Popular amongst “Gen Zers” the app TikTok has been used to create popular dances, such as the “renegade,” share information that could be helpful for protesters and coordinate a mass fake reservation of tickets to a Trump rally.
TikTok has made headlines many times since its creation, but something that has been happening on the app for the past few weeks has received little publicity. Creators on TikTok have formulated two female archetypes, the “bruh” girl and the “hi girlie” girl.
On the surface, these labels are just the greetings that girls use when texting their friends, however, — as many societal descriptors do — these titles go much deeper and are rooted in systematic sexism and misogyny.
The most obvious example of the “bruh” and “hi girlie” girl in media and pop culture is in (male-directed) movies.
Think about it, in most forms of digital media there are two types of girls, the “cool, one of the guys” characters and the “feminine, pretty, male obsessed” characters. (Wait, let’s be honest, most female characters are male obsessed, as, that’s what fragile masculinity thrives on, male obsession, thus, female characters must feed their male directors’ insecurities. Moving on.) Both exist to please men, and both are (usually) competing for a male love interest.
In “Mean Girls,” a movie that turns these archetypes into satire Regina is a “hi girlie” girl and Cady is a “bruh” girl (turned hi girlie) — both characters are competing for the attention of male love interest “Arron Samuels.”
The thing is, in Mean Girls, the fight between the two types of girls is pointed out, and picked apart, rather than promoted and accepted, like in other teen movies.
The “hi girlie” girl represents the feminine, popular, “girly” girl and the ‘”bruh” girl represents the “one of the boys” girl. Throughout history, these girls have been pit against each other. Both types think that the other is trying too hard.
A “hi girlie” will talk about the way that a “bruh” girl is friends with mostly boys saying that its “classic slut behavior” and a “bruh” girl will talk about how a “hi girlie” girl is “basic.”
At the core, these labels are just another layer of misogyny and another way the patriarchy makes women’s sole purpose in the world pleasing men. If there is a clear cut difference between the two types of women, both just wanting to seem ideal to men, and “goals” coming true when a man wants them, that’s a great world for a straight man, isn’t it?
At the end of the day, saying “hi girlie” and “bruh” when greeting one’s friends may be an aspect of the type of person you are, and it may not, but that’s beside the point. The point is that to dismantle, disrupt and disturb the patriarchy, we must not give in to these labels.
We’re allowed to say these phrases, and we’re allowed to be really girly or more masculine, but what we shouldn’t do is allow these labels to define who we are entirely, and more importantly, not allow them to decide what we think about other women.