Aoki Lee Simmons refuses to be criticized for pursuing a college degree and being a model. Instead, the daughter of hip hop legend Russell Simmons and former model and entrepreneur Kimora Lee Simmons is calling out her Harvard professors for not taking her career as a model seriously.
On Friday (Sept. 2), Aoki shared a TikTok that seemed to be calling out her professors for adapting more to her classmates and their jobs than hers. “When professors love being accommodating for students with jobs and work opportunities [that] they ‘respect,’ but modeling isn’t real work, in their opinion,” she wrote.
While a few of Aoki’s followers agreed with the young model and her dilemma, others reminded her that she doesn’t have to work for a living, which the youngest Simmons did not like. One TikToker, Marleythesnowflake, commented, “You’re not working for a living. They are.”
Aoki responded, “I know plenty of students who are voluntarily taking on other jobs to boost their resume or get a head start on a career.” She added, “I’m literally talking about startups funded by students’ family money, ‘enriching’ work trips, stuff like that. But go off.”
Another user commented, “They are NOT accommodating to students with jobs. Stop being ignorant, get your head out [of] your a**, and be serious.” The young model replied, “Um do you go to my school? Are you in my department? It’s what I’ve noticed at my school. It’s not the same everywhere.”
Aoki has released six additional TikTok videos, replying to other TikTok users and clarifying why her professors did not respect her career choices. “I was just referring to students who choose to start work early because they have an opportunity or an interest. And [the] professors are picking and choosing what kind of dreams are appropriate to chase,” she explains. “And the ones that are not appropriate to chase tend to be creative or [inaudible]—modeling, dancing, acting, [and other] creative pursuits. But professors are fine giving you the Zoom link or being accommodating if you’re doing a startup that is making no money and your family is paying for it.”
Aoki was accepted into the Ivy League school at 16 years old and is currently pursuing her degree in computer science. Harvard University has made no comment on Aoki’s claims.
You can view Aoki’s videos down below:
@aokileesimmonsMaybe if I had a lacrosse game you’d give me the zoom link?♬ Back End – Finesse2tymes
@aokileesimmons Replying to @number1btsfanf575 ♬ original sound – Aokileesimmons 🇫🇷🇰🇷🇯🇵
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