On more than one occasion, memes have popped up and brought individuals unexpected notoriety.
That’s no longer true for Ernest Khalimov, aka GigaChad, who has won so much praise for his good looks and chiseled physique that people even question his own existence.
Reports say Ernest is the man’s identity on the Instagram account berlin.1969, which has nearly 600,000 followers.
He is believed to be 52 and appears to be a Russian fitness trainer and model.
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According to HITC, the earliest photo of Ernest first surfaced in October 2017, but his origins date back to 2015, thanks to the work of Russian photographer Krista Sudmalis. Krista started photographing male bodybuilders and female models for her project Sleek’N’Tears. It wasn’t long before the Internet took notice of the physical properties of a particular model. Since then, he has continued to become a meme sensation. According to USA Today, Chad is a slang term for a particularly attractive or confident male.
And since Ernest’s image surfaced online, netizens have been impressed by his “hyper-masculine” personality and “perfect” appearance. It sparked a flurry of online memes that made fun of the idea that the model was actually GigaChad, or “Ultimate Man,” as defined by the Urban Dictionary.
This view seems to be widely shared, even sparking debate over whether the model is real or just a clever CGI product. This is because, aside from a few pictures of him online, there are absolutely no videos of Ernest on the internet.
The Sleek ‘N’ Tears YouTube video features many other models, but none of the clips are Ernest’s star. “GigaChad” is also barely active on the internet and is reportedly not interested in brand deals. As a result, the “people from Chad meme” myth lives on.