2020 was a time for Bretman Rock to move on to bigger and better things. He moved into a new place, dipping his toes as a reality show star, becoming a fitness guru, and overall influencer sensation. Take a look of the feature on Teen Vogue, Bretman Rock: King of Manifesting.
Influencers nowadays are many, but Bretman’s widening influence not only happened by chance but by sheer will. The star of Teen Vogue’s July cover chalks up his success to mere manifestation and insane work ethic plus knowing his way around the internet. However the truth is, as Bretman says, “I always knew I was going to be a star.”
Beyond his reality shows, he was announced as a face of Nike’s Pride-themed Be True campaign. He also was named MTV’s 2021 Breakthrough Social Star, People’s Choice Awards Beauty Influencer of the Year and one of Time’s 30 Most Influential Teens. In between all that, he’s been collecting brand collaborations and sponsorship deals and growing his fan base. However, it wasn’t always peachy for Bretman and his family. Originally from Philippines’ Cagayan Valley, he and his mom immigrated to Hawai’i and Bretman’s mom worked multiple jobs to stay afloat which left him and Princess Mae to look after themselves.
Teen Vogue says that “young Bretman found solace in the fantasies he manufactured in front of the camera. He often borrowed his mother’s phone to film make-believe commercials.” A natural born performer, it’s no wonder why his followers are drawn to his witty attitude, clapbacks, punchlines, and catchphrases.
However, constantly being in the spotlight is sometimes a dreading task. Bretman says, “It’s hard to wrap your mind around it when you grow up on such a small island,” reflecting back between his viral life and IRL reality. He admited that the person we see online is just a persona, a character that he plays up for the cameras. He’s also felt the need to separate himself from the internet’s Bretman Rock, to stay grounded. “I think that’s the beauty of growing up. Yes, I have however many millions of followers, but I can’t touch that. I can’t touch these videos that I’m making,” he says. “But I can touch my family and my friends, the people that I love.
We get to see Bretman be himself in 30 Days With: Bretman Rock, his latest reality series differs from his MTV series Bretman Rock. The series, part heartfelt documentary and part survival show, follows Bretman as he attempts to endure the Hawaii wilderness alone and away from social media. No mirrors, no Internet connection, and it’s just him in the jungle.
Teen Vogue gave an insight to Bretman roughing it out. Though the filming was challenging (according to Bretman’s team, the crew was only allowed to give him one bottle of water a day as a part of his 30 survival challenge where he was to gather his own resources), it was a chance to reconnect with Bretman before the fame.
Cover Photo Credit: Teen Vogue Facebook