Rising TikTok star Dazharia Shaffer, known online as “Dee,” died on Feb. 8, 2021 at the age of 18. Her father announced the news on TikTok on Feb. 10 with a slideshow of past and current photos of his daughter set to the song “Missing You” by Brandy. “I just want to thank everyone for their love and support of my daughter,” he wrote. “Unfortunately she is no longer with us and has gone to a better place.”
According to People magazine, the social media star had posted a series of videos to her Instagram Story a day prior to her death and wrote, “Last post” with a teary-eyed emoji. Dazharia had quite the following on her various social media accounts, including over 103,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel, where she went by the name of “Bxbygirlldee,” 1.7 million followers on TikTok, and 166,000 followers on her main Instagram page. She would often post videos of herself dancing to songs, share daily life vlogs, and attempt to complete viral internet challenges. The last video she posted on YouTube was a game of truth-or-dare with her “crush.”
Her mother also confirmed Dazharia’s death in a post on Facebook. “I’m so heartbroken I really can’t believe you’re going,” she wrote. “I wish I was waiting on you to say it was a prank but its not. I wishing could have died instead of u …rip my angel. Everyone talks about our bad times but never talk about the good times #babygirldee.”
TikTok star Dazharia died in a heartbreaking way
Dazharia Shaffer’s father Raheem Alla created a GoFundMe page following his daughter’s death, calling her his “little jelly bean.” He also went into more detail about her sudden death. “On February 8th my daughter dazharia has left us early and have been call up to fly with the angels,” he began. “She was my little best friend and I wasn’t prepared in no way, to bury my child. She was so happy, and would be so excited to see me when I come home from being on the road,” he continued.
He then hinted at her underlying mental health issues which ultimately led her to end her own life. “I only wish she would have spoken to me about her stress and the thoughts of suicide. We could work thru this. I only want to hold you again my little jelly bean. Now I come home and your no longer gonna be there waiting for me. I have to let you fly with the angels. Daddy love you,” he concluded. Dazharia seemingly did not post about her struggles with mental health on her social media. Rather, she would caption her photos with emojis or tell her followers how thankful she is for them.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office confirmed with People that Dazharia did in fact die by suicide.
Fans react to Dazhariaa's death
Following the news of Dazharia Shaffer’s death, fans took to social media to pay tribute to the young TikTok star. “You are no longer enduring the pain or suffering. I’m so sorry beautiful! May you rest in paradise Dazharia and know you will be missed!” one user wrote, per People. “I love her so much. She had a beautiful spirit. May she Rest In Peace… she was so beautiful… she was my favorite TikToker. She’s the best,” another fan added.
Other users commented on the fact that being quarantined due to the coronavirus pandemic isn’t easy for many people and has taken a toll on people’s mental health. “So many teens are committing suicides…and so many are dying of #COVID19.. No way out of it! 1]staying home and trying to stay safe from #COVID19, then depression hits 2] Going out and trying to live normal…risking yourself of contracting #COVID19,” a user wrote. Stanford University released a report in September 2020 that said the mental wellbeing of teens, in particular, is being severely affected by the pandemic and lockdown restrictions.
Another fan on Twitter reminded others that being a star on social media can be a lot of pressure, even if the individual makes it look easy. Several studies have found a link between depression and social media use, per the Child Mind Institute.
Dazharia seemed to be on a positive path
Dazharia Shaffer didn’t have the easiest upbringing. Her mom had issues with drugs at some point (one of her YouTube videos revolves around her mom watching past videos of herself while under the influence) and she had met her biological father in 2020, according to another video on her YouTube page. However, Dazharia seemed to really enjoy sharing her life on social media and often reminded her fans how thankful she was for them.
Dazharia also had a seemingly thriving beauty and clothing business called Dee Beauty Outlet where she sold lipsticks, false eyelashes, t-shirts, and more. She posted a photo on Instagram of herself filling orders in December 2020 where she admitted she was swamped with orders, but was super happy about it. “I just opened yesterday I was surprised of how many orders I’ve gotten,” she wrote. “thank y’all sooo much for supporting me and my business.”
Unfortunately, her internet fame and the newfound relationship was only part of the story. Our deepest condolences go out to Dazharia’s family, friends, and fans.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
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