The Fat Jew made me into a meme and now I’m the face of basic girls everywhere
You’re welcome gals
I spend a lot of my life pretending that I’m not basic. I laugh ironically when I order vodka lime sodas, I own Adidas Superstars but categorically refuse to wear them, I talk a lot of shit about how the idea of basic is in itself an offensive and sexist trope. But I’m basic.
If there was ever any doubt about that it was dispelled earlier this week when my face was used in a meme to embody how far we’ve fallen from the old dignified women of olden times, because of Snapchat filters. Here is the meme, you will recognise it:
It’s a weird experience, being the poster girl for the basics who lower themselves to using the worst of the worst Snapchat filters, not least because the photo this meme originally came from was from an article about shaming girls as “basic” for using Snapchat filters (meta I know). Suddenly you start to question everything you do, say and are.
In an interview with VICE on what it feels like to become a meme, the Shiva kid (also known as Tim) explains it better than I have the capacity to (too basic): “Sometimes it heightens my cynicism and reinforces my fear and other times it feels oddly liberating. I think mostly it taught me to choose more wisely what I distribute on the internet, which in itself I think has caused me to experience a lot of self-image issues based on ephemera projected on the web or about me. I mostly feel OK with it being a thing but I’m definitely not happy about it. I guess I am mostly embarrassed… It was meant to be funny; I don’t know that I think it’s funny now.”
The weirdest part is, although I noticed I was a meme when The Fat Jewish (reasonably normie internet man) posted it on Instagram, when I shared the photo with a hilariously bemused and not at all basic caption on Facebook, tons of people commented underneath saying they’d spotted it weeks ago in other corners of the internet but just didn’t wanna mention.
It could happen to any of us really. A friend recently told me a story about spotting a mutual friend’s mum posing provocatively in one of those “meet women in your area to fuck now” browser ads while streaming a show online, but just couldn’t bring himself to tell anyone about it.
OK, maybe those situations aren’t exactly comparable. My low key, casual I-am-a-meme experience isn’t half as bad as seeing your friend’s mum in stockings and suspenders when you’re trying to watch The Young Pope, and it’s not nearly as life changing as the experience Tim/Shiva and his fellow mainstream meme-folk have had. But it still makes you second guess yourself, how basic you are, and how much of your own image has filtered, without context, onto the big old information superhighway.
But when I showed it, appalled, to a friend, she commented: “At least you look cute though!”, so maybe it’s not all bad. If I wanted to be basic and embrace the good side, I could see that at least in 2090 I’ll still look like a fit grandma. And luckily I am basic. I’m the poster girl after all.