On April 1, 18-year-old rapper Danielle Bregoli, also known by her stage name Bhad Bhabie, broke records on OnlyFans. According to Billboard, Bregoli amassed “$1 million on OnlyFans in just six hours” after her debut.
As a broke college student who could only dream of having that much money, I remember first feeling impressed by this news. However, that feeling quickly faded to one of deep concern as I remembered the circumstances under which her content gained traction on OnlyFans.
My concern was not with OnlyFans as a platform; sex work is not something to be looked down upon or demonized. However, I was shocked that Bregoli, who turned 18 just days before, was such a hit among consumers who are most likely older adults. I could only make the assumption that those anticipating the creation of her OnlyFans must have been waiting since she was a minor.
This infatuation with underaged female celebrities becoming “legal,” unfortunately, is not uncommon. For instance, there have been grown adults who created online countdowns for the 18th birthdays of celebrities such as Billie Eillish and Emma Watson.
Given that Bregoli’s fans seem to have had a similar obsession with her becoming “legal,” it is not too far-fetched to assume that they might have pressured her to drop this content as her 18th birthday approached. Bregoli mentioned in the tweet revealing the creation of her OnlyFans that she “got tired of [her fans] asking” for it.
Although the circumstances may suggest otherwise, it is possible that Bregoli was truly ready to make the decision to create the OnlyFans, with or without pressure from her fan base. However, it is not ethical for the grown adults who have been anticipating and pushing for this content from Bregoli while she was still a minor to reap the benefits of their inappropriate behavior.
Perhaps a solution to this issue would be increasing the age of entry to OnlyFans and the adult industry to 21 years old. By that age, young people would have more maturity to make decisions regarding the creation of adult content. Also, the proposed age restriction prevents new 18-year-olds from feeling pressured to participate in the industry if they are not quite comfortable.
This OnlyFans debacle with Danielle Bregoli opens up conversations about the disturbing obsession with the wait for young girls to reach the legal age at which their bodies can be objectified. Young women should feel free to express themselves as sexual beings without any invasive observation from unwelcomed outsiders.