If your name is Karen, we apologize for this article in advance. But we notice you may have been bearing the brunt of a growing number of people on social media using your name as an insult. Increasingly, “Karen” in particular has emerged as the proverbial name for the “basic white woman” and an umbrella term for a wide range of typical looks and dispositions that scream white privilege. And the recently trending Twitter hashtag #AndThenKarenSnapped has further pushed the “Karen” meme from its nefarious roots to its reigning term as a social media trope.
While “OK Boomer” belittles an entire generation, calling someone a “Karen” conjures stereotypes of mainly for white women in their mid-30s to 50s. The typical “Karen” is blonde, has multiple young kids, and is usually an anti-vaxxer. In other words, she’s the exact opposite of an Amazonian Indigenous activist. Karen has a “can I speak to the manager” haircut and a snarky, superior attitude to go along with it.
While it’s unclear where exactly “Karen” began seeing use as a pejorative, it perhaps started with the Oh My God, Karen, You Can’t Just Ask Someone Why They’re White meme from Mean Girls. Others believe that the popularity of the name may have originated with Karen from the 1989 gangster film, Goodfellas.
The “Karen” meme has multiple origins, each one using the idea in slightly different ways. But, one of the most prominent uses developed on Reddit, thanks to a redditor known for posting amusingly bitter invectives about his ex-wife – posts so amusing, they inspired a high school student to make an entire subreddit, r/F**kYouKaren, devoted to turning his saga into a meme – enjoy.
Our favorite new memes come from Gentefied on Netflix. Watch Carlos Santos on Checkitow below!