What Is the Autism Creature (aka TBH Creature or Yippee) and Why Is It Controversial?

autism creature-tbh

TBH, TBH creature, the autism creature, the creature, and yippee are all names for a simple, computerized, hand-drawn character who has become the unofficial mascot for many people with autism. He is an all-white, four-legged creature with a large head, big black eyes, and a neutral expression. The first public appearance of the autism creature was a drawing posted to Twitter in January 2021. It became popular on Tumblr in early 2022 when users created personal fanart and memes for the character. He is also known as “yippee” because the meme has been posted several times with the “yippee” sound effect.

Since its first appearance, people have become obsessed with the figure, so much so that it gained over 12,000 notes on Tumblr. Throughout its creation, Tumblr users have started putting the character into different scenarios, like hanging out with players of other games or caring for other young autism creatures. TBH (which is a typical texting abbreviation for “to be honest”) can now be seen in countless different costumes and settings.

How Is the Autism Creature Used in Memes?

The TBH creature is frequently employed as a “paper doll” template, where users draw or photoshop new, personalized looks onto the character. In some instances, TBH can wear a drawn-on baseball hat or fully sport the outfit of Sonic the Hedgehog. TBH has been reinterpreted in thousands of different ways within the last few months. In its natural environment, individuals can find the autism creature in a grassy field where it commonly interacts with the characters of a game called “Among Us.”

As the autism creature, the character is often shown supporting autism-related causes or making lighthearted jokes about autism spectrum disorder. TBH is also often depicted with a character named Ashbie Moon, a popular meme character of a young girl with autism. Memes are often used to expand on TBH lore (stories) or to allow personal expression.

Why Do Some People Love the Autism Creature?

Some users find the autism creature to be funny while remaining undefinable. One person said, “it’s all things and none of the things. Like a blank slate because we (individuals with autism) are not all the same.” Another user wrote, “I absolutely love it. I can’t explain why, but I feel like I greatly relate to the autism creature.” Another wrote that because the face reflects no emotions, it is attentive, like those with autism.

Why Are Some Offended by the Autism Creature?

Some individuals with autism find the TBH creature offensive and downright creepy. They feel that the autism creature endorses negative stereotypes about people with autism. They think the character encourages the idea that people with autism are soulless and emotionless voids. They also feel they don’t want to be associated with things, creatures, or beasts.

Additionally, some are offended by the character’s association with the “Among Us” game, which they feel implies that those with autism are task-oriented or “out to ruin your life.” They think TBH encourages the idea that those with autism need to be identified or removed because they are considered imposter people. Some feel the creature has vacant eyes and a stubby body, making the character look empty or void. Emptiness is an idea that is often improperly associated with autism.

What Makes the Autism Creature Special?

Part of what makes the autism creature unique is that it belongs to no one and therefore belongs to everyone. The autism creature is calm and neutral. He is attentive without expressing any emotion. He can be used however the user would like. He can be drawn with a word bubble or nonspeaking. He can serve the user in any way they seem fit. Being a blank slate allows for creativity and distinction.

Those with autism can make the creature appear in any way they want. They can include the character among any of their favorite shows or specials. He serves as a placeholder and a way to include easily include autism.

What Does TBH stand for?

TBH in TBH creature stands for “to be honest” and is associated with the expression because the creature has been shown with the initials. TBH gives the character a feeling of being genuine and earnest. He isn’t trying to be funny or friendly. He merely exists.

What’s Next for the Autism Creature?

Because the autism creature can be dressed and used in any scenario, expect to see more fan art and fiction of the creature pop up alongside other popular references. It might be interesting to see if the creature can help include autism in more popular culture. While the autism creature is simple, it seems he is here to stay!

ABA Therapy for Autism

ABA Centers of America offers diagnosis and therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is endorsed by many government and private organizations as the best treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder, and it’s covered by most insurance plans.

We work with your child and family directly to produce improvements in behavior, communication, and the development of awareness. We consider the entire individual when designing a plan for effective treatment. Give us a call and see if we are a good fit. Call 844-923-4222 for a free, no-obligation consultation. Or contact us for more information.

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