Redefining ‘Hot Girl Summer’ for yourself
June 21st is fast-approaching and you can’t have a mindless scroll through Instagram without being reminded of this. Numerous influencers have been posting endless reels of the latest Zara or ASOS finds, with the term ‘hot girl summer’ being used to promote this type of content. The term ‘hot girl summer’, if you’re not caught up with Gen-Z lingo, originates from a song by American rapper Megan Thee Stallion, and essentially refers to when a girl is looking her best, in the best physical shape and having fun with her friends in the sunshine. We’re all for empowered womxn enjoying life with their friends, but the inescapable pressure of preparing for a ‘hot girl summer’ can be overwhelming, as we adapt again to a new normal as the Covid-19 restrictions start to ease in the UK.
With the term ‘hot girl summer’ being banded around so prolifically on social media, it is easy to feel under pressure to transform into a new person by this date and look the most attractive you have ever looked. It is important to remember that the 21st June can be a helpful goal, but it is also just a date. Nothing bad will happen if, by that date, you haven’t lost as much weight as you planned. In fact, you shouldn’t feel the pressure to lose any weight. The danger of a ‘hot girl summer’ is also that your freedom with your friends is defined by how you look. This shows the extent to which the media forges an intrinsic link between the female appearance and their own happiness. The insinuation here is that women will only be able to enjoy this summer if they have, like a phoenix, risen from the ashes of their old life and metamorphose into a better, more attractive version of themselves.
Having said that, working towards the 21st June isn’t an inherently bad thing. This past year has been an extremely difficult for people globally – whether this is because you’re a front-line worker, are dealing with the loss of a loved one due to Coronavirus or have simply found pinging in and out of lockdown difficult to adjust to. Having a specific date for when, all being well, the limits on social contact will be lifted, is a saving grace for a lot of people. For some people, when it comes to fitness, a goal such as a date is a really important aspect of feeling motivated. Having something to aim towards can help schedule a workout plan, rather than feeling like you’re doing arbitrary exercise without feeling like you are reaping the rewards or achieving anything. From that point of view, the 21st of June can be a helpful concept in finding the motivation to get fit and start to transition back to normality.
Stringent work-out programmes have been a welcomed distraction for a lot of people in lockdown. But equally, so has trying out new recipes and baking lots of banana bread! In being restricted to our front rooms for large portions of the last year, it is okay to not be feeling as fit as you used to. If over time you want to work on returning to an active lifestyle, that might be something which makes you feel positive and productive. But you don’t have to snap back overnight. Expectations of a post-pandemic glow up aside, womxn already bear the weight of relentless social pressures to conform to certain archetypes of the ideal body. The mental strain of the stream of lockdowns has been very confronting for a lot of people, so cut yourself some slack as the future starts to look brighter.
At the end of this challenging unprecedented time, give yourself a pat on the back for getting through it. You don’t have to leave the real you in 2020 and become a whole new person this summer. A ‘hot girl summer’ doesn’t have to mean one thing and certainly doesn’t have to be based on the superficiality of your appearance. Allow the next stage of your life be marked by working on yourself internally and pursuing things that make you happy. And as for the 21st of June, let it be a goal for reuniting with your loved ones. Redefine ‘hot girl summer’ for yourself. Let it mean feeling liberated from the pressures of the year, lapping up Vitamin D sipping copious cocktails with your best friends in the sun. If that also means putting on that pair of shorts that have been sitting at the back of your wardrobe that you’re worried people won’t approve of, put those on too and don them with pride! So, no matter what ‘hot girl sh*t’ you are doing this summer, blast that anthem and let your ‘hot girl summer’ be what you make it!