If you used Twitter in 2014, or if you used the Internet really, you probably saw the rise of the new internet celebrity, Alex from Target. The young man had never expected that showing up for work in his Texas hometown would mean a chapter in his life. His entire world changed in one day.
A young girl that had a crush posted a snap on Twitter, and this decision helped Alex from Target become the newest face of the internet. Thousands of people from all around shared the internet sensation. He then received offers for talk shows, toured the country, and the whole life changed for this youngster overnight. Five years have now passed, so what has he been up to and where is he? Keep reading to learn more.
Social media made numerous internet celebrities from seemingly regular people over the last five or six years. Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube gave people new and accessible platforms to share their talent and creativity with the world. All it takes is one clever post, or perhaps a hilarious picture, and you are suddenly famous. In 2014, Alex LaBeouf appeared in a photo that flipped the internet on its head.
Becoming the face of the internet
For the 16-year-old Alex, that was just the usual day at Target when Alex. While working at the cash register, a girl grabbed a quick photo of him before he realized. She then uploaded it to her social media and things began to snowball almost immediately. Alex later said his phone had run out of battery, but his manager told him what was going on.
His manager told him that his photo was shared 30,000 times on Twitter in several hours. Alex could hardly believe what was going on, and the number kept rising. He initially thought it was some kind of a prank. The manager told him to use his own phone, and when he turned it on, he had more than 10,000 messages to his apparently leaked phone number.
His phone then crashed because of the number of messages and notifications. Alex had 144 followers on Twitter, and he jumped to 5,000 in a day. He also left the job earlier because people started coming to the store to take photos of him, and with him.
The phone call
Alex admitted he had preferred to keep himself to himself, as he is an introvert. However, all of the new attention was overwhelming and hard to ignore, and he did not know what to do. Alex then posted, “Am I famous now?” to his Twitter after it spread wildly. He then picked up the phone and heard the voice of Ellen Degeneres.
Mingling with the stars
Several days after the internet explosion, Alex traveled away for a guest appearance on “The Ellen Show”. The famous talk host interviewed young Alex about his new life and how it changed drastically in a single day. Ellen asked him if he had felt obliged to update the fans on his life, and he said that the pressure was overwhelming. During the interview, he also confessed that numerous potential wives offered him their hands in marriage.
Kicking off his career
Since then, Alex has gone through an amazing journey. Several months into his fame, Alex revealed that he had spent time touring, and met famous stars. One of his friends is the famous young singer Nick Jonas. He made regular appearances on news channels as well.
The downfalls of stardom
Although his life could hardly get any better at that point, the teen dealt with the side of fame people tend to always forget. He admitted that he was afraid to leave the house for a long time because he was not sure who would wait for him. The young Texan teen spoke about the stress he felt at the time, and that he never knew how going from a regular teenager to an internet star would change his life that much.
After the “The Ellen Show” appearance, he was offered other talk show appearances. Since he was traveling so much, he could no longer work at Target or go to school. His high school took him to court because of all the absences. Finally, he started homeschooling as he needed the freedom to travel. After this, of course, things escalated even more.
Alex from Target was one of the headliners at the 2015 Digi Tour, a festival that hosts social media stars during a month-long event around the USA. This was the first time Alex had left Texas without his parents. On the tour, he befriended the YouTube star Sam Pottorff, and they were so close that they moved in together for a few months when Alex moved to California.
Brushing it off
During the tour, the crew told Alex he had to do the worm on stage, which did not end well. Alex said they were all up all night so he did not have the energy for that move. However, he tried it, and after throwing himself, he fell flat on his face after losing balance. Alex then jumped up and brushed it off like a champ. His elegance made everyone like him even more after this.
New to the scene
Even though he is an internet sensation, Alex was not the cause of his fame as he did not upload the famous snap. At the time, he had little knowledge of handling his followers and successfully managing his accounts. On the tour, he learned from the pros, as the Vine stars like King Bach, as well as others, showed him the ropes. He admitted it was hard to keep up, but he managed and got the hang of it.
Before his fame, Alex rarely used the camera. His tour friends also helped him and showed him how to ride his popularity train the best he can. He still had plenty to figure out on his own, however. To make and keep his fans happy, Alex opened a YouTube channel. He revealed it took efforts to get the sound quality right so that he can produce professional videos.
Making a comeback
During recent months, Alex came back to the YouTube scene. He uploaded a video titled “RIP #AlexFromTarget”, and the fans were worried. He explained the old Alex was gone, and that now he is Alex Lee. Since then, he had regularly uploaded videos. It seemed like he wanted to rebrand himself with this, which is understandable. He now has 13,000 subscribers.
The truth comes out
Alex moved to Los Angeles and built a life for himself. The internet star spoke about the more horrific things that happened to him since he has become famous. One of his managers managed all of his social media pages. Reportedly, he stole around $30,000 form him during his work. Other managers over the years told him they could make him bigger, but left him shortly after that.
After his photo went viral, numerous people started to claim credit for his fame. Breaker was one of them. This company brings fans into fandoms as their line of work, and they say this is exactly what they did for him. Dil’Dominé Leonares, the CEO of the company, said they experimented with the photo in order to see how many fangirls would post it. Alex and girl who snapped the picture denied these rumors.
Keeping the fans up to date
Except for YouTube, Alex from Target also appears on YouNow, a live streaming chat site that allows the fans to watch live videos of Alex answering questions. These usually revolve around what he likes and dislikes, or how his life is now. On both platforms, he is accompanied by Kelsey, his girlfriend. She is there to support her boyfriend, as he sometimes struggles to remain calm while alone.
Alex met Kelsey Carpenter when he moved to LA, and they were neighbors. When Alex saw Kelsey for the first time, he asked her on a date to a restaurant, Denny’s. She agreed, and so they began dating. Uploading a photo of them together, broke the hearts of thousands of his female fans around the world.
By his side
Kelsey moved to LA after traveling 2,000 miles from Chicago. She took a teaching job, where she teaches dance to young children. Kelsey is her boyfriend’s biggest fan, and she said she does not mind the messages he gets from fangirls. She knew about his fame before they met, and as she confessed her landlord revealed to her that Alex from Target would be her neighbor.
Living the high life
Alex has more than 1.5 million followers on Instagram, who can see all of what he does daily. He posts photos of his Jeep, his tattoos, his time with friends, gym workouts, and of course, Kelsey. He is still close with Nick Jonas, as well as Laura Prepon, the acting star of “Orange is the New Black” and “That ‘70s Show”.
Since his popularity in 2014, Alex has cut his locks, got several tattoos, and grew up. On his shoulder, he has had a Japanese cherry blossom as he like that art style. He also has a “his and hers” wave tattoo on his arm, something he had done with Kelsey. He also has his sister’s favorite quote from a poem across his ribcage.
Brand new hairstyle
He left fans speechless when they saw what he had done with his hair. The vibrant blue locks were hard to miss on their Instagram feeds. He received mixed reactions from them. He soon changed it again, and today, Alex again has his dark blonde hair.
No singing and dancing career
Many people wanted to know if Alex would use his fame to try his luck in other areas of entertainment. He quickly revealed that he could not dance or sing, which ruled these possibilities out completely. He also has no interest in modeling. At that time, he seemed to have wanted to have a normal life despite his sudden fame.
A new Alex?
Since Alex became famous, people started spotting other retail workers. At one T-Mobile store, a customer took a photo of a worker, and “Kiernan from T-Mobile” craze was born. This picture also took the internet by storm, and thousands shared the photo. However, the true identity of this person was never discovered.
Keeping true to himself
Alex revealed a lot from his days as Alex from Target. The Internet star confessed managers scripted everything he did to keep up the character who was popular. This meant nobody knew the true Alex. However, this changed and Alex promised his fans that everything he says is 100% true and that he will always stay true to himself.
Over the years on various social media, Alex accumulated plenty of advice for others. The money theft, having his 150,000 subscriber YouTube channel deleted, and other things, left Alex with some wise words. He has warned people that the Internet is a dangerous place and that they should be careful who they trust. Alex learned the hard way that the youngsters who want to make their way in the world should do a lot of research before making any important contacts or deals.
Even though he is a successful social media persona, Alex decided his life should no longer only revolve around the Internet. He feels the life that kind of life is too risky to maintain as a permanent and only career. Alex instead wants to go back to school and train to become an EMT.
The future is bright
During the years of his fateful Twitter photo, Alex has grown up a lot. He moved to different states, got his much-needed self-confidence, and changed his appearance. He is more ready than ever to focus on the future, and even though his Alex from Target life is gone, Alex has an amazing launch pad for a successful career. He is still very young, and whatever he decides to do next, his fans know he will be great at it.