This Guy Became a Viral Meme and It Nearly Destroyed His Body

April 11th 2016

Laura Donovan

Going viral can have a devastating impact on a person's mind, and their body.

Chris Crocker, the man behind the viral "Leave Britney Alone" video, revealed in a Facebook post Monday that he suffered from severe body image issues shortly after achieving internet fame several years ago.

On Monday, Crocker shared an image from 2010, showing how much his body deteriorated in the years just after after he went viral. Next to that, he posted an image from 2016, showing him looking much healthier.


Left photo: Me in 2010. Right: 2016. My body issues started when I lost most of my career in 2010. I couldn't control...

Posted by Chris Crocker on Monday, April 11, 2016

"My body issues started when I lost most of my career in 2010," Crocker wrote, adding that he tried to control his weight to feel in control of his life. "It wasn't healthy and I was very underweight. It's taken me a long time to get comfortable with myself in this way."

Crocker, who left YouTube late last year due to harassment and feeling alienated by the community at large, noted in the comments section that he never faced bulimia or anorexia but rather maintained a vegan diet to reduce his calorie intake. On top of that, he excessively exercised.

"I would force myself to run 6-8 miles a day when I was only eating 1000+ calories, after I was already underweight," he continued. "I would run to the point of physical collapse without the proper nutrition. All I thought about was getting thinner and thinner like I was winning a contest and looking back I don't know how my body was even okay."

He also shared a photo in the comments section of himself at the "height of [his] body issues and needing to control the scale."

Chris Crocker

Crocker wrote on Facebook that he has since learned to embrace his body and accept that "it's okay to not be super thin but to be healthy."

"This is the Internet and people love to body shame," he wrote. "People love to slut shame. People like to shame you anytime you're not caring what others think and enjoying the things they're not. Whether it be food, sex, you name it. I am happy with me and you should be, too. The weight of our confidence should not be determined by our physical weight."

Crocker's fans have shown a lot of love and understanding for his Facebook post:


Crocker confronted the important and overlooked body image issues facing many men.

Women aren't the only ones facing unrealistic body image standards and appearance insecurities today. In fact, 10 million men face a clinically significant eating disorder at some point in life, according to the National Eating Disorders Association.

Earlier this year, a study published in the journal Psychology of Men & Masculinity surveyed 111,958 straight men and 4,398 gay men and found that only half of the men of either group felt satisfied with their weight. Study lead Dr. David Frederick told Refinery29 that because society views body image insecurities as "women's issues," men worry that speaking up about their own body image feelings will emasculate them.

"Without question, there are more women who are dissatisfied than men," Dr. Frederick told the publication. "But when it comes to the levels of dissatisfaction, the differences aren't that big."

Last summer, actor Matt McGorry opened up to Yahoo Health about feeling self-conscious to film a shirtless dancing scene for the Netflix series, "Orange is the New Black."

"I remember the first shirtless scene I ever did on Orange, I was obsessively dieting, and when I saw that scene before the show ever came out, I thought I had blown it," he told the publication. "I was like, 'Oh no! I didn't get as lean as I could've.' But then the show came out, and no one said anything negative about it, and it's funny because from one perspective you could say, 'Oh, he's letting himself go,' but from another perspective, I just don't need that validation I once did."

RELATED: Chris Crocker's Sad Reason for Leaving YouTube