Why ‘Girls’ Rule the Internet

From “Depop girlies” to “hot girl walk” to “girl dinner” to “reaching Peak Girl”, the word “girl” is more a mind-set than a statement about one’s age or gender. Online, the word “girl” can be a noun, a verb, an adjective, or an exclamation, meaning something slightly different depending on how it’s said and who has said it—often it’s with the lilt of irony. Like many popular colloquialisms, “girl” has a history in Black, transgender and gay communities, where the word may be used to acknowledge a shared experience or express a subtle form of solidarity that only those in the know would recognize.
This story by Marie Solis on Sunday Times mentions how these girls are perhaps a reaction to the so-called “girl bosses” because the just “girl” isn’t trying to hustle, but rather be free, lighthearted, inclusive, and fun loving. “Girl” also comes in opposition to “woman,” inviting anyone to enjoy simple feminine pleasures without the complications that some associate with womanhood. So long story short, there’s a lot that goes into this seemingly simple word. To visualize this, the artwork presents the word GIRL in large, spacious letterforms that invite everyone to wander and climb into.
Art director: Hitomi Sato
Artwork: Shira Inbar
Published in The New York Times

© 2023 Shira Inbar.  All rights reserved.  

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