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We’ve had the clean girl. We had pick-me girls. We’ve had girlbosses. Now, we have the “candid girlfriend.” And if you haven’t heard the term on TikTok yet, where have you been?

The term was coined on an episode of “Subway Takes,” a TikTok series where passengers are interviewed on NYC public transit, that received over 13 million views. When asked for her “hot take,” comedian Stef Dag wasted no time: “My take is that all guys think they want to date the cool, hot, artsy, baddie girlfriend with, like, baby bangs and a bad father,” she said. “But that’s not the case at all. What all guys in New York want is to date the ‘candid girlfriend.’”

Steph goes on to describe what the candid girlfriend actually is: generally speaking, she defines the candid girlfriend as a girl who is about 5 ‘5 and a half, naturally thin, shoulder length mousy brown hair, “from New Hampshire,” and studied a major like art history. Stef continues to say that the candid girlfriend is never the center of attention but her boyfriend always posts pictures of her and she just loves pomegranate which her boyfriend thinks is “quirky and adorable.” Oh, and her name is probably Emily. Sounds a little oddly specific, no?


Episode 104: All guys think that they wanna date the cool, hot, artsy, baddie girl with like baby bangs and a bad father but that’s actually not the case at all. What all guys in New York want to date is the “candid girlfriend.” You can trademark that. feat @Stef Dag Comedy 🎤 @KAREEM RAHMA 🎥 @Anthony DiMieri @Willem Holzer #nyc #newyorkcity #podcast #subway #hottakes #interview #conversations #subwaytakes #dating

♬ original sound – Subway Takes

While Stef goes on to say that all guys want the candid girlfriend because they can “make a muse out of her” and that she, herself, is a girl’s girl, some believe quite the opposite, as the term could be seen from a negative connotation and result of belittlement. One user commented, “I’m not convinced she’s a ✨girl’s girl✨,” while another responded, “I sense some resentment behind that statement miss girlie.” 

The candid girlfriend does seem like just another way to pit women against each other in the face of male validation — but some TikTokers are actually embracing the term. 


So proud to be a candid girl

♬ original sound – Subway Takes

The term, naturally, has caused some debate online. However, many users are encouraging folks to read between the lines to truly understand what Steph was trying to say. 

We can always owe it to TikTok for giving us some new controversy to use to critically think about our lives. While Steph’s delivery is definitely questionable, women all over social media are questioning males’ true desires. Do they really desire what they say they desire? In the end, the “candid girlfriend” is a fantasy. She’s like the 2024 version of a manic pixie dream girl — a canvas that men can use to paint their desires onto. At least, that’s what I’m hoping Steph was trying to say. Regardless, you won’t catch me singling out women for their literal personality anytime soon. Sorry!

Gabriele Barrocas

Vanderbilt '27

I'm a freshman at Vanderbilt, studying neuroscience on a pre-medical track. I love all things fashion and advocating for ways to promote positive wellbeing. I'm from Boca Raton, Florida so of course I love spending my time at the beach.