An Interview With YQR Affirmations
· 7 min. read
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I didn't know her name, and I didn't ask.
She wore a pretty red dress. She had an iPhone, and an Apple smartwatch and ordered a Hibiscus Berry kombucha and a Coffee Glazed Donut. She was also about ten years my junior.
This woman is the mysterious mastermind behind YQR Affirmations, a meme Instagram account in Regina that takes the mundane and transforms it into the extraordinary. She will find a picture of something in Regina – usually a low resolution, retro picture – and add a pink or blue hue to it. She'll toss in sparkles, text, and some drop shadow on the letters. She'll then put it on Instagram and it will explode with popularity within minutes.
It may seem simple, but it has taken the city by storm.
"I made it as a joke," she said laughing. Her inspiration was a similar account in Edmonton. Her best friend showed the account to her one day, and it later came up in her own Instagram feed. She liked the idea of it and figured if it worked for Edmonton, it could work here too.
"All of a sudden, it took off."
Her first post was on June 3, 2022, and she racked up 140 likes – something almost unheard of for a brand new Instagram account. From there, the likes, the comments, and the followers started rolling in. Less than 50 days into her account, she already has well over 2,000 followers.
One of the things YQR Affirmations has done is deliberately keep her identity out of the account. I asked if her personal Instagram account follows it, and she didn't think so. I have tried to find her identity before our meeting and I had several ideas of who it might be.
I was wrong on all accounts.
However, there are some people who know who she is. When she started the account, she had her friends share the first images and that's what caused the account to go viral. However, all of her friends were sworn to secrecy. If her identity is ever revealed, she will not hesitate to "delete every single post".
Why is this? Well, she compares herself to Banksy. She has the means to give a voice to the people of Regina. Unlike other meme accounts, however, she only wants to spread positivity. She wants to share the little things that make Regina such a unique place to be.
One of her most popular posts is that of The Royal Saskatchewan's Museums Earth Sciences Gallery. For anybody who has experienced it, they would know of the giant Mosasaurs that will roar from the ceiling. I know I was afraid of this giant aquatic monster as a child, and so apparently were many others. YQR Affirmation's post, which has over 500 likes, says it the best:
"I DID NOT GET IMMEDIATE ANXIETY WALKING THROUGH THIS PART. THIS SEA CREATURE BROUGHT ME PEACE. I AM SURROUNDED BY GOOD VIBES HERE. TYPE "SEA CREATURE SERENDIPITOUS SPLENDOR" TO AFFIRM"
Punctuated, of course, by a plethora of emojis.
Lately, YQR Affirmations has been a bit more open about her personal life – although careful not to share too much. She's admitted to being in her last year of university, and she works multiple jobs. She also admitted to living just outside the city limits. Not much to go on, but enough for people to start wondering who she was.
She told me that although she started the account in the summer, she doesn't plan for it to be just a summer project. Once school resumes in the fall, she will continue to post – albeit less, as her studies will be her main priority. As for after she graduates, she doesn't know. Her plan is to travel as much as she can, but the destination is still up in the air. "Everywhere," she said with a laugh but would give no clues other than that.
When it comes to creating content for the account, sometimes she struggles with ideas of what to post. Thankfully, she has a legion of followers that send her daily inspiration. Yet, she is careful what she posts. She doesn't want the account to be political and she certainly doesn't want to "cause any wars" or post "anything controversial" and doesn't want any "scandals". That often happens to meme accounts and tarnishes their reputation. She doesn't want that and instead wants to make it a positive space for everybody. With that in mind, while she appreciates everything everybody sends to her, there are some she has to decline.
As our conversations concluded, we reapproached the idea of her revealing her identity. She isn't against the idea, but if she does, she'll want it to be for a big reason – like after a certain number of followers or an appearance on CTV Morning Live or something of that nature. Until then, she is fine with being an anonymous poster, sharing positive affirmations about Queen City in any way she can.
With that, she said she had to get going, and went to get a box for her primarily untouched donut. She left behind her unfinished kombucha, it being the only lingering evidence that such a person was ever indeed there.
Thank you to YQR Affirmations for meeting with me and discussing her unique Instagram account. You can follow the account at https://www.instagram.com/yqraffirmations/ for your daily positive affirmations.
Don't forget to pin it!
Categories: Canada, Regina, Saskatchewan