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The Pros and Cons of TikTok's 'Girl Dinner' Trend: Liberation or Loneliness?

The Pros and Cons of TikTok's 'Girl Dinner' Trend: Liberation or Loneliness?

The Pros and Cons of TikTok's 'Girl Dinner' Trend: Liberation or Loneliness?

In the ever-changing landscape of social media trends, TikTok has given rise to a new phenomenon called the 'Girl Dinner.' This trend is all about embracing simplicity in meal preparation, but I'm keen to ponder its deeper societal implications.

Is it just a harmless and carefree trend, or does it hint at more significant changes affecting women and girls?

In this article, we'll delve into the 'Girl Dinner' trend, the concept of solo cooking, and the potential for a healthier alternative, the 'Slow Dinner.' So...The Pros and Cons of TikTok's 'Girl Dinner' Trend: Liberation or Loneliness?

Getting to Know the 'Girl Dinner'

The 'Girl Dinner' is a culinary sensation that has taken TikTok by storm. At its core, it's a plate filled with small bites or a grown-up take on the classic Lunchable, designed to be a complete meal. At worst it's a girl eating ice cream... or even aioli straight from the tub, without even sitting down. So many things I go say... but back on topic.

These meals typically feature a medley of items readily available in your kitchen, like last night's pasta, slices of deli meat, a chunk of cheese, and perhaps a cookie.

The central theme here is ease and convenience. It's the kind of meal you whip up after a long day when you just want to stay in and spare yourself from the hassle of cooking.

Unveiling the Origin of the Term

The term 'Girl Dinner' was coined by TikTok users who would assemble snack plates and label them as their evening meal. These are the moments when you put together whatever you find in your fridge on a paper plate or munch over the sink.

The fundamental idea is to cater to your immediate culinary cravings without adhering to traditional meal standards or worrying about nutritional balance.

The Liberating Aspect of 'Girl Dinners'

At first glance, the 'Girl Dinner' trend might come across as freeing. It allows folks, especially women and girls, to focus on their own desires and convenience. There's a sense of independence and liberation in savouring a meal that caters exclusively to your personal cravings without the constraints of traditional cooking.

It's worth noting that there's nothing inherently wrong with occasionally enjoying a #girldinner. Sometimes, the pure delight of living alone (oh my gosh I do miss it slightly), relishing pre-cooked smoked salmon and salad (that was it), or having breakfast for dinner (hello bacon and eggs!) can be a genuine pleasure. Nevertheless, we need to look beyond the surface and contemplate the broader implications of this trend.

After a long day at the office, time at the gym, the beach and with friends, I found the choice liberating. It was also a conscious nutritional decision to look after myself... not a throw away "I don't care what I put in my body because I'm exhausted and proud of it". I feel like there's a bit of a difference.

The Dark Side of 'Girl Dinners'

The 'Girl Dinner' trend hints at a more profound issue – the increasing prevalence of girls eating alone. And also eating shitty food and shouting about it... due to perceived time constraints. The notion that we're too liberated to spare time for a proper meal is already here.

We live in a culture of hurried eating, which can have significant consequences for our physical and emotional well-being. Not to mention the obesity crisis. Try getting obese, when you physically have to prepare or cook every meal you eat. I bet you'd struggle.

This trend also draws attention to the loneliness epidemic and emotional eating among young girls. While filming yourself enjoying ice cream straight from the tub in front of the freezer may seem like an innocent act, it may signify a deeper need for companionship and connection. I'm not sure if the trend is doing bad things by glamorising loneliness or whether it's simply a REALLY SAD reflection of the reality we're living in.

Advocating for #SlowDinners

In response to the 'Girl Dinner' trend, it might be the perfect moment to introduce a more mindful and healthful approach to mealtime. Enter #SlowDinners, which could serve as the remedy for rushed and disconnected eating habits often represented by the 'Girl Dinner.'

#SlowDinners encourage individuals to take a step back, thoughtfully select ingredients, and allocate time for the creation of a meaningful meal. This concept underscores the therapeutic benefits of cooking, whether it's for yourself, friends, family, or a partner. It emphasises the significance of savouring a meal as a shared experience rather than a hurried, solitary endeavour. And it's what most cultures have always done.

Girl Dinners - What Do You Reckon?

The 'Girl Dinner' trend on TikTok, while initially appearing as a carefree and liberating phenomenon, has prompted me to consider the broader implications in our society. The rise of solo cooking, solitary dining, and fast-paced eating habits should be viewed within a larger context.

Rather than dismissing the 'Girl Dinner' trend entirely, we should acknowledge the underlying message it conveys. It reflects a society that often places too much emphasis on convenience and hectic routines. Perhaps it's time to embrace a more mindful and intentional approach to dining, whether it's with others or in solitude, and encourage the #SlowDinner trend as a way to reconnect with the joy of cooking and sharing meals.

Can We Help The Next Generation Do Better?

My advice for anyone with teenage girls, is to start to teach them that it's OK to slow down. That it's not glamorous to be at the office until 8pm at night. That it's cool to cook, not run out of food because you've been 'busy' and offer up whatever is left. Cook with love. Make it matter. And let's try and teach the next generation to do the same.

Tell me your thoughts and experience! Drop me an email:

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