At just 21-years-old, Belle Delphine is a wildly successful OnlyFans performer making $1.2 million a month from posting her homemade porn and nude photos. Delphine is also a notorious internet troll, known for stunts like selling her own used “gamer girl” bathwater and staging her own fake arrest.
Before finding online fame, Delphine was born Mary-Belle Kirschner, and her early life was tumultous. In an interview with Insider, Delphine explained that she dropped out of her UK secondary school at age 14 in 2014. Up until she started making money from selling adult content, Delphine worked odd jobs like nannying.
The reason Delphine dropped out at such a young age is because she experienced bullying, she told Insider. The influencer with nearly 2 million YouTube subscribers said that she was a “weird” kid and that she dealt with a “bad mental state” throughout her early education.
The incident that Delphine says pushed her to leave school is reminiscent of the scandals she would endure later as a controversial internet star. It also demonstrates the negative effect that YouTube culture can have on a young audience who may mirror the edgy, offensive style of some YouTube provocateurs — ironically, who now include Delphine.
Delphine says she developed an ‘edgy’ sense of humor after watching YouTubers like iDubbbz and Filthy Frank
As a tween, Delphine told Insider that she became an avid watcher of the anti-political correctness genre of YouTubers like iDubbbz, an offensive personality known for his “Content Cop” series that exposes and mocks other YouTubers. She also enjoyed the parody character Filthy Frank, an early creation of the musician Joji.
Delphine was already struggling with social exclusion, and she transferred schools after turning 14 to get a fresh start, she said. But just days after making the switch, her former classmates disseminated screenshots of offensive jokes that Delphine had made online, in the style of her favorite YouTubers.
“Basically this joke was a string of ironic comments. The initial thread started with someone saying, ‘I love cancer.’ So people were saying, like, ‘I love cancer because you can get a free wig,'” Delphine said. “I said, ‘I love cancer because you can go to Disneyland.'”
The screenshots spread around the populations of both her new and old schools overnight, and Delphine told Insider she woke up to messages containing “hate after hate after hate.” She couldn’t bear to return to her new school, she said, and she never went back.
“In some ways, it really propelled me more into the internet,” Delphine said. “When that happened, and everyone in my hometown kind of turned against me, it really kind of made me turn against them and go, ‘F— you.’ It really isolated me even more because I thought the internet was the only place people accepted me.”
Delphine continues to employ a dark sense of humor online today. Her posts have in turn received scrutiny, including a recent staged non-consensual kidnapping fantasy photoshoot she tweeted that drew massive backlash from critics who argued she was “promoting rape” and should have prefaced the content with a trigger warning.
Delphine has defended her content and argues against “censorship,” comparing the backlash against her staged non-consensual porn to the myth that video games cause violence.
“Once you see so many negative comments in a row, it kind of makes you not care anymore,” Delphine told Insider. “After you’ve seen the same hate comment 100 times, you think, ‘I’ve heard that one.’ You don’t care.”