God Warrior Remains a Beloved Meme, But Marguerite Perrin Isn’t Afraid of Dark-Sided Stuff Anymore – NewsFluff

God Warrior Remains a Beloved Meme, But Marguerite Perrin Isn’t Afraid of Dark-Sided Stuff Anymore

In November 2005, Marguerite Perrin (later to be known as God Warrior), entered the annals of Reality Television Superstardom in a time where absurd reality television was thriving. The series, Trading Spouses, took mothers from polar opposite homes and swapped them with one another. Perrin, a devout Christian from rural Louisiana, was swapped with a Boston hypnotherapist, married to an astrologer. After a week together, Perrin returned home and gave one of the most iconic meltdowns to grace mid-2000s reality television, notably screaming, “They’re tampering with the dark side,” the gap in her teeth making that a in dark sound more like dork.This is tainted! I am a God warrior, and I don’t want anyone tainted doing anything with my family!”

And thus, televised gold. This was early in the era of instant social viral news—a time when Perrin’s meltdown had a little bit of time to ruminate across America. Her literal crusade went viral in a time before Twitter when even YouTube and Facebook were only a year old. She appeared on Leno, where he gifted her a bobble head doll of herself. She made her rounds on The Tyra Banks Show, giving her charming, Southern explanation of just what the f— happened upon her return.

She was even so popular that Trading Spouses asked her to do the series again, in true all-star fashion. A highlight in her big journey? “I got to play a celebrity Texas Hold ‘Em tournament,” she says of a trip to Vegas. Years later, she’s been name-dropped by Chrissy Teigen and repurposed to dot timelines in looping three second intervals. To those not severely online, you may only recognize her stretched out on a couch or pointing at a camera, screaming, “DORK-SIDED!” reappearing every few months as the exact meme you’d been looking for.

Now, 14 years after her infamous TV debut, she still lives in Southern Louisiana and manages a dance studio. Admittedly, some of the girls were “leery” to join her studio, familiar with her booming Southern drawl and viral infamy. She’s had offers for a Dance Moms-style series, but that didn’t particularly interest her. Most recently, she was spotted at New York City Pride—a confusing development for the woman known for screaming out in the name of Jesus. Recognized on the street, pictures of her flanked by fit men in short shorts and tank tops went semi-viral this summer. Like most of her journey, the random pieces of Perrin’s virility make little sense separately. And while the story behind God Warrior is complex, becoming the internet’s joke-turned-hero changed Marguerite Perrin’s life for the better.

Taking my call in her car during lunch on Halloween Eve (the most dark-sided of holidays), Perrin explains how she ended up at Gay Pride, unprompted. “God’s got a mysterious, humorous side with me,” she says of her accidental appearance in New York. That notion is hard to argue.


God Warrior’s journey started when Perrin was recast for Trading Spouses in 2005. Initially, slated to swap homes with a mother to a bodybuilding family, she was redirected to spend time in a Wiccan home. Overwhelmed by the experience, Perrin’s arrival back in Louisiana seemed less like a homecoming and more like an exorcism. She yelled that the process was over and that anyone who didn’t believe in God should leave her house, in Jesus name she prayed. The video went viral, so on, so forth.

In terms of how real that all was, Perrin is very honest. “I might not have said it all in one sentence, but I did say all those things,” she confesses, through a laugh. “I’m not going to put it off on editing. I would’ve liked them to take 100 pounds off of me if they were going to edit something though.” After her episode, everyone had an opinion on God Warrior, and she’s not surprised. “I laugh at it now because I watched the show,” she says, “and I look back at a scene and I’m like, ‘I can see how people felt the way they felt. I get it. I totally get it.'”

But the moment offered a bit of reflection, because in rural Louisiana, she got a taste of the rest of the world. “I did learn that there’s so many people out there, which I was not clear of before the show, that do not believe in God,” she says, matter of factly. And that’s not a judgment on her part, per se. “I’m more open, definitely more open to things than what the show depicted,” she says. “You know, I might disagree with you and I might not like something, but I totally like respect where you are.”

She gets stopped in all types of situations, whether she likes it or not. Sometimes she lies for fun, joking to people who recognize her, “I get that all the time. Everybody’s got a twin but she was damn crazy.” But on the day when she was photographed with those gay men in New York this past summer, her reason for stopping came from a slightly different place. In 2007, Perrin’s eldest daughter Ashley (featured on the show) died in a car accident.

“I have to tell you, I was in my bedroom. I was not getting out of bed for the longest time,” she says. After her daughter’s death, Perrin remembers that even some of her closest friends didn’t know how to bring it up to her, so they just didn’t. In their stead, the gay community stepped in. Co-opting her as an online viral icon, gay men reached out with condolences and notes and flowers. “[The gay community] weren’t scared to talk about me losing Ashley and saying I’m sorry to hear about that,” she remembers. “I was pretending like I was happy and I was okay. They would not leave me alone. You couldn’t help but talk to them and be okay with them. The people that write those little memes and do those little things, I love that. That’s what got me out of bed after Ashley’s death.”

And this past summer in New York, the gay community wouldn’t leave her alone, again, as Perrin exited a church in New York City. Spotting the group across the street, she remembers thinking, “You can tell when somebody knows who you are. Just like this light goes off on their face.” Not particularly interested in chatting with anyone, Perrin didn’t go to them, but they came to her. The group quickly introduced themselves, saying, “We wanted to tell you we were so happy to see you in New York and we want to tell you we’re very sorry to hear about your daughter Ashley.” Twelve years after the fact, they still remember, so Perrin asked for a hug. It’s the people who turned her into a meme who also helped her heal.

LG Mobile Phones Presents: A Night of Poker and Partying - Arrivals

Television personality Marguerite Perrin arrives at the LG All-Star Poker Showdown and Party at the Palms Casino Resort December 18, 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ethan Miller

Perrin stands behind the general sentiment behind her God Warrior tangent, defending her belief in God while arguing that Trading Spouses only captured one particular side of her. (For what it’s worth, Perrin’s iconic meltdown came after a grueling week where production lights allegedly set the carpet on fire and wind knocked books off a windowsill—a witchcraft-esque coincidence for a woman deeply not into witchcraft.) But to sum up Marguerite, the woman, as the same human as God Warrior, the meme, is a mistake—one that she is not afraid to correct. “When we go to vote, my husband thinks I’m supposed to vote like he does, straight ticket Republican,” she says, with a laugh. Not a funny laugh, but one of those where you know she’s about to set the record straight.And I’m like, ‘I don’t do that! I vote for the person on the issue of what’s going on.’ I am not that.” That doesn’t change the fact that a bit of online fame, a tragic loss, and an open mind can shift your opinion a bit. “Who am I to say who’s going to go to hell and who’s going to go to heaven,” pausing for a beat. “Really? I mean, seriously.”

Since the episode’s airdate, and Ashley’s passing, Perrin has wanted to turn her psuedo-fame into something good, opening up to more walks of life than the one she follows. She’s currently working with producers to create her own show that places her in uncomfortable cultural situations. But this time, there will decidedly be less yelling. She wants to show the other side of Marguerite, not God Warrior. As she puts it, “If I was having my last supper, it’s going to be a variety of people sitting at my last table, okay?”

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno - Season 14

Following her first appearance on Trading Spouses, Perrin was asked to be a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

NBCGetty Images

As far as her resurrection as a meme, she quickly says, “You know, those memes,” seeming to be looking for the right word, “that’s something, huh?” She admits that until a few weeks ago, she wasn’t too sure what a meme was, and she sure didn’t know she had become one. Texting with producers, she asked one of the girls at her dance studio to help her ‘send a meme with a note,’ and the girl responded, “Ms. Marg, you have to send them one of yours.” That’s when the meme-world opened up. Happy to see herself in the same company as fellow-Louisianan Britney Spears, she says, “You know that kind of stuff, that actually makes my day. It makes my day. That’s not mean spirited, they don’t mean it in any kind of way.”

This whole journey—being on Trading Spouses and going viral and becoming a meme and getting spotted in New York Cityis all a part of God’s plan as far as Marguerite is concerned. But on Halloween Eve, there’s only so much time for meme talk. Marguerite has to plan the rest of the Halloween celebration at the dance studio. Halloween might be dark-sided to God Warrior, but Perrin’s universe is larger than that. To those online, she is God Warrior, and she’s plenty fine with that. And every time she’s recognized as such by an excited meme-user, she tries to welcome it. “It’s not a big deal to most people,” she says. “But my hellos from heaven are few and far between.”