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Why is the Internet Obsessed with Gypsy Rose Blanchard?

by Veryan Zimber

Since Gypsy Rose Blanchard's release from prison, she has already gained just under 10 million followers on TikTok and over 8 million on Instagram, indisputably influencer status. 

As the spotlight shines on her, the anticipation builds – will she seamlessly transition to normal life, or will her apparent popularity follow the familiar pattern we've witnessed with other female 'overnight sensations'? 

With her new online audience, Blanchard has been promoting her new e-book and documentary, both telling her story in her own words. We can only imagine this is the beginning of her projects. 

Blanchard's story has captivated the world for years, even shaping a 2019 series, ‘The Act,’ starring Joey King. 

Having newfound freedom, people around the world are eager for her to enjoy independence. Being imprisoned for just over 8 years and immediately being sentence after escaping her mother, her release from prison marks the first time she’s had some sense of normality. 

She has been serving a sentence for the murder of her abusive mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, in an extraordinary case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy - a mental health condition where a person creates the appearance of health problems in another person, usually their child. 

On Good Morning America, her first interview since leaving prison, Blanchard told Deborah Roberts that she wants her story to be a cautionary tale for people in her position. 

While she was in a desperate situation and felt it was the only way out, she realizes that it could have been handled very differently. When asked if she feels conflicted by gaining fame despite participating in a murder, she explained that she does feel conflicted, and fame isn't what she is looking for.

At the beginning of her life in the spotlight, everything is new and exciting. She is grabbing all the opportunities she can just as anyone else would. 

However, for someone who has spent her life away from high levels of social interactions, it becomes an even more unique situation. 

The internet has a toxic habit of showing intense support before quickly losing interest or changing their opinions. We see this seemingly every month with online love-hate relationships towards Hailey Bieber, Selena Gomez, and the Kardashians. 

This seems to be a recurring pattern, especially with female influencers. Popularity happens overnight and is not obvious at first, but fans become puppet masters, controlling the content. When the influencers personality inevitably emerges, opinions split, and hate can rear its ugly head.

A photoshopped photo of Gypsy Rose modelling for a HEAVN by Marc Jacobs campaign circulated, and the internet went crazy for it. Unfortunately, it turned out to be fake, but could this be in her future? 

The idea of huge brands using her as a poster girl is not completely unbelievable, given her current following and popularity. This is just the first stepping stone for her career but could also be the first in her clash with cancel culture. Influencers becoming too popular threaten a fanbase. 

They want success, but not too much, as being 'powerful' becomes overbearing. Saying or doing something people disagree with means the combination of fame and making what is deemed a mistake doesn't match the blueprint expected from an influencer. 

Then, just like that, she is cancelled. Regaining the trust and support of a following is never certain.

Currently, we are getting to know Gypsy Rose, and as it stands, she is seen as somebody who has overcome adversity, served for her crime, and is essentially starting again. The hope is that Gypsy Rose's life and career continue to be affluent and full of opportunities because, unlike the typical influencer, what she has already endured in her life is nothing short of horrific. 

She deserves to pave the way for her own future because everyone, regardless of their past, deserves happiness.

Edited by Emily Duff

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