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Brielle Biermann didn't choose the influencer life, but she's running with it… even though the bad often outweighs the good.
"If it wasn't really a big part of my career, I don't think I would be on social media," the 24-year-old confesses to ET over video chat. The Don't Be Tardy star rakes in a six-figure income on social media posts alone, making it nearly impossible to walk away from Instagram. But the money doesn't cancel out the hateful comments she receives day after day.
"A lot of people say it comes with the territory," Brielle says. "'You know what you signed up for … so it's OK to be an a**hole to you,' like, I have feelings. I'm a person. I have emotions just like you. Read every comment that you write about me and read it as if I'm writing it to you. How would you feel?"
Brielle and her mom, Kim Zolciak Biermann, admit they've pulled back from posting as much as they used to on Instagram because of the constant stream of hate they received. They’ve even chosen to restrict their comments to just users who follow their accounts in an attempt to weed out some of the bad. A lot of the comments are direct attacks at Kim's six kids, four of whom are minors -- KJ, 9, Kash, 8, and twins Kane and Kaia, 6.
"We are always under attack," Kim says. "When I post I have to be available for, like, an hour at least afterwards to delete comments."
Brielle's main job is her social media, so she feels obligated to post, but admits she doesn't spend a lot of time on Instagram looking at other people's pictures or stories. Brielle also helps to run the businesses her mother started, including Kashmere Skincare, KAB Cosmetics and their newest endeavor, Salty K Swimwear. Brielle says seeing the individual companies take off has only convinced her more that she made the right decision not to go to college.
"I think that it is kind of not fair that college is expected right out of high school," Brielle says. "You're supposed to go and know what you wanna do and have your life figured out, and the pressure that I get on social media still with me being almost 24 is a little insane, to go to college. I don't think people really understand how the world is changing. You can be successful and do other things."
Brielle's younger sister, Ariana, is virtually attending the University of Georgia after opting out of attending Arizona State University amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
"I didn't force her to go to college, and I wouldn't force any of my children to go to college," Kim notes. “I think Ariana, it was important to her, it is important to her ... but I do think Brielle has had a very different career."
The family's most recent social media "controversy" stemmed from a photo Brielle posted celebrating her father Kroy's birthday. Brielle sat in Kroy's lap for the snapshot, sparking critics to question the pair's relationship. Then, Kroy was then mislabeled as Brielle's step-father in articles about the photo. He adopted Brielle and Ariana in 2013.
"It's a total disrespect to Kroy," Kim says. "Kroy adopted these girls. He didn't have to do that. He raised these girls. Kroy is a stand-up father, stand-up husband."
"Like, OK, do you look at your father a certain type of way you sick people?" Brielle asks of the critics. "He is my dad. He’s not ‘like’ my dad. He’s literally my father, so it’s just… it’s just weird."
Kim says she tries her best not to clap back at the haters, but sometimes she just can't help herself.
"Somebody will be like, 'Oh my god, your lips are so big…' and I'm like, 'So is your a**,' and I’ll write back something," she admits. "It's like, how does that feel? 'Cause really, if I can just stop one person from being rude and -- you have no idea, I'm a very strong person, thank God -- life is full of challenges. Who knows what I'm gonna be going through, or what I've been through? You don't know what somebody's going through. Like, I just cannot comprehend why somebody would leave a negative comment or say something mean to someone. … It definitely is something that I monitor for my kids."
Another social media landmine the girls navigate is the unsolicited dick pic. Brielle recently revealed that famous men slide into her DMs with NSFW photos on the regular -- but she won't name any names.
"I have seen more private pics of men in one day than I've seen in my entire life, from just Brielle, nevermind Ariana," Kim confesses. "We don't like that. That’s a turnoff. You're not gonna get a call back. Stop sending. You're not gonna get a nude in exchange."
The last 13 years in the public eye have been an evolution for Kim and her daughters. On top of learning to deal with social media (it barely existed back in 2008 when The Real Housewives of Atlanta debuted), Kim and her girls have also grown up in front of America. She was just 29 when she started filming RHOA; Brielle and Ariana were 11 and 6, respectively. Kim says she's still coming to terms with seeing her daughters looking grown-up online.
"[Ariana's] little TikTok dances and stuff really stress me out, but she'll be 19 next week. It's like, what can I do, you know?" Kim remarks.
"I want to be Brielle Biermann, not 'Kim’s daughter,'" she explains. "Everywhere I go it's, 'Oh my god. You're Kim’s daughter. Oh my god, it's Kim's daughter.' I'm like OK, well, what about me, you know? I'm on the TV show, too.”
"You’re still Kim’s daughter," Kim quips.
Catch Kim, Brielle and the rest of the Biermann bunch on Don’t Be Tardy, airing Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/ PT on Bravo.