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What is the Karen color?

The “Karen” meme refers to a specific stereotype of white, middle-aged women who exhibit behaviors such as entitlement, privilege, and demanding to “speak to the manager.” This stereotype has become a popular internet meme in recent years, with “Karen” being used as a pejorative term. But where did this meme come from and why is the name Karen associated with it? Additionally, is there really a typical “Karen” haircut and color? Let’s explore.

Origins of the “Karen” Meme

The “Karen” meme has unclear origins, but it gained significant popularity on Reddit around 2017. It was used to call out behaviors associated with privilege and entitlement, especially when it comes to demanding service from retail and restaurant workers. Some trace it back to the “Can I Speak to the Manager” haircut meme that mocked a certain style of short, angled bob haircut popular among middle-aged women.

The name Karen specifically became attached as it was seen as a common generic name for middle-aged American women. Data on baby name popularity shows Karen peaked in popularity in the mid-1960s, so women named Karen are now mostly in their 50s and 60s.

Behaviors Associated with “Karens”

There is no single set of behaviors that defines a “Karen” but some common ones include:

  • Being overly demanding toward service workers
  • Complaining loudly and extravagantly
  • Refusing to follow rules and policies
  • Wanting to “speak to the manager” immediately
  • Being rude and prejudiced toward workers
  • Having an overdeveloped sense of entitlement
  • Threatening to get people fired over small issues
  • Being anti-vaccine or anti-mask
  • Calling the police on people of color for minor reasons

Essentially, Karens exhibit an attitude of superiority and lack of empathy towards working class service people, demanding exceptions and special treatment. They weaponize their relative privilege against marginalized groups.

Karen and Racism

In recent years, Karens have been associated with racism, especially anti-Black racism. Several high profile incidents went viral of white women calling the police to report Black people for minor infractions or completely fabricated crimes. These incidents drew accusations of racial profiling and attempts to put Black lives in danger by summoning police overreach.

Some of the most famous viral Karen racist incidents include:

  • “Barbecue Becky” – Called 911 to report a group of Black people barbecuing in a park.
  • “Permit Patty” – Called 911 to report a young Black girl selling water without a permit.
  • “Cornerstore Caroline” – Accused a young Black boy of grabbing her in a convenience store.
  • “Central Park Karen” – Called 911 claiming she was being threatened by a Black birdwatcher who had simply asked her to leash her dog.

These incidents further cemented the “Karen” meme as a term used to call out white women for privilege, entitlement, and racism.

Is There a Typical “Karen” Look?

In terms of physical appearance, there is no definitive “Karen” look. However, some common stereotypes associate Karens with:

  • Short, angled bob haircuts, especially blonde ones
  • “Can I speak to the manager” haircuts
  • Asymmetrical bobs
  • Short, blunt bangs
  • Highly layered cuts
  • Short pixie cuts
  • Oversized visor hats
  • Cat eyeglasses
  • Minivans

Again, there is no actual typical physical appearance, but the internet often stereotypes Karens as having short, blonde, middle-aged mom hairstyles along with clothing like yoga pants and oversized sunglasses. The suburban mom look has simply become visual shorthand for the archetype.

Is There a “Karen” Hair Color?

When it comes to hair color, the “Karen” meme is often associated with blonde hair. The blonde bob haircut is likely the most referenced in memes and pop culture. However, Karens can certainly have any hair color.

Some theorize the association with blonde comes from the “dumb blonde” stereotype implying entitlement, privilege, and lack of intelligence. Blonde hair on a middle-aged woman may signal excessive upkeep and vanity to some. The entitlement of Karen behavior is tied to concerns about physical appearance.

However, many argue this connection between blonde hair and being a “Karen” is based on unfair stereotypes. Plenty of women with blonde bobs do not exhibit any of the behaviors associated with Karens.

Karen Hair Color Stereotypes

Some common hair color stereotypes associated with Karens include:

  • Blonde – The most common Karen hair color in memes. Associated with “dumb blonde” stereotypes.
  • Black – Sometimes associated with the “Can I speak to the manager” short black bob. Indicates domineering attitudes.
  • Grey – Indicates an older Karen. Sometimes associated with the “blue hair” elderly stereotype.
  • Dyed Red – A fiery, intense hair color for a hot-tempered Karen.
  • Bleached and Striped – An attempt to look youthful and hip but failing.
  • Brown – Less common for a Karen but indicates a more natural, anti-vax type.
  • Unnatural Colors – Youthful attempt at relevance by someone who doesn’t understand modern style.

Again, these are just stereotypes and generalizations. Karens can have any hair color!

Karen vs. Becky vs. Susan – Different Memes?

While Karen is by far the most popular term, some related memes distinguish between:

  • Karen – Entitled, demanding, speaks to the manager.
  • Becky – Enjoys mainstream pop culture and pursuits.
  • Miss Ann – White women who enforce racist social boundaries.
  • Susan – Middle class community busybodies.
  • Carol – Complainer, sticks her nose where it doesn’t belong.

However, these terms are often used interchangeably. Karen has become the dominant catch-all term for this general suburban white mom stereotype exhibited in memes.

Wrap Up – It’s Complicated!

In summary, the “Karen” meme originated around 2017 as a term to describe middle-aged white women perceived as entitled, demanding, and privileged. It often targets behaviors that appear prejudiced or racist.

While the stereotypical “Karen” is associated with blonde bob haircuts and suburban mother imagery, Karens can look like anyone. The importance is not the physical appearance but the entitled, superior attitude.

As with any meme, we must be cautious about promoting unfair stereotypes. However, the “Karen” meme remains highly popular as a way to critique privilege and lack of empathy in our society.


In conclusion, while the “Karen” meme has strong associations with blonde hair, entitlement can come in any hair color. The Karen stereotype is better defined by privilege and lack of empathy than mere physical appearance alone. This complex meme reveals tensions in society around racism, prejudice, and the treatment of marginalized people.