It turns out that for half my life I have practiced the girl math and I without realizing it. It had to be the top minds of Twitter and TikTok that this summer named my secret exact science, the mental calculator that I carried silently, but totally integrated into my brain. Let me explain: the #GirlMath, or mathematics of girls, is to make the virtual queue to spend 100 euros at a Taylor Swift concert scheduled for July 2024 and, when that day comes, think that it has actually been free, because then you will not have to pay for it. It is believing that, if you pay in cash, you are basically not doing it, because in the bank app your checking account remains unchanged. It is buying those expensive boots convincing yourself that of course you are going to amortize them, because you will wear them a lot and, then, yes, they come to account. A bargain, come on.
The phenomenon, which this week has spoken in S Moda, the women's magazine of EL PAIS, the digital trends analyst Janira Planes and that accumulates 500 million views on TikTok, adds to the digital obsession to turn female experiences into identifiable niches. Because, in addition to the mathematics of girls, there are the hot girl walkings (or hangouts to walk, like the ladies who get together every afternoon to walk), the lazy job girls (or jobs that, although alienating and non-vocational, pay well and do not invade your personal life), the okokok or the lalala girls (those who nod to everything or those who slip the biggest) or the girl mess, which basically consists of finding beauty in disorder and abandoning oneself to being a walking mess.
In the virtual conversation — where 75% of the content shouldn't be taken as seriously as the Cuban missile crisis, but it does say a lot about how we look — people are divided between those who gleefully embrace these absurd labels as an exercise in female subversion and those who argue that all this fever for "girl stuff" hides some essentialist misogyny. In a week in which we have debated arduously why men think daily about the Roman Empire and what happens to the girls who calculate their salary in Zara dresses, what is all this wrong but another twist to that worn and controversial debate that last decade defended that men are from Mars and women, of Venus. Only here and now, moreover, there are no ladies in sight in this division by gender. Although most of these videos are starred by adults who years ago left adolescence, on the internet it seems that only girls are worthy of fun and their best version. Becoming a woman? As one highly viral tweet defended: "The direct road to death."
eating my girl dinner, taking my hot girl walk, listening to my sad girl music, reading my feral girl books, going out dancing with my girlianas, getting bevvies with my girlipops, every day a slow march towards death (Womanhood)...
— em koop (@EmmaKupor) July 10, 2023
On the fever for niches of female infantilization, the journalist Rebecca Jennings has published a very interesting report in which she rescues an essay by Robin Wasserman. There it is revealed that this, in reality, is not about having a certain age, but about performing a vital stage. Girl stories, really, are about being someone and not about being someone's wife or someone's mother. Even the Golden Girls series, "an impressive inversion of the marriage plot," fell into this pattern because those women no longer adhered to the duties of motherhood and marriage and could return to the search for self-realization: they could simply be girls again. Everything that, in 2023, dreams of being a woman on the internet.
the self-deprecation / infantilisation of young and grown women being like "I am just a little girl who shouldn't work or pay taxes" on the internet rly rly bothers me and just reminds me of de beauvoir discussing the "charm of passivity" pic.twitter.com/wGj39HTeCs
— rosemarie (@rosemarieho_) June 1, 2023
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