When Did This Become Hotter Than This

When Did This Become Hotter Than This

Updated Mar 18, 2014 at 10:38PM EDT by Brad.

Added Jan 27, 2012 at 02:07PM EST by amanda b..

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“When Did This Become Hotter Than This?” is an image macro series comparing two sets of photographs featuring celebrities or famous subjects from two distinct time periods or generations. What began as a commentary on the ever-changing definition of beauty across generations, eventually led to online debates regarding the controversial issue of body images and even expanded across areas outside of celebrities, such as cute animals and inanimate objects.


The first known instance of “When Did This Become Hotter” image compared modern female celebrities like Keira Knightly and Nicole Ritchie to 1950’s era pin-up stars including Marilyn Monroe and Bettie Page. While the creator of the photo is unknown, the image entered circulation via Facebook sometime in early January 2012, making its way onto Twitter as early as January 16th when Yoga teacher Kathryn Budig tweeted[2] a link to the image.

The first Tumblr instance was posted by Running Thin on January 14th[8], but it didn’t gain momentum until a second instance was posted on the 19th[1], receiving nearly 400 notes in X period


The original image and its underlying messages were discussed at length between January 15th and 19th on health message boards and women’s lifestyle blogs including MyFitnessPal[6], Blisstree[3], Womanist Musings[4], and Beauty is Inside.[5] On January 27th, progressive public policy advocacy group MoveOn.org[7] posted the original photo to their homepage as a public service announcement for eating disorders, inspiring lots of conversation on Facebook.

Notable Examples

A series of the derivatives were posted to Buzzfeed[9] on January 26th. Many of these images are collected on the Tumblr tags When Did This[10] and When Did This Become Hotter Than This.[11]

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