Breaking News Emails
"Hot Girl Summer" is nearly over, which apparently means it's time for "Christian Girl Autumn."
At least, that's according to one meme account on Twitter, which posted an image of two lifestyle influencers, declaring the start of the season.
The latest Twitter trend began after a memer named Giovanni, 19, who uses the handle "@lasagnabby," posted a three-year-old image of two influencers, Caitlin Covington and Emily Gemma.
The tweet posted to Giovanni's account, @lasagnabby, on Friday has gone viral, with nearly 13,000 retweets and more than 50,000 likes as of Wednesday, and spoofs the title of rapper Megan Thee Stallion's song "Hot Girl Summer."
"I saw a bunch of jokes about the Megan Thee Stallion phrase 'Hot Girl Summer' and decided to poke fun at it with a Christian white girl spin! I literally googled 'fall scarf outfits' and 'cute church outfits' and saved the photos from there as memes," Giovanni, who declined to give his last name, told NBC News via Twitter messenger.
Giovanni said he never expected the meme to be a viral success but awoke the next day to scores of new followers as well as direct messages from people thinking he was one of the women in the photo.
"Everyone was going onto my page calling me the worst Christian of all time or that I’m doing Satan’s work, which I think I’m already doing by being gay!" Giovanni said.
Gemma, 31, who runs the blog The Sweetest Thing and is pictured on the left in the viral photo, said she was made aware of the meme on Sunday.
"I knew it was a big deal when I saw it Sunday afternoon and it had 18,000 likes," Gemma told NBC News on Wednesday. "I wasn’t embarrassed or anything. It didn’t bother me because it was old. No one knew us so we couldn’t take it personally."
"This photo is nearly 3 years old, and I'm reading comments and cracking up laughing," Gemma said. "And let's be honest these are dated outfits."
Some of the responses took a cruel turn, suggesting the women pictured were homophobic or racist, which Gemma said couldn't be further from the truth.
"I’m a Christian but that doesn’t mean I'm anti-LGBT," Gemma said. "It’s so not accurate."
Once Covington, 29, who runs the blog Southern Curls and Pearls, became aware of the meme, she retweeted it jokingly asking for credit.
"Ok at least give credit to me & @EmilyAnnGemma!" Covington tweeted.
Gemma said that while she is Christian and white, the stereotypes she saw in the comments did not reflect who she and Covington are as people.
"It was 100 percent off," she said. "I didn't see one accurate comment anywhere."
One reply to that tweet asked Covington's thoughts on the LGBTQ community, to which she replied, "Love is love!" with several rainbow emoji. Covington also said that she's not a Republican when one Twitter user asked.
Although some of the responses have been negative, Gemma said she and Covington have found humor in their viral fame as they engage with other Twitter users.
Giovanni said that despite trolling Covington and Gemma, the two women have been exceptionally kind to him.
"Caitlin followed me on Instagram and told me that we are life-long friends, and Emily offered to buy me some pumpkin spice if I'm ever in the area," he said. "I couldn’t ask for better white women."
Giovanni added that the women have become icons among gay Twitter.
Gemma said she thinks of Giovanni as being a "good troll," who helped to humanize the stereotypes most people saw in the photo.
"In a way he’s an amazing internet troll. Look what he’s done," Gemma said. "He's taken this huge audience of people and brought us closer together. ... You can't say just because she's white and Christian she's also anti-LGBT. His tweet did something we need so badly in this world."