A Christian influencer who went viral for her good looks and receiving a message of support from Shaq after being attacked for her values says her life has been turned upside down.
Dubbed “The Home Depot Girl,” the home improvement store worker, who was once told she was too pretty to work at the store, is now faced with finding a new job, new home, and new ways to make money.
“Since I blew up on the internet, I’ve had so much backlash,” she said.
Ariana Cossie took to social media to share a bit about what’s been happening in her life since she went viral on the second weekend in June. First, she shared she had to leave her job because of all the attention she had been getting.
Cossie posted a picture of herself in her Home Depot uniform on June 8, and social media users could not get enough of her good looks. More than 35 million Twitter users viewed the photo. However, things went from complimentary to bad after popular page Daily Loud posed the question of whether she should continue to work at Home Depot or start an OnlyFans account and make money through its subscription plan.
The influencer shut the suggestion down, citing her firm Christian beliefs and noting her content focused on spreading the Gospel, fashion and beauty. While she was plagued with people asserting her decision not to sign up as an OnlyFans influencer was condescending, one person stood up for her: four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal.
Cossie posted the encouraging private message on her Instagram, sparking even more attention — this time people took it off the internet and apps and came directly to her job.
“I literally had to kind of quit my job in this process because of how much I grew and how many people actually seen this,” she said in a TikTok video. “People were illegally doxxing my address.”
She said because she had her school, location, and job posted on Twitter, people “put the math together” and tracked her down.
Cossie documented the stalking and doxxing on Twitter.
She tweeted, “I made a joke with NO followers on my page and it blew up. The creepy men sat down for hours finding out my whole life illegally. So be fr and get a life.”
On TikTok, she said she was probably going to have to move or possibly relocate to get a fresh start in light of all of the attention.
One of her TikTok followers commented that it’s amazing how quickly her life can change in just 24 hours and wished her well. Another comment highlighted the power of the internet and encouraged her to use her newfound platform to make money from her skills.
“I’m surprised you didn’t get modeling offers,” one of her 141,000 followers wrote.
Before she made the decision to quit her job, Cossie took to Instagram one last time in her uniform.
“Mannn this is horrible to have to make all of these sudden changes to your life all because you posted a simple picture of yourself at work,” wrote the Urban CEO on Twitter.
“Moral of the story: Always hide your personal information as much as possible from the internet,” another Twitter user wrote.
To avoid being doxxed on the internet, experts recommend limiting the personal information you share online, using strong and unique passwords and adjusting privacy settings on social media, and being cautious of suspicious links or downloads. Social media users should also be mindful of online discussions and consider maintaining separate personal and professional online presences.
As for Cossie, she says her life is changing fast, but she is not nervous. The college student has faith.
“God is going to make everything work out of my favor in the end,” she said. “And he’s going to bless me, you know, so much because I kept faith in Him.”