A new social media trend and stereotype “the eGirl” is taking the internet by storm. And no one can tell if it’s for better or worse. An eGirl, e-girl, or egirl, whatever you like to call it, or however you want to write it, can be many things. The term ‘eGirl’ is a combination of ‘e’ as in ‘electronic media’ and ‘girl.’ The most common attribute of eGirls is in the name itself. They basically represent young teenage girls. One who dedicates enough time on the internet so much. And have developed a very different online personality. On the Tiktok app, the hashtag ‘egirl’ has received over half a billion views till now. Whereas on Instagram, over 500,000 posts have been labeled with the hashtags #egirl or #egirls.
It may seem to simply be a style trend for you, but let me tell you it’s much more than just a trend. The 2019 eGirl has been in the making for a while now. These girls demand to be defined by more than their physical appearance and what they look like.
The 2019 eGirls are most generally demonstrated by two types of meme videos on Tiktok app. They are the ‘eGirl Factory’ videos and an ‘eGirl Dance’ video. The ‘eGirl Factory’ videos feature users heading into the room and saying ‘eGirl Factory’. Or drinking a liquid that is labeled ‘eGirl juice’ which leads to their transformation. Transforming them from ‘an ordinary person’ to an ‘eGirl.’ Some of the videos show moms, boys, and grandmas getting transformed into one of those ‘eGirls.’
When someone changes into an ‘eGirl’ or gets transformed. Their hairstyle changes into pigtails, blush is brushed on her face (also a tint of blush on her nose). She might also get a nose ring or a septum piercing. And her outfit changes into something that matches the ‘eGirl’ personality. The soundtrack used in such videos is ‘Me Me Me’ by AntiNightcore.
If you don’t spend or haven’t spent much time on the Tiktok app, none of these will make sense to you. However, for those who follow Tiktok every time, it is a complete closure of egirls. It is basically, a new kind of cool-girl reborn and who lives (virtually) in the platform itself. The egirl can be quite funny, cute and totally 90s, and she knows well how to play with expectations.
While some of the egirls’ videos do limit egirls to their physical characteristics. They even suggest that anyone can transform themselves into an egirl. It’s also an expression that highlights how eGirl is an ultimate internet personality. And how the internet provides opportunities and platforms for people. To present themselves in any way they desire with eGirl style also being one of their many options.
The second video type seems more simplistic than the one before. A girl or someone who blends in the ‘eGirl’ look dances to a slowed-down cover of the Spice Girl’s hit song “Wannabe”. Choreographer Kyle Hanagami created the steps for this unique egirl dance. This dance is also known as the #wannabechallenge on Tiktok. However, some of these dance videos are highly sexualized than others. It reveals crucial tension among the eGirl archetype. Whereas you can also find many videos take the approach of the eGirl archetype lightly, even make fun of it. All in all, the eGirl personality appears to be at the intersecting point of being irony and complete seriousness.
Over these two video styles, many eGirls have risen themselves to fame on the platform. They’ve also accumulated thousands and even millions of online likes and followers.
The eGirl archetype was first introduced by women and girls. However, people of all gender can be e-people if they are identified with any or all aspects of egirls’ culture and aesthetics. These eBoys can be found on Tiktok, Instagram, and other social media platforms. Though the number of eBoys is significantly less compared to the eGirls, their existence online has been strong and growing.
Regardless of the fact that there is a significant style prevalent in the posts labeled as #eGirl. The whole look for this trend is attracted by various established styles. The styles these established influencers use are cosplay, KPOP, goth, anime, punk, grunge. They also use skater girls, Instagram Baddie and other ethics.
In Japan, there is a popular Japanese band by the name E-Girls, a short form of Exile Girls. However, there has been little or no mention of the band at all in reference to the Tiktok or Instagram eGirl style. The Tiktok eGirls can be recognized by their makeup, outfit, and hairstyle. The dress-up includes a short high-waisted skirt with a band T-shirt. Or some other kind of punk-influenced outfits. Such as hairs either tied up in a pig-tail or bright colored hair clips and bold, goth-inspired makeup. Another thing that sets them apart from other Tiktokers is little black hearts marks below their eyes.
Authenticity seems to be very important to eGirls. There appears to be a significant difference between ‘posers’ and ‘authentic’ eGirls. This is mainly due to the comments they receive about not having invented this eGirl style. Or suggestions that they are merely trend-followers eager for fame, influence, or power.
The language used in the comments section on a typical social eGirl’s media profile is plentiful with a die-hard jealous fan culture slang. Comments like “uwu” (text-based emotion that represents cuteness, happiness, and smugness). Other comments such as“what a kween”. There’s also YAS (yaass, yaaas, yass queen, yasss kween, and other variations of the word). Or “ooofff” (an expression of discomfort). These expressions signal that most of these eGirls are being treated as beloved celebrities as well as public figures. It also shows that they influence a significant number of fans.
Other comments on the eGirls’ social media are about the eGirl’s physical appearance. Such comments range from appreciative (usually from other girl followers) to absolute objectifying. The sarcasm and a slang-full world of the internet can make it quite difficult. To distinguish between what is meant to be a friendly compliment and a degrading comment. Let’s say, for example, calling someone hot and saying “they look like a snack” can have a variety of meanings.
Tiktok eGirl back then: A demeaning term
Even before the eGirls of late 2018 and 2019 came to be, the term ‘eGirl’ was largely used as a negative term. To put down any girl or woman who was active in online communities. Quite similar to the often insulting title ‘gamer girl’, calling someone an ‘eGirl’ can mean a way to slut-shame them or apart from that, degrade them. Even to this day, the term ‘eGirl’ can carry the same meaning. Such a demeaning term is common on male-dominated gamer sites and forums as an insult. Rather than positive or negative terms.
Even though it is in reference to the Tiktok eGirl, the term can still carry negative meanings. This relates to insults dished out to women online, which are often deep-rooted in sexism. Some aspects of the eGirl personality resemble the hyper pixie dream girl. Or a goth GF (an idea of a girlfriend with a gothic-style). These imitations romanticize the idea of women and girls who are pictured to be the ‘perfect match’ or ‘dream girl’ for a straight man. Some of the eGirls may be playing into this stereotype. As a comedic tool or to skill themselves to social media fame.
Tiktok ‘THOT’, an acronym for ‘That ho over there’, is another insult that is developed on the platform. It is used to refer to the girls who appear to be using their sex appeal to gain likes and followers on the platform. Names as such come from internet trolls, haters and bachelors. And those who gets threatened by girls and women who own their sexualities openly.
CONCLUDING POINT: The 2019 eGirl
With all the labels, no one can find one definition or cookie cutout of an eGirl. In reality, an eGirl is anyone who chooses to identify themselves as such. Having said that, the label of Tiktok eGirl may be applied to people with or without their approval. Behind every Tiktok eGirl personality lies a unique person. One who may or may not follow and try every trend the typical eGirl subscribes to. Disputes over an eGirl’s authenticity or encouragement are often deep-rooted in a type of sexism that is prevalent online. And is always dragged out by both boys and girls.
The huge number of likes, views, and followers the so-called eGirls attract indicates the popularity of the trend. It also showcases eGirls’ ability to capture the masses’ attention. Nevertheless, like all the internet memes, the eGirl trend will likely change and evolve. The complete power-pack combination of coolness, style, and originality has captured the eyes of many. Highlighting the immense influence and power girls can have online.