By Rebecca Kerzner and Emily Neckonoff
Photography by Chaya Ross
Rebecca Kerzner: What’s your name, major, and home base?
Emily Neckonoff: My name is Emily Neckonoff, I am a biology major and my home base is Lawrence New York. Aka part of the Five Towns.
RK: Logistics first. What exactly is a “Meme Lordess”?
EN: Meme lordess/lord is a term that I’ve come up with my friends that is reserved for people who reach the 100 like count on a meme he or she posts. One day, I declared to my friends that I wanted to be the first “Meme Lordess” ever. At the time, women were posting memes but they didn’t get so many likes. I had made others that hit around 80, but I wanted to aim higher. And I did!
This is the famous meme that brought Neckonoff to stardom:
RK: Wow! How’d you come up with this meme?
EN: Well I knew I wanted to do something on living in the Heights because to me, that’s such a YU experience. It is well known that the Heights is basically a dump, and we just happened to have populated there. I love John Mulaney and his bit on looking for a house with his wife. I had a lot of friends that got married over winter break, and, last semester, they were all looking at apartments in the Heights to live in. So I just started imagining them looking at the houses in the Heights. I mean, they are nice apartments, but it got me thinking of what John Mulaney said. I thought, “What would be classic, but is obviously not right?” And that’s the one that got over 100 likes! I guess it really spoke to people.
RK: Why do you think this meme got so viral?
EN: I think it’s because it has a very classic humor that is relatable to a lot of people. Most of the memes I put in the group have been of references to TV shows or comics that everyone has seen. Also, John Mulaney is gaining a lot of popularity, and I hear a lot of people talking about him at Stern, so I knew it would be universally recognizable.
RK: What’s so special about the page? What do you like most about it?
EN: The thing I like most about it is that it is an open forum. It’s a whole new platform for kids that might be too nervous to come out there in person and make a joke. On this page, people are free to share what they think is funny. Nobody will judge another and say “Wow, this is the worst thing I’ve ever seen. Get off!”
RK: I’m really glad women have gained a solid grounding in this meme page and that they are actively using it. In general, do you think the women are as active as the men?
EN: I don’t think they are as active as the guys, but there is definitely a nice presence there. The fact that I’m the first woman to hit 100 likes on a meme is kind of insane, when I know a bunch of guys who have already reached that point. I think it’s because guys are less nervous about the feedback they might get, and they’ll just shrug the negativities off, but some women may not be able to handle that. They might be nervous that they might get made fun of by their friends if they post. My friends used to make fun of me all the time for being so active in the group, but I had confidence in my humor. I think that confidence helps other women post and now it’s more “normal” for anybody to post and a lot of these memes are really good! I like a lot of them! I just wish they’d get more attention.
RK: If you knew a woman that wanted to post a meme who was embarrassed or nervous for whatever reason, what advice would you give her?
EN: Oh, I’ve actually had that before! The woman wanted me to post it because she was too nervous and I turned to her and said, “look, this is a funny meme, and I don’t want to take the credit for this idea. I can come up with memes on my own. You have this one.” She ended up posting it and got tons of likes and I remember telling her “see?” and now she posts whenever she feels like it. You just need to get over that initial worry that people might not like it and get that reassurance from a friend or two that the meme IS funny. Put it on there. It’s going to go over well.
RK: Are you friends with Shifra Lindenberg, the female admin of the page?
EN: I’ve never formally met her actually. I followed her other meme page “Jewish Shifposting” last year and at the time, I didn’t realize that the “Shif” part came from her name. I thought it was a pun on the word “posting” with a Jewish spin on it so I’ve always respected it, and then when I got added to this meme page, I realized it was her! Actually, when I started posting, some of my guy friends came up to me and said “Hey Emily, your memes get more likes than Shifra’s! Is there beef between you guys?” and I would say “No! Why would there be beef between us? She’s liked some of my memes and I’ve liked some of hers.” But it’s definitely not a competition. We’re all here to put out funny material and if anything me and Shifra are like allies. Feminist icons of the YU Memes page, if you will!
RK: What would you say is your favorite meme?
EN: Well, obviously my John Mulaney one is one of my favorite memes 😉. But otherwise, I generally like just plain text posts, with plain white boxes and black text. There’s this stupid meme that always gets me. Every single time I see it, I ugly laugh! It’s literally three lines but I die every time! It’s something so simple, yet so good.
This is the meme ⬇️
RK: For our last question, we are just dying to know. Who you think is cuter? Salt Bae? Or Damn Daniel?
EN: [Without hesitation] Damn Daniel, by far. Also, Salt Bae is an adult man. Didn’t they do an article on him that he has 8 different children with different women? [Really?!] Yeah, Salt Bae is a player! It’s hilarious.
So without further ado, I felt that it was important to conduct an evaluation on Emily Neckonoff’s newfound status as a “Meme Lordess” by challenging her to a meme quiz I found online. Below are her results.
Here are her results. It was a close call but she made it! I, along with the editors of Perspective can now attest to her ‘Yonce level as the “Meme Lordess” of Stern College for Women! We are genuinely quite impressed with her.
Take the quiz here! Best of luck and happy memeing!