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No More Girlies

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photo: Getty Images

If I hear someone say “the girlies” one more time in real life or on any social media, I am going to crawl out of my skin. The girlies! Saying this out loud is both grating to the ear and degrading to the soul. Can we just go back to girls or maybe even, you know, women? We’re about ten seconds away from a best seller called The Girlies or The Girlies’ Wife. They’re inescapable, and we must escape them while there’s still time. But the battle must be fought on many fronts. There are so many types of girlies: theTikTok girlies, the new shaving-technique girlies, the girlies who simply aren’t paying. There are the pitiable girlies who aren’t fully thriving: the IBS girlies, the chronic-illness girlies, the depression girlies. There are as many ways to be a girlie as there are to be a human being, which lends the word both its charm and its deplorable meaninglessness.

Sure, you can argue for the girlies. In some ways, it has so much going for it. It’s gender-neutral, a good quality in anything. And it’s got a flexibility that doubtless paved the way for its popularity: Your friends can be your girlies, of course, but so can the characters on a TV show or the players on a sports team or the hosts of a podcast that’s always in your ears. So why am I being a hater?

Well, first, there’s the inevitable infantilization that the -ies suffix implies. I would honestly prefer for women not to be cute little -ies. Can we just go ahead and have IBS without making it into some signifier of hot girlness or cute little babyness? We can call our friends our friends. We can do something alone rather than travel in a pack of fluffy femininity.

Besides, the girlies is waning, close to having run its course. The falling off of the term has been predicted since 2022, when this post foretold that it would go the way of smol bean — an internet locution that, typed today, would make a poster sound like she had been trapped in a cryogenic capsule since 2010.

My one-woman crusade against the girlies probably won’t hasten its demise, but it’s good to be reminded that all trends always fade away; it’s the way of the internet, a shifting of sands that we individual humans have little control over. Of course, there’s one other immutable truth of the internet: Girlies will inevitably be replaced by something worse.

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No More Girlies