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What are ‘Blind Items’? Speculation or a Spotlight on Celebrity Secrets?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Nottingham chapter.

A third-year female English student was seen writing an article in Trent café.

Can you work out who it is? Here’s a hint, it’s me.

Simple, short, and stimulating to the mind, blind items utilise the power of speculation to bring celebrity gossip to a whole new level.

I discovered the buzz of blind items through an unhealthy obsession with podcaster Shannon McNammara’s Fluently Forward. Listening to this podcast has shaped my view of many celebrities in a completely new way. Her video on blind items blew up on TikTok in July 2021, where the confused reaction from viewers left her feeling shocked. She explained “people were like ‘what is a ‘blind item? I’ve never even heard of that phrase before’. This word is slowly becoming more recognised within media discourse, where many are leaning towards blind items to get their fix of scandalous gossip.

The premise of a blind item is usually a coded description or a riddle concerning public figures, prompting readers to speculate who the parties involved could be. As the name of the celebrity is left out and certain details are obscured, the juicy titbits act as a puzzle for the internet detectives to decipher.

Initially, the gossip medium gained traction when website Crazy Days and Nights published an unexpected article in 2012 about a ‘B- list actress’ who had fallen for a guy. Doesn’t sound too scandalous. It continued ‘the problem is the guy just doesn’t love women; he also loves teens. As in underage teens. As in 16- and 17-year-old teens’. Allegedly, the actress also knew about and defended her boyfriend’s urges and had tried to recruit a female co-star to participate in a threesome. Readers deconstructed the passage, scanning for hints and tips as to who was the culprit. Some suggestions included Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev, rising co-stars of The Vampire Diaries during this time.  Eventually, the readers were granted their well-earned answer when the original post was republished with three names attached to it – Allison Mack, Kristin Kreuk, Keith Raniere.

Part of the fun is that the author of Crazy Days and Nights remains anonymous. Going by the pseudonym Enty, the only knowledge we have surrounding his identity is his occupation as an entertainment lawyer in Hollywood, having first-hand experience inside the celebrity circle. Writing sensitive and revealing information about powerful figures is extremely risky, but this added anonymity avoids any legal issues. Essentially, blind items become a large-scale ‘Guess Who?’ game for Hollywood. Currently, the Instagram account Deux Moi is the first to consistently break celebrity stories around huge names including Olivia Wilde and Harry Styles relationship, Adele’s engagement and Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s breakup.

Whilst it may feel comforting for us to know that these idealised stars are actually just as backward as the rest of humanity, it’s important to note that many of these instances include traumatic events that have happened to real people. With an extreme range of rumours spreading from secret charity donations to horrors such as sex trafficking and sexual assault accusations, blind items have the power to truly expose a person’s true, rotted nature. It may be a bit of fun for us at home who are completely removed from the situation, however many deal with damaging situations that should not be taken lightly. We must also consider the credibility of the sources. As blind item platforms allow readers to message in their own experiences with celebrities, those with a bias or dislike to a star could easily use this to manipulate the public’s perception of them, completely ruining their career. Should we trust such an unreliable source to help us decide who we should be supporting?

If you are interested in learning the supposed ‘truth’ about your favourite celebrities, check out the podcasts below.

Roisin Teeling

Nottingham '23

I am a third year English student at UoN who loves reading the different articles Her Campus has to offer! I am happy to be part of a network of women who support and empower each other through our writing.