If we learned anything from the 2012 Oscars ceremony it was the unpredictable power of memes. At the end of the evening Meryl Streep may have walked away with the Best Actress Oscar, and The Artist was honoured as the year’s finest film, but the biggest winner of the night was undeniably Angelina Jolie’s Right Leg.
Let’s take a look at the journey of how Angelina Jolie, one Atelier Versace dress, and global access to the Adobe Creative Suite led to an internet phenomenon.
RED CARPET ARRIVAL No doubt about it, Angelina was one of the highlights of the Oscars red carpet appearing in an unusual boisterous mood, flipping her hair, grinning madly and airing the unwitting subject of the soon-to-be-meme through the slit of her skirt like a star of theatre bowing from the folds of the red curtain.
TAKING IT TO THE STAGE Once inside, Angelina Jolie’s Right Leg emerged again when Angie presented the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. And, like its red carpet performance, AJRL was displayed with equal degrees of outrageous hair-flipping hand-on-hip panache by the lithesome goddess. Now this is what you call ‘presenting’.
Once more with feeling:
HIGH PROFILE EARLY ADOPTERS The Descendants‘ screenwriters recognised the instant meme-cachet of Angelina Jolie’s Right Leg and paid homage to it while accepting the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. Having high profile early adopters massaging the meme on an internationally televised event, gave AJRL the kind of credibility boost most meme-chasing tumblr blogs can only dream of.
THE TWITTER ACCOUNT Angelina Jolie’s Right Leg starts a stand alone Twitter account.
ANGELINA JOLIE’S MULTIPLYING RIGHT LEG The internet began to visually hypothesize Angelina Jolie’s Right Leg in alternate worlds e.g. What If Both Of Angelina’s Legs Were Showing?..
LEGBOMBING Buzzfeed promptly coined the term “Legbombing”.
TOPICAL LEGBOMBING Legbombing quickly spread to topical world issues.
ANGELINA JOLIE-ING Someone else came up with the term “Angelina Jolie-ing”, as an expression pertaining to anyone adopting the AJRL pose (other than Angelina herself) and quickly inspired a dedicated tumblr.
And I think that’s about where we’re at.
Let’s hope Jean Dujardin Nuzzling will be the next Oscars-generated moment bound for memedom.
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