Who doesn’t love to dive deep down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theories? One theory that’s been buzzing across social media lately is the “Mandela Effect.” Have you heard of it?
The Mandela Effect
The theory, in simple terms, presents the idea that we may be living in parallel universes, where a large group of people remembers something happening that essentially never did. The reason this phenomenon is called the Mandela Effect is because of the significant controversy centered around the death of South African president, Nelson Mandela. A large portion of the population attests that Mandela died in prison during the ‘80s, while it’s been reported that he actually died in his home in 2013. So the question stands, why did so many people believe otherwise?
Call it poor memory or just pure disillusion, but there seem to be many other instances that have left the masses mystified. Another popular one is that the childhood favorite book series The Berenstein Bears never existed. That’s right, according to today (or to this universe), it’s always been The Berenstain Bears. In fact, even writing this my software flagged a typo. If you Google it, you’ll notice there’s no evidence of the "Berenstein" spelling to be found (other than more debate over the effect). Some people have claimed they’ve located books in thrift stores that have the previous spelling still present. Eerie! One recent scrutiny even put the color of Britney Spears’ skirt from the iconic ‘90s music video "Baby One More Time" under the magnifying glass. Do you remember it being plaid? Guess again. The official video is saying it’s black and always has been. If you really want to blow your mind, check out this list of 50 other well-known effects and see which you remember.
Is Avril Lavigne Being a Clone the Next Effect?
All to say, maybe the Mandela Effect has something to do with the reason many believe famous punk rock singer, Avril Lavigne, is a clone and has been replaced by a doppelganger named Melissa. Apparently, Avril’s recent surge of TikTok posts has put the topic of her authenticity in the spotlight again. (I mean, it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen clones take over social media!)
A blog asserted Avril died in 2003 and was replaced by doppelganger Melissa to continue her rising career.
Why do people think this? Well, in 2011, a Brazilian blog was published stating Avril died in 2003 of suicide after undergoing a deep depression due to the loss of her grandfather. Since Avril was amidst the rise in her career at that time, it’s been rumored that they decided not to announce her death and instead hired Melissa to carry on her legacy.
The Controversial Evidence
Even if you weren’t an Avril Lavigne fan, you’ve probably heard her most famous song “Sk8er Boi” on the radio a time or two. Aside from her music, her style was of major influence as well. Despite the Hollywood pressure to fit the supermodel mold of her celeb peers, Avril was always admired as the rebel who forged her own path, especially in fashion. Her attire was edgy and consisted of baggy cargo pants, dark clothes, heavy eyeliner, fishnet gloves, sneakers, combat boots, and ties. However, it’s been clear that Avril’s wardrobe has undergone a major transformation over the years as she’s traded in her combat boots for heels and cargo pants for skirts. If you look through these slides of Avril’s fashion trends, it seems apparent that the transformation did in fact happen most rigorously after 2003. Coincidence? Perhaps. The changing taste that comes with age? Maybe. Or is what we’re seeing really the style sense of Melissa?
All clothes aside, what also seems to have changed is Avril’s nose shape, skin blemishes, and moles. Although, it’s not uncommon for celebs to engage in subtle plastic surgery, so it’s difficult to label this observation as being a heavy role in the imposter act. Some argue that she had a nose job at the very least during her *cough cough* “career break.”
While her physical evolution is the most attention-grabbing take that has fans thinking “Is it really true?”, other interesting incidences have included Avril botching interviews she should have otherwise nailed, being seen at a photoshoot with the name “Melissa” written on her hand, and even the slightly humorous undertone from MTV when they put quotation marks around Avril’s name on the TV footnote during her interview at the 2021 VMAs.
We’re right in the middle of riding the wave from reality into artificial. Between social media morphing and instantaneous reporting it’s hard to establish what’s up and down anymore…and just wait until the Metaverse is in full swing! While these theories seem outlandish, they definitely get the brain thinking in new, eccentric ways. Not to mention, stir the ever-present questioning of what’s really going on. If you’re like us, we’re always eager to see what gets rumored next and poke around to find some element of truth.
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