A meme communicates an idea quickly – sometimes a nuanced, complex idea – using an image or words or both. People use memes on social media as commentary. The original “Karen” meme depicts a middle-aged white woman who insists on speaking to a manager, but Karen has become shorthand for describing middle-aged white women who harass people of color. To confuse perception even more, sometimes people use Karen as an all-purpose slur. Journalist Elle Hunt, writing in The Guardian, talks to real-life Karens and unpacks the meme. As it turns out, not all Karens are “Karens.”
About the Author
Journalist Elle Hunt frequently writes for The Guardian.