To Meme or Not to Meme

Memes are cultural phenomenon that become widespread through various internet platforms. A meme could essentially be anything from a picture, a video, or phrases that goes viral. I decided to look at the origin story of one of my favourite memes, that I still use, popularly known as “The Confused Black Girl”. It is an image featuring a teenager with a quizzical expression remixed each time with a funny caption depicting a frustrating situation. It’s one of the few memes that has always made me laugh in every context, thus, here is a quick insight on where this meme came from and it’s rise to fame.

Source: KnowYourMeme

Although the exact origin is not known, since no one claimed to be the creator of such an iconic photo, there is some speculation regarding its creation. One of the earliest incidents of this photo appearing on the internet was on April 30th, 2014, on the website 9Gag (KnowYourMeme, 2015). The photo was posted on the website with the title “New meme incoming: Confused Black Lady.” Within a few months, the photo collected over eighty points.

The photo gained more popularity and on May 11th, 2014, a Facebook page called “Confused Black Girl Meme” was launched and a month later, another group was created titled “Confused Black Girl”, gaining 68,000 and 26,000 likes, respectively (KnowYourMeme, 2015).

Lawsuit Hoax

In 2014, an article posted on a gossip website, the girl in the picture was identified as a sixteen-year-old from Alabama, names Keisha Johnson. The story claimed she was suing Instagram for $500 million because of the ridicule she faced from her friend posting the picture on Instagram (KnowYourMeme, 2015). However, this story. was fabricated as the Gossip website is known to create satire, fictional stories.

Source: Knowyourmeme
Source: Google Trends

The meme became increasingly popular worldwide in the year 2014 and was remixed to many situations, with some notable examples shown below. I think this meme became famous because the expression is so versatile and applicable to a multitude of situations. The expression is so vague that it can be tied to many emotions, which is why it became so popular; it is multi-purpose. I find it very relatable because that exact expression is often how I feel as a university student.

Source: KnowYourMeme
Source: KnowYourMeme
Source: KnowYourMeme

And lastly, for a remix related to my Digital Skills & Innovation (EID100) class, an original remix of this meme.


KnowYourMeme (2015). Retrieved from

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