Mary-Belle Kirschner (born October 23, 1999 in Cape Town, South Africa), better known by her stage name Belle Delphine, is a British e-girl, Instagram model, and web video producer. In 2019, she made international headlines for selling her bathwater.
Life of Belle Delphine
Mary-Belle Kirschner was born in South Africa in 1999 to a South African father and a British mother. She later emigrated to the United Kingdom with her mother. There Kirschner attended a public school near Lymington, England, from which she dropped out at the age of 14. After that, she lived in a shared apartment and worked as a waitress, nanny and barista, while at the same time she started posting her first selfies on her Facebook page.
Belle Delphine Career
Kirschner signed up on the photo-sharing website Instagram in 2015 and on the video portal YouTube a year later. In August 2016, she uploaded her first self-created video, which featured a makeup tutorial. In 2018, she began regularly sharing photos of herself as a “weird elf” or “cat girl” via Instagram, relying on accessories like pink wigs and stockings without straps. With cosplay photos as Harley Quinn or D.Va (Overwatch), she tried to become known especially in the gaming scene. In addition, she increasingly produced NSFW content, which she offers as “lewd content” on her Patreon page. During 2019, her Instagram followers grew to 4.5 million and those of Patreon supporters to over 4000.
In June 2019, Delphine, now known for her ahegao, promised to create a Pornhub account for one million likes. She made good on the promise, but disappointed many fans by uploading only non-pornographic material with ambiguous titles, including a video called PEWDIEPIE goes all the way INSIDE Belle Delphine, in which she eats a photo of Swedish YouTuber PewDiePie with cat ears on. Nevertheless, at the end of the year she won the award in the category “Top Celebrity”.
Inspired by joking comments from some fans, Belle Delphine offered her own bathwater for sale in canning jars of 24 pounds each starting July 1, 2019. The bizarre product called GamerGirl Bath Water sold out after three days, earning the 19-year-old worldwide media attention. Two weeks later, Instagram deleted her account, saying it violated community guidelines.
After that, Belle Delphine became decreasingly active on social media. In the fall, she claimed to have been arrested by the police after she graffitied the car of a person who had stolen her hamster during a party. In June 2020, she made a comeback via YouTube with a whimsical rap song aesthetically inspired by 6ix9ines Gooba, while announcing new activity on Instagram and TikTok and her own Onlyfans. She cited injuries she allegedly sustained while jumping off a roof into a wading pool as the reason for her months-long online absence. In December 2020, she uploaded hardcore pornography to her Onlyfans account for the first time.
Style and reception
Kirschner, who has been dubbed an e-girl due to her online-only presence, uses her Belle Delphine persona to exaggerate the modern stereotype of the “gamer girl,” a young, innocent, and sex-starved girl who is meant to act as a female counterpart to the predominantly male gaming nerds. At the latest since her bathwater sale, Delphine, who is aesthetically situated between kawaii and hentaii – EJ Dickson summarized her appearance under the term “Alien Disney princess porn star” – has been widely received in the media. In addition to scene magazines such as Kotaku, mainstream media such as Business Insider, Guardian, Vice and Rolling Stone also reported on the unusual business model. Different publications categorize Belle Delphine as an Internet troll and her bizarre, polarizing actions as stunts.
Criticism and controversy
While many commentators recognize ironic and satirical elements in her content, others argue that she serves sexist stereotypes and fetishes and thus deliberately manipulates her followers.
As Kirschner’s popularity increased, so did the controversy surrounding her. For example, she has been accused of cultural appropriation or even racism because of her cosplay, which is based on Japanese pop culture. She has also been accused of eroticizing young girls. After she started uploading sexual content, accusations were made that she had passed off nude photos of her competitors as her own without their consent while she was still a minor. She is also considered controversial in the sex industry because of her aggressive marketing strategy. In February 2019, Kirschner caused a stir with an Instagram video – since deleted – showing her dancing to a song about suicide with a gun in her hand. Shortly after, rumors surfaced that she had passed away. Another controversial video released via YouTube called Meet my best friend, shows her playing with a dead octopus with googly eyes attached.
Critics also accuse Kirschner of targeting a pedosexual market segment by also portraying kidnapping and rape fantasies as Lolicon, while catering to the childish schema with a teddy bear and schoolgirl outfit. How the former fashion influencer, who is now a millionaire, deals with moral boundaries as an e-girl, mixing pornography with other elements, is controversial.