The Hilarious ‘Distracted Boyfriend’ Meme Turned A Stock Image Into A Metaphor For Anything
You’ve no doubt seen it coming in and out of your timeline, it’s the Distracted Boyfriend meme (also known as Disloyal Man) and it’s been called the meme of the summer. It has many variations but is based upon a Shutterstock photo of guy with his girlfriend in the street who gets caught looking at another girl walking past.
The caption with the original stock images reads, “Disloyal man walking with his girlfriend and looking amazed at another seductive girl.” But thanks to the internet the Distracted Boyfriend meme has taken on a life of its own and been shared endlessly to show everything from capitalism’s relationship to socialism, the recent solar eclipse, people’s book buying habits, tweeting, even Henry VIII and his wives. It’s gone through so many cycles it’s even now referencing itself in meta-versions of the Distracted Boyfriend meme.
It’s also made internet stars out of the models in the original photo and has seen the photographer, Antonio Guillem, interviewed about his own thoughts on it all. It seems Barcelona-based Guillem is fairly baffled about the infamy his photo has received with the Distracted Boyfriend meme. He wasn’t even aware of it until one of the models in the photo told him. In fact he notes he hadn’t really heard of a meme until recently.
Antonio Guillem & The Distracted Boyfriend Meme
Antonio Guillem and the original Distracted Boyfriend Meme image – Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto.
“I never thought that one of my images will be that popular.” 45-year-old Guillem told Inverse. “I didn’t even know what a meme is until recently, when the models started to tell me about the memes that people were doing with our work.” While also telling Wired, “Regarding what I think about the photo has gone viral, I think the image was a good foundation to whoever had the great idea to turn it into a metaphor that works for almost everything.”
As for the models, speaking with The Hollywood Reporter the guy said this about that expression he’s pulling, “I remember that it was kind of embarrassing because there were people watching and laughing and I had to make this silly face. But in the end, like we always do, I just forgot they were there and did my job. I remember it like a learning experience, and I had fun with my team.”
In response to the global success of the Distracted Boyfriend meme Guillem told NY Mag, “The popularity of the meme, for the reasons that I said before, has taken us by surprise. The models discovered the meme on social media and they told me about it. None of us could image the media repercussion that it has reached right now.”
Check out some iterations of the Distracted Boyfriend meme, below.
The Best Of The Distracted Boyfriend Meme
(@bilrac) August 22, 2017
— Randy Pound (@leftoutside) August 22, 2017
— Valondar (@VK_HM) August 23, 2017
— 26_male_NYC (@25_male_NYC) August 21, 2017
— Reverend Scott (@Reverend_Scott) August 23, 2017
— edgelord allan poe (@haarleyquin) August 22, 2017
these aren't even jokes this is deadass what happened pic.twitter.com/L15F8Ek9yC
— gorgeous hag (@ashaggreyjoy) August 22, 2017
— n1m (@n1m161) August 19, 2017
— gab/apentin (@gabrielamadej) August 27, 2017
— Patrick Monahan (@pattymo) August 23, 2017
— emma lord (@dilemmalord) August 23, 2017
— poolboy (@oypoolboy) August 23, 2017
— Just Eat UK (@JustEatUK) August 31, 2017
Am I doing this right pic.twitter.com/GnWiBWQrnn
— David Chen (@davechensky) August 24, 2017
— Cube (@TheIciestCube) August 24, 2017
— leon (@leyawn) August 22, 2017
— yobi (@grape_son) August 22, 2017
— Andrew Wheeler (@Wheeler) August 23, 2017
— Aynsley Broom (@Aynsley_Broom) August 26, 2017
Meme scientists from their hidden bunker have been experimenting with "Distracted Boyfriend" stock image,but most is quiet in Great Meme War pic.twitter.com/4HcZLFGZA6
— Rob Clark (@theelusivefish) August 24, 2017
Bioquark don’t want you to mention the ‘z’ word, but an upcoming trial from the life sciences company could see brain dead people resurrected from the dead….
On closed off roads under the cover of night teens in the Dominican Republic partake in illegal street racing on custom motorbikes. This illicit and intriguing culture…
Any dad would do anything for their son, but unlike these amazing pictures by Dad Adrian Sommeling using his Photoshop skills, most fathers don’t have the ability…
When it comes to cheating on your partner nobody really wins. And no where is that made clearer than in these shocking cheating spouse confessions from married…
It’s time to get ready for the arrival of body painted superheroes. You’ve probably heard of cosplay but Canadians Lianne Moseley and Kay Pike, two makeup artists…
When it comes to virtual reality and augmented reality, these have been the hot tech buzzwords on everyone’s lips over the last few years. Bringing digitally-created visuals…
The fall of the Simpsons has no doubt happened. Of course, in its heyday The Simpsons was undeniably the best of the best. It was a family…
CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk has revealed plans for new space rockets that will not only help his company colonize Mars, but also create a moon base,…
Biomechanical tattoos are seriously cool. If you’re the kind of person who digs HR Giger then it’s possible that biomechanical tattoo designs might well feature on your…
The shovel guitar is what musician Justin Johnson has chosen to crank out the blues, and crank them out very well at that, in this impressive and…