Charli D'Amelio is protecting herself.
The 18-year-old social media star recently opened up to People about how she avoids reading people's negative comments online. D'Amelio, who has more than 49 million Instagram followers and over 147 million followers on TikTok, explained during a Zoom call alongside her family that she ignores online critics to preserve her mental health.
"For me specifically, I don't know about everyone else, but I don't really look at that stuff anymore," the Connecticut native explained.
"Obviously every day's different, and sometimes we're going to get down and upset, but I think it's definitely to a less extreme. But we also see that on social media, how it affected us in real time."
D'Amelio, who spent 10 years as a competitive dancer, first saw a major change in her life in July 2019. Back then, a video of herself dancing went viral on TikTok. By November 2020, she became the first TikTok user to amass 100 million followers, and until June of this year, she was the most followed TikToker.
"People have told me how talking about those things has helped them — and no internet bully or troll could take that away," D'Amelio continued.
While D'Amelio has learned how to handle her mental health struggles, she added that they'll never completely disappear.
"I think you can't just close that book and never read it again. It's something that follows you," she shared. "And your job and responsibility for your own mental health is to learn how to best handle that for yourself. Obviously, everybody's different and it can be a less consistent pattern, but it's still things that you have to deal with and it'll go up and down ... Just day by day, you never know."
Since rising to fame, the family's own reality TV show, "The D'Amelio Show," premiered in 2021 — and season two is set to release on Sept. 28.
Heidi D'Amelio, Charli and Dixie's mother, also told People that she's proud of the journey her daughters have made with their mental health, adding that it can be difficult as a parent to see your child struggle.
"I think I'm only as good as they are," she said. "So when they're struggling, as a parent, you feel a little helpless, and you want them to feel better. You want to take away the hurt or the pain that they're feeling. But the only thing we could do is be there for them and let them know that we're here for whatever it is that they need.
"But if they're sad, I don't come at them with my sadness. I come at them with, 'All right. I'm here. What could we do? What do you need? Are you hungry? I'm going to make you food,' the things that I know how to do. And outside of that, we find professionals that can help them in other ways. So it's been really good."
D'Amelio, who's currently competing on "Dancing With The Stars," is also using a similar method in protecting her relationship with Travis Barker's 18-year-old son, Landon. She explained that when it comes to showing off her boyfriend, it's "definitely relationship first, social media whenever we feel like it."
"We post each other when we want to," she said. "That's been freeing. I feel like it saves us from any speculation of, 'Oh, they haven't seen each other' — which I've seen my sister go through [with Noah Beck]. That is never fun."