The student news site of Woodbridge High School

Golden Arrow

The student news site of Woodbridge High School

Golden Arrow

The student news site of Woodbridge High School

Golden Arrow

Coquette Craze: The Contradicting Codes and Conformities of Femininity Explained

Recently, the Coquette Trend and similar trends centered around women have taken society by storm due to their exaggerated femininity. Their rise to fame is vague, and many people feel that they are negatively affecting women, when in reality it is a chance for women to reclaim their femininity
Coined by USC college student Mia Lind, “Hot Girl Walk” is a term used to describe a walk in which females can relieve stress by taking the time to reflect, recharge, and daydream about their goals and future ambitions while maintaining a positive mindset. When the term was first introduced, it did not gain traction instantly, but now, it is a popular term and even has many organizations based on the ideology of “hot girl walk.”The organizations have hundreds of members throughout the nation that meet often around cities together and build lifelong friendships.

Not too long ago, the trend of being ‘not like the other girls’ encouraged women to reject all femininity, or else they would be seen as ‘weak.’ As of current times, many women are reclaiming their femininity and girliness through the coquette aesthetic and by creating terms such as ‘girl dinner,’ ‘girl math,’ ‘hot girl summer,’ etc.

Sue Shields, buying manager at department store company Fenwick, described the coquette trend as ‘a whimsical take on girly style. Think dainty ruffles, pastel hues, and of course bows. The trend celebrates all things feminine and romantic.”

Although the coquette trend is quite popular among women, many women have developed different opinions regarding the trend. At Woodbridge High, sophomore Amritha Boddu shared her thoughts about the coquette trend. “I do enjoy the coquette trend but it can be too much. Yes there are a lot of pretty bows to use but I feel like using them on everything is kind of overwhelming,” Boddu said.

Furthermore, some people believe that these “girl” trends are infantilizing and derogatory, and unnecessarily generalize women while promoting unhealthy habits. This opinion is unsound and fails to take into account the uniqueness of women along with the positive sides of these trends. In modern times, women should choose whether they want to claim the trends for themselves as individuals, even if some parts may be flawed. If women decide to partake, it should be viewed as a way to be proud of girlhood and unify women.

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For countless years, women were told to be less girly or it was seen as weak to adhere to feminine activities. Freshman Summer De Alba believes that this trend was toxic and sexist in many ways. “’Not like the other girls’ trend is harmful for women who choose to embrace their more feminine sides. It, like, encourages misogynistic viewpoints and behaviors and from a general viewpoint, comes off as extremely cringy,” De Alba said.

As a result, many women tried to stand out, to be “not like other girls” to be liked and accepted. Now, a new trend has surfaced known as “coquette” in which girls are reclaiming their femininity and tapping into their feminine likings through their fashion choices, such as wearing pastel colors, wearing bows, and more.

Additionally, terms such as “hot girl walk” and “hot girl summer” were coined to inspire and empower women but now, those terms have evolved in meaning and now may have negative connotations that are pulling many women down. Some people believe that using terms like these is an overgeneralization of women, leading to a lack of individuality, and that these trends are unnecessarily gendered.

The Wellesley News article, “‘girl math’ and ‘girl dinner’ Are Not Harmless,” written by Mia Koven, states that using the word “girl” to describe women can be seen as infantilizing, and having negative connotations. “The generalization of female habits in a derogatory manner is demeaning to young women. This is not to say that women are the offenders here, rather, the generalization of women is a product of both patriarchal standards and social media,” Koven said.

Equally dangerous, many people feel that these trends encourage unhealthy and spending habits. The USA Today article, “’girl math,’ ‘lazy girl job’ and ‘girl dinner’: Why do we keep adding ‘girl’ to everything?” says that girl dinners can be seen as a gateway to eating disorders, as it labels snacks as a dinner, and girl math encourages consumerism and nonsensical justifications for spending.

On coquette, some may argue that the coquette trend is too sexualized to be “girly,” and relating this style to little girls can be problematic. Similarly to the “girl trends,” some believe the coquette style is infantilizing, because women are dressing up like children.“A lot of typically childlike things like pigtails and knee socks are used in coquette culture…which comes off as perverse,” De Alba said.

Finally, according to Jasmine Sanhar, writer of “Coquette: Why the TikTok Trend is More Than Just Cute Bows,” “The coquette aesthetic could also be considered an issue for promoting a singular body type of thin, white women.”

While people believe that using trends like “girl math” and “girl dinner” is harmful as it puts girls into categories rather than allowing individuality, women see it as a way to embrace their femininity and reclaim liking “girly” things. There was a stigma in the past against being girly but now it allows young women to like what they want to and know it’s not frowned upon.

“I’m leaning towards a coquette side, like wearing more makeup and not being afraid of liking typically feminine things like Taylor Swift, pink, and fashion,” De Alba said.

According to the article “I love ‘girl math’ and ‘girl dinner’: Here’s why,” these trends are, in reality, just fun ways to share experiences that many women can relate to. “Girl dinner” describes personalized and creative meal or snack combos that highlight individual taste. “Girl math” is a different approach to spending which uses what you want rather than logical methods to support certain purchases. These trends give women a stage that allows them to celebrate their individuality, and uniqueness, while getting a feeling of unity and empowerment.

Freshman Angelina Raskin, a 15-year-old woman who’s on social media has many thoughts on this trend. “I honestly think girl trends make women feel better about themselves. Women are usually put down in life and now that the girl dinners, girl math, etc are gaining popularity it makes women feel as if they can do whatever they want without getting hate,” Raskin said

Raskin also believes that these trends do not pressure women to act in certain ways. “These trends definitely only inspire me. If these trends make girls feel pressured they’re being too emotional to be online. Just because something is trending doesn’t mean you need to follow through,” Raskin said.

Similarly, The BBC article, “Coquette: Why the TikTok trend is more than just cute bows,” talks about the coquette trend on TikTok, emphasizing the habit of tying bows on objects and embracing a feminine style that uses laces and pastel colors like pink. Though some participants express discomfort about it promoting a certain body type, it’s also becoming way more inclusive as time goes by. Many people of different body types and diverse races have been participating in this trend because of its popularity.

The coquette trend at its core isn’t a way to cast out people, and rather a way women can feel seen and noticed. Many also see it as empowering and a chance to reclaim femininity, especially because when many women were growing up, they felt they would be seen as “weak” for being girly.

The coquette aesthetic should be viewed as a way to reflect on your childhood and embrace being feminine rather than to sexualize young girls. Though there are many similarities between coquettes and young girls’ clothing, it is outsiders who choose to sexualize it, which is not the fault of the participants. In reality, the coquette aesthetic challenges the male gaze rather than adhering, because it’s a trend centered around women. Clearly, the recent “girl” trends should be taken light-heartedly, and seen as a way for women to express themselves and find unity, while showing pride in their femininity, rather than something meant to demean or to be taken literally.

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