“I calculate things in Zara clothes”, “if I pay for it and then they give me bizum = I make money”, “if I give something to my boyfriend = free”. These are some of the statements that Paula Acedo (@paauulz_ on all networks) shared in a TikTok in which she talked about a concept that has spread like wildfire through the favorite social network of Generation Z, “girl math.” , known on said platform, where English is the lingua franca as “Girl Math”. Not only Acedo shared these personal rules about money, but thousands of girls on TikTok have been doing it throughout this month so that “Girl Math” was already practically a trend that reflected a sensitivity. He hashtag It has accumulated more than 500 million views on TikTok and includes thousands of videos with financial advice on investment, savings and purchases that are monopolized by girls whose way of understanding money even has a common aesthetic.
The “Girl Math” concept is just one of many taking over the Internet right now around the label. “Girl”, in English “Girl”, a noun that is being used as an adjective that includes all trends and experiences that affect young women. “Girl”, although it refers to the feminine universe, has nothing to do with being “feminine”: being “girl” has to do with the experience of being a woman, understood as something closed and defined by things as absurd as That is, mentally calculating what personal savings are equivalent to based on the number of Zara clothes that could be bought with them.
The possibilities of the “Girl” tag are endless on TikTok. A girl can be messy and chaotic (“Girl Rat”), she can prioritize taking care of herself a lot, be extremely organized, do a lot of sports and with her behavior border on productivity porn (“That Girl”), she can have no aspirations and feel that is far behind her friends (“Girl Rot”), pYou can decide to go for a walk and just think about things you’re grateful for, things you want to get, how to get them, and how hot you are (“Hot Girl Walk”).you can enjoy nature (“Girlmossing”) and you can decide if you want to have a hummus with crudités, half a hard-boiled egg and a glass of gazpacho (“Girl Dinner”) for dinner without pretensions or extra work: all these variants of the “Girl” label have an associated aesthetic, image and behavior. that convert each of their variants into something similar to urban tribes although passed through the sieve of consumption, as explained by the Youtuber specialized in Internet cultures Mina Le.
“Girl” implies that many of the things that seemed to be just strange quirks, when shared on the internet, come to be many other people who live the same thing and become experiences that become part of the collective imagination. Many times the use of “girl” is also ironic or in a key of self-deprecating humor, as is already common among Generation Z. For Rebecca Jennings, a journalist specializing in celebritiesin reality they are much more trends: they are “marketing campaigns” executed by the users of social networks themselves, because “the Internet has turned us all into editors and content creators.” Madison Wild, one of those content creators, with more than half a million users on TikTok, reflects on the adjectivization of the noun “Girl” and recalls the term “Girlboss”, popularized in 2014, with figures such as Elizabeth Holmes and Sophia Amoruso to represent it: that archetype of girl was a “boss” who, even though she was a woman, acted with the fierceness of a top male executive in corporate environments. The most surprising thing about the current use of the label “Girl” is that it has no age limits and does not really represent what is meant by a “girl”, that is, a very young woman. In reality it covers all of them. Jennings writes that it is not surprising that the modern woman refers to herself as a “girl,” because the condition for being one is “the absence of a spouse or children,” and in contemporary society this is common. As is the idea that there is a transversal female community in which age does not exist.
For Jennings, “Girl Dinner” is something fun, in contrast to what the label “Woman Dinner” would mean: “Woman Dinner evokes the image of a married woman, who has already fed her husband and children, eating the last remains of “what’s left over before putting the dishes in the dishwasher.” Mina Le, the video essayist, talks on her channel about the rise of the “girl” aesthetic and all the fragmented subcultures as a possible response to the turbulent political-social atmosphere of recent decades, along with having grown up on-line and the desire to be part of a community, even if this community revolves around the most absurd characteristics (such as savings methods). And to support her idea she mentions consumer specialist TikToker Becky O’Connor who states: “We are increasingly pushed to buy things and make shopping our identity.”
This assertion about consumption as an activity capable of defining identities is even more applicable to work. And there, precisely, the label “Lazy Girl Job” was born, which defines a girl without ambitions who wants work just enough to pay expenses and thus have more time to build your identity precisely… outside of work.
The latest viral phenomenon: the “Tube Girl”
Sabrina Bahsoon is a girl from London who has gone viral on TikTok with her videos from the subway, recorded with a mobile phone lens at 0.5x in cars full of people. The furor began with this in which she records herself moving to a musical remix: “Raving and acting like I’m in a music video every time I’m on the subway.” She has more than 50 million views with this type of videos in which she encourages herself, and shares that yes, people watch her, but that she is not at all ashamed of it. With this, “tube girl” is already something that is being replicated daily on TikTok, and represents a girl who is confident in herself, romanticizes her life and always does what she wants, something that Bahsoon has called the “Tube Girl Effect” (subway girl effect).
Artist Kae Tempest writes in Connection that from James Joyce he learned that the universal was in his particularity and that the more attention you pay to your particularity, the easier it is to reach the public. The girls of TikTok are clear about it.
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