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She Built a Following as Taylor Swift’s Doppelgänger. Then the Swifties Came After Her

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Ashley Leechin has built a platform of 1.1 million followers — and despite the hate she gets online, she says she’s just another stan

EARLIER THIS MONTH, Ashley Leechin, a registered nurse, mom of two kids, and TikTok creator known for her uncanny resemblance to Taylor Swift, posted a Change.org peтιтion on her page. “This peтιтion shares me side [sic] & is to help stop cyber bullying, harᴀssment & false defamation towards myself, Ashley Leechin, as well as others,” she wrote.

In the peтιтion, Leechin, who has 1.1 million followers on TikTok, addressed a laundry list of allegations that people have leveled against her on the platform, such as that she voted for Trump (she is a registered Democrat), or that she got plastic surgery to look more like Taylor (though she did acknowledge she has gotten Botox and filler). The lengthy peтιтion also denied claims she “stole” Taylor Swift’s favorite number, 13 (her birthday is on the 13th, though not in December, as Swift’s is); or that she adopted cats that look “exactly the same as Taylor’s cats”; or that she holds her pen the same particular way Taylor Swift does on purpose. “I hold my pen in such a manner that brings comfort, which releases direct pressure off the median nerve,” she wrote.

The peтιтion may have been intended to shut down Leechin’s haters, who have long accused her of being a “pathological liar” obsessed with Swift. Instead, as is often the case on the internet, it had the opposite effect. “Her name is Ashley Leechin because she’s LEECHIN’ off Taylor’s career!,” wrote one Swiftie on Twitter in response to the peтιтion. Another wrote: “Has anybody called her the Swiftie George Santos yet?”

For years, Leechin has walked a tenuous line in the Swiftie community, making content that largely focuses on her life as a Taylor Swift lookalike, wearing bright red lipstick (Swift’s signature look) and showcasing her kitten Sloan — a ᴅᴇᴀᴅ ringer for Swift’s cat Meredith Grey — in her videos. (Her username, “noitsAshley13,” is a nod to what she tells Swifties who stop her on the street.) Though she has built an enormous platform off looking like Swift, she denies that she goes out of her way to emulate her style, or even that she sees the resemblance herself. “I don’t look in the mirror and think ‘Holy cow, I look like Taylor.’ It’s just Ashley,’” she says.

 

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