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23rd Feb 2024

The dark side of ‘Hot Girl Summer’ – warning signs and tips to prioritise well-being

Sophie Collins


We’re all guilty of striving for a ‘Hot Girl Summer’ at some point in our lives

Summer 2024 is coming, but this year let’s not put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to strive for perfection.

It’s so easy to get sucked into new trends when they’re being fired at us at record speed on social media.

In recent years, the catchphrase “Hot Girl Summer” has flooded our ‘For You’ pages, claiming to encourage people, particularly women, to embrace and celebrate their appearance.

While that’s all good and well, there are very obvious downsides to putting so much emphasis on appearance for one season of the year.

While this movement initially aimed to promote self-love and mental well-being, its evolution over time has its major downsides, which cannot be ignored.

Robert Vergin, a life transformation expert at MindWings, has shed some light on the complexities surrounding the concept of “Hot Girl Summer”.

He acknowledges that while the desire to prioritise happiness, appreciate our bodies, and improve mental well-being is great, not everyone interprets this message positively.

Vergin said that societal judgments or expectations should not dictate self-worth, but the trend’s shift towards external appearance on platforms like TikTok and Instagram has altered its original intent.

The downside of “Hot Girl Summer”

Vergin points out that the focus on external appearance perpetuated by the “Hot Girl Summer” trend can lead to feelings of inadequacy among people who do not fit the perceived standards portrayed by others online.

The pressure to conform to unrealistic beauty and body standards and the deadline-like nature of “Hot Girl Summer” can bring on negative self-talk and trigger unhealthy behaviours.

Five warning signs:

  1. Constant comparison and criticism of appearance
  2. Obsession with physical appearance to the detriment of social engagement or work
  3. Avoidance of social situations due to insecurity
  4. Engagement in extreme eating or exercise habits
  5. Difficulty maintaining hobbies or routines due to negative headspace.

Prioritising our well-being and self-care

Vergin went on to highlight the importance of bringing a new approach to “Hot Girl Summer” with confidence, self-care, and positivity.

He reminds us that true empowerment comes from prioritising our health and well-being and that self-worth is not solely determined by appearance, although social media may indicate otherwise.

If you’re struggling with negative body image or self-worth issues to seek professional support. You can find more information here.