That’s Meme in the Spotlight!

Andy Warhol was once quoted as saying, “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” It may have sounded silly in the age of television and print ads, but now, with the internet, I’m starting to think he might have been on to something.
Matchmaker Meme Problems
I’ve introduced you to selfies, hashtags, photo bombing, face-swapping and now it’s time to review memes. Memes (rhymes with teams) are viral photos, concepts, or catchphrases that spread across the internet primarily with the intent to make people laugh. Around here, we like our memes. They add another layer of levity to Bob’s Thoughts for the Weekend and these Monday morning posts.

But it’s easy to forget that most memes are photographs – of real people. From stock photo models to funny family pics uploaded to websites like Reddit and Imgur, these folks get shared and re-shared without context or consent.
While it can be a double-edged sword, another great thing about the internet is our ability to check in with these viral superstars and see how they feel about their fame.
Matchmaker Meme Success Kid
This picture (above) has been recycled again and again for the “First World Problems” memes that poke fun at the minor inconveniences indicating just how good we all really have it. The photo is of Silvia Bottini, a beautiful actress and model from Varese, Italy, who doesn’t seem to have any “problems” with her first-world internet fame.

Seen this little guy (right) around? He always accompanies a surprise success – either a genuine victory, or something related to his kid status. (“Mom took my nose/GOT IT BACK!”) The kid, Sam Griner, had his photo snapped at the beach in 2007 while picking up a fistful of sand, and it almost instantly went viral. But in 2009, when dad Justin needed an emergency kidney transplant, the family’s healthcare coverage was unable to fund the surgery and transplant. The family took to crowdfunding, and Success Kid’s popularity got them the help they needed.
Matchmaker Meme Pretty Convict
Some folks don’t want to go viral, but maybe they need to. When Meagan McCullough was arrested in 2010 for a DUI, her mugshot went viral after being posted online. Everyone thought she was dreamy in her orange jumpsuit, but Meagan viewed her mugshot differently – as a wake-up call for her bad behavior. Today, Meagan works as a medical assistant and raises her four children. She has also sued an online background check company for using her image in its advertising campaigns.

From professional modeling photos to family snapshots to mugshots down at county, just about any photo can turn into a meme. Let’s hope it doesn’t last for much more than fifteen minutes, if it happens to one of us!


Happy Monday,

P.S. Meanwhile, the cutie behind my favorite meme of the moment, the Chubby Bubbles Girl, remains unidentified. Here’s why she is a meme sensation. I hope it makes her rich one day!

Chubby Bubbles Original

Chubby Bubbles 6

Chubby Bubbles 1

Chubby Bubbles 2