Salt Bae. Bad Luck Brian. Disaster Girl. If you don’t know who these people are, it’s possible you haven’t been online in the past… let’s say… 10 years? All these people are now forever immortalized as memes — a form of internet entertainment. While some memes can be more relatable (and therefore more viral) than others, others take their sweet time. And sometimes, even the person in the meme isn’t aware of how viral their face has become until the issue is out of their hands. This is what happened to Adrian Smith from North Carolina.
I’m a Meme!
When Smith was just an 8-years-old third-grader, he had his (slightly embarrassing) picture taken on picture day. You know, just like all the other kids at school. Years later, he found that picture was circling the web as a meme and that he was now world-famous as “Grayson.” He first encountered the unflattering picture on a random Instagram account called “teenagestepdad”. He found out that the meme has existed since 2017 at least and that it even appears on merchandise!
The most mysterious thing about this whole story is the fact that the picture is online at all. Because according to Smith, the only place where this picture existed was his grandmother’s house.
Smith was obviously surprised to find out about his newfound fame. While many others would resort to legal actions or be sour in a similar situation, he decided to take the high road and just be cool with it. He contacted the content creator who posted the memes, but didn’t demand that the picture be taken down (although the creator did offer to do it). Instead, he gave his permission to keep using it. Smith is definitely not the first nor the last person to turn into a meme, but he is definitely one of the very few people who were so chill about it.