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Pansexual Vlogger Gaby Dunn Talks the Hard Costs of Being Internet-Famous

Pansexual Vlogger Gaby Dunn Talks the Hard Costs of Being Internet-Famous

Pansexual Vlogger Gaby Dunn Talks the Hard Costs of Being Internet-Famous

Followers can feel great, but fame doesn't pay the bills.

Pansexual vlogger Gaby Dunn shares the highs and lows of being broke and famous in a new essay for Fusion. She describes the awkward tension between having hundreds of thousands of followers while still struggling to pay rent:

"One week, I was stopped for photos six times while perusing comic books in downtown L.A. The next week, I sat faceless in a room of 40 people vying for a menial courier job. I’ve walked a red carpet with $80 in my bank account. Popular YouTube musician Meghan Tonjes said she performed on Vidcon’s MainStage this year to screaming, crying fans without knowing whether she’d be able to afford groceries."

Yet, when she does take money for videos, through product reviews or sponsorships, her fans push back, calling her a sell-out. 

That means fans don’t want to see that you’re explicitly on the hustle. Whether they realize it or not, they dictate our every financial move. Every time Allison and I post a branded video—a YouTuber’s bread and butter—we make money but lose subscribers. A video we created for a skincare line, for instance, drew ire from fans writing “ENOUGH WITH THE PRODUCT PLACEMENT,” despite this being our third branded video ever.

She goes on to describe the complicated economic choices her fellow YouTube and Instagram stars face when deciding how to simluatenously buy groceries and maintain their integrity to their viewers. 

Dunn describes a quandry many folks have when dealing wtih social media: How honest can we be with each other? Internet fame is presumably built on a greater authenticity than, say, being a sitcom star. Thus, viewers may expect or demand greater access to the performer as a real person. But being a real person means being honest about the struggle, which for many folks means talking frankly about money. 

What do you think about Internet celebrities asking for support or taking sponsorships? 
 

Read the whole article here. 

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Allison Moon