It’s time to redefine the meaning of ‘hot’

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Graphic by Anna Diorio ’23

The physical standards many people strive to achieve are all products of our fallible definition of “hot” and what is deemed attractive. Self-confidence has become increasingly difficult to achieve with the pressure of impossible body image ideals.

Anna Diorio ’23, Paper Arts Editor

If I’m not skinny, does that mean I can’t have a hot girl summer? 

Instinctively, your answer might have been to say, “no,” and kudos to you if it was. But many people have internalized the notion that if you don’t have a particular body type, you can’t have a so-called, “hot girl summer.” 

The term originated with rapper Megan Thee Stallion’s release of her album, “Fever” in May of 2019. The “OG hot girl” published her single “Cash Sh*t” that started with the lyric: “Real hot girl sh*t.” Her fans were inspired by this and soon the term “hot girl summer” was born. 

The meaning behind it, according to the rapper, is for women and men to just be unapologetically them and live life to its fullest potential. It is intended to be inclusive of all people, regardless of any physically differentiating factors.

But something must have gotten lost in translation as the term spread across social media. On popular media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, many people have expressed their disappointment for not being able to have a hot girl summer. Countless posts of young women, in particular, shared their discontent, as their heavyweight or stretch marks seemingly precluded them from having a hot girl summer. Initially intended as a positive phrase, hot girl summer has widely been accepted as being exclusive only to “hot” people. 

With the domination of social networking, this accumulation of ideal body types and beauty standards has reached every corner of the world as of 2021. The toxic climate of social media has reinforced the absurd idea of what makes someone “hot” or appealing. We, as a society, have a constant habit of caring about frivolous things and this has only been magnified with the superficial ethos of social media. Our traditional perception of the word “hot” makes weight, body shape and height all defining factors.

We, as a society, have a constant habit of caring about frivolous things and this has only been magnified with the superficial ethos of social media. Our traditional perception of the word “hot” makes weight, body shape and height all defining factors.”

— Anna Diorio '23

The idea of hot girl summer has been misinterpreted, not due to some innocent confusion, but because of our preconceived notions of what the word “hot” itself means. Historic beauty standards have reverberated across the internet and have led to false notions that many are not good enough to have the happiness that is associated with “perfection.” 

So let me clarify. Hot girl summer is inclusive of all people. There are no exceptions or qualifications other than having confidence in yourself, just as you are. You’re hot. Accept it. And you better be getting ready to have an epic summer. 

Call to Action

In order to make this clear to everyone, it’s time to redefine the meaning of “hot.” Go to Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok, or any other social media platform, and spread the word that hot girl summer is for everyone.