Someday in late 2019, Diana Deets began altering her face. An Instagram influencer and OnlyFans grownup content material creator going by Coconut Kitty, Deets had till that time regarded like a girl in her late twenties to mid-thirties. In her new footage, nonetheless—whereas her physique remained unchanged—her face step by step morphed into one thing otherworldly: Her chin grew to become pointy, her lips waxed right into a perma-pout, her eyes grew greater and languid. Some argued that she regarded significantly youthful. Some mentioned she regarded like a teen.

Deets’s followers appreciated the transformation. She says that, earlier than the change, she had about 700,000 followers on Instagram, and since then they’ve risen “exponentially” to over three million. On OnlyFans, the place she publishes express footage and movies additionally sporting her new face, Deets has amassed 10,700 paying subscribers every shelling out £8 ($11) a month—80 p.c of which works on to her.

However another person has seen the metamorphosis, too. In October 2020, individuals on Reddit began discussing how Deets had clearly been utilizing digital enhancing to restyle herself as a “prepubescent” lady, with many labeling the transfer “disturbing.” In early July 2021, common TikToker Bekah Day posted a video eviscerating Coconut Kitty for modifying her options to look “like a younger teenager,” straight-up accusing her of pandering to the “p-word” (i.e. pedophile) cohort. A number of different movies from numerous TikTokers adopted, riffing on the allegation. Deets says they’re all “hilarious” and “incorrect.” She laments having acquired “numerous” hate and threatening messages, and having misplaced one in all her sponsors, Trend Nova, following the controversy. Trend Nova didn’t reply to a request for remark.

In her retelling, the tweaking of her face into Coconut Kitty’s cartoonishly youthful simulacrum sits on the intersection of privateness and efficiency artwork. Deets says she had turn out to be weary of being acknowledged in public by her on-line followers, and that on prime of that she was in search of a method to develop her profile with the intention to promote her work. Therefore, she tried her hand at visible modification—“I’m a very self-taught digital artist,” Deets says. “I began making an attempt these enhancing packages, messing round with them,” she says of her digitally altered persona. Deets is cagey in regards to the precise methods she makes use of, however what we all know is that finally the brand new Coconut Kitty was born. (Deets has since given up on capitalizing on the thrill to promote her work. She says that the majority potential patrons who acquired in contact along with her didn’t strike her as “artwork connoisseurs” and appeared extra all for chatting her up.)

Deets denies having consciously gunned for a teenage and even youthful look. The inspiration for Coconut Kitty’s face, she says, got here extra from anime characters or Disney princesses—all of whom have a tendency certainly to be very younger (Snow White is 14, Jasmine is 15, whereas Ariel and Aurora are each 16), however at the start, Deets says, are paragons of idealized female magnificence.

“Let us take a look at their eyes, their chins,” Deets says of Disney princesses. “Have they got a youthful face? I used to be not desiring to go for a youthful face. I used to be simply making an attempt to go for a personality’s face. Coconut Kitty isn’t any totally different than Jessica Rabbit—a fictional character, a fantasy.”

Any argument that Deets is catering to pedophiles is tough to again up. Henry Adjer, a deepfake and digital media knowledgeable, says that it’s nigh-on not possible to precisely decide the age of a face. “In some circumstances, you possibly can argue {that a} face is clearly too younger. However I do not assume [Deets’s] is in that place. You’d in all probability argue that [Coconut Kitty’s] face is actually 16 and above, in all probability 18 or 19,” he says. “I do not assume there’s a method of claiming undoubtedly how outdated a face is.” (Deets received’t say how outdated she is in actual life).