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The summer of girlhood

Lindsay Kaine
Fans dressed up in their most creative Taylor Swift-inspired outfits for The Eras Tour.

Summer 2023 was a season of pink, sparkles and a return to normalcy as the world celebrated the first summer following the official end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stadiums were filled with thousands of concert attendees, movie theaters reached pre-pandemic attendance and people were able to connect with one another again.
However, beyond all of this, the summer of 2023 was defined by girlhood.

Girlhood refers to the literal state or time of being a girl but can also be used to describe femininity as a whole. This summer allowed many women to escape back into the magic of their childhood.

Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” led the way for these trends at the box office and across social media. The fantastical glimpse into the impact of Barbie on society finally gave a voice to the iconic doll.

Since its release on July 21, “Barbie” has become the highest-grossing film of the year. Gerwig herself is now the sole female director with a film that has grossed over a billion dollars.

Beyond box office numbers, Barbie has also bled into popular culture. The double feature dubbed “Barbieheimer” elevated the movie to viral status. This trend began when it was announced that Christopher Nolan’s historical biopic “Oppenheimer” would be released in theaters the same day as “Barbie.” The Barbieheimer hashtag on TikTok has over 193 million views, making this one of the biggest trends of the summer.

Fans of the films dressed to impress at the theaters. Instead of wearing normal outfits to the movies, “Barbie” fans decided to wear all pink in celebration of the doll and her iconic fashion.

Barbie was not the only event that ushered in creative fashion and community. Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour brought everyone together under a comforting blanket of girlhood.

The tour is expected to gross over a billion dollars for the pop singer and has the potential to become the highest-grossing tour of all time, according to Forbes.

The Eras Tour sparked many trends of its own. In one of Swift’s songs from her most recent album, she sings, “Make the friendship bracelets, take the moment and taste it.” The Taylor Swift fandom was inspired to make friendship bracelets to bring and trade with other fans at the concert.

The trend grew to include Swift herself, as she broke records and traded bracelets in the same shows. The bracelets have brought back many peoples’ memories of their childhood at summer camps or school when they would make bracelets to give to their friends.

The friendship bracelets and outfits have transcended The Eras Tour entirely. Many other concerts, including Beyonce, Ed Sheeran and Fall Out Boy, have continued these trends as ways to facilitate connections.

Even television was very girlhood-oriented this summer, with many of the most popular shows being created by and for the female audience. “The Summer I Turned Pretty” and “Queen Charlotte” lived on TikTok for-you pages and television screens everywhere. These shows celebrated femininity and love, with both trending on their respective streaming services.

Regardless of what the future holds, these past few months have demonstrated the strength and beauty of girlhood. So, as we leave this summer behind and move into fall, let us all remember to close our eyes, take a breath and feel.

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Lindsay Kaine
Lindsay Kaine, Senior Reporter
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