The Ermahgerd Girl Comes Forward! Get The True Story Behind The Meme AND See What The Unwitting Face Of ‘Gersberms’ Is Really Like!

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The girl from the infamous ‘Ermahgerd’ meme is all grown up — only now she’s dishing out that she wasn’t exactly the person portrayed in that meme in the first place!

Maggie Goldenberger was an 11-year-old when she snapped a picture (above) that would bizarrely rocket to Internet infamy almost 20 years later.

But in a new interview for Vanity Fair, it turns out she’s just a normal person who was actually nothing like the image we all think of when we see the word ‘Ermahgerd’!

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Goldenberger spoke about how she first came across the meme in 2012, and was shocked at how it had already swept around the world through back channels of the ‘net:

“I had no idea at this point how widespread it was. My eyes just get wide and I say, out loud, ‘This is so f**king weird.'”

The weirdness was only just beginning for Goldenberger, who is now a nurse in Phoenix, as she recounts how her friends have thoroughly enjoyed the fact that she’s Internet famous:

“Then there’ll be a 30-minute session of them looking at every single version of it. I have to fake-laugh as if I haven’t seen them all before. I just can’t believe this is my 15 minutes of fame├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥I was hoping it would come in another form. But I guess you have to take what you can get.”

As the real story goes, though, when Maggie was a fourth or fifth grader, her and friend Kaelyn would create funny and bizarre characters out of a dress-up box of accessories, making outrageous outfits, mannerisms, and whatever else struck their fancy.

One day, the infamous photo was snapped, with Goldenberger donning a vest, pigtails, and those memorable Goosebumps books. Kaelyn kept the picture for years, and when MySpace and Facebook rose to popularity, she uploaded the pic there too. And, as you probably guessed, that’s where the shot eventually attracted the attention of the Internet.

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It hasn’t been all good for Goldenberger, though. After an online campaign to figure out her real name, an anonymous person tracked her down and snapped pictures of her on a beach, in a bikini, in Hawaii, uploading them to the Internet for all to see.

Goldenberger was not down with that (nor should she be!):

“I have no idea who did that. And if I’m going to have a bikini shot floating around on the Internet, I’d like to be spray tanned and under a waterfall somewhere.”


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At least it sounds like she took it in stride with a great attitude, but that’s still a horrifying thing to have happen to you simply for snapping a random goofy photo when you’re 11 years old…

All in all, though, Goldenberger seems pretty well adjusted for somebody who had a one-time character immortalized through bizarre Internet fame.

Did YOU expect the Ermahgerd Girl to be so chill??

[Image via Maggie Goldenberger/Vanity Fair.]

Oct 16, 2015 3:58pm PST

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