LuxieGames, a 29-year-old Twitch streamer with a newborn child, has charmed the internet with a delightful but meaningful idea: When it will come time for her to breastfeed her infant, she has a plan to overlay her stream with an image that covers her from the neck down, and make it look like she’s sitting in a hot tub. The funny fix has caught the attention of many online, and is a good reminder of the career challenges facing parents who stream.
LuxieGames streams as a full-time job, and because she doesn’t get paid leave as an independent contractor, she knew it would be important to juggle being a new mom while continuing to stream and make money. But her baby needed to be fed every two to three hours, which posed a challenge with her streaming schedule.
“I was streaming and needed to feed my son, I originally was using a breastfeeding cover but they’re SO uncomfortable and hot and I can’t check on him easily. So on stream we decided it would be funny to do a censor bar originally — and then my mod Tori came up with the idea to make it look like I was in a hot tub,” LuxieGames told Polygon via Twitter.
needed a solution for breastfeeding breaks on stream, i think we nailed it pic.twitter.com/YEe1BbQnSQ— Luxie (@LuxieGames) December 5, 2022
It took some tinkering, but she and her chat eventually came up with the perfect image to cover her up. It lines up so well that it almost looks like she’s actually in a hot tub or using a green screen. The gag is a playful reference to Twitch’s “hot tub meta,” a practice where creators stream from hot tubs or inflatable kiddie pools to ensure compliance with Twitch’s community guidelines. LuxieGames said that she “adores” all kinds of creators, including hot tub streamers, so the gag isn’t meant to make fun of them.
Twitch community guidelines generally don’t allow for nudity, but the platform community guidelines contain an exception for people who breastfeed on camera. When contacted for this story, a Twitch representative pointed Polygon to the rule stating that streamers can breastfeed live.
Still, LuxieGames voiced other concerns beyond violating Twitch’s rules.
“I think obviously people on the internet will fetishize anything, so that’s my only concern,” LuxieGames said. “People constantly reminded me during my pregnancy that my baby bump was a fetish. Respectfully to those people, I’m a woman married to a woman whose job is on the internet. I’m not going to let people fetishizing me stop me from existing as a person and a mother. Otherwise I would have had to stop creating content a long time ago.”
The creator’s comment brings attention to the challenges that a parents can face online. Beyond being the subject of fetishization and scrutiny herself, she also now has her son to worry about. And while Twitch creators posting content that features their kids is nothing new, LuxieGames still holds reservations because of her own experiences online.
“I feel comfortable existing and being fetishized but the idea of someone putting content like that containing my baby is simply not something I feel comfortable with or something he can consent to,” she said.
So for now, she’s playing it safe and choosing not to show her son at all while feeding. Luckily, she found the best way to digitally cover up.