I’m worried that I only have a short window of time where it is socially acceptable to write this; I am fascinated by Trisha Paytas (she/they). For years, she has been one of my favourite car crashes to watch on YouTube, ever since I watched the subliminal classic, “Do Dogs Have Brains?” Before I discuss all the reasons why I find her fascinating, I’d like to give the disclaimer that Paytas has been quite problematic over the years… she has apologized and I believe that she has changed, but I recognize that not all apologies are mine to accept.
So, who is Trisha Paytas? Well, she changes every week, it is always extreme. Some days she is Barbie, the next Emo Barbie, then Troy Bolton and then she has bought $50,000 worth of Adam Sandler’s clothes. Whatever she does, she does in extremes. She is a musical icon, with classics such as “I Love You Jesus,” which she recently remixed into “I Love You Moses,” and she is the lead singer for the emo band Sadboy2005. She’s an author of 11 books (the most recent one being Curvy and Loving It), who switches genres from self-help to erotica to poetry. Paytas is a mukbang icon and a podcaster and has appeared on an estimated 30 reality TV shows. She has played a Jessica Simpson lookalike in an Eminem video, been spotted in Modern Family and has a successful OnlyFans account.
That may be the secret to Paytas’ enduring success. Though she has lamented her lack of identity, a symptom of her diagnosed borderline personality disorder (BPD), it has kept her entertaining. As much as she has faded in and out of the spotlight since her first YouTube video in 2007, she always fades back in. For someone who has been involved in so many scandals, she is practically impossible to cancel.
The reason why I feel safe to come out of the closet with my morbid fascination with Paytas is because she is at the peak of her career and personal life. She has been in therapy for her mental health, is sober from drugs, recently got engaged to Moses Hacmon and is taking down rape culture on her hit H3 podcast Frenemies with Ethan Klein (Moses’ brother-in-law).
Paytas and the Frenemies podcast played an integral part in bringing public awareness to the toxic nature of the Vlog Squad. Since 2017 when Paytas broke up with Jason Nash, the 47-year-old best friend of David Dobrik who is best known for being the creepy old guy in the vlogs, she has been adamant about the toxicity of the group and the predatory power dynamic. The rhetoric was that Paytas was obsessed with the group following her messy breakup and that nothing she said could be taken seriously because of her prior mental health issues. Her interview with Jeff Wittek, another Vlog Squad member, proved that in this case, Paytas is both stable and credible when it comes to this situation.
I’m hopeful that Paytas’ success streak will continue, because she brings something beneficial to the digital community. For all the costumes and the times she has trolled the world, there is something tremendously honest about how Paytas presents herself. She is so unapologetically herself, whoever that may be in any given moment.