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Becoming a Meme
By: Jessica Cherok
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We’ve all seen the uber-viral Internet memes: Success Kid, Scumbag Steve, and his female counterpart Scumbag Stacey. There’s Incredibly Photogenic Guy and Bad Luck Brian. All real people whose pictures became memes that went viral. Have you ever wondered who they really are?

The idea of becoming an Internet phenom may sound appealing. Some — Overly Attached Girlfriend, Laina, for example — have enjoyed levels of Internet fame beyond the meme. But what about the people who find themselves being cruelly ridiculed in a meme?

Recently, Caitlin Seida found herself the victim of one such meme. A photo of her dressed as Laura Croft from Tomb Raider was uploaded to Reddit with the words “Fridge Raider.” Seida, who has polycystic ovarian syndrome and thyroid issues, has struggled with the impact these have had on her weight. Still, she states in a recent article, she didn’t let size deter her from dressing up and having a good time.

Seida recently wrote a post about finding out about the meme, and her reaction to the comments. Her story is very relatable — after all, who hasn’t had a less-than-flattering photo of themselves posted, either by themselves or a friend, on a social media site?

Her story brings awareness, not only to the humanity behind these memes, but also the privacy setting failures that got her into this situation. As fun as memes can be, hers is a reality check for most of us.


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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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