The “Girl Dinner” trend has garnered over 535 million views since its inception on TikTok. The TikTok girlies have been posting their viral “snack plates” as full entrees. The latest craze is so popular that even major fast food chains like Popeyes have hopped on the wave. Though it’s all harmless fun and games, some dietitians fear it’s more detrimental than a simple social media trend. Read more inside.
What’s A “Girl Dinner” Anyway?
A Girl Dinner is where people are eating snacks and calling it a full meal. Often, the girls are sharing plates with items that resemble a small charcuterie board made up of deli meats, cheeses, crackers, fruits and veggies. It’s people sharing their effortless meals, including everything from charcuterie to season-less pasta, leftover Chipotle and hamburger buns.
Where Did The Phrase Come From?
To better understand the trend’s origin, the New York Times credits it back to Olivia Maher, a showrunner’s assistant, who said of her dinner of bread, cheese, grapes, and gherkins, “This is my dinner. I call this ‘girl dinner’ or ‘medieval peasant.’”
What Are Social Media Users Posting?
The “Girl Dinner” trend now has more than 535 million views on TikTok. Some of the most viral videos of the hashtag take the easier approach. One video with over 1.8 million views showcased a plate of corn chips with melted cheese calling it “girl dinner.” Another video with over 9 million views shows plain pasta with olive oil and a dash of cheese. Meanwhile, one TikToker posted a bowl of popcorn as her “girl dinner” with over 795k likes.
Why Are Dieticians and Nutritionist Concerned?
Nutrition experts worry that these Girl Dinners may not provide the appropriate calories or nutrition and can high in saturation and low in fiber. They suggest making healthier versions of Girl Dinners by including more veggies, protein and healthy fats.
“Girl dinner does not mean under fed dinner,” one user said. “I know it’s meant to be jokes, but it is glorifying disordered eating as a cute little girly thing.”
BuzzFeed spoke with New York-based dietician, Esther Tambe, who first came across the term on TikTok despite saying that she “usually actually avoids” food trends on the app.
“I can see it as a snack plate. With the work I do, I’d rather you eat something than not eat at all,” Tambe speaks of the trend.
The experienced dietician suggested that it could work “for convenience” if people did not have the time “to get to a full meal.” She added,”It’s also a very individualized thing. What one person can eat as ‘dinner,’ the next person may not be able to eat — they may be hungry, they have increased energy needs, and they need to eat more food.”
The real risk Tambe noticed about the trend is how it may affect an impressionable teenager or person who knows nothing about proper nutrition.
“We don’t think about the nuance, all you see is a ‘girl dinner.’ Say a teenager or someone who knows nothing at all just was like, ‘Okay, this is what I need to be eating for dinner.’ Now, we’re under the impression that this is what we have to eat. That’s when I think it can become problematic,” Esther added.
Esther also noted that labeling of this as “girl” could lead to a situation where women feel “they have to eat a certain way. Or, essentially, that they need to eat less than males.” Instead, Esther said, “You should be eating what actually is providing you full, adequate nourishment — which may be more than that, for some people that may be sufficient.”
Who’s Joining In On The Fun?
Big food companies like Popeyes are hopping on the trend. The beloved chicken fast food restaurant added their own special “Girl Dinner” menu, featuring two biscuits, three sides and a small batch of cajun fries.
Check out what social media users are calling their “Girl Dinners” below:
What Is The ‘Girl Dinner’ Trend & Why Are Dietitians Concerned? was originally published on globalgrind.com