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Facebook Bra Color Status Update Meme

Last posted Jan 14, 2010 at 07:02PM EST. Added Jan 07, 2010 at 10:59PM EST
27 posts from 14 users

At 2pm CST, I spotted a friend posting “yellow” as her Facebook status.
Shortly after, another posted “brown.”
They got ponderous congratulating responses from my friends.
I added “Mauve,” and got lots of snickering responses.
“What the crap?” I scratched my head.

http://www.annarbor.com/health/breast-cancer-awareness-campaign-has-ann-arbor-facebook-users-spotting-color-updates/

Ah. THAT the crap.
Soon afterwards, everyone was posting colors, some going into detail about frill, decorations, cup size, whatever. I continue to get lolcow responses. This is entertaining to watch as this very short-lived meme washes through Facebook.

Last edited Jan 08, 2010 at 01:06AM EST
Jan 07, 2010 at 10:59PM EST
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Um… I didn’t know what that was, so I jokingly put chrome as my status.

Jan 07, 2010 at 11:28PM EST
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I’m skeptical that this actually began at Ann Arbor. In published reports, this is only the place where it first appeared on journalistic radar. Though-- Ann Arbor is stereotyped as a liberal lady’s paradise, and could be the home of something like this. The article is as clueless as I am as to the actual origin. It’s appearing across Facebook, now, 12:00AM CST, 1/8/2010, and I am in Oklahoma.

Jan 08, 2010 at 01:10AM EST
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Was there a computer in all these people’s kitchens? If not, then how did all these women get on facebook, amirite?

EDIT: I’m blatantly trolling. Hope it’s obvious enough to not offend.

Last edited Jan 09, 2010 at 08:22PM EST
Jan 08, 2010 at 09:17AM EST
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I started a thread about this, not realizing that this one existed. From my post:

I watched this gain momentum yesterday but didn’t post about it.

A message forward telling women to post a single word status update stating what color bra they were wearing. It was pushed as something only women could do “baffling the men.” It was also forwarded under the guise of being a campaign for breast cancer awareness.

I’m still looking into its origin however it’s gained about a quarter ton of media attention.

http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/2010/01/07/2010-01-07_omg_tmi_what_colors_your_bra_becomes_global_facebook_fad_for_a_day.html
http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thehumancondition/archive/2010/01/08/what-color-is-your-bra-facebook-s-pointless-underwear-protest.aspx
http://mashable.com/2010/01/07/bra-color-facebook-status/

Questions I have about this:
+ Was this a Facebook-native event or did it jump from another community?
+ Who was behind this and what was their intention?
+ What made this so interesting that the mainstream media picked up on it within a day?
+ This ‘meme’ seems to have blown up and gained mainstream coverage within hours of it’s initial spread. What kind of implications does this have for our research?

Last edited Jan 08, 2010 at 11:28AM EST
Jan 08, 2010 at 11:02AM EST
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I’m starting a meme entry on this now since it’s getting overnight mainstream attention.
It looks like nobody knows the exact origin just yet, but many would like to know.

http://www.allfacebook.com/2010/01/facebook-bra-color/

Post your findings in this thread and I’ll be incorporate it into the meme entry.

Jan 08, 2010 at 11:04AM EST
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Looks like there are a couple different versions of the message that I’ve seen so far. Here’s one that we published on Urlesque:
“Something fun is going on. Write the color of your bra in your status. Just the color, nothing else. And send this on to ONLY women no men. It will be neat to see if this will spread the wings of cancer awareness. It will be fun to see how long it takes before the men wonder why the women have a color in their status…..LOL!”

Or another:
“We are playing a game…… silly, but fun! Write the color of your bra as your status, just the color & texture, nothing else!! Copy this and pass it on to all girls/Females …… NO MEN!! This will be fun to see how it spreads, and we are leaving the men wondering why all females just have a color as their status!! Let’s have fun!!
Pass this on LADIES

Or another:
“List the color of your bra in your FB status, just the color, nothing more. Then send this mssg to your girlfriends’ inboxes, too … no men.

The point is to see how far we can spread breast cancer awareness … and make the men wonder what’s up :) "

I got girls who were doing it to forward me the messages. HA. Spam me in the name of science!

Jan 08, 2010 at 12:25PM EST
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do you smell some Anonymous involvement in this?

Jan 08, 2010 at 12:30PM EST
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No, I don’t get any Anonymous air from this. I was all over 4chan last night and saw nothing about this. In fact, I think I missed this BECAUSE of that reason. But I’m seeing it all over Facebook today, from friends of mine who don’t know much of anything about 4chan.

Jan 08, 2010 at 12:52PM EST
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Nothing here smacks of Anon. This is old school like chain mail.

What’s interesting about this is the low barrier to participation (one word status update) and implication that participation automagically makes you in on the joke (and therefore a winner.) While that’s nothing new, it’s rare to see it in a mainstream FB “meme”. It’s the same kind of game scenario that makes certain image macros so rewarding. And it’s why so many people get upset when they think you’re giving away the game. It’s like you’re taking away the value of their ‘work’.

I personally enjoyed the following comment from @Kelly’s Urlesque piece:

“Dear Lindsey and AOL: Thanks for ending the fun little ‘secret’ we had from the guys. It was cute having my guy friends constantly asking what the colors meant. A small number figured it out, but at least they figured it out on their own, with no help from this article.”

Face/b/ook, anyone?

Last edited Jan 08, 2010 at 01:28PM EST
Jan 08, 2010 at 01:26PM EST
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I just added a some updates from my facebook friends. It looks like a lot of the guys were already catching on pretty early. Granted one female friend posted “white and lacy” so she kind of gave it away.

Jan 08, 2010 at 03:28PM EST
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I just heard from Tomberry that the meme has reached France.

Jan 08, 2010 at 03:29PM EST
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I honestly do not see this as a meme. If this is also just appearing on Facebook or Myspace, it is not a meme. I think this is a Not-meme, but would be worth noting if we had a section like that.

+1 Not-meme.

Jan 08, 2010 at 03:29PM EST
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Viral Spread? Check.
Participatory? Check.
Mutations? Check.

What’s not a meme about this?

Jan 08, 2010 at 03:33PM EST
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@Logan

This is definitely a meme. A text-based one at that. It’s sort of (or VERY) similar to the Pants Status meme.

Also, like Chris has added to the article, this meme has spread all over the net in the form of commentary about the whole thing on blogging sites.

Jan 08, 2010 at 03:34PM EST
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I say it is too early to call a meme. In a week, after we’ve had time to fully research it, then we can decide if it is or not.

If it is truly a Breast Cancer Awareness thing, then that is just like someone saying, “Hey, it’s black history month, so all African Americans post ’I’m black’ as your status!!”

Again, if it is an “inside joke” exclusively to one website, it is not a meme.

And @Chris, take a look at this, if you will.

Last edited Jan 08, 2010 at 03:50PM EST
Jan 08, 2010 at 03:49PM EST
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This article makes it look like it began in Sweden. Not sure what to think about that yet.
http://www.shoutmeloud.com/facebook-bra-color-status-update-shoes-size-update.html

Jan 08, 2010 at 05:01PM EST
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Logan, it spread to Twitter.

Last edited Jan 08, 2010 at 05:35PM EST
Jan 08, 2010 at 05:35PM EST
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Kelly, I appreciate your double-agent skullduggery.
4chan wouldn’t do anything as cute or snickery (girls only!) as this, and especially nothing so girly.

Logan, I disagree. This certainly is a meme, especially in the way it behaves. It is both a forced meme, and a naturally occuring, organic one.
I looked up on my news feed and saw one color post, then another, seemingly by random coincidence, and added my own color post. A real viral, old-fashioned, pre-internet meme works that way. People look up and see some bizarre, seemingly random phenomena, and repeat it or add to it. This kind of thing is what drew me to this site!

“if it is an inside joke exclusive to one website, it is not a meme.” Even if only within a single community, it can still be a meme, but one limited in reach. Knowyourmeme may find it too short-lived or too tied to a single community to feature in an article, yet it still is a meme.

A lot of guys are being intentionally, cheekily lolcowish about it. I started out chiming in on seemingly random colors, totally clueless. Also, notice how much flirt this is generating. This meme is so adorable I want to pinch its cheeks.

Jan 08, 2010 at 05:52PM EST
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The Meme entry is located here: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/bra-status-updates

Jan 08, 2010 at 08:06PM EST
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Apparently guys wanted to get in on the act too and have started posting their boxer colors.

Yes really.

Link:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Post-your-boxer-color-Guys/238575412667?v=info

Jan 08, 2010 at 10:05PM EST
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At 11:20PM, CST, 1/8/2010, I saw it’s reached the front page of MSN.com
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34771723/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/?GT1=43001, though the text of the article is a copypasta of articles already referenced in this thread. The MSN article was posted at 3:25PM CST, 1/8/2010.
This impresses the heck out of me.

Has anybody attempted the long hunt, tracking back through friends-of-friends on FB to get closer to the origin?

Also, saw London posts today.

Jan 09, 2010 at 12:23AM EST
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it is mutating into Facebook Security Status messages! seen on a friend’s profile wall:

URGENT! FACEBOOK VIRUS ALERT. An email recently went out to women asking them to post the color of their bra. THIS IS A VIRUS.To fix it, you must remove your bra, then go to Settings>Enable Webcam> Record Movie. Please repost to your status. :)”

Jan 09, 2010 at 06:58PM EST
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Yes, that would be memetic mutation. From what I can tell, it seems that much of the meme has died off already. If what I’ve observed is accurate, it seems like it was a flash in the pan, but what’s remarkable was how quickly it spread. It was present throughout the US and Europe seemingly on the first day. I haven’t heard yet if it was present in Asian or African countries.

The obvious explanation for the broad reach was the ease of participation. The only skills necessary are the ability to use Facebook, and to identify colors.

Jan 11, 2010 at 12:29PM EST
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@kilgore: here you go.

YYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last edited Feb 24, 2010 at 09:27PM EST
Jan 14, 2010 at 07:02PM EST
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