Face of Leon Montan
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The Face of Leon Montan (often Leon Face, Leon's Face or simply leonface), is a MicroWiki sector meme that became popular via MicroWiki@Discord in mid-2019. The meme consists of a portrait picture of Leon Montan–the founder of Ponderosa Hills–typically edited in-front of various locations and buildings, though the meme has also spawn several variations, the most popular being a cropped image of just his face edited on various historical and political figures and celebrities.
The meme is based on a 2016 photograph of Montan, and became popular in August 2019, after Montan began editing the image of himself onto various locations, such as North Korea and Pro-Irish Republican Army graffiti. It began spreading further via MicroWiki@Discord, and in September users on the server advocated for the meme to be added as an emote. It was re-added and deleted several times by administrators, however following the heavy user backlash it was added back permanently in December, before being deleted during "deleonfaceization" in September 2020, a process in which Montan removed all instances of his face and replaced it with a drawing of himself.
Several memes regarding Leon Face have been added to the MicroWiki@Discord Hall of Fame, and the meme was also added as an emote on several Discord servers, including MicroWiki@Discord. Conversely, numerous individuals have also criticised the meme as repetitive and unprofessional, as well as its portrayal of historical events, with one student also getting detention as a result of hanging an image of the meme in a school toilet; despite the criticisms however, it has since become one of the most recognisable MicroWiki memes of 2019.
Structure and background
The original photograph of Montan was taken in 2016 as a portrait for his school. On 19 August 2019, Montan began editing the image of himself onto various locations, such as North Korea and Pro-Irish Republican Army graffiti, which he posted on the MicroWiki@Discord server. After it began spreading further via MicroWiki@Discord in September, with users on the server spamming numerous memes of Leon Face, they began to advocate for the meme to be added as an emote, which is when the cropped image of just his face gained popularity.
Since the inception of the meme, several variations and spin-offs have been created, including "Leoncat", an image of the face poorly edited onto a pink cat from the 2019 musical Cats, "Leon Face Lore", which involves making Impact font memes closely resembling internet Doge lore memes, and "Leondora", an image of the meme edited onto the face of a stuffed animal from the children's tv series Dora the Explorer.
As an emote
In September 2019, users began to advocate for the meme to be added as an emote on MicroWiki@Discord. Although the request was eventually granted by a member of the administration, another server admin later deleted it. The emote continued to be repeatedly re-added and deleted much to the protest of several users.
On 9 November, a discord server called #BringBackLeonFaceEmoji was created, a server dedicated to campaigning for the Leon Face to be added to MicroWiki@Discord. On 2 December, Zed Smith, then-Prince of New Eiffel, drew a pencil-sketch portrait of the Leon Face meme with his face left blank with the text "Where Is My Face?" written in red, protesting for the Leon Face emoji to be added back to MicroWiki@Discord. The image was later added to the MicroWiki@Discord Hall of Fame.
Following the heavy user backlash, which was also supported by members of the administration, it was added back as an emote permanently on 7 December, however it would later be deleted during "deleonfaceization" in September 2020.
On 23 November, Jayden Lycon, the then-President of Aenderia, traveled to Ellesmere station on the Toronto subway, and taped a picture of the face to an exterior wall of the station. A still frame of the video was added to the MicroWiki@Discord Hall of Fame, and eventually the image become a feature picture on the main page of MicroWiki for its one-year anniversary in November 2020. This prompted several others to do the same; On 5 December, Logan Ross of Aenopia taped a picture of the face on a wall at his school in the UK; however, it was taken down after only five-minutes by one of his schoolmates who proceeded to put it in his mouth before throwing it away. On 30 January 2020, Cole Baird of Wegmat hung a picture of a 'top-text, bottom-text meme' with Leon's face, accompanied with the text "[top] Nice Cock [bottom] Bro" in a public toilet at his school in the US. The event was widely talked about at his school, however Baird ended up getting a detention from the school principal.
On 1 September 2020, the image of Montan's face on his MicroWiki entry was replaced with a drawing of himself. The picture would also be replaced with the drawing on several articles featuring his face, and the image was deleted from MicroWiki on 2 October, with Montan citing it as "privacy concerns." On 27 October 2020, in the featured picture nomination for a picture of his face, Montan cited that he hates how he looks in the picture.
Reception and legacy
The meme has since become one of the most recognisable MicroWiki memes of 2019. The image of Montan on MicroWiki was granted "valued" status by the non-affiliated quality images project by the Cupertino Alliance in March 2020. However, the image would later be deleted from the wiki during "deleonfaceization" in October 2020.
- MicroWiki@Discord Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
- #BringBackLeonFaceEmoji Discord Server. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- Government of the Aenderese Republic: Wasting my saturday at ellesmere station 23 November 2019, Retrieved 6 December 2019.
- MicroWiki:Featured picture/Archive. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
- revision 667417 on page Leon Montan, the first edit to be titled "Deleonfaceization". Retrieved 22 January 2021.