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Tik Tok parasocial relationships launch Gypsy Rose Blanchard into overnight stardom

By Megan Kelly Jan 15, 2024
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Shutterstock (14286353l) (L-R) Ryan Anderson and Gypsy Rose Blanchard 'The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard' Premiere, New York, USA - 05 Jan 2024

Gypsy Rose Blanchard first entered the public eye in 2016, when she was convicted of her mother’s murder along with her then boyfriend Nicholas Godejohn. She was released from prison on December 28 2023, having served eight and a half years of her 10-year sentence. Her former boyfriend Godejohn remains locked up, serving a life sentence without parole.

Blanchard now 32, was a victim of her mother’s Munchausen syndrome by proxy which led to her being ‘diagnosed’ with leukaemia. This in turn led to her having many unneeded medical procedures such as having a feeding tube inserted, surgery to have her salivary glands removed and removal of all but sixteen of her teeth. She also routinely had her head shaved and was forced to be in a wheelchair. Her mother Clauddine ‘Dee dee’ Blanchard consistently lied about her medical history and age, further manipulating doctors, charities and those who knew her personally.

Eventually Gypsy Rose Blanchard met her boyfriend Godejohn in October 2012 on a website for Christian singles. The pair dated long distance and exchanged hundreds of text messages before meeting up in 2015 and eventually murdering ‘Dee dee’ in June of that year.

Blanchard was most recently boosted into the public eye with the release of Hulu original The Act (2019) featuring Joey King playing Gypsy. Blanchard had nothing to do with the production of the show and has stated she has no intention to watch the drama. However, it generated public sympathy and allowed the audience to know the horrors that led to ‘Dee dee’ Blanchard’s death.

Her release has also brought to the spotlight other similar cases such as the Mendez brothers, with people calling for their release, They were also treated horrifically by their parents, who they murdered back in 1989.

However, it’s been the TikTok reaction to her release that’s been unprecedented – causing her to be thrown instantly into the spotlight, on her release from prison. There were people counting down the days until she was released. Searches such as “Gypsy Rose Blanchard cunty edit” and “tipsy for Gypsy” hit 2.1M views on Tik Tok. The evolution of stan culture has led to ‘stan cams’ about her, the use of phrases such as “mother” and “she served, and she slayed”, as well as crazy renditions of AI generated images which have recently taken TikTok by storm.

The evolution of stan culture, has been leading us towards this kind of response for as long as these communities have gathered online. The growth of Gypsy’s Instagram leads you to assume she has a huge cult like ‘fandom’. Her comments sections are full of stan-coded replies, referring to her as queen or mother – one on a recent post with over 8,000 likes reads “Does the queen respond??”. And she does: since her release we’ve learned that she loves Lana Del Rey, her favourite Taylor Swift songs are eyes open and Karma and favourite Ariana Grande songs are positions, problems and rings. These facts were then relayed by the ultimate pop culture account on X: Pop Crave.

However, it has not all been positive – videos have already gone viral baselessly alleging that it’s only a matter of time until she commits another murder.

Blanchard has since been invited onto podcasts such as the ‘Viall files’ in the last week where she spoke with her husband, Ryan Scott Anderson about her life in prison, her past, her interests and her future.  As well as this she has appeared on interviews with Entertainment Tonight, CNN and The View.

She is currently promoting her new book Conversations on the eve of freedom as well as her lifetime series The Prison Confessions of Gypsy Rose Blanchard.

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