Memes don’t last forever.
Internet phrases and quotes don’t tend to have lasting power. Many times they’re a flash in the pan, their shelf life no longer than a week. For example, “cash me ousside” has already been replaced (despite Danielle Bregoli’s best efforts to remain relevant) with a new GIF of a man blinking in shock. In a week or two there will a new funny internet thing to replace him. Such is the circle of life.
That said, some exceptional memes etch themselves into our jargon forever. They become a part of us. Maybe they resonate with current events or maybe their lasting power is unexplainable.
One such phrase is “on fleek,” which was devised in 2014.
June 21,2014 Was day I made history and created a word that will never be forgotten Happy Fleek Day 💪🏾😂🙈 https://t.co/AwvqsgHdJa
— Peaches ✨💕🍑 (@peaches_monroee) June 21, 2015
What’s rarer than a meme or phrase lasting longer than a week or two is getting to know the person behind the sensation. Usually memes tend to originate from the digital ether, unable to be traced. That said, “on fleek” was recorded, giving its creator the credibility of facial-recognition. That creator was Kayla Lewis, also known as Peaches Monroee. Though she was able to be given her fair share of credit, her recognition didn’t come in the form of any financial gain or acclaim. Her words lived on, but her name and face faded away.
“Eyebrows on fleek” swept the nation during a time when eyebrows were coming back into fashion. Kayla Lewis, a beauty guru herself, created the phrase in light of the recent trend of a strong brow.
Even Ariana Grande got in on the action, propelling “on fleek” even further towards A-list status with a hilarious vocal rendition.
“Fleek” is still here, though not quite as prominent. Just as the word continues, so does the journey of its creator. That said, because she hasn’t been able to capitalize on the success of her words, she recently created a GoFundMe to make her dreams come true.
In the description of the fundraiser’s page, Lewis discusses her life after internet fame, as well as her dreams for the future. Unsurprisingly, she remains dedicated to the aesthetics of remaining on fleek, so much so that she intends to make a career out of it.
Some of you may know me as Peaches Monroee but my name is Kayla. I came up with the phrase/word “Eyebrows on Fleek”. Everyone has used the phrase/word but I haven’t received any money behind it or recognition. But for the most I want to start a cosmetic line and hair line; But I don’t have any money to do so. Maybe this can help me with my wishes and dreams. Iam currently enrolled in college. I’m taking up Nursing…but I also want to make sure I getting the recognition and money I deserve. Any amount can help , Thank you!
She’s hoping to raise $100,000. At the time of this writing, she has raised a little over $3,000.
Twitter has rallied around Lewis in the hopes of giving her the credit she deserves, calling out pop culture figures and big businesses who’ve incorporated Lewis’ signature phrase for their own monetary gain.
— Stella (@stellakae) February 19, 2017
— *deep, heavy, negro spiritual sigh* (@poochivicious) February 19, 2017
this is the girl who invented "fleek". stop giving the cash me ousside girl coint, and start supporting her!! https://t.co/tBAC5o9I0H
— jona (@fkajona) February 19, 2017
Lewis admits via Twitter that she was “embarrassed” to ask for money on social media, but in the end says she should be “getting paid” as rightful recognition.
Hopefully, Kayla Lewis is able to raise enough money to begin a new adventure and to continue keeping eyebrows on fleek.