LTM Analysis: Why did the Bernie Meme take off?

Camari Carter HawkinsUncategorizedLeave a Comment

This year’s inauguration was one for the books. Amanda Gorman, the youngest inauguration poet, stole the show. We were blown away by Garth Brooks’s rendition of Amazing Grace. Michelle Obama’s monochromatic burgundy look dropped our jaws. Lady Gaga and J.Lo serenaded us to glory. We wiped our tears as we celebrated the first-ever woman, Jamaican-Indian Vice President. If that was not enough excitement for you, Bernie Sanders broke the internet with his mask and mittens. For several days, Bernie Sanders’ memes took the internet world by storm. Here are a few theories of why we think this meme took off. 

  1. Bernie Sanders is a MOOD. 

Because Bernie Sanders donned a blue surgical mask, responsibly, it was truly hard to decipher Bernie’s actual mood. However, it didn’t take us long to guess his mood as unamused or as popularly stated, unbothered. This mood made it easy for Bernie to be placed on memes where he appeared unamused.

IKEA gets in on the fun offering a Bernie Look.
  1. Lightened the mood.

2020 was quite a year for us. This meme explosion provided much comedic relief and a sense of unity. It was something fun and lighthearted that we could enjoy on social media while managing trying times. Regardless of political views, everyone could find humor in it. This epic moment went viral as people cropped Bernies into everything from scenes from popular shows to iconic locations. We’ve even spotted Bernie at the salon and holding books. For a few days, social media felt like Bernie’s version of “Where’s Waldo.”

  1. He is authentic.

Bernie is likable because he is authentic. He wore an outfit that was true to him. While the inauguration presented a fashionable moment, Bernie wore a Burton parka. Burton is a company based in Vermont where Bernie calls home. He also wore hand-knit mittens crafted from recycled sweaters by a Vermont based teacher in 2016.  

Bernie was cast as a character on Game of Thrones.

After his image went viral, he turned his inauguration meme into a sweatshirt to raise money for charity. All of the proceeds from a $45 sweatshirt featuring his photo will be donated to Meals on Wheels Vermont. His generosity, kindness, gentleness makes him more likable, down-to-earth, and meme-able. He showed up as his authentic self and that is why we adore him. 

Tell us. Why do you think the Bernie meme took off? 

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