Needless to say, we feel called out. Instagram users are associating themselves with the literary character series that until now, was collecting dust on the shelves of young millennials. The vibrant, eclectic, miniature characters with bows adorning their hair, wearing a cute pair of shoes and a hat on their head is a prominent part of everyone’s childhood. But today, these adorable characters are the internet’s freshest take on emotional expression – using “Mr. Men” and “Little Miss” to call out their own insecurities and personality traits.
What started out as an innocent children’s book, has now turned into a legitimate Instagram takeover, with the current generation creating their own take on Little Miss, followed by a specific character trait about themselves. Whether it is Little Miss College Dropout, Mr. Delusional, or Little Miss Girl Boss, these colourful, four-fingered iconic characters are now more relatable than ever. The “create your own” Little Miss is essentially a fill-in-the-blank situation. Yes, while the wording might be a little outdated – women being associated with “little miss” and men being tied to “Mr.”, the current generation has been mindful about introducing the gender-neutral character “Mx”, which has widely replaced the use of Miss and Mr to represent the nonbinary community.
Users of this trend are exploiting it to its fullest as an outlet for their creativity, to express emotions in a light-hearted manner, or to hype themselves up. This is the generation that best expresses itself via memes. Take “Little Miss Cries When She’s Mad” for example because let us be real, isn’t that a lot of us?
Where Did the Little Miss and Mr. Men Memes Come From?
The characters were first featured in a series envisioned by Roger Hargreaves in 1971 with the birth of “Mr. Tickle” – a yellow figure sporting a tiny blue hat. He then introduced his young readers to the iconic characters – Little Miss Sunshine, Little Miss Naughty, and Little Miss Bossy.
The book tackled daily events in the lives of the characters, showing how their names reflected their personalities. Today, the books have taken on a new lease of life, once again connecting with Gen Z, an audience they helped raise. The memes hit its readers with both intense feelings of relatability, as well as nostalgia.
The meme series has become a way for users to express their mental health, physical struggles, and even insecurities without taking them too seriously. They resonate with people and provide laughter towards less light-hearted topics. Instagram creators have started reposting these memes in an attempt to spread some humour, and in some cases some comradery.
This form of emotional expression has transformed into the youth being able to call out their own red flags. No longer are people keeping their own insecurities a secret. In this case, sharing is caring is really the key. If you find yourself having a silent laugh at the “Little Miss Cheese Pizza Only” or “Little Miss Can’t Spell Dessert,” tag yourself, because honestly, we’ve all been there.
Along with Little Misses, other incorporators have featured Mr. Men as well, because why should she be the only one who deserves to be called out? With characters like Mr. Emotionally Unavailable, Mr. PS5 Legend, and Mr. Gemini, the series calls out the male ego too.
The hashtag #LittleMiss has 41 million views and is taking over TikTok and Instagram Discover pages of Gen Z’ers everywhere. It is basically attacking the internet. Some are here for it, and some are scared at how eerily accurate the memes are. To quote a comment, in particular, one Instagram user said – “Just realizing that me, you, and the entire comments section has got a lot in common,” while another said, “Little Miss is hitting too close to home.” In a sense it almost makes you feel like most of us have never had an original thought or experience in our lives.
However, the absolute beauty of this trend is that people are not afraid to dig deeper into their personalities and take accountability for their flaws. We all have them. While we are all laughing over the memes, it is great to see how we are evolving as a generation of highly aware and mindful individuals who want to be better for themselves.