Please Stop Being Weird About Gypsy Rose Blanchard

Dr. Phil/YouTube Natalja Petuhova/Shutterstock Remix by Caterina Cox

As I write this, Gypsy Rose Blanchard has become a free woman. She was sentenced back in 2016 for her part in the murder of her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, wherein it transpired that she was the victim of Munchausen-by-proxy.

This meant that her lifetime of feeding tubes, surgeries, and mobility aids was all a lie — instead, her mother managed to convince the world (and Gypsy herself) that she was actually seriously ill; and Gypsy was also the victim of medical, emotional, and physical abuse at the hands of Dee Dee.

Naturally, as the truth about her life came out, people began to feel empathetic toward Gypsy — even questioning whether she should be in prison at all — but because people on the internet are incapable of being normal, it wasn’t long until this online fascination of Gypsy became weird.

Of course, true crime TikTok was always going to be hugely inappropriate and tone-deaf, as creepy AI deep fakes depict Gypsy telling her own story, but something I didn’t expect was the… fandom?

Gypsy’s court appearances and parole hearings, for instance, have become the basis of ‘fan cams‘ — a type of edit originally designed for K-Pop idols — while influencers have also jumped on the Gypsy train with comedy sketches/POVs about big pop culture moments they want to ‘introduce’ Gypsy to along with their plans for a ‘Gypsy Rose release party.‘.

But this is far from a fringe community or ‘edgy’ joke among a pocket of the internet — all of this fanfare into Gypsy has garnered millions of TikTok views, with commenters sharing how they hope Gypsy will become a Swiftie or even join the creator economy herself as a YouTuber.

We’ve seen it all before with Jeffrey Dahmer thirst traps and Amber Heard courtroom edits — TikTok was simply not designed for this kind of usage. We were never meant to consume information about murders and Munchausens in 15-second shitposts and Pop Crave tweets.

And at the heart of this problem is how we view Gypsy. By building a fandom around her, she is becoming less of a person and more of a product others can ‘consume’ as a ‘fan’ or treat as a spectacle. How is this dissimilar to Gypsy’s mother making her a spectacle with her ailments?

It’s fine to have opinions on Gypsy and her case as a whole — it’s kind of unavoidable not to. But do you all have to be so weird about it?

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