Bemittened Bernie: The meme that resonated around the world

From the United States to Argentina to Iran, the picture proliferated via the far corners of the Internet in an ever-expanding array of jokes.

Washington-based photographer Brendan Smialowski snapped the now-iconic shot. It stood in stark distinction with the different visuals of the day: a parade of U.S. politicians and celebrities dressed up in designer monochrome outfits, reaffirming the virtues of U.S. democracy after a tumultuous 4 years.

But it was the Sanders picture that discovered a worldwide resonance transcending nationality, politics and context.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and his mittens had been a factor at the inauguration of President Biden on Jan. 20. (The Washington Post)

Perhaps Sanders’s seemingly grumpy look mirrored peoples’ personal annoyance with politicians and political techniques at a time when the world is reeling from a pandemic that has exacerbated financial and social divides. Or possibly the democratic socialist, whose liberal international insurance policies have made him in style overseas, at the least in some corners, was the most relatable a part of a day meant to show America’s democratic course of. Or it could possibly be that folks simply actually wanted one thing to snicker about collectively.

Whatever it was, in a time of journey bans, the Sanders picture simply made its technique to Russia:

And the streets of Kenya:

As properly as Paris Fashion Week:

And the bookstands of Tehran.

He was in comparison with leaders of the previous:

And members of the family of the current:

He turned “uncle” Bernie, as he’s usually referred to as in Arabic, working at the native nook retailer:

And mirrored that common annoyance of arriving early or being the single one at a marriage:

Somehow Sanders’s demeanor even captured the essence of BTS, the extensively beloved Korean band:

He was envisioned hanging out with politicians in Canada:

And regulars at the mosque:

Other takes had been extra overtly political:

The memes hold coming, and the shot of Sanders seen around the world has come to epitomize the strangeness of the Internet — and of politics in the digital age.

This report has been up to date.


The picture from Mexico was initially labeled as being from Uruguay.

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