The economic downturn has forced many businesses to pivot – a technique reality TV contestants were early adopters of when they decided to retrain as purveyors of amateur internet porn.
Remember in the olden days when people wanted to enter the razzle-dazzle world of showbiz and their parents told them to have a fallback plan in case it didn't work out? So they'd study teaching or something to ensure they'd never go hungry. Well, times have changed. Now the fallback option is selling nudie pics to strangers online.
The online content sharing platform OnlyFans has been in the news a lot recently. For the uninitiated, OnlyFans is a site where users pay a subscription fee to access someone's photos and videos. It's largely used for X-rated content. There has been a spike in users since the global lockdown happened – it was reported this week 200,000 Aussies have joined this year alone and more than 5,000 of them are registered as content creators.
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When it comes to explicit material, the content ranges from suggestive selfies to hardcore sex videos and fans pay to view it. And reality TV stars apparently see it as the next logical step in their grand plan for … doing as little as possible?
Love Island contestant Vanessa Sierra is on OnlyFans and subscribers can view bikini pics or pay extra tips to receive racier content. She also shares an account with her boyfriend and subscribers can watch them doing all sorts of tricks.
Rhyce Power, who became known as Jessika's "hot brother" after appearing in an episode of Married At First Sight, is also on OnlyFans.
How explicit is the stuff he posts? Lemme tell ya, he's not shy. I don't even subscribe to his OnlyFans but a quick Google search unearthed every part of his body. He reckons he earns about $50,000 a month from the platform. Yowza.
Clearly we're all the suckers – working regular jobs like chumps for loose change. Let's just quit and start peddling bathroom selfies. On my next tax return I'll list my job title as Dick Pic Merchant.
Some guy named Chad Johnson who was on the US series of The Bachelorette declared recently he was tired of being unappreciated by the entertainment industry so had decided to retrain and upskill as an OnlyFans porn star.
It's a story as old as time – a budding influencer goes on reality TV expecting a jackpot of fame, fortune and adulation which doesn't come and, after being unceremoniously tossed aside by producers with no lucrative opportunities on the horizon, the fledgling influencer forges a path in the DIY erotica biz.
If regular people genuinely want to make a living off their sexuality or share their intimate life, that's so cool and amazing. But it seems like the motivation behind a lot of these reality TV cast-offs is just another quick grab for attention and money while doing the bare minimum.
People are using reality shows as a shortcut to easy street, and when they end up in the middle of nowhere they feel robbed and victimised. I miss the days of yore when a reality star's Plan B was becoming an Instagram ambassador for off-brand teeth whitening lasers.
I bet Cate Blanchett feels stupid. Before she hit the big time, she was slogging it out in those Tim Tam commercials. If the internet was around, she could've just coasted along doing racy DIY videos until Hollywood came calling. She's probably spewing.
"Everyone seems so shocked yet in a couple of years it will be the norm to have an OnlyFans account," that Love Island chick Vanessa told Daily Mail. "The same people who made a joke of us when we were on TikTok are now the ones obsessed with the app. This will be no different."
We're still joking about people on TikTok – but what she's saying is correct.
Beyonce sent the internet wild this week when she dropped a reference to OnlyFans in the remix of Megan Thee Stallion's song "Savage".
"Hips TikTok when I dance, on that Demon Time, she might start an OnlyFans," she rapped.
Once Beyonce starts singing about it, it's only a matter of days before the Kmart mums are all over it.
TikTok was originally a safe haven for teenagers. Then the coronavirus happened and we were all locked in isolation and people over the age of 25 swarmed the platform and began misusing it. TikTok was a place for funny, well-crafted videos. Now old people in isolation are just posting random clips of themselves hanging out at home while drinking box wine. Save it for your Facebook Stories, old people! TikTok's not the place for it.
By next week, the Kmart mums are going to be on OnlyFans posting about their slow cooker meal prep and all the amateur porn stars are going to have to find a new place to hawk their wares.
My elderly neighbour Judith has now found out about TikTok.
"They mentioned it on ABC. I can't find the website. Should I be on it?" she asked.
Oh boy, Jude. You should absolutely not be on TikTok.
By next week, she'll have an OnlyFans account.