Over the past few months, Nichols has pulled people back with kind words after they were bullied and put down by viewers, their dates and even their own mothers.
A year after her Drag Race win, Symone is just getting started
A video of her recently going viral showed her reassuring a young TikToker by sharing a video of herself tearing up after her mother made rude comments about how she looked in her new clothes.
“Hey my little criminal!” Nichols said sweetly to the crying girl in a video that has been drawn more than 7.4 million times. “You know what, I also had a mom tell me that I’ve been fat and ugly for as long as I can remember. As I got older, I stopped listening to that heifer!”
“I don’t know who said you weren’t pretty, but I thought you were pretty, and I thought you looked pretty in a dress,” Nichols continued. “Wear what you want. Don’t care what the lady says. Everyone thinks you’re pretty. I do!”
It’s this particular combination of southern charm, sweeter-than-tea, tenderness, and motherly wisdom that makes Nichols an alluring and reassuring online presence — especially in such a difficult time, when a well-meaning word Words can be the only force that drives you through time and space.