Just in case you’ve been living off the grid and haven’t checked your social media in the last two weeks, the latest EVERYBODY IN THE POOL internet sensation has been a series of goofy videos based on one-liners. I think it started with Sh*t Girls Say – which I found hilarious mostly because I’m a middle class white girl and I’ve said all of those things. Then there was Sh*t White Girls Say to Black Girls – starring a black actress in a blonde wig doing a great Valley Girl voice and my laughter turned into more of nervous giggles and cringes of uncomfortable recognition.
Now, on the YouTube, there are thousands of them. Some are funny, some are stupid, and some are so peculiar to me that I just kinda cocked my head to the side and said, “Huh. That happened.” I think it’s reasonable to group the videos into two different categories: the sh*t (people like me) say and the sh*t (middle-class American white) people say to (insert ethnic or other minority group here).
This phenomenon has mostly run its course, but I’m fascinated by how popular it became in just over a month. I don’t have time to do any sort of in depth analysis of how any one of these videos might make an impact on our collective understanding of sexism, racism, white privilege, or classism. However, I am impressed that there is an internet meme out there based on more than silly cats.
I like these videos because they show people are listening to each other and wanting very badly to react in a positive way. Perhaps an academic out there will spend time deconstructing how difficult it is for us to say to each other: Wow. Don’t say that. You just hurt my feelings and I need to let you know that’s not cool.
And on a lighter note: This one.