North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Gypsy Rose Blanchard’s release is a moment for awareness, not jokes

Gypsy Rose Blanchard in a recent picture beside one from earlier in her life.
Dr. Phil
Gypsy Rose Blanchard in a recent picture beside one from earlier in her life.

Gypsy Rose Blanchard was released on Dec. 28 from Chillicothe Correctional Center in Chillicothe, Missouri, after 8 years in prison following being charged with murder and felony armed criminal action. Mere hours after being released, the media was all over her. Paparazzi began snapping pictures of her while shopping with her husband, and Mrs. Blanchard posted pictures on her newly created profiles showing her and Ryan Anderson, her husband. Since then, she has acquired 9.8 million followers on TikTok and 8.3 million followers on Instagram in an incredible amount of time.

It didn’t take long for users of those social media sites to begin obsessing over her, posting edits with clips from her previous and recent interviews and creating posts with screenshots of things she has written online. However, the spotlight on her is focused on delving into her personal life and romanticizing her previous life, indicating that the majority of those expressing their opinions and thoughts regarding her are uneducated about the specifics of her situation. Instead, Blanchard’s release and magnetizing pull on the media should be used as an opportunity for subjects like abuse and Munchausen syndrome to be brought to light. If her whole story were told, the public could become more educated, and many communities could benefit from the media interest in Gypsy.

Instead, Blanchard’s release and magnetizing pull on the media should be used as an opportunity for subjects like abuse and Munchausen syndrome to be brought to light. If her whole story were told, the public could become more educated, and many communities could benefit from the media interest in Gypsy.

Her story starts at her birth in 1991, when Dee Dee Blanchard, her mother, claimed she had sleep apnea. Fake claims made by her mother only progressed as Gypsy grew older. At 8 years old, Dee Dee described to doctors the symptoms of leukemia and muscular dystrophy, which led to Gypsy being required to use a wheelchair and feeding tube. Throughout the years, there were also multiple other medical conditions she alleged Gypsy had, like seizures, asthma, hearing impairments, and visual impairments. Because of Dee Dee’s various claims, she was placed on numerous medications with detrimental effects, like the rotting of her teeth, which led to all of them being pulled out, leading to her ability to speak becoming impaired.

The list of awful events Gypsy endured continues, including going through multiple major surgeries on her eyes, the removal of her salivary glands, and being forced to shave her head at an age in a young girl’s life in which appearance is crucial. In addition to the health aspects of Mrs. Blanchard’s journey, there are also numerous aspects in relation to the toll these traumatic events took on her mental health that would later lead her to make regrettable decisions.

Firstly, Gypsy and her mother constantly moved from place to place, state to state, each time a doctor grew suspicious of Dee Dee’s claims referring to her daughter’s health or began to ask too many questions, which only enabled her even more because the constant moving gave a reason for missing medical files. Moving constantly, especially as a child, has been proven to cause children to have greater behavioral problems and affect their ability to socialize well. These effects accumulated inside of Gypsy and could be a partial explanation for the way she chose to act out later in life.

Throughout Gypsy’s life before prison, she was burdened with the weight of having to keep secrets, which no child should ever have to. As Gypsy grew older, she began to understand that her so-called “health conditions” were all a lie. When she brought these concerns to her mother, she was silenced, told she was crazy, and ultimately fed even more lies. Dee Dee would later instruct Gypsy to be completely silent during all doctor appointments and coach her on what to say to her few friends and family.

As a result of the ultimate control Dee Dee had over Gypsy as her main caregiver, Gypsy was incredibly sheltered. She remarks having few friends and very little communication with family members. Those factors—her mental health and family life—led to her outburst and the need to break out of the situation she was in. Her final cry for help was conspiring with her boyfriend, whom she met online, to kill her mother and following through with the plan.

During the time that Gypsy began growing up and gaining a better understanding of the atrocities that were happening to her, distrust and hate began to bubble inside her. She was unable to trust and confide in her mom, a person she should have been able to. Gypsy didn’t have a mother protecting her and shielding her from any harm that came her way, but a mother who was instead inflicting pain and abuse upon her.

It is now understood that her mother exhibited symptoms of Munchausen syndrome by proxy, which explained her need to fake her daughter’s severe health conditions in order to receive praise and sympathy for taking care of a sick child. Although Gypsy’s story is incredibly sad and disheartening, it can also be learned from and used to educate millions of people about Dee Dee’s disorder and the signs of childhood abuse.

The next time you read a post or see an edit about Gypsy, try your best to keep everything you’ve learned about her in mind and take the time to see more than what the media is choosing to put a spotlight on.

The next time you read a post or see an edit about Gypsy, try your best to keep everything you’ve learned about her in mind and take the time to see more than what the media is choosing to put a spotlight on. Blanchard’s story has educated millions, and who knows, maybe with the knowledge you now have, you could save someone from being put in the same situation she once was in.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Lolah Slagg, Reporter
Lolah is a sophomore at Niles North and this is her first year on North Star News. In her free time she enjoys playing soccer, reading, or hanging out with friends.

Comments (0)

All North Star News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *