I chose to analyze the “Paula Deen Riding Things” meme. This particular meme became popular in February of 2011 after a food festival where Paula Deen was photographed riding another chef celebrity, Robert Irvine. The day after the event, the image was posted on various popular media websites, and within days, the image went viral. Paula Deen’s figure and position was cut out of the photo and photoshopped into more images and photos than imaginable. I think this particular meme became so popular simply because of Deen’s positioning and expression in the image. It’s not often that you see a celebrity publicly do something outside of social norms, especially riding another celebrity. The public loves moments like these, and does not hesitate to use them for their own entertainment.
A variety of memes emerged from this meme, of Paula Deen essentially riding anything and everything. She appears riding shoulders, various foods, and on mounds of butter (referencing her excessive use of butter). Both formal blogs and the general public chose to take the cropped image of her to extremes, and placed her in some of the most outrageous yet creative memes.