Being someone that has taken in a large amount of Internet humor during her lifetime, I did not expect creating my own meme to be such a challenge. This task truly challenged the way I think about creating content intended for groups. Not only did I have to appeal to myself but I had to make the joke resonate with a certain community that would be able to replicate my style if desired. The community I chose was Greek-American students. When deciding which community to create for, I started with Greek students, but moved to another group that I felt I could make better jokes for: the fake tanning community. My biggest concern with my original selection was that I didn’t want to make fun of a culture I care so much about and, without the drive to create the jokes, the content wasn’t easily coming to mind. However, after many drafts with the tanning group I decided that I didn’t have to make the memes about the Greek community but for the Greek community. I could make them about the struggles we face when assimilating our culture into American culture.
Before I realized that I didn’t have to mock the Greek community, I looked up a website of Greek stereotypes that people of other ethnicities associate with us. Being Greek I wasn’t really sure what to make into a joke so I needed an outside opinion. I got a list of things such as smoking, gossiping and being hairy. It wasn’t really much to work with, so I decided to scrap it. To get ideas of what other group I wanted to try, I started scrolling though my sister’s Facebook photos. There I found a picture of her where she overdid her foundation and she looked 4 times darker that she actually should. I found this absolutely hilarious and wanted to use this as my topic. However, having nothing to do with this community made it very hard to make a joke about it that would resonate. This made me switch back to the Greek community where, when peer reviewing our ideas, my group came up with the idea of making them for the community instead of against them.
With this new plan, as a Greek-American student, I started thinking of things that irritated me. The first on my list is when people of other ethnicities ask me if I worship Greek gods. As an Orthodox Christian, I have never worshiped any of these fictional gods. However, the amount of times that I’ve been asked this question is quite embarrassing. Next, whenever ordering Greek food, I always face the dilemma of saying it the traditional way or the American way. Nonetheless, when my friends pronounce it, they do it so wrong that it is almost insulting as if they’re not trying. Lastly, being compared to John Stamos is one of the most irritating things. To those who are not Greek, in terms of Greek stars, he is the largest. And since he has sort of sold himself out by doing yogurt commercials and “selling” his Greekness, he isn’t vary favored upon by the Greek community. So for my last joke I had to include him.
To create the image, I took a photo of my brother’s roommate angrily punching the camera and made a Greek flag to put behind him. I knew that these memes had anger attached to them, so to display this I felt that punching would be a good option. I also though about making the image sad or disappointed, but Greek people tend to have bigger tantrums so I decided to stay true and have anger be the main force. I really wanted to put out the notation that these were for Greek students so I put the flag behind him. By doing this, it’s hard to mistake the ethnicity instead of having to seemingly guess based off the looks of my brother. I made the flag in Microsoft word using the art square tools. I made the various shapes and colored them the colors of the flag.
The hardest part of this project was not only getting myself to think in the mindset of a community but making it funny. Memes are essentially a huge inside joke. Making sure that many people can relate to this and understand what you’re saying is challenging.
I hope you enjoy and try making memes of your own!
By: Patricia Bajis