All people wear masks. It's a way to hide their faces, or their intentions, or their real selves.
But for Dream, an anonymous gamer that has been streaming games for years, it was a way for him to hide his identity.
And when he finally decided to reveal himself, his fans and followers couldn't help themselves but to stay tune.
"My name is Clay, maybe you’ve heard of me, maybe not," he posted in a YouTube video. "Maybe you clicked on this video out of pure curiosity and you don’t care who I am."
That, until things go south.
Dream’s face reveal literally showed the true nature of the internet.
Will be premiering my face reveal video on YouTube in around 2 hours.
My next tweet will be a picture of me and my best friends finally being together.
— Dream (@Dream) October 2, 2022
While a lot of people have positive reactions, a lot of trolls began insulting the influencer's appearance.
Dream, a 23-year-old Minecraft YouTuber has more than 30 million subscribers.
For years, he appeared in public using his iconic smiley face, which has been intentional to cover his face.
Dream's faceless persona, and the way he played game, was praised by many. He even sparked fan arts, who created the works based on Dream's hype and mystery.
In an interview, he once spoke about "not being able to express myself fully."
But that statement changed when his best friend and fellow Minecraft YouTuber GeorgeNotFound is moving from the UK to the U.S..
Dream felt that it was time to finally reveal his face, in the hopes that he and GeorgeNotFound can do more videos together, with their faces.
He added that he also wanted to live a more public life, and "start doing things" including meeting fellow internet creators.
The mask is coming off… see you all very soon :)
— Dream (@Dream) September 23, 2022
The moment was kind of awkward at first. This is predictable since it was indeed Dream's first experience being unmasked during work.
He sat alone in a dark room with black walls.
Despite having spent countless hours working as one of the most popular gamers on YouTube, Dream looked slightly uncomfortable about being on camera.
First, it may seem that his "best" looks is his left, considering that he kept viewers from seeing the right-hand side of his face. And second, he explained that he wasn’t used to the way the video mirrored the feed.
In this moment, Dream just seemed like a normal person, stripped from the smiley-face attribute that was once part of him.
Things didn't go out as planned.
Soon after he unmasked himself, Dream's mystery instantly diminished.
It appears that it was his smiley mask that was holding everything back, and that the anxiety-inducing moment of unveiling his face, was the climax of Dream's hype.
Dream, now unmasked, is making himself no longer a untouchable celebrity.
It didn't take long until the internet insults and mocks his face.
Some of the top trends on Twitter following his face reveal was "He’s Ugly," with some commenters bemoaning the fact they waited up just for a "mediocre" looking guy to show his face.
Some even likened him to Rumpelstiltskin from the Shrek movies.
But regardless, Clay is no stranger to haters.
In fact, Dream who has been building an internet presence since 2014, has occasionally garnered controversy for cheating at the game and said he’s received some hate online.
At one point, he even claimed that the FBI reached him about a "threat" on his life.
The hype of Dream, masked and unmasked, shows how the social media sphere has given birth to a generation of extremely visually-driven people who are only pleased by instant gratification.
On various social media platforms, users crave the picture-perfect influencers, who showcase themselves airbrushed to perfection. Dream simply doesn't meet most people's standards, so what it seems, and this is why many started bullying him.
Without his mask, Clay is defenseless. He could no longer hide behind that smiley face when someone attacked him.
Clay had to bear his face, simply because according to him, the lack of a face is a limiting factor in his career.
To do what he wanted to do, had to publicly show his face.
He had to unmask, and throw away that smiley face identity.
Among the many that praised him for his courage (and his looks), it was Twitch, the popular gaming platform.
Can't wait to see you at TwitchCon, you handsome devil, you!
— Twitch (@Twitch) October 3, 2022