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Alina Bock on TikTok fame and the magical hoop earrings that made her feel like Xtina

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WRITING: RANDI BERGMAN
@randibergman

Iconic 2 Me is a new column that explores the most beloved objects of iconic people on the internet. From prom dresses to first perfumes, we’re going deep (but like, in a quick-fire Q&A) with our faves. 

Through the dreariness of the last year and a half, a few comedians have cut through the noise with laugh out loud content that has pulled us back from the brink. Amongst those doing God’s work is Alina Bock, an L.A. based actress and self-professed “geriatric Millennial” whose deeply relatable impressions of her ‘90s self have gone viral and back again on TikTok and Instagram. In her videos, Bock appears with overly bronzed skin, braces, bright blue eyeshadow, mock butterfly hair clips, and a plastic stretch choker. She’s either fighting with her sister, trying to impress her crush, or applying makeup in cringiest way possible. “My teenage character is 100% inspired by my life as a teenager in the ‘90s and it was a spontaneous idea after seeing a choker at Target,” she says. People instantly connected to the character, demanding more of the cringiness, which Bock happily serves up. “There’s really no greater feeling than being able to connect with people all over the world through my comedy,” she says.

Read more like this: Leah McSweeney on how the Patricia Field dress she wore in 8th Grade ended up on The Real Housewives of New York

Growing up in Germany, Alina Bock was obsessed with a pair of hoop earrings that made her felt like Christina Aguilera (circa “Dirrty” obv), J.Lo and the rest of the era’s queens. Here, she shares the anecdotes that made them so special.

@alina_bockThings were different ##90s ##makeuptutorial ##IFeelWeightless ##ChipsGotTalent♬ original sound – Alina Bock

Briefly explain the item you have chosen
I grew up in a small town in Germany and there was a phase in the early aughts when silver hoop earrings became a thing. I got my pair in the year 2002 when I was 17. I remember putting them on when I went out to the disco with my girlfriends and feeling like a style icon. Like I could do anything.

How did they come into your life?
Every one of my girlfriends had a pair of silver hoop earrings to go along perfectly with our low-rise jeans and bright blonde highlights. They all got their pair at H&M but I couldn’t wear those because I can only wear nickel free earrings. Buying REAL silver hoop earrings wasn’t an option because they were too expensive. My mom was a single mom with three children, so money was tight. But then, one day, my mom picked me up from school, said “I got you something” and handed me a little dark blue velvet sachet. I could feel the outline of the earrings just holding it. This was legit. They didn’t give you a velvet sachet when you bought earrings at H&M. I opened it and these beautiful, perfect silver hoop earrings fell into my hand. “They’re real silver” my mom said. I couldn’t believe it. Finally, I was able to look just like every one of my girlfriends in a misguided attempt to define who I was.

What’s the most amazing thing that’s happened to you while wearing them?
One Friday night me and my girlfriends went out to a disco called Starfish in a town called Aachen. We were dancing, drinking (the drinking age in Germany is 16), and just having the time of our lives. Then, a guy came up to us and asked if we wanted to stand behind the DJ INSIDE the DJ booth. Um, excuse me? Did we just win the lottery? Did this mean that we’re cool and hot like our icon XTina? It must have been the earrings. It MUST have been.

@alina_bock

How to flirt ##icq ##90s ##AEJeansHaveFun ##KeepItRealMeals

♬ original sound – Alina Bock

And is there anything embarrassing that’s happened to you while wearing them?
One time I went to a friend’s birthday party. Her parents were out of town, and it was a big party. I was wearing the magical hoop earrings and feeling confident. Maybe a little confident. There were a couple of us hanging out in the backyard, my crush was sitting on a chair. We were playing something like truth or dare and my friend (who knew I had a crush on this guy) dared me to sit on his lap. That was a whole thing at that age, right? Sitting on someone’s lap to flirt? Anyway, I was so excited. This was my chance. So, I sit on his lap, but I couldn’t just sit there in the awkward, tense, close proximity to the most beautiful guy I’ve ever seen. I had to joke around and pretend like I was giving him a lap dance in the hopes that my jokes will secretly land as sexy. Unfortunately, I was tipsy and not a very good dancer so I fell off of his lap, spilled a drink on myself, got grass stains on my white pants that I had chosen for the very purpose of impressing everyone and even hurt him on the way down because my elbow hit him in the face.

If the earrings were a celebrity, who would s/he be and why?
Must be Christina Aguilera in her “Dirrty” phase. Whenever I saw that video or heard the song, I felt extra confident. That’s what those earrings did to me.

Are they still in your life?
The very earrings are no longer in my life. Just like all nice things, I lost them eventually. However, hoop earrings have recently made a comeback in my life. I wear smaller, golden ones now and buy them with my own money.

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Alina Bock