“Slut-shaming,” a disturbing trend in which teens harshly criticize each other’s body types and style, continues to sweep the Internet. And this time, it’s in meme-form.
Young girls, and increasingly boys, have taken to creating memes on Tumblr and Facebook to offer mock – and often insulting – advice to their peers, Buzzfeed reported.
“Hey Girls. Did you know? That you spread Nutella…Not your legs,” reads one such viral post.
The memes, most containing the phrase “Hey Girls, Did You Know?” took off in June 2012, when Tumblr user officialsabrina_xo uploaded a picture poking fun at the slew of cleavage photos on the Internet, according to Know Your Meme.
The picture includes images of a young girl, with the caption: “Girls, did you know, that uhm, your boobs go inside your shirt?”
The photo was quickly taken down, but Tumblr users had already begun reblogging it.
The image inspired a series of copycats, which are compiled on the Facebook page “Hey Girl, Did You Know?” which has nearly 40,000 “Likes.”
The messages in the pictures range from hurtful (“Girls, did you know? That uhm, your boobs…Oh wait, you don’t have any”) to positive (“Hey girls, did you know that uhmm…Your boobs…can go wherever they want….because it’s your body.)
The new trend has reignited concerns over adolescent cyber bullying – and has raised questions about the legality of such public shaming.
“Everyone thinks they can do anything they feel like doing online. They can’t,” Internet privacy security lawyer Parry Aftab told ABC News.
"Free speech has its limits. If you defame somebody and you harass somebody, if you target them – that may be against the law."
Teenager Sarah Mays, however, doesn’t seem to take the memes that seriously.
"To be bashing somebody else, that means that you have your own insecurities that you’re dealing with, so you take them out on other people," the 16-year-old said.