Who Is Cameron Dallas?
Vogue, the Guardian and TMZ have all compared the fervor of Cameron Dallas’ young internet fanbase to Beatlemania. GQ magazine has anointed him “Gen Z’s Ashton Kutcher” who “radiates ‘most popular guy in school’ energy.” The floppy-haired, boyishly good-looking, social-media superstar rose to fame on the back of his prank-filled, six-second Vine videos, and has shared his life across multiple platforms. He has more than 5.7 million YouTube subscribers, 20 million followers on Instagram, 15 million on Twitter and 3.7 million on Facebook. He has dipped his toe into acting, modeling, reality TV and music but remains best known as a sort of social-media rock star — minus the rock.
Cameron Dallas' net worth is estimated between $1.2 - $1.5 million.
Adolescence on Instagram
Cameron Dallas was born in Los Angeles on September 8, 1994, and grew up in Chino, a Southern Californian town known “for its dairy cows and dairy farms,” he joked to Teen Vogue. He was raised by a single mom, Gina, of German and Mexican descent, and has an older sister, Sierra, also now a social-media star; little about his father is in the public domain, though he reportedly has Scottish ancestry.
Gina worked as a sales rep for a paper company and often worked at home — her need for quiet so she could concentrate meant that Cameron’s friends couldn’t come over; so he spent a lot of time playing video games, such as RuneScape, on his own. He has expressed gratitude for the stable childhood his mom gave him: “She worked day in and day out to provide for my sister and me,” he told Teen Vogue. He also tweeted about his dad: “Not growing up with a Dad to be there for you sucks … especially when he could have been there all along.”
In his senior year at high school, Dallas discovered Instagram and quickly became adept at curating content and working the filters to maximize likes. The fact he is easy on the eye with his shirt off helped and was not lost on him. He even listed himself as a “model” in his bio — wishful thinking at the time. He gravitated to Twitter, YouTube, and then Vine, the short-form video platform, on which viewers could share six-second clips. “I knew Vine would blow up,” he confided to Vogue’s Janelle Okwodu, “so I decided to blow up with it.”
By now Dallas could cause pandemonium with a single Tweet — as he did in New York in 2013 when he gave out his location and ended up being chased by hordes of teenage girls, forcing him to escape up some stairs.
Cameron Dallas Conquers Vine
Dallas’ buzzy six-second videos, of him and his friends messing about, performing goofy skits, pranking each other — or the public — and sending up trending topics (such as Miley Cyrus’ "Wrecking Ball" video) were perfect for Vine and proved a huge hit. By 2014, he had a following of 8 million, making him one of the site’s top ten most popular broadcasters, and winning him the Teen Choice Award for Best Viner (he won again in 2015; then Vine folded the following year).
He consolidated his fame through his involvement in Magcon, (Meet and Greet Convention), a tour for internet personalities to interact with their audience. Instead of paying to see a concert, fans of popular Viners parted with up to $150 to meet their idols in real life; the tour broke up in 2014, but returned two years later. From the get-go, Dallas proved to be one of the main attractions — fans lined up to meet him again and again.
Acting in Movies
Also in 2014, Dallas made his Hollywood debut in the teen comedy Expelled — in which he played a prankster, not unlike himself, who flunks school and tries to hide it from his parents. Although Expelled received a lukewarm 53% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, he followed up by playing a high-school baseball player in another teen comedy, The Outfield, in 2015, which fared better, with 68%.
There have been other fleeting roles — in the short-lived TV series American Odyssey and the miniseries Trendy 5, as well as a voice-over part in the little-celebrated animated movie, Frog Kingdom. But Dallas’ appetite for acting appears to have waned: “I did two movies and… it just reminded me of homework where you have to go home and study,” he told Hero magazine in 2016. “I didn’t really do well with homework at all growing up.” He went on to say he was “interested in music” instead and “looking into doing that.” The previous year he had released a modestly successful single, "She Bad," which peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard/Twitter Top Tracks chart.
If pre-fame Dallas once exaggerated his claim to be a model, post-fame he has ended up living the dream. He has modeled for brands including Dolce & Gabbana, Penshoppe and Calvin Klein, and he brought Milan Men’s Fashion Week to a standstill in 2016. The New York Times observed “thousands” of girls “packed in behind hastily erected barricades outside the Calvin Klein show hoping for a glimpse” of Dallas. Bloomberg compared the pandemonium to “Beatlemania,” claiming that Dallas had “overshadowed a collective industry… by just showing up”.
Yet perhaps the most impressive thing about Dallas remains his work ethic. He maintains all his social-media accounts himself. “It’s crazy because I’ll go to companies and they have legit 50 people hired to run their social media,” he told Vanity Fair. “And they ask me questions about how I do certain things and how I keep up with it — and their faces, when I tell them that I do it by myself, it’s priceless sometimes.”
Netflix: 'Chasing Cameron'
His fame continues to expand in all directions, like a mushroom cloud. In 2017 Dallas appeared in Forbes magazine’s Top Influencers and 30 Under 30 lists. He also launched his own Netflix show, Chasing Cameron, a fly-on-the-wall documentary spanning 10 episodes, in partnership with Magical Elves, the production company behind Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and Katy Perry: Part of Me.
“All my life, people have asked me, ‘What do you want to be?’” he told Hollywood Reporter in 2017. “I don’t want to just be someone on social media. I’m more than just one thing.”
Dallas has occasionally fallen foul of social media after making ill-judged remarks about the opposite sex — which resonate because he has a young audience to consider. At the Teen Choice Awards in 2016 he was asked whether he’d rather use a toothbrush by Justin Timberlake or Jessica Alba: he chose Timberlake’s “because I don’t know where Jessica’s been.” After furious fans accused him of “slut shaming” Alba, he tweeted that it was “literally a joke” and “would share a toothbrush with her till I die lol.”
He was also called out in 2013 for releasing a video on his 16th birthday on the subject of “what guys look for in girls.” Given that the majority of his fans are young girls (80% are female, and 85% between the ages of 10 and 20, according to the Wall Street Journal), it was insensitive at best, especially when criticizing girls who are “obnoxious and loud” and girls who don’t shave their body hair. “This is a chance to see someone learn and grow,” Dallas said with hindsight during a Teen Vogue interview. “If I make a mistake on a piece of content, I’m going to learn from it.”
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