It all started with a tweet.
With Megan Thee Stallion’s “Hot Girl Summer” almost over, one Twitter user joked that it’s time for a new movement, complete with pumpkin spice lattes and blanket scarves.
On Aug. 9, a user called @lasagnabby shared a photo of two women, writing, “Hot Girl Summer is coming to an end, get ready for Christian Girl Autumn.”
The shot featured a pair of lifestyle bloggers, Caitlin Covington and Emily Gemma, sporting wide smiles, large curls cascading past their scarves and skinny jeans. The post quickly spread through the Twittersphere, garnering more than 12,000 retweets and thousands of comments.
“This picture asked to speak to my manager,” one person replied.
Another added: “This picture just asked me for a pumpkin latte and i dont even work in a cafe.”
“This picture just asked for my regional managers phone number and customer services number,” another user wrote.
As it turns out, the tweet wasn’t Gemma or Covington’s doing. The social media user, 19-year-old Giovanni, told NBC News that he was simply looking to troll the internet with the 3-year-old photo of the women.
“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!” the tweeter told NBC News. “I literally googled ‘fall scarf outfits’ and ‘cute church outfits’ and saved the photos from there as memes.”
The tweet eventually made its way to Covington, who runs the blog Southern Curls and Pearls, and Gemma, of The Sweetest Thing. Both women laughed at the meme — and people’s reactions — on Twitter.
“Fall fashion coming in hot… the comments had me spitting out my pumpkin spice latte (jk I don’t drink those) but really, I LOL at the comments,” Gemma tweeted on Sunday.
Covington shared a slew of updated fall fashion photos a day later: “If all of Twitter is gonna make fun of my fall photos, at least pick some good ones! 🤣Super proud of these. For the record, I do like pumpkin spice lattes. Cheers.”
Both women engaged with Twitter users and told NBC News that they found the joke hilarious. However, they were sure to set the record straight after some tweeters implied that they are homophobic and racist.
“I’m a Christian but that doesn’t mean I’m anti-LGBT. It’s so not accurate,” Gemma told NBC News.
Meanwhile, when asked by a user how she feels about the LGBTQI+ community, Covington responded, “love is love!”
She told NBC News that the negative comments were not an accurate portrayal of her and Gemma.
Gemma even joked to BuzzFeed News: “I’m white and Christian but none of the tweets were accurate. I laughed at all of it but…none of it’s true. We don’t ever want to speak to the manager!”
Like most internet crazes, the viral meme will likely die down in just a few days. But Gemma told NBC she sees Giovanni as a “good troll.”
“In a way he’s an amazing internet troll. Look what he’s done,” she 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.”
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