Group 4

Sydney Sweeney and TikTok sociology-speak

Social-driven terminology like ‘girls girl’ and ‘pick me girl’ are now being applied to real world reputations


Earlier this week, we reported on the rise of the clickbait couple as defined by Kylie Jenner and Timothée Chalamet — a couple so confusing that you can’t help but consume content about it. But out of the celeb couple content churn has emerged another sort of pairing, one that’s so Barbie perfect it starts freaking people out. In this case, it’s actors Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell, who sparked relationship rumours after clips from the press circuit for their new rom-com Anyone But You made it to TikTok. The clips went viral — on account of Sydney and Glen’s alleged off-the-charts chemistry and the fact that the two were both in long-term relationships at the time of filming (leaving commenters questioning whether that chemistry was copacetic or the 2023 version of Brad Pitt leaving Jen for Angie after working together on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith).

A particular line of questioning was directed towards Sydney’s role in the situation, on the issue of whether or not she’s a ‘girls girl’ — the latest in TikTok’s sociological lexicon. Whilst the term has existed for decades to describe women who support other women, TikTok has given it a new life, with viral videos explaining what exactly a girls’ girl is and her value to society. The fact that Sydney is being criticised with social-driven terminology, and not with the typical labels levied at people who may have been unfaithful in a relationship, is an indication that words that find traction through TikTok are being applied to real world relationships and reputations. The trajectory of girls girl is similar to the path of the ‘pick me girl’ — a phrase that originated online, to describe a girl who is by most definitions the opposite of a girls girl, but soon surpassed the scope of its original usage — becoming the subject of a Call Her Daddy episode and replacing the parlance that preceded it. 

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