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“Russian forward, with us Tessa”: as a singer from the United States became the heroine of memes about Russian nationalists

Parodies, the status of the “queen”, comments and pictures in social networks – and all this is about a girl who does not belong to the movement and has never been to Russia.

In January 2018, in the public dedicated to Russian nationalism, appeared its own “queen” – 28-year-old American pop singer Tessa Violet (Tessa Violet). The girl who never expressed support for the ideas of nationalism and did not visit Russia, became the heroine of many memes, received hundreds of comments “Russians forward” in her address and eventually found out about her fame in Russia.

Initially, Tessa was a blogger – she started her YouTube channel back in 2006, and began recording video a year later. Taking the nickname Meekakitty, the girl published stories from life, parodies and music videos. By 2010, she had almost 500 thousand subscribers, and Violet was written about by the media, calling her one of the most popular bloggers in New York at that time.

C 2014 girl builds a musical career. She released the album “Maybe Trapped Mostly Troubled”, which hit the iTunes charts. In June 2018, Tessa Violet published a video for the song “Crush”. The video scored more than 28 million views, and the singer came to the attention of Billboard and other music media.

In the video, a 28-year-old girl appears in a New York brand Mishka sweatshirt. The name is written on the chest in Cyrillic. This was noticed, for example, by the users of “Dvacha”. But then Tessa’s popularity in Russia was no longer limited to songs and the “Bear” print.

In December, the Memes for Russians community published a series of pictures from Violet. Almost all of them are footage from the “Crush” clip with an added inscription typical of Russian nationalists. The most popular was the option with the cry: “Russians forward.” Other right-wing meme communities like “ RNG ” (“Russian national state”) and Right girls joined the users .

“Tessa / Tron of the Russian national state / Russian nationalists”

Over time, artifacts appeared with Tessa.

For a month, dozens of variations of the meme about Tessa and Russian Forward appeared in public. The American singer was called the “Tsarina”, and the subscribers wondered why the community administrators made her a symbol of Russian nationalism. There were versions that, because of the hair color, Tessa reminded the audience of the clip the imperial flag.

By January 14, Violet had become so popular that in “memes for Russians” they announced the sale of posters with her image. And memes with Tessa went beyond the limits of communities about nationalism: images can be found , for example, on the Steam forum.

Later, users moved from the public in “VKontakte” to the accounts of the singer. Hundreds of comments like “Russian Forward” and “Tessa – Our Queen” appeared under her clips, some parodies appeared on YouTube (instead of the chorus – the call of nationalists), and there were almost no English-language comments on the instagram account.

Tessa Violet knows about her popularity in Russia: on January 11, she mentioned it on her twitter. But then I deleted the tweet – apparently, there were too many comments under it.

“Um, 100% of the comments under the video” Crush “are in Russian. How are you, Russia. I guess the song is meme in Russia? I can’t say, I’m 100% lost in type because of the language barrier. I dont know”

In any case, Tessa’s social networks are left with one confirmation that she knows about her popularity in Russia – she saw a parody in the style of Russian nationalists on Crush. The reaction was something like this.

Tessa’s fame in Russia has reached Reddit. Users wondered why there are so many comments in Russian under the clips. They volunteered to answer in “Memes for Russians”.

Hello, western friends! We are Russian nationalists and creators of the Memes for Russians public. With its help, we promote our ideas among young people. To do this, we make memes of the Russian Empire and the right ideas in general.

Why tessa? Well, this is a local meme. As you noticed, she put on a sweater with the inscription “Bear”, so we added it to our memes. <…> We are smart people who spread their ideas beyond the marginal environment. And Tessa in our memes is just a joke. None of us is a fan of her music.

from the statement of the community “Memes for Russians”
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