Though Allison Harvard has gone done in history as the quirkiest contestant on America's Next Top Model, it's hard to forget her days as Creepy Chan. An unwitting Internet star in the early 2000s, Allison originally made waves when plenty of deer-in-the-headlights photos of her standing on tables became easy 4chan fodder, and earned no shortage of side-eyes. Yet there was something special there. Soon enough, this living meme was using her broken babydoll style, soft-spoken mannerisms and a dash of her hemophilia obsession to win over the rest of the world.
The cult of Creepy Chan begins.
Short version: Allison rose to prominence on the Internet like forever long before Instagram was even in utero. After publishing a string of her eerie self-portraits onto her Livejournal account and other online hot spots, she made it big when mentioned in a thread of the creepiest people on Myspace circa 2006.
The term "Creepy Chan" was dubbed around 2007, and her unsettling photographs made the rounds on 4chan. She was an icon, a pretty Samara Morgan from The Ring for the Top 8 age.
But who would guess that she was lurking around Tyra Banks' corner?
Creepy Chan heads to America's Next Top Model Cycle 12.
With lank dishwater hair and an oversized tee, Allison made her debut on ANTM. She didn't waste any time telling Tyra she had an obsession with blood and was always upset that she never got a nosebleed. After a while, people recognized that it was none other than Creepy Chan creeping it real and they tuned in to watch her glamorous journey.
And yet what we learned from Allison's first ANTM stint is that beyond being a little, uh, out-there, she's also relatably introverted and awkward. After one photoshoot, she gave Tyra a hug and said, "You're really pretty!" and after the judge chides her from the stray comment, Allison grimaced. "I did such a nerd thing when I was hugging Tyra," she confessed. "I was like, 'You're really pretty. It was something I was just thinking and then I said it and I was like, 'God, I'm such a square.'" While that lack of grace made Allison totally endearing, and her confidence strengthened over the course of the show, she only ended the runner-up of the season.
Allison continued on with her life, studying fine arts at the University of New Orleans and eventually selling her car so she could move to New York. Luckily, her lovely spirit remained intact. "I mean I've heard that some people think I'm creepy," Allison said in a 2009 interview with a cat. "But I just…I just try to go about my business and try to act natural, I guess, whatever."
Anyway, here's a video of her eating fake blood ice cream recorded around the same time
What an angel.
Allison Harvard becomes an all-star.
Allison returned to America's Next Top Model in 2011 for the all-star season, gangling onto the runway looking like a very pastel Gretel after pushing the witch until the oven. The audience went crazy and Tyra was a bit bewildered by it. "We polled the audience at LA Live about each girl, and the crowd said that she was their all-time favorite," she said with a grimace. Well, yeah, Tyra, because Allison isn't a walking cardboard cut-out of a glamazon, but she's beloved anyway.
During her time there, Allison continued to be the best and invented a perfume by the name of "Honey Blood," because of course she did. And she even made the most of her music video for "Underwater." "This can totally change your life," judge Jay said. "Think how going viral worked for Rebecca Black and Justin Bieber." Not only are those bad examples, but Allison, the closeted cyber celebrity, looked terrified. And though she was anxious leading up to the shoot, she emerged in "Underwater" looking radiant.
Naturally, she was runner-up again because the world is terrible.
Allison Harvard today is still a queen.
Today it's Allison's, not Creepy Chan's, photos that are flooding the world. She's been on the cover of multiple international versions of Harper's Bazaar and she's been photographed by the legendary Ellen Von Unwerth. And from what we can tell from her Instagram, she's living an ethereal, pink-washed life in New York with her boyfriend.
And there's something wonderful, no doubt, in the idea that a spooky little internet waif could blossom into an all star, whether Tyra claims her to be or not.