YouTuber and ‘Gamer Girl’ Belle Delphine has been banned from social media and targeted with criticism as a result of some of her viral stunts, but she’s now opened up about how those same actions helped her go from a ‘girl who dropped out of school to making eight figures in two years’.
Belle, born Mary-Belle Kirschner, began to grow on the social media scene in 2015 and gained a following by posting pictures of herself modelling a self-proclaimed ‘weird’ aesthetic, posing with pink wigs and cat ears as well as taking on some cosplay-related content.
After spending the early parts of her life growing up in South Africa and the UK, she attended a UK-based secondary school and remembers making ‘stupid vlogging videos on a cheap camera’. She had problems at school, and after making an ‘edgy’ joke online found herself a target among her peers.
At age 14 she decided to leave school; something which became a ‘turning point’ in her life. Belle began to use Facebook as an ‘outlet’ for her creativity, experimenting with ‘looks, costumes, ideas and aesthetics’ that started gaining attention online.
Belle told UNILAD the internet was ‘still very fresh’ to her at that stage; a place where she could ‘be who she wanted to be’. She used her life online as a ‘way of feeling connected’, and had no intention of posting any ‘lewd’ content at the time.
For Belle, the internet became a different place after one particular post in which she depicted an ‘Ahegao’ pose; a famous facial pose from Hentai where the person looks as though they’re ‘really enjoying sex’. The post was flooded with attention, and Belle found that people she ‘idolised’ started messaging her; people she had ‘looked up to on the internet for all [her] younger teenage years’.
This really was the start to everything, that one ahegao photo.
I think it’s like that for a lot of people: ‘the right picture at the right moment’.
It was so surreal watching life change so quickly in front of my eyes, it feels like you’re being pulled forward, and you have to either rise to the occasion and jump on the train, or you don’t.
The influencer, who is now 21, decided to ‘jump on the train’ by making an Instagram page, which grew from having no followers to more than one million in just a few months.
In an effort to increase her following, Belle engaged in unusual, conversation-starting stunts such as ‘eating raw eggs, smashing computers and playing with dead octopuses.’
Explaining how she came up with the ideas, she told UNILAD:
I was doing things that I thought were contrasting, of course, I’m not the first to do any of these things. I do take a lot of reference from YouTubers such as FilthyFrank etc, but to me, the real stunts were to just do things that weren’t expected. Being unexpected on the internet is a good way to create dialogue.
If you’re looking to be a big personality online you really have to follow the trends, but find something inside of that which you really enjoy. Of course there are people doing a lot of really unique stuff that become successful, but honestly the internet really is a living evolving organism. It’s moving so fast, you really have to be plugged in to keep it up. It’s not an easy thing.
Belle became known as an ‘e-girl’ and a self-proclaimed ‘gamer girl’, with a lot of her audience made up of gamers. She explained that she didn’t specifically set out to target this audience, and instead noted that ‘when you’re still growing on the internet, your audience kind of finds you’.
Belle produced content she enjoyed, and it found those who loved to watch it. She wanted to produce content that would get shared, so opted for the ‘weird, unexpected or crazy’, explaining: ‘It’s much easier to share a “sexy” lewd girl with your friends or on your wall when she’s pouring raw eggs down her or doing something weird like that, it creates a talking point, and I think having a talking point is one of the most important things. You want to create dialogue, it gives people a reason to comment, talk, interact, meme and laugh about your content.’
Over time, Belle went on to launch a Patreon account, allowing her fans to pledge money in exchange for more risque content, and in 2019 she went viral for launching her ‘Gamer Girl Bath Water’, which did exactly what it said on the tin. The influencer shared videos of herself in the bath and announced that she’d be selling the water for her ‘thirsty’ followers.
Belle admitted to UNILAD that the bath water stunt actually started out as a joke when she was talking about ideas with a friend and wanted to find a product that was ‘weird and would gain attention’. She was laughing when she suggested it, but then realised it could actually work.
She recalls the ‘whole world’ going ‘crazy’ when she did the first video advertising the bath water, and realised that people ‘wanted to buy it just to own a piece of internet history’.
Another stunt that put Belle in the spotlight was her Pornhub prank, which came as a result of her Patreon supporters asking: ‘When are you going to get nude?’ Belle was only doing censored content at the time, so she decided to ‘create chaos and have fun on the internet’.
The influencer set up a Pornhub account, but a video promising to show her stroking ‘two BIG c*cks’ wasn’t quite what viewers expected, and displayed Belle sitting on a bed and playing with two stuffed cockerels.
Reflecting on the stunt, Belle explained:
It was just meant as a bit of mischief, I didn’t realise Pornhub would endorse it and comment on it. It blew up, it got two million likes on Instagram in a few days. The reactions on YouTube when it was just clickbait images and not porn was hilarious. I couldn’t stop laughing.
Though she’s done her fair share of trolling, Belle’s efforts have paid off as she managed to create a huge income for herself. She posted content ‘nearly daily’ to Patreon, and began earning around $200,000 per month.
She found she ‘hit a wall’ after being so present on the internet for so long, but was able to return after taking a year away. She announced her return with an ‘I’m back’ video which promoted her newly-established OnlyFans account, and the video went viral with 35 million views. Within a week she had 45,000 subscribers on OnlyFans, and she has made $1 million per month since joining the platform.
It’s so strange seeing numbers like that… really surreal. I really have no way of explaining it beyond that, it was crazy.
Belle has faced challenges throughout her career, having found herself banned from Instagram and, more recently, from YouTube for breaching community guidelines. Belle argued that there are other content creators on the platforms with posts just as controversial as hers, and expressed her belief that the platforms ‘do not have a strict rule system they follow’.
Instead, the sites have guidelines, and as a result ‘the rules they set for themselves and for other people can be bent by the whim of the company.’ Belle said she ‘never knew why’ she was banned from Instagram, and she received no information about the situation in the aftermath.
Her YouTube page was reinstated, she believes mainly because ‘people online stood up’ for her, but Belle believes that the platforms are ‘so large, so behemoth that [the companies] lose any culpable blame’ and they are ‘not really for the individual’.
Though Belle has teased her followers about releasing porn in the past, this Christmas she is going to deliver the present people have so often requested for her. She plans to release a video with her boyfriend as a ‘climactic’ – excuse the innuendo – point in her career, and is ‘really excited’ to be ‘showing [herself] off’.
The 21-year-old explained:
I like posting content that’s pushing the limit. It’s something I get off to as well. This makes the transition a little easier, but honestly… shooting porn is unlike what I’ve ever done before. It’s crazy having sex and enjoying something, and also filming it specifically for people to watch.
Christmas is going to be the weirdest Christmas I think I will ever have, opening presents and eating dinner while launching my porn for the first time. It’s a big step, so there will definitely be some anxiety.
This won’t be the first time Belle has felt anxious in her career, and in the past she has received backlash for her content that has made her ‘feel sick’, and like she doesn’t want to get out of bed. She described being ‘catapulted into the eyes of the world through the internet’ as a ‘unique experience’, and noted that anyone who does so will feel ‘such a wide range of emotion’, from ‘claustrophobic, happy, successful, sad, anxious and everything in between.’
For what she describes as the ‘first half of her career’, Belle acknowledged that she ‘didn’t show any of [her] personality online’. Instead, she was just this ‘weird character who made stupid videos, lewd content and trolled people.’
Belle pointed out that it’s ‘so easy to hate someone who doesn’t exist’, and acting as a character allowed people to ‘extenuate’ the hate. However, when she started showing people who she really was on YouTube and in podcasts, she was met with ‘positivity’.
When you show who you are and people like that – that’s really the biggest compliment of all. Of course, there are also a lot of people who don’t like that, and that’s fine. You will never exist on the internet without both people liking, and also disliking you.
Belle described the internet as a ‘double-edged sword’, noting that it’s ‘so great’ but can be ‘addictive’ and ‘blur reality’. It is an ‘amazing tool for making a career’, ‘to find friends and purpose for people who are lonely’, but it can also be ‘so destructive, isolating and hateful’.
When it comes to creating a career on the internet, Belle expressed the importance of creating a following ‘doing whatever you love’. She admitted that it’s a ‘lottery’, but that it will be made easier by focusing on a passion.
Following her porn debut, Belle plans to ‘spend the next few years really having fun and exploring life and [her] career’; something that can be ‘so fleeting in the big picture’. She said she’d ‘love to write a book one day’, but for now she’s happy just seeing what tomorrow will bring.
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