A bit of cheese. A crumpet. Popcorn made in a saucepan. Everything goes when it comes to ‘girl dinner’.
Originally posted on TikTok by user @liviemaher and with the now infamous ‘girl dinner’ soundbite, the trend has taken off over the summer with young women sharing their ideal meals.
What is ‘girl dinner’?
Consisting mostly of bread and cheese, the dinners are very alike – miscellaneous charcuterie boards or an assortment of foods raided from the pantry and fridge.
The trend is in its simplest form about piecing together a satisfying meal that is not labour-intensive. But as with most stuff in life not everybody agrees.
TikTok users and the media have pointed out that the meal sizes are suspiciously small and low-calorie. Nutritional experts worry that the trend negatively affects a very young demographic and glorifies or normalises diet culture and eating disorders.
The other side emphasises that these meals are actually very resourceful and a great way to satisfy cravings of taste and texture while still being nutritional.
It should be pointed out that while the trend shows examples of ‘girl dinners’ that fit both of these takes on the food trend, the short videos circulating online do not tell us anything about these women’s eating habits. They are neither educational nor accurate.
More than a charcuterie board?
The resourcefulness of ‘girl dinner’ also (not-so-coincidentally) fits the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. Our food trends often reveal the current economic state we are living through.
‘Girl dinner’ is not new. But it is not until now that it is accompanied by a catchy theme song and has gained online recognition.
Nostalgic and satisfying foods often make a reappearance in times of economic hardship. It is not surprising that ‘girl dinner’ also happens to be a cheap and comforting way to eat. Choosing your favourite snacks for dinner can act as a small luxury.
‘Girl dinner’ reveals yet another interesting social theory. Women statistically perform more household chores in romantic relationships than their male partner, if they have one. The concept is also known as invisible labour and is found in the workplace, too.
The extra workload carries additional emotional labour which often goes unrecognised. ‘Girl dinner’ becomes a labour-free and liberating way of providing for oneself without accommodating others.
‘Girl dinner’ is anything but a trend or farce and reveals so much more.
Featured Image Credit: @liviemaher, @mykenna, @alanalavv