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Content warning: This article contains graphic images some readers may find disturbing.
A meme featuring someone putting a Band-Aid over a cut on their arm is making the rounds on social sites this week. The cut represents all the problems in your life, and the Band-Aid is the one thing or event that would make them better. It’s pretty optimistic in tone, especially given how dark memes have gotten, but many are understandably unhappy about the sight of blood on their timelines.
It’s not clear who first started the meme, but the stock photo is now all over Twitter, meme-dumping sites like me.me, and even Pinterest. Here are a couple of the “band-aids” that keep people going when their lives are difficult or full of problems:
The Band-Aid meme is especially popular among K-Pop stans, who are posting their favorite Korean groups as the solution to all their problems:
The only band-aid meme that really matters. pic.twitter.com/uyf1SsvZHw— Calineczka (@gangaji_pl) April 17, 2018
Other kinds of pop music stans are doing it, too. This one is about the band The Neighbourhood:
Although the metaphor has been widely embraced on Twitter, many are not pleased that an open wound is a meme now. In context, the posts aren’t about self-harm, but seeing a cut on the arm naturally brings it to mind. And for some, the sight of blood itself is uncomfortable.
i’m so sick of seeing that band aid meme that shows a whole ass cut on someone’s arm being everywhere and with no trigger warning lmao— jeno day (@momojiirou) April 19, 2018
WOW Wish people would seriously stop sharing that fucking band aid meme. I dont wanna see no cut/wound real blood. Get it the fuck away from me its very triggering and makes me super uncomfortable and I'm 210% sure I'm not alone.— . (@pnkprnc) April 19, 2018
boy do i sure hate this cut+band aid meme thats been going around. gotta love seeing an open wound all over my timeline, it's great— チェイ⭐️ (@jaunepoi) April 18, 2018
i hate that band-aid meme it's triggering but i can't think of a way to blacklist it— kaitlyn (@Kaitlyn_Heart) April 18, 2018
In a clever twist, good posts guy Leon Chang (@leyawn), even made a safe version of the meme that removes the blood altogether:
At first glance, the Band-Aid meme is pretty useless. Why bother spilling blood on your timeline just to say you really like a person or thing? It’s a little deeper than that, though: the Band-Aid meme isn’t just about what you like. It’s a hyperbolic teenage declaration of the thing you can’t live without. Sure, you could take it further, and make the meme about depression or self-harm, but the wound in the meme isn’t explicitly self-inflicted—it just represents the cuts and stings life throws at us, which we wouldn’t be able to nobly suffer without the latest Star Wars film or the music of gorgeous Korean boy-bands.
Still, you don’t know how many of your followers are going to find this meme triggering or just plain icky. Perhaps it’s for the best to find other ways to express the same sentiment.
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.