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These Women Didn't Know They Had Been Turned Into A Weird Meme Without Their Permission

UPDATE: The post now includes more context about how these photos went viral.

Originally posted on
Updated on

A couple months ago, a Tumblr user made this post, asking their followers to "tag yourself as a suburban white mom." The moms in the post were are all made up personas and names.

The post is part of a "tag yourself" meme that's been going around Tumblr since last year. It's sort of like a zodiac or personality quiz and it's pretty popular on Tumblr.

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Users reblogged the post, telling their own followers which of the fake "moms" they most related to.

Over the weekend, the months old Tumblr post got picked up on Twitter, where it was retweeted thousands of times, spreading to other sites like Facebook and Instagram.

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Unfortunately, while the "moms" may have been fake, the photos used in the post weren't stock images. They were real mom bloggers and one of them Shannon Gurnee — "Pam" from the Tumblr post — wrote on her blog about discovering her image had gone viral.

Gurnee wrote that she didn't find the meme funny at all and was upset that her photo had traveled around the internet without her permission.

As a blogger and active user of social media, I would love to have a picture go viral. However, with that would be credit going to me, right? Not in this case. Not only was my picture stolen, it was put into a meme that people actually think is funny. Guess what? These are REAL women!!! Not just stock images!! I spoke with a few of the bloggers on here and neither of them gave permission to have their photos used either.

As a friend said, "This meme is insulting and it's using images of women without their permission. These are ACTUAL moms who are a lot more than the single-dimensional punchlines portrayed here. If the creator felt so strongly about making fun of parents, he or she should have leveraged stock photos instead of swiping pics from blogs." Well said and true to the point!!!

Shannon A. White, labeled as "Jillian" in the meme, told BuzzFeed that she was upset, as well, that her image had gone viral without her permission.

I am a blogger, a Presbyterian Pastor currently leading a large congregation, an author of books, a national speaker, and a former TV News reporter. I have one child — not 50. While many young girls and women may say, 'wow I want to be her,' not one of the responses has been to want to be Jillian. Why is that? The tongue-in-cheek meme of a woman having 50 children, and most certainly needing and deserving a nap. If that's the case, should be honored. Women who have multiple children should not be made fun of as something women do not want to aspire to.

BuzzFeed has reached out to the women involved with the meme and will update this story.

UPDATE

This article has been updated to include more context about how these images went viral and reactions they caused.

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