Memes: Meaner Than You Think

Lara Cadete, Staff Writer



A meme is a funny image or video, that’s usually attached to a piece of text, which rapidly spreads through social media and other outlets.

Memes are all over the internet. Whether you find them on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, the people depicted in these memes get judged by millions of people around the world because of something they did on TV, or the way they look in a selfie or other photo.

Memes are like graffiti; the people who create these memes are spreading their “art.”  It’s hard not to repost or to share with friends and family members.

Overall, memes are fun and make people laugh, but do some go too far?

I love memes. I know when I’m scrolling through Instagram and I see a funny meme I laugh and share it with my friends. But I’ve never really thought about the lives of the people depicted in these humorous images.

Until now.

I recently looked into the lives of several of the subjects of some popular memes.  


Star Wars Kid

On Nov. 2, 2002, Ghyslain Raza, the person in the meme, filmed a video of him recreating some of the fighting moves from one of the Star Wars movies for a school assignment. A few of his classmates got a hold of the footage and spread it around the school. In April, 2003, a video game developer, Bryan Dube, photoshopped the lightsaber, added noises, and then blogged it. It’s since gone viral.

Raza dropped out to go to a children’s psychiatric ward because of all the negativity he faced at school. Soon after his parents sued the students’ families that spread it.


Leprechaun Girl                                                                                                     

Mariah Anderson is a little girl born with Chromosome Two Duplication Syndrome, a rare disorder which occurs when there is a genetic material of chromosome 2.  

Mariah Anderson was just this little girl celebrating her second birthday, until her mother posted a picture of the little girl’s party and people made mean comments and made a meme that was spread all over twitter.

Her mother soon responded back to the hate with a tweet hoping that would d=stop the hate, but unfortunately she might still be dealing with it.


Acne Treatment  

There are people that unfortunately suffers from acne no matter what age. Ashley Van Pevenage, from Washington, suffered an allergic reaction on her face and went to a friend who ran an Instagram page called “before and after” to cover up her acne with make-up.

After her friend posted that picture, a whole bunch of hateful comments were posted and two memes were created that became viral.

Van Pevenage got sick of the animosity and responded with a video.


Cash Me Outside

Danielle Peskowitz, a 13-year-old girl went on Dr.Phil with her mother about her “out of control” behavior. Peskowitz was on the show because her mother wanted to give her up because of her stealing a car and abusing her mother verbally.

During the show, Peskowitz threatened audience members to “Cash me outside how bow dah” (Catch me outside, how about that?, after they made some negative comments about her.


In the matter of days it became viral and she got all of the offers to star in videos and a music video.

Alex from Target  

Alex from Target is a teen who broke the internet, gaining 300,000 Twitter followers in 24 hours. Alex was just a normal teenage boy who loved playing soccer and had a job at Target.

Alex gained huge fame, he even went on Ellen. A girl from Britain claimed she found the picture on Tumblr. She thought he was “cute” according to The New York Times and shared the picture on her twitter and it became the meme #Alexfromtarget.  As his newfound fame had a lot of positives, unfortunately there were also some negatives. People were not happy with his girlfriend and she got a lot of hate towards her on social media.   

Some of these memes were made for fun and ended up changing someone’s life and or hurting their self-esteem. But not every meme ends badly for people. Most of the internet sensations today are memes like Beyonce, Demi Lovato,ect.