Trigger warning: domestic violence.
There are only few of us who cannot relate to any fanbases or groups supporting online creators and artists. With all the youtubers, influencers, and other social media stars that easily took over the 2010s, the borders between the fans and “the stars” have become more and more blurred, perhaps more than anyone has ever anticipated. The shared feelings of belonging, community, and support, as well as admiration directed towards certain creators tend to make people feel more connected, as if the people we see on screen are much more than just content creators.
I vividly remember from my teenage days how certain fandoms grew to the point of breaking boundaries, making said creators feel unsafe and threatened – often finding out and publishing things that they themselves did not know or did not want others to know and, consequently, feeling entitled and unashamed to ask for more and expect more.
While the above image presents the “findings” of One Direction, an extremely popular boybands’, fans, similar things have been uncovered about famous Youtubers and Influencers, often forcing said people to “out” themselves against their will or generally feel like their private life has been infiltrated.
However, such things have been significantly more popular in the early 2010s, when the overall craze about boybands and internet stars started. Although certain fandoms still edge the borders of privacy, it appears that there is overall more understanding (although DEFINITELY not a complete understanding) that internet celebrities lead their own, private lives and not everything is supposed to be shared with the fans, which brings me to the question – how much do we really know about the people whose content we often consume without thinking? And how much, in fact, should we know?
This question, consequently, brings me to Amouranth, a popular twitch streamer and OnlyFans creator. Seemingly successful, happy and quite well off – having more than 6 million followers on twitch and quite a significant following over other platforms as well, the streamer has recently revealed a part of her life that no one had expected – an abusive, exploitative marriage and the strain that it had taken on her. Just a tad bit more than a month ago, the woman disclosed a variety of threats, ranging anywhere from taking “all her money” and “killing her dogs”, that she received from her husband. Similarly, the Siragusa (last name of the streamer), has revealed abuse in terms of her filming schedule, with her husband pushing her to stream for hours and seeing the “Hot Tub” category as an opportunity to exploit the young woman even further.
Consequently, with certain fandoms bordering the border of proper boundaries and interaction, it is important to mention that the streamer had received undeniable support and affection from her fans (aside from the few who felt “betrayed” by her marriage).
However, despite the support, one thing is clear – there is so much that is left unknown and unseen, emphasizing the idea that we actually know very little about those we admire. Nonetheless, that should not be an in invitation to look even further into celebrities’ lives, but rather a call to be open and willing to consider that not everything is as seen on the screen – someone who’s seemingly happy and content, may actually not enjoy the long hours spent in a hot tub trying to get donations and views. However, it is important to remember that although we, as fans, are not entitled to people’s personal lives, the continuous support and admiration can have a significantly positive impact on people, as long as it does not cross the boundaries between private and public.