That Poppy: A Mystery Not Meant to Be Solved

Screenshot from YouTube video "My Kind of Woman Mac Demarco - POPPY"

This is the first video posted in 2014 by rising pop star and weird internet phenomenon “That Poppy.” Alone, it has almost 700,000 views, with the channel as a whole accumulating 65,757,235. Her subscriber count, strangely enough, remains unlisted.

From this skit, some might gather that Poppy is some weird ASMR channel. After this first video though, the only similarities are in the general composition of Poppy being centered on a pastel background. Besides that, the videos are of varying lengths, containing radically different content – ranging from four second outfit displays like in “It Fits,” to 30 minutes of the pop star playing the xylophone while donning a surgical mask in “My new song.”

Though her content is inherently strange, the episodes seem to be connected by continuous themes and characters (Which include a mannequin, a skeleton, and a house plant), leading many to try and derive a grand story behind it all.

To that end, let’s dive into some of the most popular theories behind “That Poppy”:

  1. She’s part of the Illuminati.

If you don’t know what the Illuminati is, I sincerely wonder where you’ve been hiding all this time, you pure, untainted soul. In a sentence: it’s a popular conspiracy that there is an all-powerful organization looking to establish a New World Order through using celebrity influencers. For nearly every prominent figure in Western society, there is a corresponding claim being made that they belong to the Illuminati. These accusations are made through analyzing visual imagery for the most part, with the most significant identifiers being pyramids/triangles, the all-seeing eye, and satanic imagery such as 666. For example, many suspect Beyoncé is a member partially due to her flashing the “Roc Sign,” a symbol often considered to be the signature hand-gesture of Illuminati members, during her 2013 Superbowl halftime performance.

That Poppy’s videos and connected websites are basically a field day for those looking to associate the young pop star with the organization. Perhaps the two most explicit references made in her work have been in her recent music video, “Lowlife,” where she explicitly mimics the satanic Baphomet pose. Secondly, in the source code of her website, there is an image of a pyramid topped with the all-seeing eye, titled “POPPY KNOWS ALL.”

Left: Baphomet pose; Right: Screenshot from music video “Lowlife” by That Poppy. (C) 2015 Island Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

  1. She’s one big parody of modern pop culture.

That Poppy’s obvious and repeated use of Illuminati-related imagery leads many to think that she may not be related with the organization at all, but rather, serves as a critique of modern celebrity and Internet culture. The evidence backing this is derived from specific moments across the entirety of the “Poppyverse,” including her personal YouTube videos, music, and website.

The general idea is that she documents the rise and fall of pop stars, specifically young female ones, in Hollywood today. This claim is primarily illustrated through the transformation That Poppy’s videos seem to go through. Her videos start out excessively simple and innocent (Such as reading straight from the Bible), to gaining fame and sponsorship deals, becoming increasingly pressured to be a sex symbol, and progressively getting darker as she begins to talk about escaping from a mysterious “they” who is controlling her in numerous videos:

For more information about this particular theory, there is another YouTube video by The Film Theorists which extensively argues this point.

  1. She’s a continuation of grocerybagdottv sans Mars Argo.

In July of this year, screenwriter Max Landis (@Uptomyknees) made the claim on Twitter that “Poppy” is nothing more than a rip off of Mars Argo. Wait – who, what, when, where, why? Let’s slow down.

To understand what, or rather who, Mars Argo is, we need to first break down that Poppy is not acting on her own. At the bottom of the description beneath each of her videos lies one line: “Directed by: Titanic Sinclair.” Rather than orchestrating the videos and songs herself, That Poppy is instead the main character in a story written by Titanic Sinclair. We can finally breathe a sigh of relief, normalcy reigns supreme! Sure, the guy has a weird name, but that’s Hollywood – he’s just a director with professional credential and all th-

Well shit, he’s not some rational, behind-the-scenes director figure after all. Just as much as he is the creator of the story and characters within the “Poppy-Project,” he also plays one within its universe – choosing to let his true self remain hidden to us.

Though much like That Poppy, not much is known about Titanic Sinclair, some common knowledge about him is that this is not his first project. He embarked on one that was very similar in its aesthetic with then-girlfriend Mars Argo, under the channel name grocerybagdottv. Out of the 80+ videos which used to exist of the project, only 3 remain after Mars Argo took control of the channel following the breakup with Titanic Sinclair. According to this theory, “Poppy” both physically appears and acts in a similar manner to Mars Argo. Due to the many stylistic similarities between That Poppy and the type of work Titanic and Mars did together, many speculate that this project is just branching off from where the two left their work.

Despite some believing this theory, it is nonetheless largely criticized and discouraged by the “That Poppy” fan-base, to the extent that it cannot even be discussed in the “That Poppy” subreddit, instead being redirected to a different “Mars Argo” subreddit as detailed in its rules.

Despite the abundant evidence for each of these three theories, all of this information ultimately overlaps only in part. The purpose behind That Poppy still remains a mystery. With the level of depth in each theory and the corresponding lack of responses concerning them from Poppy and Titanic, there seems to be an overwhelming suggestion that this is a mystery neither of them intend to help us solve.

What can be said about Poppy is that her story is a form of art, and like all of the best works, meaning is derived on an individual basis rather than provided by the creator. Also true is that mysteries are most endearing before they are solved. Perhaps for That Poppy, there is purposely no solution.

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