If there’s a person out there who isn’t intrigued by the idea of a “Hot Girl Summer,” they can stay inside with the air conditioning on.
The steamiest months of 2019 belong to the women living without limits, inspired by Megan Thee Stallion, a breakout rapper who has staked a claim in Houston and well beyond. Her debut mixtape, Fever, arrived in May to become the soundtrack of the season, and brought with it the “Hot Girl Summer” theme, courtesy of the track “Cash Shit,” which begins with this declaration: “Real hot girl shit / Yeah, I’m in my bag, but I’m in his too.” Fans took care of the rest, it seems.
The beauty of Hot Girl Summer, as with so many of the internet’s ephemeral ~moods~, is that it’s never been just one thing: Vice asked women in attendance for Megan (aka Hot Girl Meg) at Wireless Festival in London what the phrase meant to them, and the definitions were personal, yet universal. “Enjoying yourself and not caring is the key!” said one concertgoer. “It’s about doing you, for the benefit of you and you alone, not for a man,” another specified. A third cited role reversal: “Guys always talk about getting girls, and we love Meg because she’s doing exactly what they do unapologetically. We can talk about dick, too.” Exuding power and confidence — that’s the hot girl way.
If you’re immediately worried that dudes will try to co-opt this celebration, I regret to say that fear is well-founded.
No sooner had Hot Girl Summer blown up social media than we started hearing about “Hot Boy Summer,” a clumsy attempt to masculinize the meme. Trouble is, most of the Hot Boy Summer content stuck to the familiar script of guys being dusty-ass fuccbois — only this time, they’re especially proud of it. Though you’ll find a few of them posting cute, earnest, sunny thirst traps under the auspices of Hot Boy Summer, many others are living up to their worst instincts, or what one young man referred to as “their regularly scheduled ain’t shit activities.” Not a great look.
The harder you look, the harder it is to ignore: Hot Boy Summer is cursed.
So, is there a decent way to mark Hot Boy Summer? It’s tricky, but with the right vibe and perfect fit, it can be done. No one exemplifies this like Bobby from King of the Hill.
You’re also allowed to post about Hot Boy Summer if you are, in essence, a kept man.
And, of course, there’s always room in Hot Boy Summer for the sweaty big-dicked bro.
What the other dudes have meanwhile overlooked is that Hot Girl Summer describes a self-actualization, not an invite to compete or return fire. In a way, they’re rehashing the misbelief that feminism as a political idea demands punishment for men instead of equality for women. They’ve taken the glow of Hot Girl Summer as insult to their own egos, and — rather than level up like the Hot Girls — now seek to drag them down. It won’t work, because the sheer positivity of Hot Girl Summer is overwhelming, unconquerable. And Hot Girl Meg isn’t going to see herself eclipsed. Believe this.
In fact, if you want to understand how badly men have missed the point of Hot Girl Summer, you can listen to Megan explain it herself in an interview with the Root: “So it’s just basically about women — and men — being unapologetically them, just having a good-ass time, hyping up your friends, doing you, not giving a damn about what nobody got to say about it.” The emphasis there isn’t even mine! She went out of her way to include men in the movement. Turns out Hot Girl Summer was always for everyone.
This makes Hot Boy Summer redundant at best, and at worst an expression of male fragility. It’s the holiday for guys too insecure to embrace a fluid gender dynamic, the same who buy “men’s” body wash because a brand with flowers on it is too threatening. And fellas, if you can’t get down with Hot Girl Summer — which does not involve a string of 2 a.m. Instagram messages and subsequent “sorry this week is kinda crazy lol” texts, for the record — then you really don’t deserve a separate version, do you. It would be no better than a “Straight Pride Parade” or “White History Month.” Give it up. But if you think you can hang with the Hot Girls? Then don’t hold back — this is your time, too.