To get it out of the way, I need to mention the obvious disordered nature of the “meal” and how more often than not the videos serve as code for food hyper fixations. Not being a celebration of it but rather the opposite.
“What does it mean when we call women girls?” is an essay by Robin Wasserman. Published in 2016, it talks about how as women it is not entirely possible to simply be – you are playing a role that must be fulfilled is a certain way in order for the wheels of society to spin properly, whether it is that of mother, wife etc. Girls however, she states, have the freedom and light heartedness that women cannot enjoy.
Maybe this is the attitude that is behind the phrase, which largely refers to meals made out of leftovers, snacks, unidentified objects from a pantry.
On the other hand – are girls really more unconstrained than women by virtue of being girls or by virtue of being young? Adults in our society are constrained by more (ridiculous) norms and obligations.
So why did we need to gender yet another piece of our lives – our food? I have always (well, not always, I was a 1-to-16-year-old once too) firmly believed that the purpose of feminism – and any progressive thought really – is to take into account the unequal position of women in our patriarchal society and the intersectional nature of systemic oppression while keeping in mind that the concept of gender is really just a concept that we can easily progress past.
Why do we need to gender math? I am not trying to say that I did not almost fail math in the first semester of university, but I was pretty sure we have already seen the process of ascribing women to certain fields and men to other fields somewhere – like the whole of modern history.
Already a couple restaurant food chains have caught onto the bandwagon of girl meals introducing their own which is, most definitely, something reassuring – because if years of capitalism and patriarchy taught us anything it is definitely that corporations help uplift women! (see, I can joke).
The trends of ‘girl this’ and ‘girl that’ have underwent various transformational stages. Some microtrends have become quite a bit of a macrotrend. And like such phenomenon, it makes one question the point of life.
What I mean by this is the puzzling nature of today’s internet culture and how much it becomes reality. Talking to some of my friends for more than 5 minutes, I have trouble not quoting a viral video or term (any internet culture reference from between 2014 and now will do). “This was so Drake coded” I say to my friend after he stumbles on the pavement. I say it with the most irony I can generate, yet it does not make me not guilty of being brainwashed.
How do we escape the loop of aesthetics by finding our own? Is it even necessary? Maybe the point of life is neither to be a clean girl, a morning girl, or a girl at all and just exist?
Or maybe I am just a hater girl.