Lydia B., known online as “Klit Klittredge”, draws inspiration for her content from American Girl, a popular brand of dolls and toys well known to children of the 90s and 2000s. Photo courtesy of Thomas Howard/Flickr
Humorous phenomena in the form of images, videos and sounds, known as “memes”, have taken the world by storm for as long as most of us can remember. They spark joy, help us deal with or distract us from life’s problems, and even inspire discussions about the world around us. Many know what it’s like to scroll through your phone looking at these memes, but few understand what it’s like to be the mastermind behind the screen. Lydia B., a humble 24-year-old from Kentucky, is one such individual.
Living a Hannah Montana-style double life, Lydia navigates work and life like any young woman in her twenties, but when she wants to escape or express herself, she turns to the internet as her own online personality – Klit Klittredge.
Just over a year old, @Klit.Klittredge has been inspiring fans and making them laugh through nostalgic and quirky memes affectionately known as “shitposts”. His page currently has over 50,000 followers on Instagram and 30,000 followers on Twitter. Its content, which takes on the aesthetic of American Girl, a well-known brand of millennials and “zoomers”, uses a wry, out-of-context sense of humor to intrigue viewers looking to find the absurd on the internet. Whether it’s references to history, pop culture, or politics, Klit Klittredge’s memes inspire not only laughter, but also thoughtful discussion and debate on relevant topics and issues affecting the world. real world. An influencer who is always open to communicating with the support of her college-age fans, Lydia was thrilled to sit down for a Zoom interview with us here at Snapper.
Actually a bright, bespectacled sweetheart, Lydia B. earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Louisville before moving to Washington DC, where she now works in the nonprofit sector. It was during this time that she found the inspiration to start the now popular meme page.
“It was the summer of 2021, and I was telling my friends about the work of memes and ‘shitposts’ that were circulating the internet at the time,” Lydia said, “I had started meme pages before, but none of them have racked up more than around 1000 followers.Once I got started, I started posting content on my personal account before setting up a separate page once they started to take off.
Aiming for an initial goal of 10,000 subscribers, Lydia B. quickly rose to fame for her online content and character as Klit Klittredge, inspired by the name of Kit Kittredge, a character from the American Girl franchise, whose l he story is set during the Great Depression and follows themes of friendship, classism and the growing middle class of the time. By adding the “L”s in the name, as a potential reference to the clitoris in homage to women’s issues as a focal point of some of her content, Lydia formed the character known to tens of thousands of fans today.
Inspired by her interest in and reflections on history and politics, she published whatever came into her head. As a child of the 2000s herself, Lydia believed that using American Girl dolls, along with references and aesthetics, for her messages would induce nuance and nostalgia, sparking additional interest from the doll community. doll collectors and people in her age group with similar interests. This unwittingly started a trend in meme culture, where other accounts started posting similarly themed content, inspired by the wry historical and political humor that made Klit Klittredge so popular. Dozens, maybe even hundreds, of imitation or similar meme pages now exist, producing a subgenre of its own.
Lydia also uses Klit Klittredge to browse the internet as a personality different from her own.
“She has a pragmatic way about her, a sense of being bigger than herself,” Lydia says, “she’s me in many ways, but more mean and direct. She’s very mean and uses the irony, often jokingly shaming fans as a form of humor because she doesn’t seem to understand why people like her or why she has so many “fans”.
Klit Klittredge not only posts on his account but also interacts with viewers. By posting on her Instagram story and conversing with fans in the comments sections and direct messages, she has the opportunity to get to know fans, understand their interests, and even make friends with people. of the whole world.
Regarding her relationship with fans as an influencer, Lydia clarified, “I have a very different relationship with content creators than before. I don’t think my personality has changed. However, the management of an online page has certainly changed my perspective on parasocial relationships and interactions with social media personalities.
While most of Klit Klittredge’s content is for humor, his page also highlights a wide range of current and historical political and social issues, including but not limited to classism, abortion, religion, feminism, marijuana legalization and representations. women in the media. Lydia says she draws from the leftist perspective of memes and “commie” forums to create the bold rhetoric commonly found in her posts. Using the American Girl brand aesthetic as a model for her work, the issues she discusses not only raise awareness, but also spark enlightening debate and discussion. Viewers are flooding the comments section with talking points and ideas, while sharing the posts on their own Instagram stories to raise awareness and inspire discussion from their own friends and followers. Although she declines paid sponsorships and collaborations, she works with nonprofit organizations, such as Advocacy, to publish articles on more specific social issues.
Although discussing politics may seem exhausting to some, Lydia sees discussing political and social issues through jokes and attacks on the world and government as something that comes naturally to her.
“I never want to take myself too seriously,” Lydia says, “but politics is important to me, and since I have a degree and am very fascinated by topics and issues in this field, it’s often what I think about and so I post to my page… I knew there was a salient cultural conversation going on. The content that does best reflects American culture and politics. Maybe it’s because people see themselves in the meme. These are issues that affect people who watch my content in real life, and it creates a huge shift in how people view and react to these topics.
Running a meme page can certainly be an exciting hobby, as Lydia points out, but there are also risks and challenges that come with it. Last July, a New York Times article on Klit Klittredge revealed Lydia’s true identity and work, forcing her to keep a low profile for some time to protect her privacy. Klit Klittredge’s Instagram account has temporarily gone private to protect its owner from online harassment. Instead of letting her guard down, however, Lydia decided to make a positive out of the negative situation by leveraging her now private account, encouraging those who were “worthy” of her to accept follow requests, and even accepting blocking requests. the ex-boyfriends and enemies of her loyal followers as part of an inside joke. Klit Klittredge’s Instagram account has since been made public.
Many fans would expect an influencer to release merchandise, go on tour, or take advantage of their newfound popularity, but Klit Klittredge makes an exception to that rule. As a former student herself, Lydia understands where many of her young adult followers are coming from, believing that “emptying their finances” is unnecessary and goes against her personal values. Instead, she sees Klit Klittredge as an opportunity to connect with people through her humor and desire to raise awareness about topics that matter to her.
“I have a stable job, a 9 to 5 where I can work from home, I have what I need in terms of money,” says Lydia, “I consider myself anti-capitalist in a way that I ‘avoid trying to make a profit off of my page or my fans. I understand that a lot of people who view my page are students…I don’t want them to lose $40 in merchandising for me. I’m also against the unethical practices of many companies and sellers who would like to sell my merchandise, that’s also why I don’t plan to sell anything or try to make money from it in the future It’s something I do as a hobby, because I like it and make people happy, not because I want to make a profit.
After asking about her page and personality, it’s time to wrap up the formal interview. As a fellow political science major, Lydia asked to “pick my brain a bit” and we discussed local and national politics, our careers and our adult lives. This conversation, while seemingly meaningless to an outsider, proves that influencers, meme page admins, digital activists, or whatever you choose to call them, are real people with their own passions, interests. and offline personalities. Lydia B. is an example of why many people choose to become content creators – because they want to raise awareness about topics that are close to their hearts through humor and fun. We look forward to seeing how Lydia B. and Klit Klittredge grow and develop in terms of creating interesting content and bringing important topics and issues to light as she continues to inspire meme lovers everywhere.