The viral 'Leave Britney alone' guy looks completely unrecognisable now

It's been 10 years since Chris Cocker uploaded his infamous 'Leave Britney alone!' video, in which he cried passionate tears in defence of Britney Spears' MTV performance and subsequent breakdown.

The year was a big one for the pop princess, with Britney checking into rehab twice, entering a custody battle with ex-husband Kevin Fererline, being charged with two counts of hit-and-run after fleeing a car accident... oh and entering a salon to take a razor to her famous blonde locks. Like we said, it was a big year which inspired memes like this:

Chris Cocker, a.k.a the 'Leave Britney Alone' guy,  fought back against the media's coverage of Spears' meltdown, posting an epic video to Youtube on September 10, 2007.

Within the first 24 hours of its posting, the video accumulated over 2 million views.

It became an icon of digital culture, that even became a case study in a media studies textbook The World Wide Web and Digital Culture: A Concise Companion to American Studies

Now, Cocker posted a new video, recognising the anniversary of the iconic rant. 

"Since today is the 10-year anniversary of the 'Leave Britney alone' video, I thought I'd say the things I have learned since I posted that video as a teenager"

"The number one thing would be to not let the things people say about you online get to you. I didn't know how to deal with it.

"My mom became homeless that year, my mom got back from Iraq from serving in the war and had addiction issues, and I was dealing with a lot in my family.

"I knew if I tried to explain that no one would listen to me, so instead what I decided to do was, 'Oh, if they think I'm a joke, then I'm gonna act like a joke'. That didn't help me out in the long run.

"Number two is don't let the words people say about you define you.

"Number three, I think we forget that the things we post online can last for a long time. Here we are 10 years later still talking about this - so definitely be cautious when you post things.

"And number four, let the haters kick f**king rocks, man."

Source: Newshub.