Aesthetics Wiki

This is category for aesthetics that are related to meme culture or have gained meme status online over the years, including aesthetics that contain elements relating to meme culture.


Memes are broadly defined as culturally transmitted information or ideas and beliefs that can be spread from one organism, or group of organisms, to another[1]. A key component to the meme concept is that the information is able to self-replicate, and in turn undergoes a type of natural selection, much like biological genes and viruses.

The word was coined by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene (shown below). The book focused on the importance of self-replication in evolution and pointed to the gene as the unit of biological information that is subject to selection pressures.


The meme first appeared in Richard Dawkins’ first book, “The Selfish Gene” (1976), and was an attempt to understand why some behaviours, from an evolutionary perspective, seemed to make no sense but, somehow or other, were found to be very common in human societies. As Dawkins emphasised, natural selection is a ruthless judge of its subjects and any frailty, physical or behavioural, is almost inevitably rewarded by a rapid exit from the gene pool. It therefore followed that any widespread behaviour, prevalent in a thriving population, no matter how immediately inexplicable, should give some advantage in terms of gene survival. Continued research aimed to understand the reasons behind animal behaviours has yielded results that are entirely consistent with this thesis.


With the commercialization of the internet in 1995, modern memes gradually became more strongly associated with internet memes. Internet memes are associated with media, catchphrases, and more general trends that spread throughout various outlets on the World Wide Web like chat clients, blogs, social networking sites, email, forums and image boards. They're often used to point out how trends online evolve and change over time, creating various new derivatives.[1]

Joke Aesthetics vs Meme aesthetics: What's the difference?[]

Many people confuse Joke Aesthetics with Meme Aesthetics. A joke aesthetic would be an aesthetic that was created to be funny, non-sensical, annoying, rage-inducing or a parody. Some examples of joke aesthetics would include Massivecockcore or Unliminal Space. Meanwhile a meme aesthetic is an aesthetic originating from meme culture, for example: Black-Holed Memes or Arabfunny.
However, as of 2023, Joke aesthetics are no longer allowed in this wiki, and many of them have been moved to the Joke Aesthetics Wiki.

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