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U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

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Girl Math perpetuates absence of financial literacy

Midway Staff
Although Girl Math and similar TikTok trends come across as funny and empowering, Arts Editor Chloë Alexander asserts that these trends further negative connotations.

Scrolling through TikTok’s “For you page,” you are bound to come across at least one video about Girl Dinner, Girl Math or Girl’s Roman Empire. From girls talking about buying a pair of $5,000 earrings but the price is $2,500 in her mind, or a girl claiming she saved money because she bought two lip glosses for the price of one, these “girl”-labeled trends develop quickly and have exponential popularity. 

Although these trends come across as funny and empowering for girls, they only further misogyny and promote negative connotations and stereotypes about women, including the misconceptions that all we do is shop or we don’t know how to handle money.

Although this trend surfaced on social media in August, this idea has been around for decades. An early occurrence was the popularization of this idea of amortization, the concept of spreading an overall expense of something equally over its useful life, by media personalities like Oprah Winfrey.

Girl Math also stems from the idea of “investing in myself” by just spending money and justifying it by saying it’s for your own self-improvement. You’re not going to receive dividends or any payback. There’s no interest other than self-interest. These factors led to the promotion of Girl Math as a valuable, sustainable and usable economic goal for women, as if this is a way of budgeting. 

Girl Math as a trend perpetuates the idea that girls will just shop and spend thousands of dollars, only to say it was actually a third of the price through fake, mental discounts. It ignores the real issue of the lack of financial literacy

Girl trends mask as comedy, diminishing the intelligence of women that is already questioned. Girl Math only furthers the idea that women and girls are bad at math. Gendering this type of math only compares the intelligence and mathematical proficiency of women to men. The reality is that a girl’s math ability is not below a boy’s, but the stereotype of girls being bad at math causes girls to lack confidence in their ability in math.

Instead of watching and liking these social media videos, reject these ideas and misconceptions by creating a different narrative around girl’s finance and Girl Math by creating platforms to teach girls about financial literacy and how to spend money responsibly. By putting out content and supporting content that is substantial for girls, you get rid of math insecurity and gain the foundation for financial security.

Girl Math, among other trends, doesn’t provide an insight into the mind of a girl but only lowers how a girl’s intellect is perceived and miseducates girls and women. It doesn’t matter who’s making the joke when girls are still the butt of it.

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About the Contributor
Chloe Alexander
Chloe Alexander, Arts Editor
Chloë Alexander is a member of the Class of 2025 and serves as the arts editor. She joined the journalism family in the 2021-22 school year as a ninth grader and previously served as an assistant editor. Chloë enjoys journalism because it allows her to create a space for Lab students to be represented through writing. Her favorite story that she has written is “‘SOS’ showcases a wide range of styles and themes.” Outside of working on the Midway, she is a Maroon Key, plays the piano and enjoys reading. Awards: 2023 Journalism Education Association National Student Media Contests, Boston convention: Honorable mention, feature writing 2023 Journalism Education Association National Student Media Contests, San Francisco convention: Honorable mention, news editing, headline and current events 2023 Scholastic Press Association of Chicago, special coverage: (with Clare O’Connor, Amy Ren and William Tan), superior 2022 Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Circle Award: Briefs writing, first place (with Louis Auxenfans, Joaquin Figueroa, Chloe Ma, Amy Ren, Katie Sasamoto-Kurisu), Vol. 98, Issue 8 (March 10, 2022), Page 3

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    Yuli ArseniyDec 1, 2023 at 7:28 pm

    Yes! We should be mad at everything! That’s the solution!