The era of the “girl boss” as a feminist icon is fading, and Gen Z is introducing the concept of the “snail girl.” This emerging trend prioritizes a slower, more fulfilling life focused on happiness and self-care over the relentless hustle culture and overwork. Sienna Ludbey coined the term “snail girl” in an article for Fashion Journal, where she shared her shift away from the girl-boss mentality.
The Girlboss Reckoning
The girl boss identity has faced criticism as young people experience burnout and question the pursuit of workplace success. Michelle P. King, an expert in diversity and inclusion, sees parallels between The Girl Boss and Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In,” suggesting both push women to change or fix themselves to compete with men at work. Such ideas can be seen as inherently misogynistic, implying that women are not good enough as they are.
Gen Z Rejects the Girlboss Culture
Gen Z is seeking alternative paths to find meaning in their lives. “Lazy girl jobs” on TikTok advise women to focus on low-effort jobs with good pay to find joy outside of work.
The Rise of the Snail Girl Era
Sienna Ludbey’s article about embracing a slower, more purposeful life gained popularity on TikTok. TikTokers are sharing their snail girl lifestyle through videos showcasing relaxing morning routines, nature walks, and self-care rituals. This trend reflects a pushback against hustle culture and toxic workplace environments that demand long hours and constant availability.
The Aversion to Anxiety
One factor driving the snail girl trend is Gen Z’s aversion to anxiety. Older generations understand that anxiety is a part of work life, but Gen Z seeks to design lives that circumvent it.
The Realities of Leadership
Being a boss, regardless of gender, is often far from the glamorous portrayal of the girlboss lifestyle. Leadership involves challenges such as managing payroll, retaining clients, handling difficult employees, and dealing with failures like unsuccessful ad campaigns.
The TradeOffs of the Snail Girl Lifestyle
While choosing a snail girl lifestyle may offer more personal fulfillment, it could have financial or other consequences down the road. The ultimate impact of this trend remains uncertain, as some may choose to transition back to more traditional career paths if they find the tradeoffs unsustainable.
Jotting it down
The rise of the snail girl trend among Gen Z signifies a shift away from hustle culture and the girlboss mentality. It highlights the importance of prioritizing happiness, self-care, and personal well-being over the relentless pursuit of workplace success. While this lifestyle may not be a career accelerator, it reflects a growing desire for a balanced and fulfilling life.