For those of you not familiar with me, let me give you a brief rundown. I am a Miami multimedia journalist who gained notoriety in 2007 after I was arrested for photographing cops against their wishes.
That incident prompted me to launch a blog called Photography is Not a Crime where I began documenting the ongoing police abuses against photographers.
The blog became popular on a national level, especially because I was breaking stories that were being ignored by the mainstream, but also because I had several more run-ins with police and security guards involving my cameras, including a couple more arrests, including one in January 2012, as well as a victorious appeal in 2009 in which I had a conviction reversed while acting as my own lawyer.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had inadvertently created a “brand” for myself, something that goes against everything they taught me in journalism school.
After all, branding is a marketing word, a term used to sell a product, something that newspapers clearly don’t know how to do.
The Old Media journalist in me was uncomfortable. The New Media journalist in me was curious.
Especially in February 2011 when Chevy let me borrow a brand-new Camaro for a week with the expectations that I would document my adventures on Twitter and on Facebook.
The Chevy lady who reached out called me a “social influencer.” I had never seen myself in that way before but I wasn’t about to argue with her about it.
The Hair Transplant
Now a South Florida doctor is giving me a hair transplant in exchange for documenting my experience on this blog.
Dr. Ricardo Mejia is considered one of the top hair restoration doctors in South Florida and has been featured on CNN.
He’s been so busy restoring hair that he hasn’t had time to create a social media platform. That’s where I come in.
Is it journalism? Not exactly, but I will be providing a very honest and accurate account on the hair transplant procedure, recuperation and progress as my new hairline fills out.
Is it marketing? Yes, but very risky marketing considering I’ve never been one to bite my sarcastic tongue, even if it bites the hand that feeds me.
Is it social media? Yes, but it is a realm of social media that I call putiando, which is Spanish for whoring, a term most who practice it will never admit to doing.
I am essentially whoring my brand for a free hair transplant, something I would never be able to afford otherwise because at the heart of it, I’m just a journalist with a knack for getting myself arrested (and acquitted).
As you can see in my latest mug shot, I am not completely bald but I have a receding hairline, about a 4 on the Norwood scale of hair loss, which means that I’ve gone through three stages of hair loss but have another three stages before I go completely bald.
In other words, I am the perfect candidate for a hair transplant.
I am 43-years-old. Single. Heterosexual. With an active (and sometimes inactive) dating life.
And a rapidly receding hairline as you can see from my latest mugshot.
Lately, I’ve been traveling around the country speaking about First Amendment issues regarding photography in public places and I also get frequently interviewed on television.
And I’ve had conversations with Hollywood producers about doing a reality show about PINAC where we go around testing authorities on the law regarding public photography.
Right now, it is just an idea being discussed but that can always change.
And I want look the best I can if it does happen.
But this blog is not just going to be about the hair transplant. It’s going to be about so much more, including diet, health, exercise and dating.
Yes, I will do my best to figure out what exactly do women look for in a man by posting a multitude of video interviews. But I will also be doing video interviews on men on things they’ve learned in life, especially regarding business and women.
This blog will be about a man who has lost 20 pounds since October after realizing he needed to make some serious changes in his lifestyle. A man entering middle age who is refusing to let himself go.
And that, of course, includes his hair.
Some may call it a mid-life crisis. I call it a mid-life awakening.