Vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan is heading into a debate with current VP Joe Biden tonight at 9 p.m. EDT, and in the hours before the Wisconsin congressman has become the subject of a meme befitting his passion for fitness.
After Time published a series of photos of Ryan lifting weights, Mitt Romney’s running mate has been ridiculed by some. The images gained steam after being posted to Buzzfeed under the headline “Paul Ryan Did a Beefcake Photo Shoot and It's The Best Thing Ever.”
The website encouraged viewers to make their own Paul Ryan photo shoots.
The Time photos feature Ryan lifting weights in front of a solid blue background, but Buzzfeed doctored the images to change the background.
According to Time, the photos were taken last year after Ryan was named runner-up in the “Person of the Year” issue. The photo theme was inspired by Ryan's avid exercise routine with the now best-selling P90x workout.
This isn’t Ryan’s first brush with unintentional Internet stardom. After Romney chose him as running mate, the meme “Hey Girl, It's Paul Ryan” started when conservative political consultant Emily Zanotti compared Paul Ryan to actor Ryan Gosling, reports KnowYourMeme. Gosling had become the subject of his own meme, with a quote starting with “Hey girl” would be placed over a picture of the “Drive” star.
Gosling’s meme was imitated for Ryan’s. The result is quips like “Hey girls, I would ‘Nay’ on ARRA, because you’re all the stimulus I need,” and “Girl, there’s a deficit in my heart that only you and an unbridled private sector can fill.”
The Paul Ryan pumping iron meme is just begining, and users of sites like Buzzfeed, Tumblr and Reddit can expect more variations to come.