Dream, a well-known YouTuber has spent most of his career hiding behind a mask. Even his fellow content creators don’t know who he really is.
The 23-year-old YouTuber got famous by making “let’s play” and “speedrun” videos of Minecraft. He now has more than 30 million subscribers, but he has kept his identity a secret.
Dream finally took off his mask and showed his face on Sunday night. He did this in a video that was posted to YouTube and has since gotten more than 22 million views.
In the video, Dream said his name was Clay and said that he had decided to stop being anonymous because it was too hard and stressful to keep up his mysterious persona.
“I’ve been bunkered up,” Dream said. “The people trying to leak my face, trying to find out what I look like… it’s just a tiny bit too much.”
— duck (@howtoduck1) October 15, 2022
Popular content creators like YouTube’s Marques Brownlee and TikTok’s Addison Rae liked seeing Dream’s face for the first time. Brownlee called Dream’s reveal “one of the most interesting social media campaigns I’ve ever seen.”
Many fans were excited to hear the news, which made them happy. Others seemed strangely let down, but it’s not clear what they were hoping for. Soon, fans made memes that compared Dream’s face to that of cartoon characters.
Some of the jokes and memes were made in good fun, but the tone quickly changed as Twitter users made fun of Dream’s face. The hashtag #PutTheMaskBackOn became popular as a result of the reveal.
Soon, it was hard to ignore the negative comments. This led some content creators to think that the popularity of face filters, carefully chosen angles, and carefully curated Instagram pages had changed how people thought creators should look, or even what people look like.
— FNAF Hot Takes (DM suggestions) (@FnafLiminal) October 11, 2022
Being a very popular YouTuber already seems like a lot of mental work. The negative effects of being constantly watched by a group of obsessives are well known, but bullying a 23-year-old for showing his face might be a new low for the parasocial crowd.
Once TikTokers and YouTubers reach a certain level of fame, they seem to be seen more as brands than as people. The content creator becomes just another piece of content, and basic human decency gets lost in the noise.
Unlike traditional celebrities, content creators usually talk to their fans directly and frequently. At this point, you can expect backlash when something is controversial, but not when someone’s face is shown.
In contrast to the negativity online, Dream’s face reveals video ended with a positive message. He told his fans that he is “living proof” that anyone can be successful.
“Anyone can be under the mask and I don’t want my face reveal to take away from that fact,” he said. “Dream could have been anyone from anywhere.”
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