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'Christian Girl Autumn' inspires fall-fanatic in all of us

Emily Gemma and Caitlin Covington posed for an innocent fall picture and had no idea they'd change meme culture forever.  – Photo by @cmcoving / Instagram

Despite this grueling hot weather we currently find ourselves in, the cool, crisp air of late September will soon approach us, which means it's time to break out the sweaters, order your pumpkin spice lattes, turn on "Gilmore Girls" and connect your AirPods to "All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)."

And with the upcoming fall season comes the annual comeback of the internet phenomenon, "Christian Girl Autumn."

The face of the meme and trend is fashion and lifestyle blogger Caitlin Covington, whose fall outfits and autumn-themed photoshoots have been the subject of people's excitement for fall fashion, weather and activities, with some referring to her as the "queen of the season" and "the Mariah Carey of fall."

Christian Girl Autumn was born in the summer of 2019, when the concept of "Hot Girl Summer," coined by rapper Megan Thee Stallion, was the talk of the internet and inspired people to live their best, fun lives without caring about what others thought.

On August 9 of that year, creator Isabella Markel tweeted the now iconic photo of Covington and her friend Emily Gemma decked out in their scarves, jeans and leather handbags, with the caption, "Hot Girl Summer is coming to an end, get ready for Christian Girl Autumn."

The term caught on fast. People began to use Covington's likeness to inspire comments poking fun at the archetype of the stereotypical basic white girl who loves fall and also associated her with the concepts of ignorance, racism, homophobia and Republican politics.

Covington responded with humor and shared more of her fall photos for people to use as memes. She was enthusiastic and played into the joke, and more importantly, she was kind to everyone teasing her.

But the internet truly started to fall in love with her when she proved she was the complete opposite of the type people assumed she might have been. "I'm a Gay rights and Black Lives Matter supporter, and I think all people should be accepted for who they are," Covington said in an interview with Insider.

When Markel, a transgender woman, began her transition in 2020, Covington reposted her GoFundMe link to her followers and donated $500 herself to help with the costs.

Now, every single fall, Covington shares her love of the season and fall outfits with an eager audience and still shows love to Markel and the internet for the surprisingly wholesome outcome of the Christian Girl Autumn meme.

People across social media continue to make edits of her and make posts in July and August about how Covington is currently "defrosting."

But in the past few years, many have decided to embrace the more "basic" parts of themselves. We've developed a huge love for this season, including holidays such as Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Fall will have us zipping up our coats, sipping hot drinks and baking pumpkin cookies. It's also representative of the back-to-school season, which has a nostalgic place in all of our hearts, whether good or bad.

These months bring a quiet end to our chaotic and eventful year, which, for many, can bring a sense of comfort and nostalgia — it reminds us of the simple things in life. Covington has certainly recontextualized what it means to be someone, or more specifically a woman, who just loves fall.

As a society, our love for the fall season grows stronger every day. So, I think it’s safe to say Christian Girl Autumn won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

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