THE SOCIAL MEDIA STAR AND TEEN IDOL LANDS HIS OWN REALITY TV SHOW. BECAUSE OF COURSE HE HAS.
Afew months ago, Cameron Dallas, the social-media-phenomenon-turned-model, singer and actor, switched off his phone and went to Hawaii. “I did post a couple of photos of the beach,” he admits a bit sheepishly, “but not many.” For a 22-year-old who made his name through various social media platforms – at last count, his Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram and Youtube accounts had almost hit 45 million people – this was a big deal. “I had two big anxiety attacks – the only two I’ve ever had in my life – and realised I needed some time to myself and to unwind. It was good to take a break.” While he may have needed some time out, Dallas’ devotion to his fan base remained firm. Made up mostly of teenage girls, there’s a real authenticity and closeness to their online bond. “People get to choose who they follow, so they follow me for me,” he says. “It’s super humbling and awesome.” For La-born Dallas, fame came knocking five years ago when he started calling himself a model and posting photos. “I had no idea at all how to model,” he recalls, “but people would start to follow me. “So, I would go to these start-up companies and say, ‘I have all these followers… how can we work together?’ And they would go, ‘Yo, we’ll give you a free beanie and pay you 150 bucks.’” Then, when Dallas started posting six-second Vine videos of himself mucking around (hanging upside down in buses, sliding across floors, chilling out with friends) things started to get a little crazy. To date, his videos have attracted some 2.4 billion ‘loops’, or views. Dallas says the appeal of those videos is simple: “I like to post positive content and I like to try and make people smile. That’s why those videos are popular. I don’t fake it.” And things are about to get even bigger with the launch of his Netflix reality series, Chasing Cameron, which follows Dallas and his mates around the world dealing with being “social media stars”. His aim with the show is to “educate people on how the social space works. “I want to reveal how powerful it is and also show people there’s a big generational gap between the millennials and other generations because of it.” The series occasionally features Dallas dealing with teenage fans in various stages of being starstruck – from surprise to inconsolable sobbing. At times it makes for uncomfortable viewing. “It comes with the job and I understand that, so when things like that happen, I’m prepared,” he says. “It’s sometimes unfortunate because these are really serious problems that [these girls] have. It’s a big responsibility because I feel like I have to have an answer for them to make sure that when they walk away, they feel better about the situation, but I just try to give my advice.” When asked whether he’s had to rein in his social media presence after Kim Kardashian’s Paris incident, he becomes unusually subdued. “It’s an interesting topic. You just have to be super careful all the time.” Dallas recently shot a campaign for Dolce & Gabbana and says that, in future, he wants to focus more heavily on music and acting. “I’m dabbling in some stuff like that right now,” he says. “I just want to continue to do what I love. I’m not the sort of person who wants to live my life doing just one thing. I like to go around and do as many things as possible.” Chasing Cameron is now streaming on Netflix