The untold truth of Belle Delphine
Anyone who’s been online for five minutes has likely encountered Belle Delphine, whether they know it or not. You might recognize her as the pink-wigged teen who dances across Tik Tok compilation videos and YouTube thumbnails. Only recently has the internet star (This lady has 4.3 million Instagram followers and counting) become a household name, and for the most bizarre reason: She offered to sell her used bathwater for $30 a pop to her online followers.
The water sold out, and the bizarre story was picked up by major outlets, including The Guardian and The Cut. Who is this young woman who is obviously popular enough to pull off such a feat? According to Rolling Stone, the teen’s Instagram account gained more than 3 million followers between November 2018 and July 2019, but before the unorthodox fame, the South African-born cosplay model was known as Belle Kirschner, a student at the top of her class who started hustling to make cash at age 13. And that was just the beginning. This is the untold truth of Belle Delphine.
Belle Delphine’s fans devised the bathwater business
Selling “gamer girl bathwater” to “thirsty gamer boys” on the internet is bizarre, but Belle Delphine didn’t hatch the plan entirely on her own. She was inspired by her followers. In an interview with Newsweek, the teenage Instagram star admitted she came up with the idea after her fans kept commenting on her photos, claiming they wanted to drink her bath water. “I wondered if I actually were to take the joke seriously and sell my bathwater if there would be people out there that would buy it,” she said. “I sold around 500 units, far more than I expected, and I had to rebuy containers as I didn’t have enough! And I was very surprised at the huge response I got, I didn’t think my bathwater would get this much attention.”
First of all, that’s a whole lot of baths, but Delphine did make a killing by investing little more some wrinkly fingers and toes. At $30 a pop, the self-proclaimed “weird elf kitty girl” made around $15,000, which certainly makes us think twice about flushing that liquid gold right down the drain.
No, it didn’t give anyone herpes
Belle Delphine’s bath water undeniably flooded the internet. Her fans made reaction videos a cottage industry. Some YouTubers drank the water on camera; others used it to vape, and one guy made make mac and cheese and instant ramen with it. Who needs truffle oil when you’ve got what’s essentially a gently steeped gamer girl tea? Okay, we just threw up in our mouths a little bit.
Delphine’s stunt went viral in more ways than one. Shortly after it made headlines, dirty rumors surfaced claiming the bath water gave more than 50 people herpes. According to Snopes, the whole STD story turned out to be a hoax launched by a fake Daily Mail Twitter account. The account used the Daily Mail logo as an avatar and dubbed itself “Daily Mail US,” but it’s handle was @BlakeRises. In a since-deleted tweet (via Snopes), the Twitter impersonator eventually came clean about the big fib. “It seems the best way to grow on Twitter is to impersonate a company [the Daily Mail] and say things about a celebrity [Belle Delphine] that legally can be considered libel and I could potentially be sued for,” the twitter culprit confessed. According to Snopes, Delphine also refuted the herpes claims.
Belle Delphine was born in South Africa
Belle Delphine, the online influencer who tacked googly eyes onto a dead octopus and called it her best friend, rarely dives into her origin story, but she did reveal a little about her background in an Instagram post in February 2019. She claimed she was born in South Africa with a dislocated hip that required extensive surgery. Luckily, the surgeries worked and she can now do things such as walk, pretzel herself into a mini-fridge, and shower herself in raw eggs.
Delphine said she moved to the U.K. when she was 9 years old and revealed that it feels like she’s “lived two lives” because she’s grown up on two continents. In South Africa, she spent a lot of time outdoors enjoying the gorgeous mountains and beaches. In the U.K., she discovered the internet — and everyone knows how that went.
Belle Delphine was a 14-year-old dropout
Belle Delphine might be the “greatest troll on the Internet,” at least according to Rolling Stone, so it shouldn’t be surprising that she’d need some mega-smarts to constantly one-up bored, lonely dudes online. Fortunately, Delphine was always at the top of her class in school, aside from English, where she claims she was put in a “special” group because of her poor spelling skills. Nonetheless, the Instagram model found herself having a difficult time during her early teen and pre-teen years. She kept switching schools, then eventually dropped out at age 14. By the time she was 15, she had moved out of her parents’ house into a shared home, where she spent a year.
Delphine has been a hustler from an early age. She claims to have worked since she was 13, holding down a number of odd jobs. According to Before They Were Famous, the star was a waitress and worked at a coffee shop. When she was 17, she spent six months babysitting. The teen eventually raised enough money to get a camper van and travel through France for a month. Now, the bath water mogul probably has enough cash to — in the very least — upgrade to a luxury bus.
Belle Delphine followed the influencer formula
Belle Delphine launched her career on the internet just like many a social media star. There was nothing vaguely scandalous about what she was doing when she posted her first Facebook photo in 2013. According to Before They Were Famous, the star followed with her first ever Instagram selfie in 2015, but she didn’t start posting “more intense” (read: sexy) cosplay photos until two years later. In 2016, she launched her YouTube channel with a makeup tutorial — a go-to move for aspiring influencers — but at the time of this writing, she’s only posted three videos on that channel, despite amassing nearly half a million subscribers.
Around this time, Delphine also exploded on Tik Tok, which is what really made her internet-famous. Pretty much anyone who’s ever used the app has seen her dancing around in her pink wig. For some mysterious reason, she eventually got banned from the platform, but not before she garnered millions of views across her unique posts and various compilation videos. According to Rolling Stone, she managed to monetize her fame when she launched a Patreon in 2018. At the time of this writing, she has more than 4,280 patrons who each pay between $1 and $2,500 per month for various prizes, such as access to her private Snapchat account, which she claims is her “naughtiest” social media platform.
Belle Delphine angered the masses with a video prank
Before the bath water stunt, Belle Delphine managed to garner some notoriety when she trolled her fans with a fake account on a major adult video website. This girl apparently just loves messing with “thirsty gamer guys.” In 2019, the Instagram star took a minor pause from posting vaguely NSFW content to embark on the troll to end all trolls — one that would anger hoards of lonely men online. She put on her infamous pink wig, donned some pasties, and promised her 3.5 million Instagram followers that she’d make an account on a most-definitely NSFW video site if one of her photos was liked 1 million times. Her fans were motivated by this, liking the image nearly 2 million times, so Delphine kept her promise — sort of.
According to Rolling Stone, she uploaded 12 videos to said website, but they were hardly raunchy. In the most PG of titles, “PewDiePie goes all the way inside Belle Delphine,” the star eats an actual picture of famed YouTuber PewDiePie. Other videos show the model making a literal cream pie and playing with two stuffed cats. Some fans found the prank funny, but a good number were infuriated. According to Newsweek, one disgruntled fan even claimed: “You’ve got a bounty, wanted dead or alive. Be warned, don’t mess with the gamers. You may of just started World War III.” (C’mon man. Death threats aren’t cool.)
This bath water mogul is worth half a million
Belle Delphine has a unique brand that sells sex without really selling sex at all. According to Rolling Stone, she’s caused “a significant amount of controversy” among those who work in the adult entertainment industry because she profits off their “marketing tactics while simultaneously distancing herself from adult content creators.” It’s reportedly not rare for adult entertainers to sell bath water or bodily fluids, but Delphine is the one who’s going viral for the stunt. She’s also been accused of ripping off adult entertainers and appropriating Japanese culture.
Regardless of what ideas Delphine has or has not co-opted, we can all agree that she’s made a killing. At a minimum, she receives around $50,000 a year via her Patreon alone — and that’s if everyone who subscribes pledges just $1. Considering Patreon users spend an average of $12 per month according to Vox, this bathing beauty could be making upwards of $500,000 per year and well on her way to joining some of the richest YouTube child stars on the planet. Dreshare places the Instagram model’s estimated net worth at around half a million dollars.