By SASHA SCULLION
Sitting in Shelby Rooks’ living room doesn’t necessarily offer any insight to her life: the room is as uniform as every other unit at the student accommodation. But it’s what she does in the confines of this home that has made her lucrative cash-flow on Onlyfans.
Onlyfans is a platform for subscribers to pay for creators’ content. With its loose rules on what can and cannot be posted, a multitude of creators make X-rated and personal content for their followers – including Shelby, who has garnered more than 2100 subscribers on the platform and more than 50,000 on Instagram.
Before Onlyfans fame the 19-year old was struggling to make ends meet while juggling her law degree until a friend suggested joining the platform.
“I was pretty broke at the time so I was just like ‘if it could just pay my rent that’s great’ but I didn’t really think about it that much until someone told me to do it,” she says.
With her hourglass figure and winsome pout, it comes as no surprise that her popularity soared with followers but Shelby did not always have self-confidence that is requisite to her job title. Body image issues stalked her and she struggled with an eating disorder in her early teens.
“I really wanted to lose weight when I was 14 and obviously the less you eat the faster it will happen so I was just wasn’t really eating and it was pretty bad,” she says. “But then the whole ‘thicc’ trend came along and you wanted to have a big booty so I then had to eat and my mindset just switched so much from like ‘Okay I need to be skinny as f*** and have a thigh gap’ to now ‘Okay now you’ve got to stay skinny but grow your body so now you have to eat’.”
The days of feeling ashamed of her body are behind her, but her shape is still top of mind. Shelby’s days are consumed with creating and producing content, always looking for new ideas to keep her customers satisfied.
Her content varies but always leaves something to the imagination. “It’s nothing naked, the most explicit thing I take is probably a nude booty pic as in I just don’t have a thong on; you can’t see anything I just don’t have a thong on,” she says.
Equipped with only her collection of flared pants that accentuate her physique and skills needed to perform the moves that make her followers donate generous tips, her content also includes but is not limited to twerking videos, cheek-clapping and underboob photos. But with an open inbox, her subscriber requests are far from the norm.
“This one guy wanted me to get into adidas slides, film me getting into them, walking down to the car and then basically drive around for 10 minutes with the phone camera on my feet and just showing me working the pedals. I got $200 bucks for that,” she laughs. “I also get a lot of farting requests.”
Shelby says a lot people think you have to be totally naked and if they subscribe to the $5 sale they will get to see ‘her tits’. “It’s not like that at all,” she says.
Only starting on the platform in March, Shelby’s popularity has bolstered her bank balance, but the negative stigma of sex-work still overshadows her success.
“I feel like a lot of people don’t like to be associated with me sometimes,” she says. “Obviously I get a lot of people say ‘you do Onlyfans: you’re a sex worker’ – all that type of stuff and it has quite a negative association with it. But yeah I’ve had few people who don’t talk to me anymore.”
Within a few short months on Onlyfans has given Shelby the freedom to live her life the way she wants to.
“It’s life changing honestly,” she says.