When is walking not walking? When it’s the “hot girl walk”, of course.
Alongside moisturising and hydrating, walking is the latest everyday occurrence to get the TikTok treatment.
The activity has emerged on the popular social media platform as not just a brisk stroll to get the heart rate up, but has been repackaged and rebranded to incorporate positive thoughts and affirmations, gratitude and thinking about how attractive you are into your daily exercise routine.
“Hot girl walk” follows “rich mum walk” and “model walk” as the latest way to get your steps in stylishly, the latter of which involves mimicking a model on the runway with a hips-lead stroll on the treadmill.
Started by TikTok user Mia Lind, who lives in California, the “hot girl walk” was Lind’s way of rebranding a form of exercise she believed had become stigmatised as not as legitimate or effective as others.
“I was looking for a type of exercise that I didn’t dread to do and realised the meditative element that comes with going on a long walk,” Lind told HuffPost. “I also felt that walking had a strong stigma as not being a valid form of exercise so I gave ‘walking’ some rebranding as a hot girl walk.”
Introducing walking to Gen Z
“It’s what you do on the hot girl walk that matters,” says Lind in an explainer video. “You’re only allowed to think about three things. One, things you’re grateful for; two, your goals and how you’re going to achieve them, and three, how hot you are.”
Lind later updated with additional rules, including that the “hot girl walk” should be done three to five days a week, that one other exercise should be incorporated into your routine at least once a week, and to take four rest days a month. Adherents are also encouraged to walk between 3.2 kilometres and 6.4km each day.
With millions of videos sporting the hashtag “hot girl walk”, the trend shows no signs of abating going into autumn, with aesthetic videos centred around the exercise proving popular, including which outfits to wear, different playlists to stream and meditations to try.
Repackaging existing concepts
As the first generation dubbed “digital natives” — meaning they have never known a time without the internet — Gen Z have forged their own path when it comes to politics, inclusion and identity. And they’re also not above borrowing existing pastimes or behaviours and renaming them.
“Quiet quitting” became a recent Gen Z buzzword as those aged 25 and under took to social media to share tales of leaving the office on the clock at 6pm and refusing to answer calls or emails after that time. Or what previous generations simply called “working to rule.”
New Year’s resolutions have also been given a makeover, with the concept now being dubbed “rebranding”, a more aspirational sounding life motto for listing your ins and outs for the year ahead.