Female Gamers Defend Twitch Star Pokimane After Sexist Backlash Following Makeup-Free Stream

By 10/25/2018
Female Gamers Defend Twitch Star Pokimane After Sexist Backlash Following Makeup-Free Stream

Women in gaming have been pointing out the industry’s widespread sexism for years — which is why it’s likely not surprising that when top Twitch streamer Pokimane started one of this week’s streams without any makeup, she was met with a flurry of insults.

The 22-year-old (whose real name is Imane Anys) spent two and a half hours in front of the camera putting on makeup and curling her hair, showing fans just how many steps are involved — and how long those steps can take — in becoming the Pokimane some of them expect to see.

“I know not having makeup on is unusual, and some people might meme me for it, or say whatever,” she said in the stream. “But I think it’s good to not always just be promoting, ‘I look like this naturally.’ Because girls just don’t. When you have makeup on, you look like you have makeup on.”

That’s apparently hard to believe for some folks. One Twitter user, whose account has now been deleted, tweeted a photo of makeupless Anys side-by-side with her usual made-up self, seemingly baffled at the difference between them, Dexerto reports. Another Twitter user said Anys had “catfished” her followers, and yet more called her “disgusting,” “a creature,” and “ugly.”

Now, fellow female streamers are joining in on sharing Pokimane’s message, with some posting makeup-free selfies themselves.

“This is gonna sound crazy but…did you KNOW that girls aren’t born with black lines on their eyes, their skin isn’t flawless, and get this, their hair isn’t perfect when they wake up either?” streamer (and Twitch partner) Yellowspoongirl tweeted. “Wow this is such crazy new info. Fascinating discovery.”

In response to the widespread insults on Twitter, Anys tweeted, “Man am I lucky to have real friends who love me for who I am. I’m at peace with myself, my body, and my imperfections — and I wish the same someday for anyone who feels the need to hate on someone else for such shallow reasons.”

She also tweeted her own makeupless selfies.