America’s Tweethearts / Vanity Fair Magazine

The Downside of Internet Fame

I love Lissie. Her new song “Shameless” is beautifully representative of my distaste for the public image I've portrayed since my “internet fame” days.

I stole your magazine The one with the beauty queen on the front I see her look at me, I swear that it is mockingly What the fuck?

Here are my annotations of her lyrics. They represent my story and the invisible monster I fight everyday.

I wanna run, run far away I gotta get far away from you I gotta keep my identity And focus what I can do, oh!

I have a strong desire to run far, far away from my “hey look at me” days. Although I am aware how it's benefited my career, it's far from representative of my true self and what I have to offer.

The personal brand is a shameless famemonger.

I don’t want to be famous If I got to be shameless If you don’t know what my name is So what, so what?

The climb to internet fame and recognition is a shameless game. It's all fun and experimentation at first. But it quickly grows into its own being, leaving the real you behind.

I don't know what this game is Cause I'm not not even playing it

At first you take on an identity that is sexy enough, controversial enough or weird enough to break through the clutter and grab people's attention, but it's easy to cross the invisible line.

If you don't know what my name is So what, so what?

The line has been crossed. You are trapped. The recognition you have been searching for is here, but it feels foreign and fake. All you can do is remind yourself that this is what YOU wanted. So own it. Take the reins of the new self you decided to be.

She’s just a chickadee They chose her for celebrity It’s all a stunt

And then, once you've achieved the attention you were hoping for–the little bit sexy, little bit controversial, little bit wacky–it's never enough. The dopamine hit with each additional comment, like, retweet, follower, subscriber and fan becomes an addiction. Validated by magazine and blog mentions along with internet accollades, your new self is unforgiving and unstoppable.

Why does it get to me? ‘Til I react so angrily to the stuff?

The identity you've created becomes the skin you wear. You keep on chugging along with what's working, continually pushing the envelope, until at some point you look back and think "who is that person?”

And maybe I’m not worth your time Not a stop upon your climb It doesn’t bother me, It’s just my insecurities acting up

With any amount of influence and power comes criticism. Unfortunately it's usually from those you respect the most. It's both shocking and validating. At least they are paying attention.

So take a shot for free And photoshop the bits of me that you don’t want I’ll steal your magazine The one with the beauty queen on the front

With all this attention, now you have to be perfect. The Internet celebrity's worst enemy is themselves. Where you are, who you are with and how good you look is all up to you. You Photoshop yourself before posting it to Instagram.

You don’t know what my name is So what, so what? So, so what? So what, so what? So , so what?

It's the same with real world celebrity. We have no one to blame but ourselves. As more people validate our own existence and importance our ego grows. Yet the loyal fan (which we all are at times) looks to the celebrity for inspiration, distraction or guidance. For the celebrity, a non-chalant attention game becomes an identity that cannot be escaped.

And you decide what I should like But I don’t buy no hype Like in the magazine The one with the beauty queen on the front

There are of course the outliers, those celebrities who are exactly like the persona they portray. But for the most of us, we are but a shadow of the public personality we've molded ourselves to be.

I read your magazine, But maybe change a couple things Like just be honest, don’t be mean

I feel like an outsider trapped in someone else's Internet personality. What better option do I have than keep up with that persona? Why fix something that's not broken?

Whenever I step out of those boundaries I hear crickets. What's worse, feeding the shameless famemonger or living my authentic self? The answer seems obvious, but true change is unexplainably difficult.

I am excited and hesitant, but ready.

Now everybody fucking sing!

Watch Lissie’s awesome video here.

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