What’s a girl’s dinner? – New York times

It’s 90 degrees outside, and you’re too hot and exhausted from a long day at work to be able to whip up a proper meal together. Luckily, you’re home alone — no kids, no roommates, no partners — and so you can eat whatever you want for dinner, without having to think about other people’s food preferences or nutritional needs. You grab a bag of popcorn, a glass of wine, some bagels, some cheese, and a big bar of chocolate, and then settle down on the couch for a night of snacks and watching TV. Is there anything more amazing? Welcome to Girl’s Dinner.

According to TikTok, that’s where the trend is Over 30 million views, Girl’s Dinner resembles an aesthetically pleasing Lunchable: a skillfully arranged stack of snacks that, when eaten in large enough quantities, make up a meal. Or so the thinking goes.

A typical girls’ dinner might include some kind of fruit, a block of cheddar cheese, slices of salami, a handful of fancy crackers and a plate of olives. The girl’s dinner is “messy and filling,” said one TikTok commenter put it, requiring none of the foregoing thought, cooking, or plating that an actual meal would require. As another commenter noted: “No preparation just good vibes.”

The trend began when Olivia Maher, a modeling assistant currently out of work due to the writers’ strike, posted a video on TikTok this spring extolling the virtues of the humble, medieval-inspired gathering she called a “girl’s dinner.”

“I think the concept of a girl’s dinner came to me when I was on a hot girl walk with another friend of mine,” said Ms. Maher, 28. from her apartment in Los Angeles.

She said she and her friend were discussing the unparalleled perfection of bread and cheese as a meal in itself, as simple as it is satisfying. “We like to eat this way, and it feels like a girls’ dinner because we do it when our friends aren’t around and we don’t have to eat what’s a ‘typical dinner’ – basically, with protein and vegetables,” said Ms Maher.

I decided to make the phrase debut on TikTok. “This is my dinner,” says Mrs. Maher. the video, she flips her phone’s camera to show her spread: bits of butter and cheese, a portion of a baguette, some grapes and pickles, and a glass of red wine. “I call this girl dinner.” Since I posted it in May, the 15-second clip has been viewed more than 1 million times.

Alanna Laverty, a 28-year-old food creator in London who immediately embraced the phrase, said she started making what she calls “snack bowls” for dinner during the summer when it’s too hot to even think about Turn on the stove.

“I feel like cooking full meals becomes very repetitive and stressful, especially in the summer,” said Ms. Lafferty. “When dinner came around, we’d grab one main cheese or one main protein and get a fresh loaf of bread and put it all on the plate. It’s a natural way of eating for me now.”

Ms. Lafferty began posting her beautifully arranged snack plates on TikTok last year. When the girls’ dinner trend started to take off, she recalled, “I was like, ‘It never resonates with anything else. ‘”

“There was this feeling of, ‘Oh my God, I’m not the only one,’” Ms. Lafferty said. “I love anything that celebrates something that all women do, but we don’t all know we do.”

some have pointed out that grazing is not enough to satisfy their appetites and, in some cases, can be hiding an eating disorder.

One user “girl dinner” looks like a girl please go to the doctor you have ED” Written on TikTok.

But followers are quick to note that the girls’ dinner is not about deprivation. Women have always been programmed to see food as the enemy, but the girls’ dinner trend is all about embracing the fun of snacks as meals. A girl’s dinner represents a conscious choice to withdraw from the tyranny of cooking and dish-setting. It’s also, conveniently, the answer to daily fridge cleaning.

And while the trend may sound as suspicious as tapas, meze, or a charcuterie board, girls’ dinners differ in one key way: Unlike the Super Bowl-esque appetizer spread, girl’s dinners are often prepared by one person, for consumption and enjoyment by someone else. One.

“I remember trying to be meal prep and just couldn’t do it,” said Ms. Lafferty. “You can make an effort at it, but why not crack open a bunch of jars and satisfy your taste buds in the same way?”

Seema Rao, a Cleveland-based art historian, sees a historical connection between the girls’ dinners and the entrenched gender norms that dictate that women prepare a hearty meal for their husbands each evening.

Ms Rao, 49, said: “The idea of ​​cooking dinner has historically been a woman’s work in the home. What I love about girls’ dinners is that it removes the idea that you have to cook anything: you literally bring it together. So you move from a position where food production is What makes him good and makes you a good woman, to the idea that We take Food is what makes you a good woman.”

At least one nutritionist has Give her a stamp of approval for this trend. Kathryn Kofod, 27, a registered dietitian and health coach in Portland, Oregon, suggested that part of the reason Girls’ Dinner has been so widely embraced is its emphasis on the way women actually eat: “It’s a fun departure from diet culture, and from all these rigid expectations.” of what food should be like.

said Ms Cofoyd, noting the benefits of finding “more enjoyment and enjoyment in the meals we eat”.

Perhaps the most important thing about a girl’s dinner is that you don’t have to be a girl to enjoy it.

“My friends and I used to joke that it was a girls’ dinner, but anyone could eat it,” said Ms. Maher. “But it’s for the girls, the gays, and them.”

You might be wondering what a “boy’s dinner” might look like. “Go to your local supermarket at 6:30 p.m. and stand behind one guy and see what’s in his basket,” says comedian Brian Lee. notice on TikTok. “Frozen pizza, deli meats, and chips, no vegetables.”

For Mrs. Maher, it is less about the content of the meal than the feeling around it. “A girl’s dinner is a lively experience,” she said. “You could have a slice of frozen pizza, but maybe you also have a glass of wine and some grapes to go along with it. And you’re so happy with yourself. You’re like, ‘I worked hard for this and it feels like an indulgence. ‘ That’s what makes it girl’s dinner.”