Eggs: We can’t get enough of them. Egg consumption has increased over the last decade, and in recent months the little round shells have garnered even greater recognition. In January, a picture of an unassuming brown egg set against a white background was posted on Instagram and quickly became the most liked post to ever appear on the site. It now holds 53 million likes, easily surpassing Kylie Jenner’s measly 18 million likes for her birth announcement, and ended up with a Super Bowl spot. This past weekend, a 17-year-old named William Connolly, smashed an egg on the back of Australian Senator Fraser Anning’s head during an interview. Anning had made disgraceful and Islamophobic remarks following the horrific massacre in New Zealand, and Connolly, now known around the world as “Egg Boy,” made the egg his tool of choice to denounce Anning’s fascism. Egg Boy isn’t alone, either: Video of Brazil’s current president and far-right populist, Jair Bolsonaro, being egged in the face has surfaced as well.
Also, if you listen closely, Ariana Grande’s hit single “thank u, next” sounds like she’s saying, “thank u, eggs.”
Over the last few years, eggs have been consumed more often following studies linking them to health benefits, but in a recently published study, conducted by Northwestern University, egg consumption was associated with a higher risk of heart disease. Thankfully for egg consumers, several outlets pointed out issues with the study, like self-reports on eating habits, not accounting for how eating habits change over time, and the fact that eggs are often consumed alongside fatty foods like bacon and sausage.
More crucially: Does a new study really matter? Nobody is going to stop eating eggs. Come on. And with Easter only a month away, eggs will have a constant stronghold within our collective consciousness. It also helps that the Egg Boy video has gone viral and he plans to donate most of the supporting funds he’s received via a GoFundMe page to the New Zealand massacre victims and victims’ families — another positive mark toward eggs.
Eggs have been used as a symbol of life, fertility, rebirth, and even eternity in myriad non-Christian creation myths. For example, the Taoist legend of Pan Gu, the first man, is thought to have originated from an egg, where he breaks out of the shell to bring order to his chaotic surroundings. Similarly, the West African Dogon creator god, Amma, originally appears in egg form, and his restrictive egg opens to spread a whirlwind of contents that eventually create the universe.
The Instagram egg has gone beyond its original post: It now has its own Instagram account with almost ten million followers, and is referred to as “Eugene” by fans who call themselves the “Egg Gang.” On the account, the man behind the egg, Chris Godfrey, posts marketing ploys like finding the egg that always seems to be missing. He also told the New York Times that “an egg has no gender, race or religion. An egg is an egg, it’s universal.” An egg is indeed an egg, and that’s why what Godfrey has chosen to do with his (and Eugene’s) newfound fame is so odd. The Atlantic reported that Godfrey and the egg have teamed up with Jerry Media, the company behind the disastrous Fyre Festival, to monetize their fame by reaching out to non-profits for collaboration and selling merchandise with 10 percent of sales donated to charity.
Weird delivery system, but okay. I’m reminded of a line from Hermann Hesse’s novel Demian: “The egg is the world. Whoever wishes to be born must destroy a world.” For Egg Boy, the world of fascism has been cracked, oozing down the balding head of a politician. The Instagram egg is selfish in its intent, still intact, and attempting to monetize its alluring curvature for personal gain (and little charity). Of course, Ariana isn’t to blame for any of this; she loves the eggs, eggs give her life and energy. She’s thankful. For the eggs that symbolize rebirth and life, I am too, as long as they don’t give me heart disease, which, I guess, will only happen if I eat too many. So we really have no one to blame but ourselves.