Laina Morris, the Internet celebrity who became famous after her Overly Attached Girlfriend meme went viral, today sold a tokenized version of the meme for 200 ETH ($411,000).
The buyer of the meme NFT is 3F Music, a Dubai-based music studio, which bought The New York Times’ NFT for $560,000 last Thursday.
Overly Attached Girlfriend originates from Morris’s parody video of Justin Bieber’s then-latest single “Boyfriend”, uploaded in 2012. Morris’s video, viewed 21 million times, contained the now-memefied photo of Morris and a clingy rendition of Bieber’s hit song.
The video stereotyped an aggressively clingy girlfriend over the lyrics of Bieber:
If I was your girlfriend / I’d never let you leave / without a small recording device / taped under your sleeve
I’ll always be checking up on you / Hey, boy, who you talking to? / Spend a day with your girl, I’ll be calling you my husband.”
For years, Morris has had a love-hate relationship with the meme. In June 2012 she tweeted, “I’m always amused by the @OvrlyAttachdGF tweets. Then I realize my face is associated with it and I’m slightly disturbed. Still awesome.”
I'm always amused by the @OvrlyAttachdGF tweets. Then I realize my face is associated with it and I'm slightly disturbed. Still awesome.
— Laina (@laina622) June 16, 2012
But things have taken a different turn now that the market for NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, allows digital phenomena to be cryptographically secured as collectibles and sold for an immense profit.
“You’re really gonna make me emotional over a creepy face I made 9 years ago?!,” she said today in a tweet. “Truly, you have no idea how this is going to change my life. I mean it. I am so incredibly thankful and also still just BLOWN AWAY. So weird. So cool. Wtf. Thank you, internet.”
NFTs do not confer ownership—Morris cannot prevent anyone from spreading the meme, nor can the new owner of the NFT. But it certifies authenticity, like a digital autograph from Morris herself.
You guys are INSANE. Thank you to everyone who bid and special thanks to @3fmusic
Truly, you have no idea how this is going to change my life. I mean it. I am so incredibly thankful and also still just BLOWN AWAY.
So weird. So cool. Wtf.
Thank you, internet.
— Laina (@laina622) April 4, 2021
The meme club
Morris received her NFT induction from two Internet celebrities who sold their memes as NFTs. The first is digital artist Chris Torres, creator of the Internet’s beloved Nyan Cat, a pixelated cat with a Pop-Tart for a torso. In February, Torres sold the Nyan Cat NFT for about $580,000. The second is Kyle Craven, the face behind the Bad Luck Brian meme; Craven sold an NFT of the meme for $36,000 on March 11.
Money aside, minting the Creepy Chan NFTs allowed me to authenticate & stake claim on my image. For years, they have circulated the internet without me ever having a say how they were used. I feel like I got to take my power back today. So thank you all again. It means a lot.
— allison harvard (@alliharvard) April 4, 2021
“Money aside, minting the Creepy Chan NFTs allowed me to authenticate & stake claim on my image,” Allison Harvard, the Creepy Chan meme person, said in a tweet. “For years, they have circulated the internet without me ever having a say how they were used. I feel like I got to take my power back today.”
But selling memes as NFTs will only give these creators control over their finances, not the memes themselves.