Know Your Neighbors
Nicole GagliardiConnects With Millions Through the Niche ‘Little Miss’ Memes
If you’ve opened Instagram or Twitter recently, you may have been greeted by a smiling yellow blob with pigtails and a caption that reads: “Little Miss Packs 2 Weeks Worth of Clothes for a Weekend Trip.”
The “Little Miss” meme is based on a children’s book series, and every iteration of it features a bubbly character and a caption beginning with the words “Little Miss,” “Little Mr.” or “Little Mx.”—followed by a specific (and often hyperspecific) personality quirk.
While the trend is open to anyone with a social media presence and a pulse, one of the most popular Instagram pages to have jumped on the bandwagon, @littlemissnotesapp, went viral this month—amassing 2 million followers in the span of three weeks and demonstrating the weirdness of our hyperconnected modern age.
The account is not the work of a tech-savvy, Gen Z-focused branding agency or a well-known influencer. It’s the work of Nicole Gagliardi, a 22-year-old college student living in the Crocker Amazon neighborhood of San Francisco with two roommates and a dog named Sugar.
Gagliardi said she never imagined the account she created to share her interests with friends would end up drawing the attention of celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian or attract six-figure offers all in under 10 days.
While she is not the creator of the meme format (she suggested an Instagram user who goes by @juulpuppy may deserve credit for that), Gagliardi’s page has been subject to some serious overnight success. In addition to celebrities sharing her posts, she said a meme network recently offered her $700,000 in exchange for the now-coveted handle.
While it may be baffling to think that any Instagram account could be worth nearly $1 million, Gagliardi said she understands the appeal.
“I think people like it for the same reason that they like knowing their personality type and like seeing their zodiac signs—they just want something to identify with,” Gagliardi said.
Gagliardi’s account has become a place where people can find community and have a laugh at their own expense. “Why are you calling me out?” one user quipped in reference to a carousel of characters featuring surnames such as “stopped growing after the 6th grade” and “talks to her plants.”
The memes are universal enough that almost everyone can relate—and people want to share them with friends on social media.
That’s how Gagliardi started, after all—she just wanted to share some relatable jokes with her friends—and for now, that is still all she hopes to do. “I would rather have a million followers [than a million dollars],” Gagliardi said.
As someone who has been an avid user of social media going back to her days as a One Direction fangirl, she said that losing access to the account would mean that, “my little corner of the internet would be completely gone.”
Photos by Juliana Yamada/The Standard
Emotional intelligence and being able to openly express my feelings.
Cole Sprouse, because he blocked me on Instagram.
I am non-confrontational which makes it hard for me to do negotiations for the page.
Fan Culture: You can express yourself regarding a common interest that you share with other people and you will feel welcome.
It's about expression for me, and being able to express creatively.