The Wessex Wire

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The Wessex Wire

The Wessex Wire

ARTS COMMENTARY: The toxic stardom of Gypsy Rose

TikTok has turned a tragic, infamous case into the world’s dangerous new obsession.
Photo courtesy of Biggly (CC BY 4.0)
Following Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s release, she has become an “influencer” on TikTok.

For Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s entire childhood, she was told she was chronically ill. Gypsy’s mother, Dee Dee Blanchard convinced her daughter and all the people they knew that Gypsy had many different illnesses including leukemia, muscular dystrophy and sleep apnea. She made her daughter use a feeding tube and a wheelchair also claiming Gypsy was allergic to sugar. Many years later, Gypsy realized she was perfectly healthy, and her mother suffered from a mental illness called Munchausen Syndrome by proxy, which causes an individual to fake the aliments of someone else. This mental illness caused Dee Dee to lie to others about her daughter’s health to gain attention and sympathy.

Upon this discovery, Gypsy attempted to escape her mother’s grasp, but failed over and over again. Using a Facebook account, Gypsy hid from her mother, she met her online boyfriend, Nicholas Godejohn. She shared with Nicholas the details of what Dee Dee was doing to her, and eventually asked him to kill her. In 2015, while Gypsy covered her ears in the bathroom, Nicholas murdered Dee Dee. A year later, Gypsy was found guilty of second-degree murder and would serve ten years in prison. Her boyfriend at the time, Nicholas, was convicted of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life.

On December 28, 2023, 8 years after Gypsy’s conviction, she was released into the world.

During her time in prison, both a documentary and a limited series were created about Gypsy’s story. The Hulu series, “The Act,” gained millions of views and won many awards, and the documentary “Mommy Dead and Dearest” also topped the charts. Considering this, millions of people around the world were awaiting her release.

Since the day Gypsy got out of prison, she has been mobbed by paparazzi and has gone viral all over the internet. Users on TikTok and other social media platforms have seemingly made her an internet celebrity. Some are even calling her an “influencer,” a peculiar term for someone who was convicted of murder.

While many sympathize with Gypsy, some people do not understand her newfound stardom. She suffered throughout her entire childhood, and while she did deserve to escape and live her own life, murder remains immoral. During this time, Gypsy should be healing with her current husband, Ryan Anderson, and should not constantly be in the spotlight. Many sympathize with her story and believe she has rightfully served her time, but do not praise her like others do online. Making her into a microcelebrity can give off a bad impression and imply that her actions were cool and justified, rather than being the acts of an abused child.

Taking into account the fact that Gypsy was forced to be a child for most of her life, she presents herself as slightly immature online. She made a few inappropriate comments in response to internet hate toward her husband, showing that she does not know how to properly handle fame.

Many can agree that Gypsy was a victim of her mother’s illness and rightfully deserved her release. Nonetheless, whether or not someone may think her mother’s murder was justified, murder should not be praised.

Photo Credit: “Gypsy-Rose Blanchard” by Biggly is licensed under (CC BY 4.0)

Behind the Byline
Sophia Nicholls, Arts & Culture Editor
Sophia Nicholls is a 2023-2024 Senior Chief Arts and Culture Editor for the Wessex Wire. She likes to spend time with her friends and family. Her favorite artist’s are Harry Styles and Taylor Swift, and her favorite show is “Pretty Little Liars”.
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