Meme wars have become a favorite pastime of me and my friends. A few of us work with computers and on the internet for a living, so we will often engage in bombarding one particular person with memes insulting them about one thing or other. It’s all in good fun and no one usually gets their feelings hurt. What I’ve always wondered about though was the people made famous by the meme. What were their stories like? How had the fame from becoming a world-famous meme affected their life? Well I finally got my answers to some of them. Check out the stories behind some of your favorite memes below.
1. Scumbag Steve – Everyone’s favorite guy to hate, Scumbag Steve is actually named Blake Boston and he actually is kind of a scumbag. The photo that made him famous was from 2006 and taken off his mom’s Myspace account. He “says” he could have actually stopped himself from becoming a meme, but didn’t want to seem “uncool.” Sorry Blake, but no one stops the internet.
2. First World Problems – The lady from the first world problems meme was actually decently well-known before hand. Silvia Bottini is an Italian born model and actress, who even offers a public speaking course. This basically makes her the spokesperson for first world problems.
3. Stop Girl – While attending a football game between The University of Arizona and Iowa in 2010, a girl named Sarah would become famous. A camera at the game swung over to put her on television, and watch her agony unfold before the world. She insisted that the camera stop pointing at her, which for some reason caused people on Reddit to fall in love with her. She hopes to be able to put the whole thing behind her one day.
4. Overly Attached Girlfriend – The overly attached girlfriend meme was actually created in response to the horrendous Justin Beiber single “Boyfriend.” The song seems to depict an overly attached boyfriend, with such amazing lyrics as, “If I was your boyfriend, never let you go / Keep you on my arm girl, you’d never be alone.” Laina Morris was a Youtuber who decided to make a parody about the song. It was entitled Girlfriend, and it raked the Biebs over the coals about how clingy he sounded in his song. A screenshot from the video started circulating in 2012 and hasn’t stopped since. Luckily Laina was able to capitalize on it and build a career from the meme.
5. Awkward Yearbook Photo – Originally taken just as a joke. Kyle Craven’s friend ended up posting this photo on Reddit, and as often happens, someone made it famous. Kyle actually rubbed his face to make it red, squinted his eyes and puffed out his jaw to prepare for the picture. He never thought he would become famous from it though.
6. Ermahgerd Girl – The story for this meme begins with a 16-year-old kid from Canada looking through a public Facebook photo gallery. He found a weird photo that he decided to upload to Reddit. 3 years later while on a backpacking trip in India, Maggie Goldenberger was messaged by a friend to tell her that she has become a world-famous meme. She is now a nurse in Phoenix, Arizona.
7. Disaster Girl – While looking like a child with incredibly cruel intentions, the girl in this photo is actually very normal. The girl and her father, Dave Roth, were attending a local fire department training exercise in 2004 when he snapped this shot of his daughter. Even though she has grown up, she still has somewhat of a diabolical look on her face.
8. Success Kid – When she initially found out that a photo of her son Sammy was circulating around the internet as meme, Laney Griner wasn’t too happy. That is until she was able to parlay the popularity of her sons meme to raise $100,000 for her husbands dialysis, and pay for her his kidney transplant. The internet may suck sometimes, but isn’t all bad.
9. Utter Disappointment – McKayla Maroney was just shy of winning of gold medal at the 2012 Olympics. Most of us would be ecstatic for silver, but she was just not happy and her faced showed it. This was the look on her face during the medal ceremony, and it instantly became one of the biggest memes on the internet. Even President Obama took notice!
Being turned into a meme would probably be pretty cool….for bit. I don’t know if I would necessarily want the fame that came from being mocked as a picture. The best you could do though, would be to just ride it out and try to make it work for you. Because if you honestly think that you can stop the internet, then you are sorely naive. The internet is a monster unlike anything we’ve ever seen, and we created it ourselves.