The Virgin vs. Chad meme, perhaps you have seen it or perhaps you have not. Either way, we will be delving into not only the origins of this provocative and illustrious meme but also through its many facets as it made its ways throughout the interwebs. From its first appearances to its evolution as more and more people began using the template, we will explore the true meaning and impact that this meme had on internet culture.
So where did it all begin? According to knowyourmeme, The Virgin vs. Chad meme began after “a 4chan user submitted a post titled ‘Virgin signs,’ listing the ‘infamous virgin walk’ as a way to identify a virgin on the /r9k/ board.” This meme depicted various aspects that dictated so called “virgin sings”. These aspects served to illustrate what incorporated “The Virgin Walk” and how to identify a virgin in public. The diagram that aspects to look for became one of the most important aspects of the meme throughout its later iterations, but we will get back to that later. The meme quickly took off from its “virgin walk” origins and people quickly took to constructing what would later become the Virgin vs. Chad meme. By adapting the original “Virgin Walk” meme along with the introduction of a new counterpart known as “Chad Thundercock,” which was an already pre-established meme, the original morphed into the current Virgin vs. Chad meme. This new twist on previous iterations exemplified the juxtaposition between what was supposed to encapsulate the less desirable aspects in a person (the virgin) to the complete opposite and more favorable (Chad Thundercock) counterpart.
What became more interesting after this new turn of events, however, was the way in which people adapted the Virgin vs. Chad template to fit various demographics among many different subcultures found online. From anime and gaming to even music and politics, the Virgin vs. Chad meme made its rounds throughout much of the internet in various forms, you may have even encountered one of these memes in the wild. Personally, my first exposure with this now wildly popular meme came from the r/animememes subreddit. In this subreddit, the meme depicted the “The Virgin Otaku vs. The Chad Weeb” in which the virgin otaku was labeled to have the characteristics such as “Wishes he could get a 3D girlfriend” and “i’m not a weaboo there’s a difference!” To any avid member of the anime community, these signs were blatantly displaying the subject’s insecurities with watching anime while the “Chad Weeb” embraced the anime watching culture made clear by having features such as “Wears ahegao top to flex on the non-weeb plebians” and “Discusses patrician topics such as whomst holds the position of best girl, confidently straight.” Although to outside watchers the meme would not have made much sense, to many inside the r/animememes subreddit the meme made perfect sense and exemplified the features that the vast majority inside the community would perceive as the inferior version of an anime fan compared to that of the “Chad Weeb.”
Another great example of this meme which also made its rounds around the inter webs was the comparison between famous streamer Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins and Nintendo of America’s previous COO Reggie Fils-Aimé. Short after a videogame expo in which both Blevins and Fils-Aimé went up to the stage, Blevins was compared to Fils-Aimé by way of “The Virgin Walk vs. The Chad Stride” meme. This meme, like many other iterations of the “Virgin vs. Chad” meme template, worked to highlight as well as ridicule the mannerisms displayed by Blevins while going up stage. Features such as facing downwards throughout the duration of his walk as well as his presence online as a streamer with a mainly younger audience were descriptors made to undermine his image in comparison to Fils-Aimé’s perceived confident and cheerful stride while in a similar scenario. This iteration of the meme became so popular that even Blevins’ himself responded to it on a twitter post after many callouts online.
This shows that despite every meme lies a very serious question, could this meme be negatively impacting somebody? That is one question which is very hard to answer. Although there are many who believe that memes are merely jokes and as such should be taken with a grain of salt and never seriously, the way in which memes are able to spread and hide a deeper meaning is no joke. In the same way, the “Virgin vs. Chad” meme is meant to highlight those who are seen in a lower level than others and the message persists even in continuing iterations. This does not mean that people cannot have fun with the meme. At heart, memes are supposed to make us laugh and brighten our day even for a moment. What is important is to consider is not only the effect that our opinions and words can have online but also our interpretations of such mediums of communication. And even then, as people use the format more and more the meaning and message will start to change little by little. Compare the first version of the meme to what it is today. Rather than outright discriminating against a particular type of person, the current versions of the meme take a more lighthearted approach to the issue and one can see that in memes such as “The Virgin Tomato vs. The Chad Potato” and “The virgin modern rapper vs. The Chad bebop saxophonist.” When looking at memes one must always remember to have fun and never take anything too seriously online. After all, memes are supposed to make us laugh and have fun.
The Virgin vs. Chad meme is at the very least an interesting meme, not because it is incredibly original, although one could make the arguments that it is just as original as any other meme out there, but because of its ability to adapt to any and all cultures found around the internet. Not only that, but it is used to highlight the major differences between those inside very niche subcultures, those who have the traits of a “Virgin” (those less desirable traits) to those of the “Chads” (the traits that expel confidence and are more desirable). Although not as long lasting as some other memes out there, the Virgin vs. Chad meme was a meme that delivered throughout its duration and made appearances throughout many subcultures and genres and is sure to be remembered by many for its creative use and vast flexibility.