By Jordan Mclain
As a college student who rarely goes out and thankfully doesn’t have too much homework, I find myself having to substitute my boredom. One way I did that last week was binge-watching “The D’Amelio Show” on Hulu. If I’m being honest, I’m not a “fan” of the D’Amelio family or sisters, Dixie and Charli, however, I’m not a “hater” either. If anything, I’m pretty neutral when it comes to the family and don’t have anything against them. Matter of fact, I remember hearing about the launch of the show in February after seeing ads about it on social media platforms such as YouTube and, of course, TikTok. In the back of my mind, I thought the show probably got canceled, but it finally came out several months later.
There are eight episodes and they average out to be about 30 minutes long. It took me about four hours to watch the reality series, which I personally don’t think is much time to binge-watch an entire season. I didn’t have very high expectations for the show, but I also didn’t have astronomically low expectations either. This played in my favor as multiple key moments of the show surprisingly exposed me to a reality that I didn’t even know existed. I’ve noticed that certain emotionally revealing scenes in this show are prominent in telling the story that you really don’t know anything about the lives that people live behind social media and how words and opinions can become extremely detrimental to one’s mental health.
The first couple of episodes delve into Dixie’s reaction to the hate she received on her Vogue video. In January, Vogue posted a “24 Hours With Dixie D’Amelio…” video on its YouTube channel, and let’s just say it didn’t go too well. The video has thousands of more dislikes than it does likes, and most of the comments are pretty negative. I noticed most of the comments consist of the vocalization on how Dixie isn’t worthy of a vogue video and that she doesn’t deserve it as much as other “actual” celebrities. I remember during this time thinking that the hateful comments about her were funny, and in all honesty, I didn’t really feel bad for her. As Dixie sobs to her parents about the negativity, she is very distraught in feeling like everything she does or says is a joke and can never win or do anything right, “I’m trying to do everything I can to better myself and it just gets worse”. I think Dixie’s reaction is what really stood out to me the most, as she wasn’t just whining or crying about “hate,” but seemed to be genuinely affected and emotionally damaged by the overwhelming backlash on the video for her essentially being herself.
Moving on, in the second to last episode Charli also had an emotional breakdown, this time saying concerning things such as “I feel like it just gets more difficult every day” and that she doesn’t want to talk to anyone whilst sobbing to her mom in her bedroom. This was in relation to a joke she made about being in her ex, Chase Hudson’s music video. After sarcastically joking with the paparazzi that she “killed it” in the music video, she received a flood of negative comments on how she’s “full of herself”. The episodes leading up to this showcased many examples of Charli constantly putting herself down and feeling depressed, so this, in my opinion, was the final straw for Charli. It seems that these hurtful and malicious comments aren’t just “comments”, but they are significantly fatalistic in how Charli views herself and her self-worth. With social media being her job, realistically it’s hard to just “ignore” upsetting comments and I think she should be validated for feeling the way she does.
The theme of the series appears to be “Nothing is as it seems online” —it’s literally the title of one of the episodes. And while I think this saying is pretty cliche as I’ve heard multiple influencers over the years say things in relation to this, it surprisingly holds a lot of meaning. The saying holds accuracy as multiple castmates throughout the series, including Charli, describe how multiple circumstances are different in real life than on the internet, implying their two completely different worlds. It’s easy to post your highlights on social media, but it’s not so often you see influencers or most social media users posting their bad moments as much as their good, which can create a false narrative that leads people to believe you have an “amazing” or “picture-perfect” life, which the D’Amelio sisters can definitely relate to.
Since the series came out, I’ve noticed many videos gaining massive attention on YouTube regarding the D’Amelio show. I’ve seen many compilations and clips of the show with thousands of views and most comments that seem to be in support of the D’Amelio sisters for opening up about their struggles and how their fame has impacted them in straining toxic ways. The general consensus seems to be that they don’t deserve the overwhelming amount of hate they get on social media and that their mental health is just as important as anyone else’s.
I feel as if more social media influencers talk about their mental health and display how they really feel toward certain comments, then it can create a space where more people are considerate and have a better understanding of how detrimental and damaging flooding comments of hate can be, even if they’re just jokes. I’ve seen a handful of influencers get hundreds of hateful or judgemental comments, and I imagine they would feel the same way, if not worse, in comparison to the D’Amelio sisters. However, this issue is also complicated as it could be difficult for influencers to open up about their mental health in front of thousands of people to see, especially when it’s easy to think people won’t take you seriously or think you just want “attention”. But I think, if anything, this series is the gateway to bringing awareness on how hateful comments can really affect one’s mental health for the absolute worst.
What was your favorite part of the D’Amelio show?
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