“Michael said he would meet me behind this tree for a bit of fun. He’s running late. Will someone please tag him and tell him I’m still waiting?”
Maybe the woman in the meme is overweight. Maybe she has crooked teeth. Perhaps the angle of the photo means you can see up her nose. In one case, the woman has a rare medical condition that prevents fat from being stored beneath the skin so her face clings to the outline of her bones.
It’s the latest trend to go viral on social media — real (mostly) women turned into a meme so people behind screens can scoff as they tag their friends. Laughing at all the “Michaels” they know.
We don’t know who the women are. Where they’ve come from. Just what they look like.
Imagine how that feels.
“At the time you might find it hilarious but the human in the photo is probably feeling the exact opposite,” Lizzie Valesquez – the actual “human in the photo” – wrote in a Facebook post.
Lizzie is the woman in the meme, leaning against the tree, apparently waiting for Michael. She is also the woman with the rare medical condition that means she can’t store fat beneath her skin.
Most accurately however, Lizzie is a motivational speaker. A fierce campaigner against bullying. The subject of a recent documentary Brave Heart. A TED Talk speaker. She is currently lobbying introduce the first federal anti-bullying bill in US parliment.
That is who Lizzie is. She doesn’t care about Michael.
“I’ve seen a ton of memes like this all over Facebook recently,” her Facebook post read. “I’m writing this post not as someone who is a victim but as someone who is using their voice.”