Snail girl era and girl moss mindset from last year never departed

Updated - May 27, 2024 01:38 pm IST

Published - May 26, 2024 11:06 pm IST

In late October 2023, the ‘snail girl era’ trend exploded onto the scene, with many Gen Z women around the world intentionally slowing down to prevent burnout. This marked a shift from the newer version of ‘It girl’ and ‘That girl’ trends that promoted being an all-rounder.

Sienna Ludbey, founder of Hello Sisi handmade bags and the mind behind the ‘snail girl era’, emphasised in her article that it is perfectly fine to move at one’s own pace in a rushing world where she’s got “places to be but slower places to be”.

The millennial girl boss and the Gen Z snail girl aren’t at odds with each other. However, some sections of Gen Z in Chennai think the message of the snail girl era has been transformative for their lives. But that’s not all; enter the ‘girl moss’ mindset which shares a similar emphasis on time to ‘ungrind’ with an idea of reconnecting with nature for overall well-being.

Some put their own spin on this. Padmashree, a corporate employee from Chennai, says, “When I say girl moss, we usually picture a cottage and an image of a girl sleeping, which is true; but for me, girl moss is about taking the choices which matters the most to me, not driven by societal pressures. I love myself like the main character of a romcom movie which is not to say take yourself out, and get a manicure and that’s done. As for me, it means to breathe, rest and mainly in whatever shape or form I desire to exist.”

More than just another trend, some see this concept as a whole lifestyle. Tenny Ann Thomas from Chennai, who has completed her Masters and is in her ‘snail girl’ phase, says, “Instead of following the rhythm of a fast-paced society, we are taking a step back to follow our rhythm.”

While the girl-moss and snail-girl mindset might come off as lazy for some because it is living a slow life in a fast-moving world, Tenny counters this perception. “It is not true that this approach is a lack of motivation to achieve goals. In fact, this era promotes a lifestyle in which you refuse to be chained to productivity and equate your value to it. You can be highly invested in your career but set boundaries, so that you have the downtime to rest and unwind.”

Talking about how the concept of girl boss as well as girl moss reflects a feminist vision, Padmashree adds, “There was a time when girl boss resonated with me — leading, taking action, and thriving. However, it was not sustainable for me in the long run. The concept implied that you must always strive to be better, which suggested that something was lacking in you, and that promoted high stress levels. Being a girl moss is about embracing who I am at the moment. You can still be productive in your girl moss era. There is nothing wrong in being a girl boss, and nothing wrong in being a girl moss. It’s a choice you make, but more often, many don’t have the privilege of choosing.

Asked how this shift looks at broader societal changes, Tenny adds, “This girl-moss mindset and snail girl era began as the result of the burnout of people constantly pushed to hustle. Now, one section is taking a stand to reprioritise their lives.”

Many agree that opting to lead a slow life is, indeed, a luxury that comes from being financially stable, but to make it feasible for everyone, Padmashree says, “You can still discover ways to incorporate this ‘girl moss’ state of being, which is precisely what I do while juggling my corporate career for my financial independence. Previously, I didn’t know what it was to rest, so, in this era, I am figuring out what rest means.”

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