Everyone on TikTok is having a ‘hot’, ‘feral’ or ‘soft girl’ summer… but why can’t we just be OK with being ourselves?

They all have the same problem.
Hot feral and soft girl summer all have the same problem
Edward Berthelot

I have a confession to make: I have never had a hot girl summer, or a feral girl summer, or a soft girl summer, despite the pressure from TikTok to have one (or all) of the above.

The first iteration of ‘-girl summer’ came a few years ago when hot girl summer began to trend. The idea behind it is basically to be the best and (of course) hottest version of you. Basically, you want to be a baddie who doesn’t care what other people think.

When we grew tired of this, feral girl summer emerged which called for women to go wild during the summer months, partying until the wee hours, living off vodka sodas and throwing every caution to the wind.

Like any trend, this summer we have come full circle, and now soft girl girl summer is trending. Videos mentioning soft girl summer currently have over 63 million views on TikTok, with one user describing it as “weekend farmers markets, flowy sundresses, picnics at the park, fresh flowers on Sunday, sunsets at the beach, ocean dips, ice matcha and bike rides”.

TikTok content

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While it may sound lush, this iteration of ‘-girl summer’ has the same problem as its predecessors: it all comes down to our obsession with bettering ourselves and seeking ways to define who we are.

Each of these iterations have the subliminal message that we are not good enough, that the life that we are currently leading could be grander and more fulfilling if we were to carve out the time to actually get hotter, be more feral, or take up more coastal grandmother hobbies.

Which makes me beg the question, why can’t we just be OK with being ourselves? Why do we have to change something fundamental about ourselves just to live our so-called ‘best lives’ and why can’t we be content with the lives we’re leading now?

TikTok content

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I guess this is the problem with social media in general. Day in and out we are fed images and videos of people sharing moments from the best parts of their lives, which makes us feel like if we just did what they were doing, then our lives could look like theirs. The issue being, is that most of us work 9 to 5 jobs - yes, even throughout the summer months! boo - and only have snippets of time to claw back to truly call our own. So why should we spend this time pursuing an ideal when we could be using it as a chance to do the things we truly enjoy?

Sure, some people may live their day to day lives like it’s a hot girl summer all year round, and others may lean into the soft girl aesthetic as a genuine characteristic of who they are (and we all have the friend who is feral almost 24/7). But it’s also OK if you don’t feel like pursuing new hobbies and simply want to spend your free time reading this summer, and it’s OK to keep your exercise routines exactly as they are because every body really is a beach body.

Just know that there is no one characteristic or narrative you need to subscribe to this summer, the best summer you can have is the one that feels the most authentic to you. For me? Right now I’m having a sweaty girl summer (honestly, this heat!), but tomorrow it could be completely different - and that’s the beauty of it all. Don’t put pressure on yourself, babes, it's not worth it.