The man behind an infamous meme has revealed how his life was almost destroyed by his sudden brush of fame.
The viral video of Levi Hawken started as a joke between him and a friend when they skated through a park in Auckland, New Zealand in 2011.
The skateboarder and the landscape architect had found a broken scooter on the street and pretended to be the child whose scooter it was.
& # 39; My scooter left outside the dairy store (shop on the neck), & # 39; he said in the short clip before the camera shot at the broken scooter.
While the popularity of the video was snowing, Mr. Hawken began to be recognized on the street and to be called by the media for interviews.
But the skater – who had dreamed of becoming a comedian – began to realize that he was on the wrong side of the joke.
The viral video from Levi Hawken, which uses the slogan & # 39; Nek Minnit & # 39; launched as a joke between him and a friend as they walked through a park in Auckland, New Zealand in 2011
Hawken (photo) is still recognized in the streets for the 10-second clip he made in 2011
The slogan & # 39; neck minnit & # 39; was the sixth most searched term of New Zealand on Google in 2011.
What is ectodermal dysplasia?
Ectodermal dysplasia is a collection of conditions that affect the outer layer of the embryo (ectoderm) and which helps to form the skin, sweat glands, hair, teeth and nails
They are caused by being in different; the mutations can be from a parent, or normal genes can be mutated at the time of egg or sperm formation
Abnormal or missing teeth, or less than normal number of teeth.
Decreased skin color (pigment)
Low nose bridge.
Thin, thin hair.
And Mr. Hawken's face became synonymous with the sentence, both appeared in television shows and T-shirts.
The slogan was even used as a slogan for a political party during an election.
Hawken suddenly noticed that he was aiming for a never-ending joke.
& # 39; Many people thought it was funny because they thought I looked funny or I had funny teeth or I sounded funny – they laugh at you, not with you & # 39 ;, he says in the new short film MEME Me from Loading documents.
He began to feel helpless, unable to control what people were saying about him.
& # 39; You cannot do anything. And then you go on the internet and there are people who say that you are a villain or inbreeding or something. & # 39;
Nobody knew that the reason for his toothy grin was actually the result of a genetic condition called ectodermal dysplasia, which affects hair, skin, teeth and sweat glands.
As his public character got out of hand, Mr. Hawken returned to skating to escape.
& # 39; I was really worried about what I would assign my persona and credibility to, & # 39; he told the New Zealand Herald.
Hawken skated with his mate and saw a broken scooter. & # 39; I did a simulation of the child whose scooter it was & # 39;
Hawken grew up skating and went into it again as soon as the meme's attention became too much
& # 39; You have all these things you want to do and you think about how they would turn out and then something happens that overwhelms you. & # 39;
Mr. Hawken, who used to work as a landscape architect, had grown up on his shelf, it was his way to clear his head.
He now skates for the American company Sector 9 and works as an artist in Auckland, where he sells unique sculptures and paintings online.
As he rushes through the streets on his plate, people still recognize him.
Hawken said that when people stop him on the street, they still expect the character they saw in the 10-second clip. But that person is far from being a reality.
Now 43, Mr. Hawken has focused on art as a release.
He makes mixed media pieces, brutalistic garden images and abstract paintings.
He has a genetic condition called ectodermal dysplasia, which affects hair, skin, teeth and sweat glands (Pictured: Hawken when he was a child)
Hawken said that when people stop him on the street, they still expect the character they saw in the 10-second clip. But that person is far from being a reality
But he still cannot escape the fame of the meme.
& # 39; I think it is still part of everything I do. It is still a part of who I am. Children are coming, you don't really want to burn them out and say & # 39; & # 39; Beyond the memes, I am now an artist & # 39; & # 39 ;.
Hawken managed to make money with his slogan, which appeared in advertisements around the world.
& # 39; I created an ad for lubricant. I reached my peak and then I thought: what should I do now? So I just went back to skateboarding and doing art, & he said Newshub.
He has warned those who seek fame and fortune by going viral to be careful.
& # 39; The problem is that you don't know what is going to be viral, it's completely organic. It might be the last thing you want to go viral.
& # 39; MEME Me is part of the Loading Docs collection of short documentaries. Go to to view the rest of the 2019 films https://loadingdocs.net/shorts/
Now 43, Hawken has built a career as an artist with mixed media, making brutalistic garden images and abstract paintings
& # 39; I think it is still part of everything I do. It is still a part of who I am. Children are coming, you don't really want to burn them out and say: & # 39; beyond the memes, I am now an artist & # 39;
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