The girl with wicked smile in front of a burning house. Sounds familiar? She is Zoë Ruth.
You might not have heard the name Zoë Roth, but most of the internet users have seen the famous disaster girl meme.
How Famous “Disaster Girl” photo was clicked
In 2005, when Ms. Roth was just 4 years old, her father took her to see a fire rescue drill by firefighters in Mebane, N.C. Firefighters had intentionally set the blaze as a controlled fire. It was a friendly demonstration. So, neighbours gathered and firefighters allowed children to take turns holding the hose.
Ms. Roth remembers watching the flames engulf the house when her father, an amateur photographer, asked her to smile. With her hair askew and a knowing look in her eyes, Ms. Roth flashed a devilish smirk as the fire roared behind her. “Disaster Girl” was born.
Zoë Roth, now a college senior in North Carolina, plans to use the proceeds from this month’s NFT auction to pay off student loans and donate to charity.
Who is the girl from the burning house meme?
Zoe Roth is the girl featured in the famous disaster girl meme. Disaster girl meme was internet famous before many of us knew what that was. When she was 4, her dad took a picture of her standing in front of a burning house and a fire truck.
From a Random Click to $500,000 NFT
The ownership rights market for digital art, gifs and media known as NFTs (non-fungible token), is exploding. All NFTs are stamped with a unique bit of digital code that marks their authenticity, and stored on the blockchain, a distributed ledger system that underlies Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Roth, now in her 20’s, has auctioned off the image as an NFT. She sold the original copy of the meme for 180 Ethereum, which is a type of cryptocurrency, to a NFT collector named @3FMusic.
In an interview, Ms. Roth said selling the meme was a way for her to take control over a situation that she has felt powerless over since she was in elementary school.
Before making the decision to sell, Ms. Roth consulted “Bad Luck Brian” himself — his real name is Kyle Craven — and Laney Griner, the mother of “Success Kid.”
“It’s the only thing that memes can do to take control,” Ms. Roth recalled Mr. Craven telling her.
Roth said that throughout the years, she has enjoyed seeing her image in the meme and its many variations. She told the New York Times: “You just make it fit however you want to fit it. I love seeing them because I’d never make any of them myself, but I love seeing how creative people are.”
Meme Market is growing rapidly
An NFT of a video clip of LeBron James dunking recently sold for more than $200,000. Nyan Cat, a popular meme from 2011 that features an animated flying cat, sold for nearly $600,000. That’s relatively small potatoes. Last month, a JPG file made by a digital artist known as Beeple sold for nearly $70 million.