It’s officially July. We’re coming down from a heatwave here in Vancouver, and our restrictions are slowly loosening which means the “hot girl summer” memes are coming out of the woodwork and inundating social media. I’m all for the excitement around more normal social contact, and more opportunities to date, but I’m not here for the expectations that are coming along with the “hot girl summer” ideal.
Let me explain. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept, “hot girl summer” was coined by Megan Thee Stallion back in 2019 and references women (and men, and all genders really) living their best life, not caring what anyone else thinks, and being the life of the party. I do think the root of the term is positive, encouraging authenticity and confidence, but there’s one big problem – the expectation of always having a good time simply isn’t realistic or attainable.
A Pandemic Doesn’t Go Away Overnight
With vaccine rollouts, lower case numbers, and fewer restrictions, it’s easy to feel like Covid is fading into the distance – hopefully, it is. The thing is though, we’ve just been through a period of time that was honestly pretty traumatic for a lot of people. Not to dampen the mood, but countless family members were lost, jobs were affected, and the collective mental health of a whole lot of people was at an all-time low. I know, oof.
The point is, people are still mourning. There’s so much pressure to get out there and have a good time now that we’re “allowed” but not everyone is there yet. We all need time. Time to heal, time to process, time to adjust to a much different way of living. Not to be dramatic, but things will probably never be the same again, so if you’re not feeling super inspired to scream Drake lyrics from the back of a boat yet… I don’t blame you. Take the time you need.
But What if I’m Not the Life of the Party?
Where are all my fellow introverts at? Not going to lie, even pre-pandemic I was never really the life of the party. Maybe every now and again when I’ve had a few too many cocktails and want to shamelessly show off my sub-par rapping abilities… but it certainly isn’t the norm. If you’re usually pretty content watching the life of the party rather than being it, you’re not alone.
Some people thrive being the center of attention, and that’s awesome. If that’s who you are, go do it! You can’t say hot girl summer is about “doing you” though if you’re going to insist that has to include being the life of the party. The two don’t have to come hand in hand. Just be who you are.
Don’t Tell Me When to Date, Okay?
I’m not even single, and even I feel overwhelmed by all the expectations being thrown onto those who are. Here’s the thing – just because you can go out and meet people IRL now, doesn’t mean you have to. Some people say the essence of hot girl summer is not letting yourself be “tied down.” Some people say it means you should be getting out there and meeting as many people as you can. Don’t let anyone dictate your own journey. That sounds like a line from the worlds’ cheesiest movie, but it’s true.
Everyone should be doing things their own way, at their own pace. Whether you’re perfectly happy continuing to date virtually, itching to meet someone at a bar, or just want to spend some low-commitment time on a dating app, it’s up to you. Don’t let the pressure to jump on some popular terms’ bandwagon keep you from doing your thing – whatever that means.
This Summer is for Doing Whatever the F**k You Want
All this to say, hot girl summer is overrated. I love the idea of everyone emerging from the pandemic as their happiest, most confident selves, but that’s just not attainable for some people yet, and it looks a lot different for others. You’re the only person you have to answer to this summer. The idea that you have to say yes to every plan and never stay home again is just not it folks!
You get to call the shots, always. We are now dubbing 2021 the summer of doing whatever the f**k you want. The summer of healing. The summer of adventures. The summer of a new relationship. The summer of staying at home with your dog. You’ve always had it, but more than ever, you’ve earned the right to make choices for you and you alone.
Go get ‘em!