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Hey Girl or Ryan Gosling meme

What does Hey Girl mean?

The Ryan Gosling Hey Girl meme is a series of images of Canadian actor Ryan Gosling paired with text that begins with the phrase “Hey girl.”

While feminist messages are most closely associated with Ryan Gosling Hey Girl meme, the image and phrase have been used to comment on a variety of subjects including art, politics, philosophy, and sports.

image of Hey Girl

Where does Hey Girl come from?

Gosling’s first appearance as a meme likely began in December 2008, on the Tumblr fan site FuckYeah! Ryan Gosling, which posted several images of Gosling, including one captioned with a romantic Hey Girl caption. The positive feedback to the image led to the site producing more Gosling image macros with Hey Girl statements.

The growing number of Hey Girl memes came to mainstream attention in 2010 when Gosling read some of the text from various images during an MTV interview. Shortly afterward, new blogs, including the very popular Feminist Ryan Gosling, began creating Hey Girl memes.

On Feminist Ryan Gosling, each image is accompanied by feminist theory introduced with a “Hey girl.” For example: “Hey girl. Gender is a social construct but everyone likes to cuddle.” and “Hey girl. We don’t need arbitrary beauty archetypes steeped in historically biased ideologies pumped out to us by mediocre, archaic forms of media to define our sexiness.”

Gosling’s face and the Hey Girl phrasing have since become ubiquitous in meme culture. It is often associated with another famous Gosling meme, “Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal.”

A few things to note…

Like many memes, the Ryan Gosling Hey Girl memes can make specific references to any subject, though they continue to be chiefly associated with feminism and romance.

For example…

“Based on the idea that the meme makes feminism more appealing, they designed an experiment using 99 undergraduate participants (69 women and 30 men), and found the meme had a measurable effect on feminist beliefs in men.”

Lauren Duca, “Hey Girl, That Ryan Gosling Meme May Actually Make Men More Feminist,” Huffington Post (February 6, 2015)

“Its not a great Meme example, but now that Ryan has endorsed Bernie Sanders. we gotta run with the 'Hey Girl' Memes.”

TheBernieHammer Reddit (November 13, 2015)

“Breastfeeding mamas, the time is long overdue for a Lactivist Ryan Gosling.”

Dionna Dionna Codenamemama (August 3, 2013)

This is not a formal definition of Hey Girl like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Hey Girl that will help you expand your word mastery.