Are You a Feral Girl?


At the beginning of summer 2022, TikTokers were advocating for having a “feral girl summer” instead of a hot girl summer. No, a feral girl summer is not about living with wolves in the woods. But what is it about? I started hearing about it everywhere without really knowing what it was supposed to mean. Rebel Wilson told the Today Show: “I heard this thing called feral girl summer. It’s when you don’t care.” 


Okay, a beauty trend where you don’t care about how you look? I guess I could get behind that. I assumed it was all about ditching beauty trends and being you, but then I read about the trend on Jessica DeFino’s beauty blog in which she criticized the maintenance it seemed to take to be a feral girl. It sounded like a classic ‘wear more makeup to achieve the look of wearing no makeup’ trend. At least that was what I gathered. 

But then I did more digging.

The trend actually advocates for not wearing any new makeup today…because you did not wash off yesterday’s makeup. The social media trend originated as a foil to hot girl summer and to the clean girl aesthetic that is still taking over TikTok. Clean girls are exactly what they sound like. Clean girls have clean clothes in neutral colors, neatly styled pony tales, and a barely-there makeup look that emphasizes healthy skin. If “clean girls” wake up early, drink green juice, and go for a job, feral girls don’t come home until 5 in the morning. When they wake up at one in the afternoon? They have a diet coke, go down a Reddit rabbithole, and text their friends to ask where they are going later in the evening. 

It’s not really about beauty or fashion. In fact, it is anti-self-care. Feral girl is advocating for a lifestyle that is the antithesis of every influencer we’ve known and loved for the past few years. 

To be totally honest, the feral girl lifestyle sounds like a weekend warrior to me. She sounds like grownup Effy from Skins (anyone?). She works hard Monday-Friday, 9-5. She exercises all week. She eats leafy greens. But then Friday and Saturday? She practically goes on a bender. Kale salad is replaced with as many tequila shots as a mouth can hold and late night cheese fries when you are hungry on your way home from the club. Cardio is replaced with dancing to house music. And your makeup? You applied it Friday night at 7pm and you only touched up your lipstick once in three days. 

In reality, feral girl summer has nothing to do with beauty the way that “hot girl summer” implied. Feral girl is a lifestyle. Is it the healthiest lifestyle? Well, no. But that’s why it’s a mostly Gen Z trend – and I mean that in the best way possible. Being a “feral girl” is for people who are at an age where unhealthy choices are fun as long as they do not become unhealthy habits. 

Perhaps there is something that all of us, at any age, can learn from a feral girl state of mind. We can all embrace a little more chaos in our lives. 


Author: Stephanie Weber 

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