Solving the Girl Math trend on social media

Dristi Sharma
Dristi SharmaAug 20, 2023 | 08:00

Solving the Girl Math trend on social media

"It's unfortunate that as women, we often find ourselves needing to explain our desires and purchases. The question 'Why spend $200 on a mini bag?' leaves us searching for an answer beyond 'it's an investment.' Thanks to the Girl Math trend, we now have a more clever response."

What is the Girl Math trend?

The Girl Math trend has taken social media by storm, and you don't need to be a scientist or math expert to understand it. It's rather simple and a bit quirky. Allow us to break it down for you:


'The free stuff' 

In the realm of Girl Math, certain expenses are considered "free" or justifiable due to their rarity:

  • For instance, shelling out thousands of dollars for a Taylor Swift Eras concert? Perfectly reasonable, as it's a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the Queen Taylor herself.
  • With a loaded Starbucks app, that coffee becomes a complimentary treat.
  • Cash doesn't count as real money. So, buying something with cash magically makes it free.
  • Purchasing a $300 purse and using it daily breaks down to less than a dollar per day – essentially, it's free.
  • And here's a personal favorite – money spent at Sephora doesn't even count. 

Identifying where we lose money: According to Girl Math, refraining from buying full-priced items from our favorite stores actually results in a monetary loss.

Cost per wear

Another way to rationalize splurges is through the Cost Per Wear approach, according to Girl Math.

Divide an item's cost by its frequency of use. A lower cost-per-wear signifies a thriftier purchase.

Imagine a tote bag that replaces several bags like a carry-on, beach bag, and work bag. Divide its price by the number of uses or bags it replaces – you've just saved money!


Consider a $540 dress. Apply Girl Math by rounding it down to $500 (because why not!).

  • Divide $500 by anticipated wears, say four times, and you get a cost-per-wear of $125 (yes, more Girl Math!).

  • Swapping with a friend means you practically get a new dress for free (we know, it's whimsical).

  • When your friend returns the dress, resell it online for $125 – now you've made money. Voilà!

The investment angle

Of course, Girl Math doesn't skip investment.

Splurging on an expensive gym membership is an investment, preventing future therapy bills over physical appearance concerns.

And let's not forget the luxurious bag investment – pieces like Birkin's only appreciate over time.

The catch

However, this social media trend comes with its complexities. While it may seem lighthearted, it inadvertently reinforces the stereotype that women lack math skills, a notion deeply rooted in patriarchal beliefs.


Additionally, the rise of "buy now, pay later" companies may present overspending as a smart move, and Girl Math might inadvertently endorse taking on long-term debt for short-term gratification.

Furthermore, Girl Math can downplay issues like the pink tax and societal pressures on women to splurge on clothing and cosmetics upgrades.

Last updated: August 20, 2023 | 08:00
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