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“Older Girl” Trend Isn’t Everywhere but Maybe It Should Be!

By Danna Walker November 23, 2023 Mindset

Refinery 29, the lifestyle site for young women, recently ran a story with the headline, “Girl Trends Are Everywhere. What the Hell is Going On?”

As a regular reader (I like to keep up with trends – you should see my new, chocolate brown “half-moon” manicure!), the site helps keep me current, and I especially laud its efforts at diversity and inclusivity. So, as someone who was once a girl and still occasionally thinks of herself as one, I found it intriguing.

The idea is that women – or anyone who identifies with “girl” and all that word entails – no longer need to mute their femininity and sense of fun. It’s okay to talk about and openly engage in “girl stuff” like style and beauty, to celebrate Barbie, go on “hot girl walks” and trade “girl dinner” tips.

The trend is occurring in music, Hollywood, the literary world and especially online, where even The New York Times explained to us recently “Why ‘Girls’ Rule the Internet.”

As a woman over 70 who attended the 1977 National Women’s Conference, challenged her first employer for equal pay, dutifully wore sneakers with her suits while storming the halls of capitalism in the 1980s and later published as a feminist scholar, I don’t scoff at girl culture.

As the same woman who owns 35 pairs of boots and a raft of false eyelashes, how could I?

From Twiggy to Megan Thee Stallion

Hearing and reading about girl culture at my age brings back memories of my girlfriends and I copying the mod makeup of Twiggy, launching jeans as a fashion staple of choice and jump-starting a second-wave feminist revolution whose principles remain front and center 50 years after the launching of NOW and Ms. Magazine.

This new iteration takes all that is feminine, powerful, snarky, raunchy, ironic, sexy, sweet, funny and pink (think “Hot Girl Summer” by Megan Thee Stallion), and wraps it up into one giant, Ulta-exclusive bento beauty box, daring anyone to complain.

Of course, the debate always goes deeper – from arguments about what “girl power” hides and protects in a patriarchal structure to the reinforcement of stereotypes (or is it turning them on their heads?) and the potential dangers of unfettered nostalgia and infantilizing women.

Not to dismiss any of that – I was a feminist scholar after all – but I, myself, am drawn to girl culture for its promise of bonding and camaraderie, especially as toxic masculinity has become even more sharply defined in global power structures.

Where Older Girls Come In

And that may be where us older “girls” come in.

Imagine a time when girls weren’t allowed to wear pants to school, a time before the birth control pill, when women couldn’t get a credit card in their name and career choices were often limited to nursing, flight attendant or teacher.

That’s my generation. I’m that woman, but I’m also the woman who threw off those bowlines, pioneering the mini skirt, choosing whether to get married and/or have children (often separate decisions), routinely living with romantic partners before or instead of marriage and embracing successful careers, including in law, media, medicine and tech.

One way we made it through the transition from our mothers’ world to the very different one for women today is through girl culture. As “girls” who shared the cultural touchstones of Twiggy, short skirts, long hair and the first taste of sexual lives and health we could actually control, we helped each other get here.

Now that we’re no longer seen as girls, and often not seen at all, according to so many older women, the new “girl” culture may be a path to again sharing our love of things female and feeling good in the process.

Girlie Women Have More Fun

Oppressed and marginalized groups often engage in subversive activities, so if you see older women out walking together, don’t assume that exercising is all they’re doing. They could be engaging in “hot girl walks,” which, as defined on TikTok, are generally four-mile treks in which participants only think or discuss three things – what they’re grateful for, their goals and how to achieve them, and how hot they are. My perfect manicure and I can embrace this concept.

Older women are indeed hot. Just ask the contestants on The Golden Bachelor, which is a ratings goldmine and has women showing support for each other’s humor and grace in the never-ending debate over cosmetic enhancements vs. “natural” aging. (I think the show also involved a man, Gerry Turner somebody, but I’m not sure.)

Many older women care about style, staying fit and healthy, and being seen, even if it’s only by each other.

The truth is, after all we’ve accomplished, our embattled minority status has given way to something more mainstream. It’s nothing short of joyful to see girls rule the internet and take over everything that trends. We did it in our own way in our girl days, so there’s no need to stop now, right?

Data analytics show that females of a certain age respond to the words “older women” in web copy, so perhaps you’ve been seeing that term more these days. I know I chafe at being called “lady,” though “elder” might be okay.

But since “girls” are in, I vote for “older girls” as the preferred term when talking about what’s en vogue for those of us who find meaning in things like the 50th anniversary of Fear of Flying as well as Barbie’s entrée into senior status – because we were there when they launched the first time around.

If you would like to read the mentioned article on Refinery 29, please click here: Girl Trends Are Everywhere. What The Hell Is Going On?

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Have you noticed the “girl” trend these days? Does it relate to anything in your past? Can older women still be “girls” in a fun and empowering way? How do you celebrate girls and women in different stages of life?

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If you were over 70 when you attended the 1977 National Women’s Conference, you must now be over 120 years old! Go girl!

If women ruled the world, there would be little or no war, menstruation products would be free, pregnancy termination would be easily available & also free, as would childcare, & people would live in harmony with each other.


Nothing in life is free, nor should it be. Anything of worth or value has a cost, and for that I am grateful. I’d add my gratitude to include the fact that we all have opinions that differ!


I applaud your math skills! That isn’t “girl math” is it?! (That’s a thing!) And I agree that women would do things better!

Judith Louise

I am in my early seventies. In the 1960’s lavender and purple colours, vibrant multicoloured patterns, polka dots and stripes and velvet fabric filled my wardrobe. I cut my hair short in the twiggy era. But since then it has remained shoulder length or longer. Since 2019 when we lost our home and self-sufficient lifestyle property my little slice of life has been in turmoil. No sooner had we rebuilt that my husband’s health collapsed. Threatening his life. I have found myself searching within for strength and courage. I looked for who I am and who I was. In the 1960’s and ’70’s I was a power house of drive, passion and creative vision. Consequently I have spent months searching for retro gear. I spent days listening to the spiritual music of Donovan and to Bob Dylan’s musical protests and storytelling. Now I am powering my 1960’s image with an elegant vibrant style and with long swept back grey hair. I have never rocked the ‘girl’ thing. My husband and I have been together since we were 17yrs old. We have been each other’s whole world. He suggests that my look turns the heads of the pink and purple hair of the younger generation. We 1960’s teenagers forged a world of civil rights, women’s rights, children’s rights, animal welfare, organic food, natural health, etc. etc. Our courageous pioneering spirit should be valued. So ladies………..let’s rock.


Let’s rock, indeed! I, too, often find myself thinking back to that era, and honestly, the clothes and style are just as relevant now. Yes, we were courageous pioneers and should never forget it.

Peggy Blair

At age 72 and a widow for 6 months, I am living alone in a house for the first time in my life (unless you count my two cats who are very chatty). I felt nervous and sad at first, but I am starting to enjoy the total freedom of getting to do whatever I want whenever I want. I can eat all the healthy foods my husband didn’t like and make dinner whenever I feel hungry. I don’t have to take care of anyone who is sick and in pain. I am building muscles hauling those heavy trash cans and strengthening my hands opening all those bottles my husband used to open for me. I can hang out with my girlfriends when I’m lonely or spend hours on the phone with them. I am ready for the next chapter of my life now. PS I had a very happy 44 year marriage but this is still a nice change


This positivism is so heartening. I can only hope to be as resilient as you.


Yes, Judith. Let’s rock.


I’m in your demographic but have to say I want nothing to do with Barbie and the messages portrayed in the recent film. When Barbie appeared in the opening scene bigger than life, all the little girls who had been cuddling their baby dolls smashed their skulls and threw them away for the glittery Barbie life. The message was troubling and divisive, suggesting that simulated motherhood was pretty despicable and being like Barbie far preferable. We need more films that show value in all ways of being female, including motherhood, being young, old, professional and stay at home. It’s exactly why we’ve been unable to get traction in the still unequal world, because as women we put down others choices and don’t unite. I was there in Washington too and have lived through many doses of oppression which is why I think we need to listen to the messages from films like Barbie and stand up against them so our little girls know they have choices. I love glamour like you but not in the messaging Barbie hands out.


I appreciate your sharing these thoughts! I feel quite similarly, and am saddened at the newer turns in “feminism”. Seems that “choice” for women is quite limited, and unfortunately most often by other women. It wouldn’t surprise me if there are many that feel as we do!


Barbie has got to be one of the most polarizing cultural icons in history!


I adore this article. I laughed, punched the air and just going to count my boots! Thank you Danna for making that intergenerational connection that doesn’t relegate us to beige.


Warning, it can be quite sobering to count your footwear!


I love this! Yes, let’s hear it for us older girls!

The Author

Danna Walker is a writer, educator and student of media. She is passionate about getting better at life no matter what age. Danna got her Ph.D. at 50, got serious about exercise at 65 and has rekindled an early passion – style.

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