BY EMMA FRANZ
Social media is known for being the prime meme sharing space, however, sometimes people take it upon themselves to turn the content portrayed in memes into a reality, leading to stereotypes being blown out of proportion throughout the span of the internet.
The Hot Cheeto Girls meme first caught attention on one of social media’s newest platforms: TikTok. The stereotype began as a female who constantly eats Hot Cheetos despite what hour of the day it is, as well as portraying the girls that do this as violent and argumentative.
As the meme gained popularity throughout multiple media platforms aside from TikTik, including Instagram and Twitter, people started to integrate racial stigmas into the memes, specifically targeting Latina and African American females.
“I just wish some people were able to develop a sense of humor that didn’t degrade people for things that are out of their control such as race, gender or sexuality.”Senior Cassidy Sutton
“When the stereotype first gained popularity, I didn’t think much of it and I thought it was kind of funny, but now that it’s gained a whole new and degrading meaning I do not think it’s okay,” senior Cassidy Sutton said. “I just wish some people were able to develop a sense of humor that didn’t degrade people for things that are out of their control such as race, gender or sexuality.”
People began to take to these media platforms to post these uncalled-for videos of themselves acting out like this “Hot Cheeto Girl” stereotype. The offensive racial stereotypes seen within these videos included patting their heads for African American girls and speaking with a Latin accent for Latinas.
“At first, I thought the memes were entertaining just like any other meme until people turned it into racial stereotypes,” senior Jasmine Harika said “Then it just became cruel.”
I don’t think this is appropriate considering that this was not the true intent behind the meme, essentially losing the purpose of the joke.”Senior Angel Reji
At first, many people were afraid to admit to their wrongdoings and stood up for their videos and claimed it was just for fun, but after receiving various attack comments in opposition to the videos that blew up on the media, many people changed their statements. Those who posted videos claimed they were unaware of how offensive they had come across and eventually took them down.
“As the meme evolved, it lost its humor due to targeting specific racial groups,” senior Angel Reji said. “I don’t think this is appropriate considering that this was not the true intent behind the meme, essentially losing the purpose of the joke.”
The Hot Cheeto Girls stereotype leaves a burning hole in society. People who choose to allow the Hot Cheeto Girl stereotype to live on do not notice the insensitivity that follows. Memes are supposed to bring contentedness, not eliminate satisfaction, and incorporating racial stereotypes allows for the complete opposite.
Photo courtesy of Quartz