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Want to have the ‘feral girl summer’ look? Some of us have been doing it for years | Emma Beddington

I was thrilled to hear that we were about to experience a “wild girl summer”: finally, a trend that seems within reach. Further reading burst my bubble: this “wild” is more of messy, smudged mascara and disheveled hair, rather than my own “grey-blue flaky legs and broken nails” aesthetic. The “wild girl” of 2022 is a depressing descendant of the infamous “cool girl”, as portrayed in the movie Gone Girl. The wild girl “is always ready to go with the flow and have a good time,” one comment read. “She goes out every night of the week, loves house music, she talks to all the strangers in the bars, she spontaneously gets tattoos and drinks every shot offered to her.” In other words, it’s another one of those labels designed to make women feel like they’re doing “being a person” wrong. They seem to be recurring exponentially: this week alone, I spotted “weird girl aesthetic” and “clean girl makeup” (already done, FYI).

What a missed opportunity. Want a real wild girl summer? Come see someone who’s been wild every summer of their adult life. I’m there every night of the week (unless I’m looking for my husband’s escaped turtle). I’m talking to a stranger I call “the neck tumor pigeon that sits on the windowsill.” I get spontaneous takeaways. I eat all the Magnums at the corner store. Want to get the look? Pick up a discount fleece from Mountain Warehouse, then fill the pockets with dog wormer, chicken antibiotics and string. Moodboard: Dropped pants with pasta sauce in the crotch and bike chain oil on the knees. Wild girls wear “yesterday’s makeup”? Leave me alone. Try: “I’ve only done makeup once since 2020 because it gives me eczema on my eyelids.” Replace that sexy chipped nail polish with a good half inch of dirt around your ragged cuticles. Pledge to conserve water by not showering. Forget you ever owned a purse, pumice stone, or moisturizer. Let’s do it right, cowards.

  • Emma Beddington is a freelance writer

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