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What does a “creative person” look like? There’s no real answer to the question. You can display the hipster trappings associated with creative professionals, but that’s virtually meaningless in terms of the ideas you produce. That’s why when one website attempted to show what “creative people” look like, it fell flat on its face and ended up starting a meme.
Bright Side, a millennial website about creativity and positive vibes, posted a series of cute illustrations stereotyping “creative people” as quixotic daydreamers. They’re above mundane activities like watching TV or playing video games, and they imagine dragons and witches at work and at home. Plus, they have purple hair and glasses, or dress like Johnny Depp, with a bandana and tiny fedora.
The illustrations are cute, but they represent a narrow, childlike, and not very diverse view of what “creativity” means. For all their attempts to celebrate imagination, they’re just not very imaginative. People picked up on this pretty quickly.
“It’s weird because what they define as ‘creative people’ makes no sense, and presumes if you don’t dress a certain way or pretend that dragons live in your oven, you’re NOT CREATIVE AT ALL,” wrote Andrew Bridgman at CollegeHumor.
ordinary people: smile, drive a nice car— j a c k s o n (@headfallsoff) April 27, 2017
creative people: own nothing, jump to your death pic.twitter.com/7iXctAW3Zr
Now, the “Ordinary People vs. Creative People” trope is getting roasted hard on Twitter, with more savage parodies emerging by the hour.
Ordinary people vs creative people pic.twitter.com/mRXrK3t7oI— ____ (@APoetra97) May 4, 2017
Ordinary people vs creative people pic.twitter.com/so73KiU3gy— JPB (@JetpackBraggin) May 4, 2017
Ordinary people vs. Creative people pic.twitter.com/cTYCKtURkO— M a x ✨ (@maxwick0) May 4, 2017
How creative people see the world! pic.twitter.com/1ifeZDFD43— Olly Moss (@ollymoss) April 28, 2017
Ordinary People vs. Creative People pic.twitter.com/9XwgbTWAC3— Haunted Puzzle Boner (@GayAnimeDad) May 4, 2017
ordinary people vs creative people pic.twitter.com/enwZgZPtsr— la prezioza prinzeza (@Miss_muertos) May 4, 2017
Ordinary People vs. Creative People pic.twitter.com/AEZmIRSUzK— Ben The Butterfly (@bennyboy317) May 3, 2017
Most of the memes show something ordinary next to something completely bizarre, which mocks the original comics by taking their premise to the extreme. Ironically, it’s also much more creative than Bright Side’s original premise.
Some of the best parodies make fun of the original artwork, contrasting it with video games, anime, and other pop culture references.
Ordinary people vs creative people— Paprika Fortis (@Trevgauntlet) May 4, 2017
I call this "Well Done" pic.twitter.com/5rRb4L7uGI
Normal People vs Creative People pic.twitter.com/CnNZBmXC9h— Chris (ctransformed) (@octobrusher) May 4, 2017
Others make fun of the implication that “creative people” are just normal folks in different outfits.
Ordinary people vs creative people pic.twitter.com/4ZZCZtPpvN— Fox Barrett (@Fox_Barrett) May 4, 2017
ordinary people vs. creative people pic.twitter.com/3oSGutAv4t— Boner (@OlDirtyBoner) May 3, 2017
Normal people vs. creative people pic.twitter.com/2dmodjZzmi— Name cannot be blank (@LotsaNintendo) May 3, 2017
All in all, the backlash has proven it doesn’t take a special person with a special hair color to be creative. All it takes is a Twitter account, Photoshop, and a bone to pick with an ill-considered blog post.
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.