When Minecraft YouTuber Dream revealed his face after remaining anonymous since 2014, a massive reaction online was expected. However, the online reaction was far from the positive experience it should have been.
Within hours of his face reveal, memes were being made about his ‘unattractive’ or ‘underwhelming’ appearance. People took to social media to comment cruelly about how he looked. It’s not new information that the internet can be a toxic place, but the reactions to Dream’s face reveal truly showed just how toxic it has become.
Clay, AKA Dream, is an American YouTuber and Twitch streamer best known for his Minecraft content. Although he started his channel back in 2014, Dream didn’t rise to YouTube fame until late 2019. Dream’s channel began rapidly gaining subscribers when he created his series “Minecraft Manhunt”. He began collaborating with other well-known Minecraft Youtubers like TommyInnit, SapNap, and GeorgeNotFound. Dream found himself amongst the most popular Minecraft and gaming channels.
Unlike some of the channels he collaborated with, Dream never used a face cam or showed his face on social media. He kept his face hidden behind an iconic smiley face mask. Dream’s anonymity became his signature, only being known by his avatar and mask. However, his anonymity didn’t hinder his following from growing and becoming a fully-fledged fandom. In an interview with Anthony Padilla of Smosh, he didn’t intend to be anonymous. But his anonymity became too important a part of his online persona for him to give up at that point.
Dream’s face reveal had been hotly anticipated for a long time
Although fans loved Dream despite never seeing his face, they wanted to see the man behind the channel they had been supporting. Dream announced in June 2021 that he was going to do a face reveal. Hype began on October 1st, as Dream started revealing his face to content creators one by one. Finally, he revealed his face to the world on October 2nd.
Dream’s face reveal video garnered over 21.9 million views and 2.5 million likes in less than a day. However, what he likely wasn’t expecting, was the viral memes and negative reactions that spread online following his face reveal.
The reaction to Dream’s face reveal brought out the ugly side of the internet
The topic of Dream’s face reveal began trending on Twitter as soon as he posted the video. Unfortunately, it wasn’t filled with fans excited to finally see their favorite creator. One of the top trends on Twitter following his face reveal was “He’s Ugly”. The hashtag #keepthemaskon also began trending, being used by trolls to mock Dream’s appearance.
Tweets were filled with people complaining that they waited for a “mediocre” looking guy to show his face. Others said he looked normal which was either fine or underwhelming.
What’s more upsetting was that it became a trend to mock dream’s appearance. Memes comparing him to cartoon villains and calling him ugly went viral.
What does the backlash against Dream say about the state of the internet?
Saly, it looks like Dream was going to get trolled no matter what, because of the extremely high and unrealistic appearance standards social media has created. Everyone is expected to look like a model without any normal, human ‘faults. Online, a person’s entire existence gets boiled down to their physical appearance. If they don’t match up to the ridiculously high standard, then it’s acceptable to harass and bully them.
Internet personas will get trolled over every little part of their appearance. There’s an entire Reddit board dedicated to discussing female streamers’ weight and clothing choices. Sites like Kiwi Farms and lolcow.farm are filled with threads hating on and mocking YouTubers and streamers for their psychical appearance. The internet has not only set an impossible standard for appearance but measures everyone who shares their face online up to it.
The impact of online beauty standards and the trolling of internet personas for their appearance spread toxicity to everyone. If a totally normal-looking person gets bullied and mocked for how they look, those who see this harassment may begin to become dissatisfied with their own appearance. It’s no wonder so many people suffer from self-esteem and body image issues. But sadly, it doesn’t look like the internet will be getting any kinder any time soon.