The Overly Attached Girlfriend and other women-themed memes

Rappler Social Media Team
Some of the most prominent women-themed memes making the rounds of cyberspace: do the stereotypes ring true or are grossly unfair?

MANILA, Philippines – The past few years have brought us tons of Internet celebrities, including the poster girls and boys (and cats and dogs) of the Internet meme. The phrases “Grumpy Cat,” “Insanity Wolf,” or “Bad Luck Brian,” for instance, and a specific cat, wolf, and grinning guy come to mind.

Known as “advice animals,” they are a play on stereotypes, and feature the ubiquitous meme template with bold white text at the top to set up the joke, and bold white text at the bottom to deliver the punchline. (You’ll know it when you see it.) 

Image from knowyourmeme.com

Some of these advice animals notably feature women, and tend to play up female stereotypes in particular.

In light of International Women’s Month, we take a look at some of these femme-themed memes, and encourage you to think about how women are depicted in today’s social media-heavy culture. Which of these are just for fun, and which of these have something more complex to say?

 

1) Overly Attached Girlfriend

Theme of the meme: There are clingy girlfriends, and then there’s the Overly Attached Girlfriend. This crazy-eyed gal shares a valuable lesson about the difference between true love, and restraining-order-level infatuation.

Origin: In response to an online contest to promote Justin Bieber’s new “Girlfriend” fragrance, YouTuber wzr0713 uploaded this creepy video featuring her stalker-esque rendition of a Bieber single. Her parody worked – maybe a little too well. We wish her partner the very best. 

Image from knowyourmeme.com
Image from knowyourmeme.com
Image from knowyourmeme.com

2) Tiger Mom

Theme of the meme: It’s a common stereotype that Asian kids (especially in the US) tend to be overachievers. And the force behind this obsession with good grades? Their moms, who appear to have exponentially sky-high standards. 

Origin: Nobody knows who the stock photo woman is in real life, but the inspiration is sure to be Amy Chua, author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother – a half-serious, half-tongue-in-cheek look into super-strict Asian parenting, which proved quite controversial a few years ago. 


3) Ermahgerd

Theme of the meme: This one’s pretty straightforward, making fun of the lisp brought about by wearing orthodontic retainers. Add the obsession with Goosebumps books and you have a pretty awkward power combo. Some memes can be quite nuanced, but this one doesn’t beat around the bush – nerdy person sounds funny. 

Origin: The woman in the picture has yet to come forward, but pictures claiming to depict her show pretty women with pleasant smiles. Just goes to show there’s an awkward nerd living inside each and every one of us. 

Image from knowyourmeme.com
Image from knowyourmeme.com
Image from knowyourmeme.com

4) Sheltering Suburban Mom

Theme of the meme: If Tiger Moms are the Asian version of the super-strict parent, Suburban Moms are the Caucasian equivalent. The suburbs are the epitome of willful ignorance and naiveté, run by these home-bound, sweatsuit-wearing women. Of course there’s a joke in there somewhere. 

Origin: Curiously enough, the woman in the picture is that of best-selling romance novelist Carly Phillips. Maybe it’s a jab at lonely suburban housewives slaking their thirst with romance novels?

Image from knowyourmeme.com
Image from knowyourmeme.com
Image from knowyourmeme.com

5) Friend Zone Fiona

Theme of the meme: Ah, the friend zone: the bane of every single man’s existence. She likes you, but not in that way. It’s love, albeit platonic. The meme captures this frustrating pair of emotions with painful simplicity. 

Origin: The description for this particular stock photo is “Jessica Simpson [look]alike laughing.” Would getting friend zoned by Jessica Simpson really be the worst thing in the world, though? At least you’re on her radar?  

Image from knowyourmeme.com
Image from knowyourmeme.com
Image from knowyourmeme.com

6) Forever Resentful Mother

Theme of the meme: Food for thought: there are a LOT of mom-themed memes out there. This one captures the bitterness of the woman who had to give up her career to raise children, hinting that her “little bundles of joy” weren’t exactly planned. Is this an argument for RH law implementation?

Origin: The woman is simply a stock photo model, but the dead eyes and glass of red wine call Arrested Development’s Lucille Bluth to mind, a bitter mother if there ever was one. 

Image from knowyourmeme.com
Image from knowyourmeme.com
Image from knowyourmeme.com

 7) Feminist Nazi

Theme of the meme: The Feminist Nazi, or FemiNazi, is a play on women who throw feminist ideals around on a very shallow or extremist level, using feminist concepts to defend being mean to others, or not living up to these ideals whenever they’re not convenient for them.  

Origin: The woman in the photo is Layla Subritzky, a cast member from the ninth season of Australia’s Big Brother reality show. Given that the FemiNazi meme isn’t the most flattering thing in the world, something tells us she was pinned as a villain on the show. 

Image from knowyourmeme.com
Image from knowyourmeme.com
Image from knowyourmeme.com

What do you think of these women-themed memes? Do some stereotypes ring true, or are some of these grossly unfair? Share your thoughts in the comments section! – Rappler.com