DES MOINES, Iowa – Coy Bundy is not your average TikTok user.
“I’m getting nervous now” she says while dancing in a parking lot in front of her ring light. “I usually do it at home with nobody.”
The 46 year-old grandmother joined the social media app around six months ago.
“On December 31st, I decided I was going to have a much happier life. So I joined TikTok” said Bundy.
But what started as a way to improve her own life, quickly turned into more than Granny Coy ever imagined.
“It’s amazing that a small city single mom can make it and be seen by people.”
Bundy started the account as a way to escape the daily stresses of life.
“The first few posts were what they call like point of view or POV and comedies, things like that” said Bundy.
Soon she found herself in the groove.
“That’s the thing that gets me is some of the songs that I do, I don’t know what they’re talking about” admits Bundy. “I just dance the dance.”
As Bundy’s skills grew, so did her following.
“I was in shock because you know, I’ve never met nobody” says 18 year-old TikTok user Festo Iranezeye. “Everybody I see are in like the 3,000s, 4,000s and she’s at 750,000. That’s a lot!”
“I thought I was going to be here, get married at 50 and just be me” said Bundy. “Sitting there, writing books but when all this happened, it was like oh my goodness! I have hope. I might be able to be somebody!”
Now Granny Coy is teaching others how to be successful on TikTok. Her own hashtag the “Granny Coy Challenge” has more than 90,000 views and well over 100 users taking part.
“I’m a choreographer in my mind and I’ve always been like that but what happened was I got older. I became a mom, a soccer mom, a basketball mom, and I lost myself. So when I started TikTok I found myself again and figured out I can still dance and I can create dances to stuff” said Bundy.
But the popular grandmother knows TikTok was not made for her generation.
“It was the kids’ app before we got there” she said. “So (adults) going on there and doing very cringey things is inappropriate. We have to show (the kids) the upmost respect by coming in and not trying to push our adulthood on them.”
And she posts with a young audience in mind.
“One of he things I found is that kids on there need a good role model and I try to be that for them. I want their parents to look at my TikTok and say it’s okay for you to follow her. I protect the children. That’s the biggest thing I do on TikTok is protect them.”
However, Granny Coy doesn’t mind the recognition. Particularly from fellow celebrities.
“It means a lot. Because I’ve always been the mom that changed her life for her kids. I used to party a lot. I used to drink a lot. I used to hang with the wrong crowd. When I had my first kid I stopped all of that and became a mother” shares Bundy. “So for them to see me, it made me feel like I was somebody. Like I was important. It was overwhelmingly awesome.”
She’s still hoping to catch the attention of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
“My ultimate goal to be interviewed by Ellen (Degeneres)” confesses Granny Coy. “That’s my ultimate and in that interview, have Tyler Perry there. Because I know that once I get there, doors will open everywhere for me and my kids. I’ll have my own car, I’ll be able to buy my own house. We have struggled since I first had my kids. Now I may be able to get me and my kids out of I wouldn’t say poverty, but out of a situation so that we can be comfortable.”
Until then, Granny Coy promises to keep dancing and sharing joy.
“A lot of people say I bring them smiles when they’re having their roughest days. There’s older people on there that don’t have confidence. There’s people that are skinny that don’t have confidence, or short, or tall. So I go on there and show them that you can have confidence. So now there’s a community of people that are empowered by just being themselves and having fun.”
“It’s about going out there, having fun and just experiencing life. If you don’t live your life, then your life will live you.”