If there’s anything to remember about the summer of 2019 it was that it was the “hot girl summer.”
Rapper Megan Thee Stallion coined the phrase in May and started an internet revolution encouraging girls to live their life to the fullest. But after three months of everyone on the planet making “hot girl summer” their caption on Instagram, the internet wondered what fall would bring.
Enter Natasha, who sensed the opportunity to make a great joke and possibly go viral. According to Insider, the 19-year-old creative writing student was living in New York City when she googled “fall outfits from 2012,” searching for a very specific look to make into a meme.
That’s when Natasha stumbled upon a 2013 photo of lifestyle blogger Caitlin Covington and her friend Emily Gemma. The pair have immaculately curled hair, enormous scarves and matching purses and booties, which was exactly the aesthetic Natasha was searching for.
“Christian Girl Autumn” blew up. More than 2,000 people replied to Natasha’s tweet and it spurred an onslaught of copycat memes on Twitter.
Both Covington and Gemma’s Instagrams and blogs were immediately discovered and their follower count started to increase. They found out about Natasha’s meme.
“I thought her meme was totally creative and funny,” Covington told Insider. “I totally admit to being ‘basic,’ and I’m okay with that.”
Of course, the popularity came with some not-so-happy people who, despite not knowing Covington or Gemma, assumed that they were bigoted.
“I’m a daughter, friend, wife, and an expecting mother. I’m a gay rights and Black Lives Matter supporter, and I think all people should be accepted for who they are,” Covington said. “I think if someone sat down with me for 15 minutes, they would see that, too.”
Covington and Gemma reached out to Natasha and had a laugh over the viral moment. While the lifestyle blogging duo continues to be meme’d and recognized online, Natasha has fallen into the background as the creator of the meme — which was fine with her until she needed help.
A year after Natasha made the meme, she decided to transition.
Unfortunately, the process of transitioning — with the medical bills and cost of hormones and potential surgeries — was turning out to be too expensive and she posted the link to a GoFundMe on Twitter.
Soon after sharing it, Covington retweeted it to her 42,000 followers.
Covington also donated $500 to Natasha.
“Natasha has been vulnerable about her transition and about the struggle to be accepted by her friends and family, which I think is so courageous,” Covington explained to Insider. “I support her decision 100 percent — I am always in favor of people embracing who they really are and to feel confident in their own skin and find happiness.”
Sometimes, the internet truly can be used for doing good.
Enjoy reading this story? Check out this mom who had a heartwarming response to her 12-year-old son coming out.
More from In The Know: