The person who runs the bellasbooty Instagram account is sad.
bellasbooty, if you’re not following it, is exactly what it sounds like: an Instagram account devoted to Bella Thorne’s booty. (Bella, if you don’t follow the Disney starlet universe, is a 16-year-old actress/model/dancer, most famous for the show Shake It Up and for being the current Candie’s spokesmodel.)
The bellasbooty IG features pictures of the actress from behind—sometimes paparazzi photos, sometimes regrams from Bella’s official Instagram (bellathorne), sometimes carefully frozen vidcaps.
There are a lot of fan-run Bella Thorne IG accounts; the key differentiator of the bellasbooty account is that it isn’t JUST pictures of Bella’s booty, it’s written from the perspective of Bella’s booty. Most of the photo descriptions are written in the 1st person, and many posts make reference to “us”, as though Bella and her booty are distinct entities, working together to entertain the public.
Late in 2013 bellasbooty was followed by Bella’s official IG, which lent the bellasbooty account a sort of legitimacy and, one imagines, encouraged the person behind the account in their first-person narrative role-play as bellasbooty.
(Interestingly, all the pictures posted prior to Bella following the account have since been deleted. Maybe they weren’t written in the booty persona, and thus non-canon?)
Well, so. Late last month Bella unfollowed bellasbooty. Bella was presumable no longer interested in receiving updates from her talking booty. Maybe she thought: You know what, my IG tl is getting crowded and I see my own butt every day anyway. Or maybe she thought: Maybe this isn’t the type of person you encourage on social media.
In any case, the person who runs bellasbooty is distraught. Since then they have only posted blank black images, with impassioned text imploring Bella to refollow. There is no booty now, only nothingness.
There are a lot of interesting things happening in and around this, if you can lift the rock: objectification as a legitimized form of brand marketing; consensual and non-consensual forms of evangelism; fair use as it applies not only to photographs but also body parts; the arrival (or decline?) of fan fiction as just another marketing channel; the utter irrelevance of copyright (remember copyright?) on Instagram; under-age women as property (and/or: celebrities as digital commons); the difference between brand ambassador and potential threat.
Anyway. We’ve all idolized a celebrity at some point. Many of us have created tributes to those celebrities. Very few of us have actually been recognized by the celebrity for doing so. But then! To be shunned, cast out, to have our creation dismissed. To be unfollowed. That’s where things get dark.