Since Belle Delphine graced the world’s NSFW Instagrams, the internet has been in a love-hate relationship with the pink-haired e-girl icon.
Belle Delphine, whose real name is Mary Belle Kirschner, has had one of the most cataclysmic relationships with social media since her 2018 debut on TikTok. While a lot has happened in those past two years, Delphine has managed to maintain her status as a one-part feminist exemplar, one-part internet troll, and one part scandal magnet.
From a Belle Delphine Reddit community (complete with a thriving Belle Delphine subreddit), to a formerly huge Belle Delphine Thothub page, she is everywhere.
Having been removed from, and later reinstated to YouTube, as well as being outright banned from Instagram altogether – many are wondering, why is Delphine one of the internet’s most contentious figures?
Born in South Africa before eventually moving to Britain, the now 21-year-old Delphine became well-known amongst the pastiest of computer-basement geeks on Reddit in 2018 for her ‘waifu material’ appearance. As a result, Delphine also became a prime target for nerdily-misogynistic behaviour that still reigns supreme to this day.
Case in point: the now-banned Belle Delphine Reddit community r/BelleDelphine, removed for violations to Reddit’s copyright infringement policy.
Positioning herself as an 18-year-old elfish cat-girl with thigh-high stockings and pink wigs, Delphine’s initial success began with the creation of her Patreon in 2018, where supporters could pay to receive access to her “lewd” photos.
After garnering over 4,400 supporters on Patreon and 850,000 followers on Instagram due to her budding YouTube channel and defined aesthetic, Delphine’s popularity only sawed further in the ongoing months.
Some of you may remember Delphine from the infamous ‘Hit or Miss’ video that circulated the internet at a dramatic speed. Delphine, slaying in a pink wig and schoolgirl outfit, dabbed while dancing along to Mia Khalifa, by iLOVEFRiDAY.
Problematic, slut-shamey aspects of that Belle Delphine song aside, she had garnered an audience that was as keen to see her succeed, as much as see her fail.
In a video released in January 2019 titled ‘The End of Belle Delphine’, fellow camgirl Indigo White, accused Delphine of using other models’ nudes as her own when she was 17, selling them online as a way to get around the fact she was still underage at the time.
While Delphine never admitted to this, screenshots taken at the time seem legitimate, but are still disputed to this day.
Minty Darling, one of the adult content creators she is alleged to have taken pictures from, confirmed this rumour (to her best extent) and even noted that she heard Delphine used her pics to pay for a trip to Venice.
It’s important to note that these allegations are serious, and no definitive evidence has ever been linked to Delphine. However, this scandal was only the beginning.
Delphine became known for embracing internet culture in its purest forms, especially the art of trolling, and her next projects only furthered this sentiment.
Having been dubbed ‘too raunchy for Insta’ Delphine decided to entice her audience with her grand debut on PornHub – and fans didn’t see a thing coming.
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Instead of lewd nudes, Delphine gave her audience a series of hilarious puns disguised as NSFW content.
One video of her “squirting” is her playing with a water pistol, while a video of her “scissoring” features Delphine doing arts n’ crafts with pieces of paper.
While her Pornhub channel has gotten much raunchier since then, fans and haters alike responded to her trolling by severely disliking the 12 videos she initially uploaded. Despite these trolls, Delphine inevitably ended up as the site’s most searched-for celeb of 2019.
It seems that Delphine’s defiance of trolling only grew from here. You’ll definitely remember when Delphine made headlines last year after selling her own bathwater for USD 30 (41.2 AUD) on her OnlyFans page (which now has over 1.8 million followers). Hell, even your mum probably remembers it.
I gotta admit, I respect your hustle pic.twitter.com/MHhzgLO2kd
— Solid Steak (@Solid_Steak44) July 3, 2019
Belle Delphine’s GamerGirl Bath Water was an instant financial success. But even more successful was that no media outlet, respectable or trashy, could stop themselves from dissecting it.
Delphine told the Guardian in 2019 that the idea, like many of her best projects, came from an ongoing joke between her and her fans.
“Lots of people would comment on my photos saying they would drink my bath water. I was thinking of ideas one day, and it just popped into my head. What if I actually bottled and sold my bath water?” she said.
Afterwards, reports of Delphine sticking googly eyes onto a dead octopus, eating photographs of her followers, and even eating raw eggs (shell and all) had permeated into the public lexicon. Delphine had entered the top tier of influencer fame, but her fall came swiftly after as her humorous stunts gathered unsavoury attention.
Mainly the prying, misogynistic eyes of the gamer community that once adored her enough to beg for pictures of Belle Delphine with no make up.
I fully understood the meaning of a SIMP when I witnessed people actually fully going out their way to spend their ‘hard earned cash’ to buy Belle Delphine’s bottled bath water to drink and cook with 🤣 Do they have no shame?! fuckinn ell😂😂
— El Niño (@aarontait10) December 7, 2020
On 19 July 2019, Delphine’s Instagram account was banned from the platform, costing Delphine her amassed 4.5 million followers.
The ‘belle.delphine’ account, according to Business Insider, was banned due to a maliciously coordinated campaign of reporting her content. Many stipulate that Delphine had begun to walk a tightrope with a fanbase mirroring that of the #Gamergate scandal – nerdy and unhealthy.
Needless to say with a nerdily misogynistic fanbase, ongoing trolling from a young woman may have easily sent them over the edge. As Margaret Atwood once said: “Men are scared that women will laugh at them.”
Instagram denies these claims, saying in 2019 that Delphine’s content violated community guidelines. Funnily enough, the removal of Delphine’s profile came just hours after Instagram announced it was changing its policies to warn users whose accounts were close to being deleted. It remains unknown if Delphine even received any prior warning.
Then, after attempting to restore her account, and brief communications with her followers on Twitter, Patreon and YouTube – Delphine disappeared without a trace.
The video doubled as a promotion for her newly launched Instagram, TikTok, and OnlyFans accounts. Later, she uploaded a music video for Plushie Gun by Doll.ia. The video featured Delphine twerking in fishnets while playing with toy guns and licking a razor blade. Everything seemed right with the world once more, until Delphine was removed again – this time from her new home on YouTube.
Earlier in November last year, Delphine said that her channel was terminated “without warning”, causing a stir on social media due to what people began to perceive as inconsistencies with her violations of community guidelines.
Taking to Twitter, Delphine vented frustrations at what seems to be a double standard between ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ NSFW content, comparing her content to Cardi B’s WAP music video.
Belle Delphine is now banned for her music videos. No strikes. No warnings. Awesome YouTube.
Apparently you can only have sexualized music videos if you’re part of the music industry.
— 𝓦𝓲𝓵𝓵𝔂𝓜𝓪𝓬𝓢𝓱𝓸𝔀 (@WillyMacShow) November 22, 2020
Delphine later elaborated to fellow YouTuber, Kavos that while she knew her content was risque, she figured imposing age restrictions on the video, as well as having received no prior warnings from YouTube, meant that she wasn’t breaking any rules.
“I think it’s pretty s***ty because all the videos were kept up, just age-restricted which I was cool with so I thought it would be fine for me to post them, they went from nothing to straight up ban,” Delphine described over direct message on Twitter.
And, although she eventually gained access back to her now 2.1 million subscribers, her experience on a platform tells a bigger picture of the power of misogyny, with some pointing to whether her Instagram audience’s antagonistic behaviour was repeating itself.
Instagram’s community guidelines are infamous for their prudishness – #freethenipple anyone? But this saga with YouTube tells a different story. Many believe that amid scandals and trolling, Delphine has developed a cult following that doesn’t necessarily want to see her succeed in her newfound role as the queen of e-girl-hood.
Last year, Delphine admitted that she planned to sell the used condom that will feature in her first ever porn – which she actually did.
Speaking to YouTuber, JaackMate, on the Happy Hour Podcast in November last year, Delphine revealed her plans, saying that while she hadn’t recorded the video yet, she was “nervous,” but “excited.”
“So I wanted to say like ‘Right, if I’m doing it, I might as well sell something funny’ because that’s something I want to do,” she said.
“In my online adventures I try and sell weird things because it’s funny.
“So in my first porn video that I will ever do, where I’ll show everything, I’m going to be selling the condom that we use in the video.”
Apparently Belle Delphine is going to be doing her first porno and she’s going to be selling the used condom. Whoever buys this is probably the most idiotic person on this planet. Listen, I think Belle Delphine is bad. Like, she’s tasty looking but idk who the fuck would buy this
— Casual312 #FreeEtika #FreeEtikons (@kingboozx3) December 2, 2020
Following her debut on OnlyFans, Delphine’s proclivity for trolling wasn’t over. In January this year, Delphine came under fire for posting a series of images titled: “My perfect first date.”
The image featured Delphine tied up with her feet and hands bound and tape covering her mouth. Other images also featured Delphine in the boot of a vehicle, and then having sex with a man wearing a black balaclava.
Twitter users claimed the images “promoted rape”, however, another facet of Twitter was pleased with Delphine’s wayward post. The reason? Amid the jokes of “simping” for Delphine’s goods and services, a pattern of disgust lurked among Twitter’s male-dominated fanbases – one that was either happy to see Delphine back in hot water, or happy to see her in a dangerous position. An ideal that, unfortunately, Delphine leaned into. As well as an ideal that paints a worrying picture of her shifting-sand fanbase.
Delphine has positioned herself as the ultimate fantasy for an online community of geeks and gamers – a community known for occasionally hiding deep, insidious misogyny. As such, many are wondering if Delphine is doomed to be followed by an audience whose end goal is to see her banned from social media in any way possible, or even physically hurt? Well, in a post #gamergate era, nothing is off the cards here.