It’s time to ‘embrace the rodent energy’: Content creator declares 2023 Rat Girl Summer

With the start of summer just two weeks away, one content creator has an announcement: We’re going to have a Rat Girl Summer.

On June 4, Lola Okola (@lolaokola) declared via TikTok that “we’re having a Rat Girl Summer,” which involves “scurrying around the streets,” “nibbling on our little snacks” and “generally finding ourselves in places we have no business being in.”

In need of some clarification? Okola posted a follow-up video on June 5 with the “rules” for a Rat Girl Summer.

“Number one: You have to go outside…You cannot scurry in bed. You cannot scurry on your couch. You need to leave your home,” she says. “You have two days a week allotted for decaying. Do all your scrolling, do all your binge watching, do all your rotting in bed on those two days.”

The second rule for R.G.S. is to enjoy eating. Among the recommended dishes are pasta and potato salads.

“Number two: Nibbling on our little snacks,” she says. “That means that we’re eating and enjoying eating. Starving yourself to be skinny for summer is out. Eating nourishing meals so you can make mischief and cause mayhem is in.”

Okola’s third rule is to “kill” the cringe. In other words, “the part of you that feels embarrassed when you want to do certain things.” Summer 2023 is about letting “your whimsy” drive you to do whatever it is you want.

The fourth and final rule is not to overthink.

“You think a rat thinks twice before stealing a slice of pizza and scurrying across the subway platform?” she asks. “We’re going with our gut. We’re going with our intuition.”

‘Ok thank u for the allotted 2 decay days I won’t let u down’

Okola’s two videos have garnered a willing and interested audience. Many of them seem to be on the cusp of embracing the Rat Girl Summer vibe.

“whimsical weekends are upon us this rat girl summer,” @thauntienins wrote.

“not me watching intently to see if I’m doing rat girl summer wrong,” @anneallen_ commented.

“Ok thank u for the allotted 2 decay days I won’t let u down,” @jennybourn replied.

In need of being “that girl”? Consider having a hot girl summer. Rather embrace the messy in your life? That’s some feral girl summer energy. Are you the type to reach for your favorite flannel and cozy up with a seasonal Starbucks drink? If so, you very well may be a warm girl autumn.

While a Rat Girl Summer is a cheeky recommendation for how women can tackle the year’s hottest season, this is just one of many micro-labels that seem to exist for women in particular.

“These trends ‘predominantly focus around fashion and beauty standards,’ which are ‘seen as being a feminine, girly thing that you shouldn’t ascribe time to,'” 22-year-old fashion assistant Becky O’Connor told NBC News of the niche, ephemeral lifestyle labels or trends that exist on TikTok.

There’s at least one label for every season, which begs the important question: Why?

“Online trends exist to spice up our daily lives in whatever way they can,” wrote Patrick Sproull for Independent. “Whenever an article appears proposing a new version of the ‘hot girl summer,’ there’s a mechanical response in the comments section to demand why we need another new, apparently nonsensical trend. But in questioning the legitimacy of micro-trends, we’re also giving them legitimacy. Rolling your eyes at the rise of the ‘feral girl summer’ won’t stop the feral girl from rising.”

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