A new trend has been circulating for a little while. It began with ‘Girl Math’ – a term coined for how women can find loopholes or cheat codes around spending money. It caught like wildfire and there is no end of examples of it. This spiralled into Boy Math, then Mom Math, and even Gay Math and Girl Dinner.
This is all another trend which has likely fizzed out by the time this post is published, but what pricked our ears up were some comments saying this trend is laughing at ailments, issues and disorders. So, is it trendy or toxic?
If you aren’t already aware:
Girl Math vs Boy Math
When Girl Dinner, Girl Math and all its evolutions caught on, it then became Boy Math. This was a natural progression. The difference between the two was that Boy Math was being encourage by the same people who were in on the Girl Math trend.
This means that Girl Math, which trended as an ‘in-joke’ evolved into men being the butt of the joke. The same trend, but completely different intentions.
Some of these trends are not like the others.
You could ultimately find some kind of toxicity in any trend that stereotypes a large group of people. No two girls, boys, mums are the same, so you cannot unanimously agree on one trend.
Is a trend that bases it’s joke around a stereotype toxic though?
Girl Dinner has been criticised for finding the funny in eating disorders. An eating disorder is defined by such a need to control what you eat that it negatively impacts your mental and physical health.
You can see the relation between the two, but by comparing this to women who enjoy a random assortment of snacks as dinner, you are also putting a blanket term over people as if the majority have it – which is not the case.
There is a substantial difference between an odd eating habit and an eating disorder and this is clearly defined. As we encourage discussion about mental and physical health issues it’s important to clearly define intention. Many things can be enjoyed without an addiction, many people can have certain habits without it being a disorder and you can be divergent without it hindering you.
A joke that turns into a trend can create havoc if we dissected every message it puts across, and this can make it all the more difficult to recognise these kinds of issues when they do come up.