'Tag a friend' memes hit a disgusting low as they become increasingly racist and sexist

'Tag a friend' memes on Facebook hit a new low as they become increasingly racist and sexist. It's time we eliminate our deep rooted bias against the dark skin.

“Shaadi karungi toh sirf Ankit/Rahul/Ashish se. Tag an Ankit/Rahul/Ashish for her”.

Over the past few days, several Ankits, Rahuls and Rohits have been tagged on some of the most utterly disgusting, sexist and racist memes on Facebook . If you’re active on Facebook, you would have come across some of these memes on your timeline.

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Not only are these memes racist and classist, but at the same time, they are sick as they poke fun at the appearance of the African-American actresses in Hollywood.

The memes are problematic on so many levels. For one, the memes project the women whose photographs lie at the center of the memes as undesirable. The whole joke around tagging an Ankit or a Rahul is the fact that the women in the memes are overweight and dark-skinned, hence “undesirable” which would be a huge turn off for the Ankits and Rahuls.

Some of the comments on such memes are downright disgusting. It’s disturbing to see young, educated people create a mockery out of someone’s appearance.
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The feeling of ‘undesirability’ that most of the young people sharing and commenting on these memes experience stems out of the deep rooted classism and casteism in the minds of Indians, where a dark-skinned woman is often frowned upon and a fair-skinned woman is held as a benchmark of beauty and desirability.

So it’s not a surprise that most of the women in these memes are dark-skinned and hence “undesirable”. If that wasn’t enough, most of the women in the photograph are overweight which brings forth the disturbing idea of body shaming.

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“A fat woman is a turn-off” is the punchline of the memes which mock and body-shame plus-sized African American women. What’s even more disturbing is the young girls in the comment section who are seen tagging their friends on such memes.

The memes not only promote racism and body shaming, but also reinforce the unrealistic beauty standards for women that are set by the society and the media.

One of the actresses who is often seen in such memes is Gabourey Sidibe. An Academy Award nominated actress, Gabourey is doing pretty well in Hollywood. The fact that reputed actresses Gabourey Sidibe are far most established and successful than the Ankits and Rahuls (and their sick friends who tag them in such memes) doesn’t deter them from mocking their appearance.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 12: Actress Gabourey Sidibe attends the Fox and FX's 2014 Golden Globe Awards Party on January 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rodrigo Vaz/FilmMagic)

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JANUARY 12: Actress Gabourey Sidibe attends the Fox and FX’s 2014 Golden Globe Awards Party on January 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rodrigo Vaz/FilmMagic)

To make matters worse, such memes often have thousands of likes and comments and some of the most reputed “humor” pages share these posts. Not only do these posts promote sick bias but also show the inability of the admins of such pages to create genuine humorous content.

All in all, it’s time Facebook beefed up it’s privacy and terms of use guidelines and removed such disgusting memes that promote racism and classism.

And to all the Ankits/Rahuls and Rohits and their friends who tag them in such memes, nahi karegi woh tumse shaadi! Aur na hi tumhaare tag karne se convince hogi. Get a life!

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