Can you make the summer phenomenon your year-round mantra?


Words Shannon-Paris Cross • Artwork Nour Algharabally

On May 19, American rapper Megan Thee Stallion released her album Fever, in which the cover read ‘She’s thee hot girl and she’s bringing thee heat’ and just like that, from something so niche, a global phenomenon was born. The rapper’s fans went wild (like Mean Girls’ watering-hole scene wild) taking to Twitter and Instagram to turn her album tagline into one of Summer 2019’s most-used hashtags: #HotGirlSummer. But as September looms and the last Calippo is slurped, can we turn HGS into a #HotGirlLife?

To put it plainly, HGS is seasonal BDE. It was never about being hot (whatever that may mean to you). It was never even really about being a girl. It’s just a vibe. In its simplest description, it’s being 100% yourself: bold, confident, assertive and most importantly – unapologetic. It’s throwing away all of those decades-old habits of questioning your motives, your ability or your place. It takes imposter syndrome, stamps on it, throws it in the bin and finishes with a dance solo. One Megan Thee Stallion fan described HGS as “a season of being unapologetic in your glow, securing your own bags, being in your bag, embracing the body you have, laughing more, living more, and doing the damn thing while feeling damn good,” which in my opinion, should be added to the Oxford Dictionary. 

And HGS is not only reserved for women either. Tom Hanks wearing wayfarers and a nonchalantly-knotted cotton shirt is Hot Girl Summer. Barack Obama putting Lizzo – Juice (more on this later) on his playlist: mad levels of Hot Girl Summer. Sam Smith’s initials could lit-er-ally be changed to HGS following the release of his How Do You Sleep video. It’s less about gender and more about strong female energy, the air of being able to do it all, have it all and be it all that women so often carry – with unabashed ease. It’s Beyoncé’s Who Run The World? lyric: ‘You know you love it how we’re smart enough to make these millions, strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business.’ It’s a firmly-raised finger to the stereotypes surrounding women in power, and the archaic views on how women should be walking, talking and acting in order to 1) be respected 2) be liked and 3) remain womanly whilst doing it.

Image: Instagram @lizzobeeating

Image: Instagram @BarackObama

Perhaps the most awe-inspiring poster girl for Hot Girl Summer is Lizzo, who since performing her single Truth Hurts at the B.E.T Awards (who can forget her A* flute solo?) has been living her absolute best life. Firstly, she got a standing ovation and slow-clap from Rihanna – which some would argue, is like Hot Girl royalty passing the Hot Girl crown to its rightful heir. Following that, it’s been platinum-selling albums, unbelievably-stunning magazine covers, epic pool parties, and inspiring dance solos. Every single moment lived by Lizzo is a Hot Girl Summer moment, and she rounded off the last days of the season perfectly with her VMA performance of Good As Hell. Her body-positivity interviews, on-stage speeches, and Instagram videos are raw, heartfelt and perhaps one of the most powerful messages her 4 million followers will receive this year. 

So given all this, why would we reserve an ‘I can do anything I want’ attitude for just three short months? The idea that we’ve spent a season building ourselves up, cheerleading our best friends and letting go of inhibitions, to then let it all fall by the wayside before we can even say ‘pumpkin patch’ is confusing. It shouldn’t take the summer to feel hot, nor should it take autumn to un-do all of the self-love you put into the season. So I’m making a vow to live a hot girl summer, autumn, winter, and spring. Who’s with me?

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