If you’ve spent any time online this week, you’re probably at least vaguely aware of the Twitter sensation that is “Alex from Target.”
The 16-year-old Target employee, whose full name is Alex LeBeouf, became an almost-instant internet celebrity when a shopper snapped a stealthy shot of him bagging groceries. The photo was posted on Twitter and, for reasons beyond our comprehension, it went mega-viral.
— brooklyn (@brooklynjreiff) October 26, 2014
In a matter of days, Alex went from having 144 Twitter followers, to having more than 600,000. These are just some of the reasons #alexfromtarget has us kind of confused.
1. He didn’t do anything
It’s one thing for someone to get internet famous for actually doing something. Videos go viral all the time when ordinary people do extraordinary things, like show off secret talents or promote important issues. But Alex literally did nothing. And since he was at work and didn’t have his phone, he even claims he didn’t know about the photo until his manager showed it to him near the end of his shift and, by then, it had already gained so much traction, he had 5,000 new Twitter followers. I mean, maybe he’s really good at bagging Target items, but normally that’s grounds for being named employee of the month, not internet fame.
2. He’s being compared to Justin Bieber
There’s no denying Alex and the Biebs have some similar features (or maybe it’s just the hair — I don’t really get Justin Bieber, either). But Justin Bieber is more than a shaggy mop of hair — his fame was built on his music, at least at the start. Alex has no musical talent that we’re aware of.
3. He seems as confused about this as we are
Since he reached celebrity status, Alex has appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Extra. He has been interviewed by major news outlets and, in every interview, he seems just as baffled as we are as to why he’s become such a sensation. It just goes to show there’s no getting inside the minds of teenage girls, who are largely responsible for the spread of Alex’s Twitter empire.