One day, Chris Martin was simply browsing through photos of his beautiful daughter, Cassie, when he stumbled upon some particularly suggestive selfies. If these weren’t unsettling enough, Martin says he discovered that in the comments section, a couple of young men had left crude comments. Instead of berating the creeps for objectifying his daughter, he decided to cool the mood more creatively.
“I posed just like her, took a picture, and asked the men, 'Hey fellas, what about me?'” Martin tells Rooster Magazine.
The Spokane, Washington-based comedian continued recreating his little girl’s selfies, and in short time, the photos became an internet sensation, amassing a cult following of Instagram fans. Chris’ fan base, however, has since grown to twice the size of his daughter’s, invoking a bit of familial jealousy.
Martin’s photos are far less glamorous, yet he now has nearly 150,000 Instagram followers to his daughter's 75,000. “It’s really strange,” Martin muses, “that she can’t seem to gain more than half of my following.”
Although the recognition is gratifying, Martin tells us that replicating Cassie’s selfies is no small feat. “She has 9 tattoos and I have none, so I have to recreate them for every photoshoot, drawing on myself using just a magic marker and a mirror,” he says.
“At this point, I’ve got it down to a science, so that’s kind of frightening,” Martin laughs. The practice is tedious, he concedes, but getting permanently inked might be taking it a little too far.
Even more difficult than imitating tattoos, however, is reproducing piercings. When Cassie uploaded a picture revealing her pierced belly button, Martin remained determined to recreate her midriff shot.
“This might sound creepy, but you know when you’re a kid and you stick needles through your skin? Well, I used a pushpin head on one side and earring on the other side, and the result looked pretty convincing,” Martin confesses.
Technology has presented a bit of a challenge, as well, he explains. “In one selfie, Cassie had some app that surrounded her with snowflakes, but I didn’t have that app, so I had to tape a million snowflakes to the mirror,” Martin says.
“In another, I didn’t realize that Snapchat had a vine feature, so I just taped a literal vine to my head,” he giggles.
Yet if you asked Martin’s followers, the features he most struggles to emulate are Cassie’s curves. “I’ve been told many times that I don’t have a butt, so any time she sticks her butt out, it’s hard to recreate,” he chuckles.
In an effort to improve Martin’s booty-poppin pics, fans have offered advice on how to accentuate his humps. “I’ve gotten a lot of online tips about emulating different body parts, like how to push it out, pad it, and turn just right for the camera,” Martin says.
Cassie also helps her father craft the perfect selfie. Beyond offering stylish outfits and exemplary illustrations of the duck face, “she tells me, ‘look up so you don’t have a double chin!’” Martin says.
Chris and Cassie’s viral popularity has produced a lot of attention, yet not all of it has been positive. Lately, Cassie’s been overwhelmed with hate mail, criticizing her clothes, her facial expression, or her provocative poses.
“A lot of it is slut-shaming,” Martin says. “They’ll tell her she shouldn’t dress like that, and they’ll tell me I should spend more time with her and ask her why she does these things. You’d be surprised how many budding psychiatrists there are on the Internet.”
But in Martin’s eyes, his daughter is almost 21 years old, and an adult capable of making these decisions on her own. Of course, outsiders don’t always see things from his perspective. “Teen Vogue readers actually claimed I was shaming her and acting like a helicopter parent. But this is meant to be a little bit of teasing, and a little bit of teaching,” he says.
His daughter may still be a bit immature, Martin admits, but it seems that's a trait that runs in the family.