Former Viral Stars Explains Torture That Comes With Instant Fame And Some Of The Stories Are Absolutely Depressing
Caite Upton. Mahir Cagri. Judson Laipply. Ted Williams. Harry and Charlie.
We all vaguely recognize the names, maybe can even place the faces, because for about 15 minutes (or slightly longer) it felt like the entire world was talking about them.
To refresh some memories, Upton was the Miss Teen USA contestant from South Carolina who blanked in front of all of the world and discussed “and the Americas” for much too long. Cagri was looking for love by putting up his own dating website. Judson showed us the evolution of dance. Harry had his finger bitten but little brother Charlie.
New York Mag caught up with these people, and a few others, to find out what happens after the 15 minutes is up. Only a few of these subjects really wanted the fame or notoriety. Most just happened to be in the right place at the right time on the vast wasteland that’s the world wide web. Most have a pretty melancholy story to tell but perhaps Upton’s is the saddest.
I lost a lot of close friends over it — people I’d been friends with since I was 10, people I grew up playing soccer with. One group of girls took me to this party at the University of South Carolina, and I walk in, and the entire USC baseball team surrounded me and bashed me with the harshest, meanest comments I had ever heard. And somebody once put a letter in my parents’ mailbox about how my body was going to be eaten alive by ants and burned in a freak fire. And then it said, in all caps, GO DIE CAITE UPTON, GO DIE FOR YOUR STUPIDITY. That’s the kind of stuff people would say to me for two years.
I definitely went through a period where I was very, very depressed. But I never let anybody see that stuff, except for people I could trust. I had some very dark moments where I thought about committing suicide. The fact that I have such an amazing family and friends, it really, really helped. [Begins to tear up] Sorry, it’s just really emotional. This is the first time I’ve actually been able to talk about it. It was awful, and it was every single day for a good two years. I’ve only spoken to my fiancé about how I felt in those moments truthfully, and my best friend. And, recently, my mom. But, like, my dad doesn’t even know yet.
The past few years, going brunette, I have not had any recognition for the Miss Teen USA Pageant at all. But I also get recognized for having a similar name to Kate Upton. So I’ll go into my auditions and be like, “Yes, yes, I know — I’m the other one.”
All that because she fucked up an answer in a stupid beauty pageant. Sad.
[via New York Mag]