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Clueless (Film Still)

Who is the Gorgeous Gorgeous Girl, and why do we love her?

Self-possessed and pure of heart, the Gorgeous Gorgeous Girl (GGG) is an antigen to the overwhelming stress and desolation of the current moment

It started with a simple, lyrical statement: “gorgeous gorgeous girls love soup”. One unassuming TikTok of two friends enjoying a piping hot bowl of minestrone, riffing in rhyming couplets about being “the most popular girls in the chicken coop” like Dr Seuss after a co-codamol, and culture was forever changed.

From the moment it was posted, the phrase “gorgeous gorgeous girls” caught on like a full head of hairspray over an open flame. Understanding the gorgeous gorgeous girl agenda to be much more than a bowl of soup, but a state of mind, millions of people got on board. Suddenly TikTok was full of children eating soup, cats eating soup, skaters eating soup (using a deck as a TV tray, obviously). Then there were gorgeous gorgeous girls applying the same sound in reference to loving their nose, wearing crystals in their bra, crying. In short: anyone with the right attitude could be a gorgeous gorgeous girl, and anything in the right context could be soup.

Hitting a rare cross-section of internet news and the “women’s interest” sections of tabloids, everywhere from Mashable to The Sun rushed to explain where the “gorgeous gorgeous girls eat soup” trend came from, and why it was also being applied to snacking on pickles and so forth. But now that the “gorgeous gorgeous” girl has had time to evolve, we can take a closer look at what she has come to represent. Who is she, this “gorgeous gorgeous girl”? And why do we all – regardless of whether or not we are gorgeous or, indeed, girls – identify with her?

Undoubtedly, the gorgeous gorgeous girl is self-possessed and pure of heart. She’s the kind of person who can go out and get absolutely plastered on two gins, spend the whole night dancing sloppy and sincerely complimenting everyone, then wake up at 7 AM the next day with a fresh face and a full itinerary. The gorgeous gorgeous girl is the everywoman that everywomen aspire to be, because she is as down to earth as she is enviable. She has her shit together but she still knows how to have a laugh. She always has nail varnish remover, wet wipes, or whatever specific thing it is that you need in her bag somehow. She’s competent but not solitary. She’s Kate Winslet in The Holiday, but not Cameron Diaz in The Holiday. She is a little naive perhaps, but never tragic; could be described as basic but never ditzy (either by nature or pretence). Think the public personas of Pamela Anderson, Cher from Clueless, or Perry and Jade from Little Mix. She’s here for a good time and a long time; an antigen to the overwhelming stress and desolation of the current moment.

As a concept, she lands somewhere between the hun and the bimbo. She’s relatable in a ‘drinking Blossom Hill with toe separators on’ kind of way like the hun, but more polite and not specific to the UK. She’s charming like the bimbo, but without the overt sex appeal. And unlike the hun and the bimbo, who can very much be spotted tottering down a high street with a tray of cheesy chips at 3 AM or misunderstanding Brexit on reality television, the gorgeous gorgeous girl… doesn’t actually exist.

@fishdress soup is my favorite food (: #fyp #foryou #soup #gorgeous @cigbunny2001 ♬ original sound - 🩰 ren 🤎

The gorgeous gorgeous girl was born from a kind of dissonance: two everyday queens minding their business in a diner, stirring their pasta and carrots as if it were the most glamorous and enviable existence in the world. As a meme, it takes one look at the heavily-edited, hyper-aspirational artifice that has defined the last decade of social media and flips it on its head. The mundane is made remarkable, and the abject is made fashionable. This way of commenting on our own lives marks a new way of talking about identity. Think about the equally ubiquitous “goblin mode” or the more niche “feral club rat” – they’re labels that go beyond the political or the structural and instead unite people in sentiment. A particular vibe is determined – be it faux glamour, ugliness or chaos – with just enough room left for people to project their own specifics. The urge to label has always been a part of our identities online, whether it was meme astrology; the hyper-specific music scenes of the bloghouse era (witch house, post-dubstep, vaporware); the now omnipresent need to define our dating behaviour by specific categories (fellow heteroromantic bisexuals stand up!); or the more recent trend of people self-diagnosing with disorders like OCD and ADHD. 

We align ourselves with particular labels in an effort to better understand ourselves. Until recently, we’ve been doing that by breaking society down into smaller and smaller communities as we identify different kinds of experiences and then seek to explore the nuances within them. Obviously, those nuances are endless, and it’s basically impossible to expect an umbrella term to reflect everybody that technically falls under it. So now we’re starting to move in the other direction, which possibly explains why one of the most popular comments on TikTok is “I have never had an original experience.” The same goes for things like goblin mode, feral club rat and gorgeous gorgeous girls. Everyone – even babies and pets – can get involved with those because they’re specific enough to relate to on an emotional level but unfixed enough to accommodate massive groups of people. Rather than pointing out what sets us apart in the real world, we’re gravitating towards finding common ground in the abstract.

Truth be told, it’s hard to be a literal gorgeous gorgeous girl in this economy. Everything is set up in opposition to being gorgeous and all that it represents – luxury, possibility, a carefree mindset. And so we make a mockery of those things by leaning into their absence: professing to have the poise of Sophia Loren, while eating Hobbit food with the posture of someone who hasn’t sat in a chair properly once in their entire life. In the gap between the commentary and what is literally happening, the gorgeous gorgeous girl thrives. In that ravine of illusion, we can all live our best lives, blissfully unburdened by the concerns of reality. Everything was soup and nothing hurt.