It feels tenuous to link Cringe Girl Summer too directly to our current political moment, but let’s look at the facts: Abortion rights are being gutted, the LGBTQ+ community isn’t safe, climate change is running rampant, mass shootings are commonplace in the U.S., and the politicians elected to represent us seem more concerned with keeping their jobs than, you know, actually doing them. In the wake of all this, what’s a girl to do except try as hard as possible to enjoy her silly little life? (I’m not recommending sticking your head in the sand but merely noting that embracing cringe can be an extremely effective pressure-release valve when living through troubled times.)
Cringe looks different for everyone, so what’s cringe to one may not be cringe to another, but for me, Cringe Girl Summer is like this: posting about how much I love my partner without worrying (as I previously have) that everyone is making fun of me for being a simp; taking nonstop photos of every good-looking meal I order at a restaurant or cook at home; getting Chipotle as often as I want; trying on makeup at Sephora regularly the way I did when I was a teen; reading Us Weekly at the beach instead of ostentatiously flipping through a long novel by an author with a Russian surname; and—most crucially—deleting Twitter from my phone. Sure, some could say it’s cringe to be on Twitter in the first place, but I’m embracing a no-thoughts, head-empty summer, and abstaining from obsessively refreshing my TL is a huge part of that.
None of these habits are new to me, but for years I pretended to be the Cool Girl I thought I was supposed to be (when it came to my social media presence, anyway), refusing to actually illustrate what made me happy in favor of posting blurry photos of random stuff and tweeting in all lowercase. There’s nothing wrong with either of those things, but at the ripe old age of 28, I’m simply done trying to impress any of the people who live in my phone with how chill I am. In the immortal words of Cyndi Lauper, slightly paraphrased, people of all genders just want to have fun!