A house is not a home until there are dozens of tiny cardboard cutouts of Jimmy Neutron’s father trapped inside a candy dispenser. Or at least, this is the case for Myra Magdalen’s room.
In a TikTok from Sept. 14, Magdalen, a fashion designer and content creator, gave a tour of her eccentric, maximalist bedroom and her tiny homages to Hugh Neutron. The video exploded online and has amassed over 11.4 million views.
Magdalen’s room leans into the absurd. On her virtual tour, she first shows her audience the computer keyboard wall in front of which she films her weekly “what-I’m-wearing” TikToks.
Magdalen then displays a second keyboard wall (this time of small electronic piano keyboards), then an ocean-themed bed with horse sheets, a “worm wall” with photos of worms, a picture frame collection with all but one frame filled with a photo of nail clippers (the last frame features a picture of “Breaking Bad” antihero Walter White), and an actual collection of nail clippers nestled in a small carousel.
Then comes the Hugh Neutron-themed candy dispenser, filled with pictures of the character, and “inside dirt,” a pile of soil in a plastic children’s pool. If you were to dig to the bottom of the pile, you would spot a custom lining printed with pictures of Hugh Neutron.
Magdalen, 26, with over 784,000 TikTok followers, is used to shocking viewers with maximalist and esoteric pieces. She has posted previous videos of her outfits decked out in video game controllers, radishes, and horse ephemera. Nearly all of her pieces are thrifted.
Inspired by other fashion content creators on the app who branched out to film room tours, Magdalen, who previously shied away from posting a full tour of her room, decided to open her door to her followers.
“If they can do it, I can do it,” she told the Daily Dot. “I want to bring people further into my space, which I know is kind of an extreme space. I was excited and apprehensive for the reactions.”
The room tour has 21,749 comments on TikTok and almost 9,000 comments on Instagram, where the video has reached over 7.2 million views.
Comments on the video range from, “Your room is like a museum I’d pay admission to come see,” to, “Calling my therapist as we speak,” but Magdalen was unphased by the mixed responses.
“I’m very self-aware that it’s a very extreme space, so when people were like, ‘That’s so weird!’ I’m like, ‘I know,’” Magdalen said.
This is not a bit, Magdalen will tell you. Her room and her wardrobe have been “Myra-fied” in the exact way she intended. Her unique style has not only helped her garner a sizable social media following but has helped her sustain a fashion business she launched in 2018, which is now her full-time job.
Magdalen lives in Huntsville, Alabama, where she was born and grew up with her parents and three brothers. The family shares Magdalen’s eccentric streak; her father and brothers built her seashell bed, and her mother brought her on the thrifting trips that resulted in the purchase of 25 keyboards, many of which still reside on Magdalen’s bathroom wall.
The backdrop of Magdalen’s videos is a fitting representation of her family. Her mother, who shares her love of secondhand shopping with her daughter, has a wall of letterpress drawers, the storage containers that keep the stamps of numbers and letters used on a printing press.
In the same way that keyboards are an evolution of letterpress boxes, Magdalen’s wall is an evolution of her mother’s.
“I’m a very nostalgic and sentimental person and always have been,” Magdalen said.
As a child, Magdalen loved to match her outfits meticulously. Her insistence on wearing a favorite outfit—a fish shirt with fish shorts—grew into a taste for her more-is-more style. She preferred clothes with bugs or amphibian patterns and by middle school, was bedazzling fabrics and spray painting her backpack.
Though she cites Frida Kahlo and Chloe Sevigny as fashion inspirations, Magdalen finds her own styling process “instinctual.”
Magdalen lived in New York and Los Angeles but believes Huntsville, Alabama’s most populous city, has supported her fashion the most.
“I feel comfortable here,” she said. “And I feel like when you’re an artistic person, being able to make art in a place where you feel comfortable is always super helpful.”
In 2018, when Magdalen launched her eponymous clothing brand, the step was decidedly out of her comfort zone. She had no TikTok and no audience, just the idea to embroider cockroaches on “sweet, feminine” clothing articles.
When COVID hit, Magdalen moved from Los Angeles back to Huntsville, leaving her job in secondhand retail. She had time to curate outfits and post them on TikTok. After one TikTok of her keyboard wall went viral, Magdalen and her business gained momentum. She went from selling one piece every six weeks to selling multiple pieces daily.
Magdalen benefitted from TikTok’s pandemic boom but also believes she has Gen Z’s interest in personal fashion and internet nonsense-core to thank in part for her success.
“The weirdness of it, the absurdness of it, it tantalizes people,” she said.