HBO has a fascinating documentary on Chris Crocker – he’s not a popstar, he’s not a rockstar, he’s not a pornstar.. but he is a CROCKSTAR proclaims his Twitter bio. Chris Crocker gained YouTube fame in the early days with his impassioned appeal to “LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE“. The Chris Crocker of 2007 bares little resemblance to the Chris Crocker of 2012, now 25 years old as of yesterday, December 7.
Me @ the Zoo follows Chris on his journey from being a bullied gay teen growing up in Nowhere Tennessee in the not-so-distant past when it was still OK to treat gay kids as less than human. Forced to be home schooled because his family feared for his life, Chris turned to YouTube to express himself and connect to the world he had no access to. Watching the documentary was a true commentary on how to build an image, destroy it, and then rebuild.
I’m not going to review the entire documentary for you. I want you to watch it for yourself. What I want to share here is how you can use the movie as a cautionary tale in how to build your online image and how easily you can destroy it.
While Chris’ rise to fame was as a YouTube personality, it’s more likely your rise to fame needs a more polished approach. But we’ll look at Chris’ model “tongue-in-cheek” for inspiration.
That’s pretty much it. Chris was given a chance at a TV show and turned his image into “Chris Gone Wild”. The media outlets such as MTV backed away pretty quickly. Chris’ excessive partying, sexual behavior and exhibitionism proved he was not mature enough to take the next step and create a successful media career as a professional.
In today’s world it’s imperative that we protect our online image or it can and may very well cost us our job or career opportunities As you scratch and claw your way to recognition in your industry, refrain from creating a self-induced social profile faux pas.
The beauty of Chris Crocker’s story is that self reflection got him back on the right path. Too often we fail at something and give up. Chris failed publicly and completely. Losing his shot at a real career and his fan base. Yet he contemplated on what went wrong and what he needed to do to restore his image. The 25 year old Chris Crocker is older and wiser. And he’s still out there creating an image and a voice and is a true inspiration for tenacity and creativity.
So feel free to use the Chris Crocker model for rebuilding your image: If you fail, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and reflect on what went wrong. Then start again…
Melissa Shea is the Founder and Creative Director of FashionMingle.net and has spent over 20 years in the creative industry fueled by a love of learning about the “next new thing”. Melissa uses her entrepreneurial passion and technology skills to develop a fun and informative platform for fashion entrepreneurs that brings much-needed exposure to local fashion communities.My Website