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‘Girl Dinner’ – What is this TikTok trend and why can it be harmful?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bucknell chapter.

The ‘girl dinner’ trend on TikTok was born when a sound singing “girl dinner, girllll dinner” gained popularity as it was used over videos of women eating simple meals, such as Annie’s Mac and Cheese or buttered pasta. However, this trend took a problematic turn as the content of meals changed. 

In theory, ‘girl dinner’ is a hodge-podge of random snacks and items found throughout cabinets and refrigerators that is curated into a fun meal when someone does not feel like cooking. Women on TikTok have commented on what their own girl dinners consist of, as some remark, “My girl dinner is FEASTING on poptarts, pizza rolls, and grapes,” and another, “My girl dinner is a wide array of random ingredients and I will be FULL by the end” (quoted from @HalleyKate comment section). In essence, a ‘girl dinner’ is meant to be a meal that is created using a woman’s favorite snacks that are not necessarily typical dinner foods, but are able to satisfy their hunger.

The trend has become so popular that TikTok released a filter where you can randomly see what three items make up your girl dinner. Although on the surface this may seem playful and fun, one of the options is “nothing,” implying that women should not eat anything for their girl dinner. Another option is “water,” as if that would contribute as one of the three components to an appropriate dinner. 

Unfortunately, eating very little or eating food that is not adequate for a woman to function throughout the day has dominated the trend. Women on TikTok have posted their ‘girl dinner’ being a few pieces of popcorn and a cheese stick. Obviously, this ‘meal’ is not enough to fuel anyone. Other creators on TikTok have defended girl dinners by claiming that they are not meant to be complete meals, but rather whatever a girl is wanting to eat. Women should obviously have the choice of what they eat, and the media has no place to dictate how much and what that should include. 

In my opinion, the toxicity in this trend lies in the fact that it is targeted towards women and –since it has taken a negative turn– fosters an underlying tone that encourages women to eat insufficiently. For decades the media has played a large role in beauty standards, and, essentially, dictates what a woman should look like. A woman’s physical attractiveness often correlates with the respect she receives from other people and her ‘value’ as society deems it. This thought can be internalized into self-hatred and damaging habits. Therefore, a trend like ‘girl dinner’ that judges eating habits can be very triggering and harmful to women who may not have a healthy relationship with food or their body. 

Ultimately, it is always important to be aware of a trend changing from playful, relatable, and fun to harmful, degrading, and toxic. 

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Jenna DeLuccia

Bucknell '26

Hey! My name is Jenna DeLuccia and I am a student at Bucknell University from Franklin Lakes, New Jersey! I love to go to the Jersey shore and NYC, take spin classes, travel, spend time with my friends and family, and hot girl walk outside :)