Twitch’s Body Painting Trendsetter Djarii Sets the Record Straight

Transforming what it means to be a streamer

One limb at a time, the iridescent lights shine bright on Djarii as she showcases how to remake yourself through the transformative power of dual brushes: one makeup, the other body paint. Blue lights, a leopard print rug, and a sequence of earth-toned furnishings decorate her London-based backdrop. A veteran on the platform, she’s witnessed more than your average streamer and has cemented herself as an innovator, formalizing her ascension to an official Twitch Ambassador in 2018. 

Twitch streamer Djarii done up in colorful makeup and body paint

Sophia / Djarii

"I certainly didn't plan any of this when I started doing the whole streaming thing," she laughed during a phone interview with Lifewire. "The only thoughts of content creators were YouTubers, and even then, it was still in its infancy. We just livestreamed playing games because we thought it would be fun. I would have never, ever considered this would be where we [ended up] back then."

With her body as the medium, her art and personality have cultivated an audience completely enthralled with the infectious community surrounding the enterprising streamer. Whether it's a late-night gaming stream or watching her meticulous, hours-long body paint artistry, across all platforms, over 500,000 followers await the next Djarii drop. The woman behind the handle illustrates what it looks like to be fearless and unapologetic.  

Quick Facts

Name: Sophia

Age: 27

Located: London

Random Delight: Between Two Worlds! The fantastical MMORPG World of Warcraft was her preferred method of escape. One of the largest games in the world, it also served as inspiration for her dreams of becoming a professional video game concept artist as she was part of the fandom's Deviant Art community. 

Quote: "Live and let live."

Artful Ambitions

Born in South England, Sophia was raised in Portsmouth at the corner of the island country. Her early life was one of personal trials and severe bullying at the hands of classmates. Video games became an escape for the young Sophia; they allowed the would-be streamer a way to escape reality, but makeup allowed her to cope with it. 

"It was absolutely like my sanctuary," she said. "I used makeup in such a way that it's become almost a part of me. It's a tool of my own [creative] expression, but also it's like a prison of the world that we live in where you have to look a certain way and be a certain way in order to be accepted."

Makeup became a niche. The soon-to-be streamer was infatuated with the world of art and transformation. From video game concept artistry to stylized manga, aspirations of being an artist were top of mind. That was until streaming took off.  

With a controller in one hand and a makeup brush in the other, she found herself turning to the world of livestreaming after a friend was enthused about the prospect of going live. Donning that headset and clicking the "live" button would change her life. What started as thoughtless fun would spiral into a lucrative, if surprising, career.

"My entire streaming career has been littered [with] these small moments of pride," she said. "The community [I've created] always makes me feel like I'm special and has always made me feel very loved, cherished, and cared for. Every day, they make me feel like I'm worthy."

When Body Became the Canvas

Initially focusing on video games, Sophia quickly diversified her content. Her love affair with makeup and participation in a competition solidified, for her at least, that her path toward a digital career could loop her back around to her passion for art. After being partnered in 2014, it was time to shake up the world of live streaming.

Creating a new trend can have unintentional fallout, particularly for women. While body painting may be a centuries-long art form, for naysayers on Twitch, it was seen as nothing more than a way to skirt the platform’s Terms of Service regarding sexual content. An accusation Sophia says is lobbied at women unceremoniously.

Twitch streamer Djarii sitting at a gaming station

Sophia / Djarii

"You're either hypersexualized, or you are put on a pedestal for being pure and not like the other girls. Either way, it's rooted in misogyny and sexism," she said. "A lot of viewers will kind of push this narrative that women are inherently sexual, using their bodies to elicit donations. With… the nature of painting directly on your body, there was a lot of backlash saying that I shouldn't be doing it because they perceive my body to be an object of sex."

Nevertheless, she persisted. Sophia opened up the content categories and expanded what was possible on a gaming platform. Ushering in a new set of creators and making a space for artists to flex their skills for live audiences. Her journey as a streamer has been one of innovative success. 

Sophia extends transformation beyond her person, and that transformative power led to her reshaping an entire industry. And while she recognizes there's a lot of change left to be seen, her little creative corner remains a sanctuary for the silly little artists that live in everyone.

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