On the Internet, to Be ‘Mom’ Is to Be Queen

Excerpt from this article:

In one particular shot, captured in an elevator and posted to the star’s Instagram (with 2.5 million likes), Beyoncé stares fiercely into the camera, her hand placed protectively on her young daughter’s arm, as her princess dress overtakes the floor.

As you may have expected, the Bey-hive (that’s Beyoncé’s fan base) went nuts: “SLAYYYYYYY,” they commented. The photo was “everything,” they squealed. It was so fierce they were all “dying” — like, literally, physically rolling in their graves.

And then there was this response, from a variety of fans:



“Will you be my mom?”


“Beyoncé is everyone’s mom.”

Like most things internet, the origin of “mom” — or at least, how most of us learned about it — can be traced to Kim Kardashian West. In 2014, when Ms. Kardashian West posed for a Paper magazine cover with her oiled backside glistening in full force, Lorde, the 20-year-old pop star, tweeted the image with only one word: “mom.”


At first, fans wondered whether she was critiquing Ms. Kardashian West. (Was she criticizing the new mom’s decision to pose naked?) Luckily, a fan wrote to Lorde’s Tumblr asking her to explain, for those of us who don’t speak internet, and Lorde set the record straight.


“I retweeted kim’s amazing cover and wrote ‘MOM,’ which among the youthz is a compliment,” she wrote. “It basically jokingly means ‘adopt me/be my second mom/i think of you as a mother figure you are so epic.’”