Apex Legends creator and NRG team member "LuluLuvely" took to Twitter last night to highlight and expose the shocking degree to which female streamers are sexualized by fans, regardless of their streaming decisions or attire. Twitch has long had an issue with female streamers being reduced to eye candy by a section of the viewership, and it seems as though the patience of some of the top female talent is finally wearing thin.
Lulu is an Apex streamer capable of competing in high-level tournaments, who has reached Masters rank solo, and is already known for wearing baggy clothing on stream to avoid the issue of fans treating her as a sexual object. Despite this, she felt compelled to tweet and draw attention to the number of creepshots of her taken in public, as well as the number of fans who will sexualize her even despite her attempts to avoid being treated in this way.
The sexualization goes way beyond strangers sharing pictures too, with unsolicited snaps being sent, lewd photoshops created and even "tributes" being shared on certain forums. Lulu stated that for the longest time she was able to put this out of her mind, but it has bothered her more of late, knowing the level of sexualization that is going on even despite her efforts and pleas to the contrary.
Reddit's part of the problem
Lulu's original tweet, which pointed out that she faces this issue even as a streamer that never wears revealing clothing (for this reason), received many replies from other female talent complaining of the same issue. The likes of Imane "Pokimane" Anys, "QTCinderella", "Adept" and others replied, and one complaint that was fairly common was the failure of sites like Reddit to clamp down on subs that host and share such behavior.
Reddit has long been known as a site where somewhat questionable material has been shared, from the notorious jailbait subs to /r/fatpeoplehate and the incident that saw many celebrity nudes posted. According to Adept, users there will even photoshop pictures of streamers heads onto nudes and share them with other users, with the site refusing to take action at any stage.
The sexualization is also accompanied in many cases by outright abuse, with VALORANT talent member Geo "Geometrics" Collins stating she had not just been linked to two subs sexualizing her, but had also simultaneously been called a "sl*t" for her attire. This incident only highlights the struggle for female creators, but the difference today is the likes of Lulu, Pokimane, and more have the influence and audience to make this a serious issue for the likes of Reddit and other such websites.