As a Gen Z-er on the cusp of millennial-hood, my memories of the ‘90s are fuzzy. Dial-up internet isn’t there, but our family collection of video tapes is. So is that gargantuan Compaq computer that took five minutes to load the Lisa Frank website. We had a forest green landline in the kitchen with a cord curlier than a pig’s tail.
I remember life before Instagram and Snapchat, when my biggest influence wasn’t an influencer, but my mom. I’ll never forget my mother hunched over the desk in the TV room, writing checks and balancing the books, muttering to herself. I’ll always remember her taking me and my four siblings grocery shopping, pulling out the Costco American Express in her name, with her picture stamped on the back, to buy us churros and pizza.
So when “girl math” exploded on TikTok earlier in the fall, something in me went berserk. In case you missed this new term, girl math is basically a (sometimes ludicrous) way of justifying purchases. Under $5? It’s free. Paid in cash? Also free. Venmo balance? You guessed it, free money. This was my breaking point after years of being inundated with other girl trends. Recently: girl dinner, lazy girl, tomato girl. Others: clean girl, vanilla girl, corporate girlie, hot girl, grocery girl fall, finance girlie. As PureWow recently proclaimed, we’re now entering “Shrek girl fall.”
After reading about girl math, I nearly screamed. What’s with this perpetual girlhood? I ranted to my friends. Trends are supposed to move us forward, not back in time. Have we all forgotten that women have only had the right to a bank account since the ‘60s and to loans (including mortgages and credit cards) since the ‘70s? The precise date of the latter is 1974. My mother was born in 1970.