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‘Everyone just landed on JasperTok and no one’s really left’: The allure of Jasper the Doll

‘I’m making a video.’

 

Audra Schroeder

Internet Culture

When the Barbie cast was introduced in an easy-to-meme format earlier this week, Kate McKinnon’s character was quickly compared to another icon: Jasper the Doll.   

Who is Jasper?

It’s not clear what kind of doll Jasper is or was, though those of us who cut our dolls’ hair or drew on their faces as kids will recognize it. Jasper wears what appears to be a bite mark above its left eye, smudged makeup, and matted pinkish-red hair. (This tracks with Jasper’s alleged origin story: One night, a dog bit its head off.)

The TikTok account for Jasper has more than 842,000 followers, and Jasper’s human appears in some of the videos, though it seems someone else provides the doll’s signature raspy voice. The content goes back to 2021, and originally featured other dolls. (The first TikTok is Twilight-related.) Jasper’s first formal appearance was in October 2021, and the account had viral TikToks in 2022. But in March, its popularity skyrocketed, and a lot of people’s FYP was suddenly dominated by the chaos of JasperTok.  

@jasper.the.doll

BESTIE GOT THE SPIHDER 🕷🕸

♬ Jasper saw a spidder – JasperTheDoll✅

There’s an anthem now: Creator Meredith Bull’s banger “Girl Like Me,” which is made up of samples of popular Jasper audio and has been used in more than 2,200 TikToks. Jasper audio has been used in Mandalorian memes. Earlier this week, musician King Princess used Jasper’s cover of Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans” in a promo video for her European tour. 

@indianapolisabigail Going viral for the first time all thanks to @jasper.the.doll has been a huge honor, gremlin girlies ALL RISE 😤🤝🏻🤣 #jasperthedoll #jaspertiktok #mentallyill #gremlingirlie #feral #fyp ♬ original sound – mayk sounds

Jasper’s rise on TikTok

So what’s the allure of Jasper? Like a lot of content on TikTok, it’s hard to describe, and, as others have said, you can’t really “introduce” someone to JasperTok. Dani Traci, a creator with more than 68,000 followers, thinks it simply allows people to be goofy and weird when the world is really heavy. 

“Everyone just landed on JasperTok and no one’s really left,” Traci tells the Daily Dot. 

@danitraci We all a little unstable out here 🥰 👹 . . #fyp #jasperthedolltok #jasperthedoll #jasperthedolltiktok #jasper #jasperthedollcult #jasperthedollmakeup #jaspertok #jasperthedollfan #doyouhaveahistoryofmentalillness ♬ Do You Have A History Of Mental illness – Luke

Before Jasper, Traci, 32, was doing more “short-girl content,” which did well enough. But she found a new audience with her “Jasper dupe,” as she calls it. A March 4 TikTok, in which Traci replicates one of Jasper’s most popular videos, has more than 6 million views. She says she saw the TikTok one afternoon and randomly decided to duet it. 

@danitraci #duet with @jasper.the.doll the amount of takes this took #jasperthedoll #fyp ♬ Jasper clean room – JasperTheDoll✅

Her Jasper videos often get more than a million views, and people tag her on TikToks they want her to do. Of course, trying to move your body like a doll can be physically demanding; Traci often has to do multiple takes and rewatch Jasper’s TikToks to get the moves just right. 

“I’ve actually had, like, a sore neck, and, like, sore back,” she says of the process.

Traci tries to match all the tattoos, makeup, and clothing Jasper happens to be wearing in the TikTok; it typically takes her an hour to get into full character, and roughly two hours to film a video. She also creates all the clothing and props used in the TikToks, which she says is the most fulfilling part of the transformation, and the most time-consuming. 

Traci isn’t the only person doing Jasper cosplay: You can find a handful of creators going full gremlin in tribute. There are also other doll characters in the Jasper extended universe. 

Sometimes, when Traci’s having an “off day,” the process of becoming Jasper actually “helps to elevate my mood and just totally transforms my mental state as well.” That extends to the Jasper community, which Traci says is very “supportive” and positive. “Bestie” is often used on JasperTok, and this week Traci shouted out the community. 

In late March, Jasper the Doll’s Man account briefly disappeared. We reached out to Jasper’s creator for comment, but it appears they were briefly locked out and used a backup account. The incident happened around the same time TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew was testifying before Congress regarding a proposed U.S. TikTok ban, and there were plenty of memes made in support of Jasper content. 

As for the Barbie memes, it seems they’re only introducing more people to JasperTok.

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