What It Actually Means To Be a Girl’s Girl—And What It Doesn’t

written by LEXI INKS
girl's girl"
girl's girl
Graphics by: Caitlin Schneider
Graphics by: Caitlin Schneider

There’s really no denying that we’re in our *celebrating women* era. Between Barbie, “girl dinner,” the rise of the bow trend, and “girl math,” girlhood is having a major moment. If you’re anything like me and spend a concerning amount of time scrolling on TikTok, you’ve probably seen plenty of videos about the concept and maybe even asked yourself “What is the meaning of girls girl?” While buzzy terms like these tend to come and go, the idea of girl’s girls (women who support and appreciate their connections with other women) has stood the test of time.

When you think of major cultural #GRLPWR moments or iconic friend groups of women, plenty of examples may come to mind. Personally, my Roman Empire will always be squads like the besties starring in The Bold Type or iconic groups like The Spice Girls (my personal childhood obsession). These women loved one another unconditionally, supported each other through difficult times, and cheered each other on in every success. They are the true definition of girl’s girls, and growing up with examples like these has definitely shaped how I manage my friendships.

I am a loud and proud girl’s girl, and I will always be. I love seeing women win, even when I don’t know them or haven’t been a direct part of their journey. The women I’m lucky enough to have in my life constantly inspire me to be my best self, hold space for me during tough times, challenge me when I need it, and are always my biggest cheerleaders. The experience of being loved and truly seen by other women is unmatched and has even set the standards I keep for all my relationships. If a potential partner can’t make me feel as appreciated and understood as my girlfriends do, then I simply don’t need that energy in my life.

While being a girl’s girl is certainly trendy right now, the concept of women sticking together is nothing new. That said, it’s easy for a viral trend like this to get misinterpreted or misattributed from time to time—and we can’t have that. So, if the recent hype over this has you a bit confused, here is what it really means to be a girl’s girl (and what it doesn’t).

A girl’s girl celebrates other women

As the name suggests, a girl’s girl is, well, for the girls. She enjoys being around other women, supporting them, learning from them, and feels genuine joy when the women around her succeed. Think of the friendship between Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez: These two are an adorable example of long-term, consistent friends who not only show up for each other in busy seasons of life but do so with excitement, enthusiasm, and grace every single time.

There is so much we can learn from one another as we watch each other move through life, and that is a gift that a girl’s girl cherishes. Plus, celebrating each other’s wins (like landing a dream job, breaking up with the partner who dragged them down, or even taking the huge leap to move to a new city) gives us an excuse to go buy them a cute little congratulations gift and wrap it in a bow, and who doesn’t love that?!

A true girl’s girl feels proud and excited when other women win, instead of letting jealousy or comparison bog them down.

A girl’s girl doesn’t let jealousy win

A true girl’s girl feels proud and excited when other women win instead of letting jealousy or comparison bog them down. To understand what this looks like in a real-life setting, let’s say you and a coworker are up for the same promotion, and she ends up getting it. Being disappointed and bummed that you didn’t land the role is understandable and natural, but by tapping into your girl’s girl energy, you can still congratulate your coworker and feel proud that a fellow woman is advancing her career! A few decades ago, this would be a major rarity! We know that when one woman wins, we all win. Negative feelings like jealousy or competition toward another woman’s success have no place in a girl’s girls world.

A girl’s girl is a feminist

Coming from someone who is adamantly both, it’s nearly impossible to consider yourself a girl’s girl without also having a feminist mindset. Women have struggled to gain equality and respect for generations. It’s important that we work together and realize that we have a common goal—despite the differences we may have. Believing that women deserve opportunity and appreciation is a simple but powerful mindset to have. The more we start to see other women as our sisters rather than our competition, the better this world will be.

A girl’s girl doesn’t need to put men down

It’s important to note that although being a girl’s girl means prioritizing your connections with women and uplifting them, it doesn’t mean that we have to hate men or people who don’t identify as women. This doesn’t automatically insinuate that men are less than, despite the common misconception. (Women already know how that feels, so we tend to not want others to experience it). In fact, you can have relationships with men and still be a true girl’s girl. Something as simple as making an effort to not neglect your girlfriends when you’re in a new relationship with a guy can be a great way to ensure that you maintain those sacred bonds with your fellow women.

The more we start to see other women as our sisters rather than our competition, the better this world will be.

A girl’s girl is honest and encouraging

Searching the term on platforms like TikTok not only yields great examples and stories of women who embody the phrase but there are also some hilarious memes and jokes women have made about the experience. Some have even made the joke that, “I support women’s rights and women’s wrongs.” While I find that hilarious, I know that being a girl’s girl IRL means sharing hard truths with your girlfriends.

If you see one of your besties engaging in self-destructive behavior or if they’ve unknowingly done something to hurt you, it’s important to be honest and communicate your thoughts. You can do so lovingly and with the intention of maintaining a healthy friendship, but turning a blind eye to something unhealthy or dangerous in favor of keeping the peace can do both of you (and your friendship) a disservice. I personally consider it a huge blessing that the women in my life aren’t afraid to let me know when I’m wrong or if there are ways I can improve to become my best self. It shows me how much they love and care for me, and I hope to do the same for them.

The takeaway

Whether you have a handful of close girlfriends or you have a whole squad of college besties, anyone can be a girl’s girl if they truly love and celebrate the connection they have with the women in their lives. You don’t have to have a uber glam crowd of goddesses around you in order to benefit from having feminine energy around you. Being a woman is, in my opinion, the best, and it only gets better as we cheer each other on, give each other tough love when we need it, and ultimately, prioritize the sacred bond that is female friendship.

While society has pitted women against each other on multiple occasions, especially in pop culture (Mean Girls, I’m looking at you), I think that we have collectively decided that we are done with that narrative. Being the “popular girl in school” is no longer romanticized. We have realized that there is plenty of space for all of us to be as happy, joyful, and successful. And to that, I say this: finally.