Bella Poarch is a Filipino-American social media personality, and singer who rose to fame after creating the most liked Tiktok video in 2020.
She joined Tiktok in April 2020 and became an overnight sensation eight months later.
Her overnight fame arose after posting a video lip-syncing and bobbing her head rhythmically to the song “Soph Aspin Send(M to the B)” by British rapper Millie B.
The video became the most liked TikTok video of all time, with over 54 million likes and 600 million views.
Since then, Bella has amassed over 86 million followers on Tiktok, making her the 3rd most followed person on the platform.
Besides her TikTok account, she also has a large following on other social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, with over 780 thousand and 14 million followers, respectively.
Additionally, Poarch’s YouTube account has a whopping 5.6 million subscribers.
Before Bella became popular on social media, she had another career that many wouldn’t associate with the lady in the viral videos.
For four years, Bella Poarch served as an enlisted in the US Navy and left active service in 2019 after her contract expired.
She proudly wears her title as a US Navy veteran and constantly praises the Navy for teaching her valuable life lessons.
Here’s a detailed look into Poarch’s time in the military, her experience, and the reason she enlisted in the first place.
Bella Poarch’s Military Service
In 2015, Poarch applied to join the military at age 17. She signed a waiver and served in the US Navy for the entire length of her four-year contract.
Her military service took her outside the United States stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and Japan.
While serving in these locations, Poarch learned about many Asian traditions and immersed herself in the rich Asian culture.
In an interactive session with her TikTok followers, the social media sensation revealed that she worked in “a flight line”, and her military rating was AO– Aviation Ordnanceman.
The Aviation Ordnanceman is responsible for the management and operation of aviation ordnance equipment and the maintenance of guns, bombs, missiles, torpedoes, and rockets and torpedoes.
They are also responsible for stowing and loading small arms and ammunition.
Poarch speaks fondly of her time in the military and says she learned important life lessons while serving as Navy enlisted.
She has spoken about how the Navy taught her to surround herself with a group of trusted people that will assist her in achieving her goals.
In her own words, “The Navy taught me one thing: that you can’t do everything on your own – you have to have a great family of people around you to trust and achieve great things”.
You can hear it in her own words in the video below:
She has also spoken about how her time in the military helped her realize that occasionally seeking a helping hand is necessary and isn’t something anyone should ever be ashamed of.
Following the expiration of her military contract in 2019, Poarch decided against renewing her contract even though she had the option.
While she loved serving in the military, her time in the Navy took a toll on her mental health, causing the star to slip into depression.
Besides her struggle with depression, Poarch also battled with post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD), which made her suicidal.
Eventually, doctors unanimously advised Bella against renewing her contract; hence, her exit from the military.
Related Article – Military Medical Separation & Retirement Explained
Why Did Bella Poarch Join The Military?
While many join the military out of love for their country and its armed forces, Bella joined the military to escape the mental and physical abuse meted out to her by her adoptive family.
Born in the Philippines in 1997, Bella was raised by her grandmother in the slums until she reached 3.
Then, she was adopted by a family comprising an American father (who is also a US military veteran) and a Filipino mother.
Poarch has opened up about the abuse she faced while living with her family in the Philippines.
She spent most of her time working on the family farm with her brother and doing chores while her older(adopted) sisters bullied her and barely offered to help.
Her father hurled verbal abuse at her and physically hurt her, while her mother was indifferent about the situation.
Despite the constant abuse, Bella hoped that her adoptive parents would change someday and eventually come to love her as a daughter.
Unfortunately, that day never came.
When she was 13, her family (except her sisters) relocated to San Francisco as her father needed to undergo surgery in the United States.
Although the abuse reduced after the family moved to the US, she still suffered considerable mental abuse from her father.
The TikTok personality explained in an interview that she chose to join the Navy because she saw it as her chance to get out of her abusive family.
Joining the Navy was the only way she could experience the freedom and independence she had longed after for a while.
After her brother got enlisted in the Navy, she couldn’t bear the thought of remaining with her family.
So, she applied to join the military despite her fears and uncertainty about the future.
Bella recounted that her adoptive father’s last words to her as she left for Bootcamp were, “don’t ever come back here; this is not your home”.
Related Article – Top 20 Reasons To Join The Military (and 7 Reasons NOT To)
Although Bella Poarch is popularly known for her lip-syncing videos, cute facial expressions, and anime-inspired outfits, she had a career in the military before becoming internet famous.
She has described her time in the military as fun, and the experience allowed her the freedom she had sought for a long time.
After leaving the military, Bella Poarch began uploading videos on her Tiktok account.
Eight months after uploading her first video, she posted a viral video that birthed the social media sensation and Tiktok star we know today.
Poarch, backed by her already-established fan base, broke into the music industry in 2021.
Her first single, which she released in May 2021, addressed society’s unrealistic expectations of women and their looks.
In August 2021, she released her second single, “Inferno”, which centered around the abuse Bella had faced in her life.
Her contribution to the music industry earned her nominations for two awards –the MTV Millennial Awards as a Global Creator and the MTV Video Music Awards for the video of her first single.
References / Resources
Bella Poarch (@bellapoarch) – Instagram
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