Earlier this month, Atlanta teacher Patrice Brown went viral after her classroom photos caught the attention of the internet. Brown's formfitting dresses and high heels were the subject of much criticism and debate over what was appropriate classroom attire, and she was dubbed #TeacherBae.
But once officials at the Atlanta Public School system got wind of Brown's internet fame, they weren't exactly pleased. They said that she wasn't a teacher but was actually a paraprofessional, and they also discussed the school system's dress code and Brown's social media conduct with her. Within days, Brown's Instagram account was scrubbed of any photos she had taken in her classroom. People blamed the school system for previously giving Brown a pass for her attire and said that officials were only hating on her because she’d become "famous," while others were glad that she got in "trouble."
Internet fame is fleeting. We've seen people like Antoine Dodson and the woman who yelled, "Oh, Lord Jesus, it's a fire" get their 15 minutes and vanish. Last year, James Wright's viralness and pie-tasting skills got him some stage time with Patti LaBelle, and even offers of TV shows. Wright not only made TV appearances but also got a chance to celebrate Thanksgiving with LaBelle. Apparently no one saw anything wrong with any of this. But now that Brown is trying to turn her 15 minutes of fame into something profitable, people have issues.
Brown is now hosting parties in the Atlanta area. She's created a Twitter profile and I think is making a good attempt at trying to increase her revenues. But not everyone shares my sentiment.
But others realize, as I do, that Brown's moneymaking activities aren't anyone else's business:
The internet made #TeacherBae go viral. But what the internet isn't doing is paying her bills, so why can't she enjoy her viralness and make some money? In Atlanta, according to Glass Door, a paraprofessional's salary ranges from $27,000 to $36,000. How does anyone survive on that type of salary without having a few side jobs?
When it comes to hosting parties, what's wrong with making a club appearance, taking some photos for Instagram and popping some bottles? Absolutely nothing. It's crazy how the internet made Brown into a viral star but now seems to have issues with what she's doing to profit from the notoriety. Would people be satisfied if she were using her body in other ways, like stripping (especially since some online comments I read assumed that she was a part-time stripper)?
How Brown chooses to make money isn't anyone's business. And once again, the internet is always good when it comes to praising someone but will rip that person apart in a quick second if his or her life doesn't fit expectations.