Oct. 28—A St. Paul mom and her twin babies have gone over big on TikTok — really big.
It all started in September, when Alexis LaRue posted a video of herself laughing as she struggled to hold both of her then-6-month-old babies in one arm — as she had seen Maia Knight, another TikTok "twin mom," do with apparent ease.
"It is not for the weak," LaRue said in the video, giggling as she switched to two arms to support the babies. "I don't know if I'm just weak or my babies are just chunky."
Tiktokers took notice: As of Thursday, the short-and-sweet video had more than 54 million views.
And this is how the Minnesota mom became known as "The Tiny Mom."
It's a no for me
♬ original sound — The Mejia Family
Since then, LaRue, 22, and her fiancé, Leo Mejia, 23, and their identical twins, Elena Gabrielle and Camila Rosalie, now seven months old, are getting a lot of attention — and not just from the more than 700,000 TikTok followers at https://www.tiktok.com/@themejiafamily_. Recently, the family was featured on the "Today" show on NBC.
"Alexis LaRue has become one of the internet's latest breakout stars," Savannah Guthrie said in the Oct. 19 segment. "She's known as 'The Tiny Mom' thanks to her adorable, not-tiny-at-all babies."
The twins slept through the segment as Guthrie and her co-anchor, Hoda Kotb, cooed over them.
"Your babies are giving a lot of people something to smile about," Guthrie said to LaRue.
Camila and Elena were born in March, big even then (for twins), weighing in at more than 6 pounds each. That's a lot of baby for LaRue, who says she is 5 foot, 3 inches tall and 115 pounds (by the way, she thinks they get their chubby cheeks from her — she was also a roly-poly baby).
Now more than 7 months old, the girls are each about 29 inches tall and weigh in at more than 21 pounds.
That's more than 42 pounds that LaRue is carrying around with her on social media and beyond.
The babies aren't the only big deals in this mom's life. She's currently doing the media rounds and recently signed with the WHE Agency, which works with social media influencers. Her story has been picked up by everyone from the Daily Mail to Inside Edition.
The chatter is spreading to other social media platforms, too, powered by other influencers, including ones on Instagram. She now has more than 800,000 followers on TikTok, and interest from the corporate world, too: Her agency made sure to point out that the babies were wearing Modern Moments By Gerber for Walmart for their photo session with the Pioneer Press.
As is typical for influencers, LaRue has dealt with some tough questions online from her followers — from whether she edited her videos to make herself look so tiny compared to the babies (she didn't — it was just the angle of the camera) to inquiries about her children's health. Especially about her children's health.
"I get a lot of questions asking, 'Is their pediatrician concerned, do they have something wrong with them, do they have a disorder?'" LaRue said in a video she posted on her family's YouTube channel. "And the answer to that question is no, there's nothing wrong with them. Their pediatrician does not have any concerns. They're super healthy, they're just very fast growers. Even since they've been born, they've always been kind of high on the percentile for weight and height. So at their last appointment, they were in the 98th percentile for their height and for their weight they were in the 92nd percentile."
Elena and Camila were the original inspiration for her Tiktok videos, she says.
"I started making videos when I was pregnant with the twins and when they were born," LaRue said. "I didn't get too much attention — until that video blew up."
What's it like to become a viral sensation over a cute video?
"Seriously, I don't even know how to comprehend it," she said.
It's a big change for this stay-at-home mom who was just trying to find simple ways to have fun with the twins — like making videos together — while Mejia, a cook, spends long hours at work to support their family.
"Now that I have a platform," she says, "I hope to keep going with it."
Still, it makes the Target runs a bit strange.
"I have had people come up to us and say, 'Oh, my gosh, are you guys from TikTok?'" she says. "I'm an average mom from Minnesota, it's just crazy to have all this attention."