TikTokers Debate What Viral ‘Girl Math’ Trend is Doing for Women

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What is internet sensation “girl math”, and is it problematic?

A woman stands in front of a whiteboard writing an equation.
A woman stands in front of a whiteboard writing an equation. (Credit: This Is Engineering/Pexels)


‘Girl math’ has taken over podcasts, YouTube videos, and TikToks, but what is it and why is everyone talking about it? This TikToker made a list to describe exactly what girl math entails.


somehow it makes sense #girlmath 🤷🏼‍♀️

♬ original sound – kenna 📚🍷

In other words, the main principle behind “girl math” includes justifying an expensive, and possibly non-essential, purchase. This is done by breaking down the cost of the item, or whether or not the money being used to buy the item was already considered spent.


#girlmath 💅🏼👩🏻‍💻👛💵

♬ original sound – Alyssa Davies

The phrase has become a pop-culture phenomenon, spread by social media, most notably on TikTok.


Girl Math Origins

Many attribute the popularization of “girl math” to a New Zealand radio show called Fletch, Vaughan, and Hayley.


#itsbasicallyfree but it’s also basically a secondary income 💁‍♀️ Let us know if you need us to #girlmath one of your purchases! 🤪

♬ original sound – FVHZM

The radio show features its own segment called “Girl Math”, where the hosts and a guest discuss and rationalize a purchase.

The Fletch, Vaughn, and Hayley radio show team pose for a photo in their "It's basically free!" t-shirts.
The Fletch, Vaughn, and Hayley radio show team pose for a photo in their “It’s basically free!” t-shirts. (Credit: @fvhzm via Instagram)


While a humorous and entertaining concept, there are now some questioning the meaning behind girl math, and what it could be saying about women as a whole.

Concerns Regarding Girl Math

One of the most common stereotypes regarding women across cultures supports the idea that they’re shopaholics, and bad with money. Some social media users are now voicing their concerns surrounding “girl math”, worried that despite the fun, it’s only perpetuating the stereotype.



This is why i believe the new girl math trend is actually harmful for women in STEM. I fought hard for 4 years to make math a better place for women so it hurts to see women make a mockery of themselves doing math. Reject this trend with me. #girlmath #girlmaths #womeninstem #womeninmath #womenindata

♬ original sound – Jess Ramos – Data Analytics

Another user chimed in with her thoughts on the matter, adding that spending money on a large, or non-essential purchase, doesn’t have to be gendered.


The hidden dangers of #girlmath and #girlmoney that no one is talking about. 🫠 #impulseshopping #overspending #moneycoachforwomen #overcomingoverspending #shoppingproblem #impulsebuy #implusebuyer #creditcarddebt #shoppingaddict #moneymindset #implusebuyer

♬ original sound – Paige | Spending Coach

However, there are just as many people who believe girl math is nothing more than a joke, and to over analyze it is looking too deep into a silly concept.


Girl math just makes sense 🙂 #fyp #trending #relatable #girlmath

♬ original sound – Mackenzie Harper

This user took to Twitter to share, “saw someone saying the ‘girl math’ trend is sexist because it’s saying girls are stupid and bad at math but like… obviously girls are the smartest people in the world? we know something isn’t free if you pay for it in cash… it’s called making a funny little joke!” 

Others noted ‘”girl math” is a term created by women for women, to better explain sunken costs to a younger generation, namely Gen Z. Economics have become increasingly complex amid rising inflation costs at the tail end of the COVID-19 pandemic, and young adults are simply finding their own unique ways to navigate it.


#stitch with @CTVNews the amount of conversations I’ve had with my Gen X mother about how things have changed when I talk about internet trends is insane. Times have changed, what used to be offensive is now ok (in certain instances) to joke about and say. Like calm down. #girlmath#girldinner#ctv#canada#feminism#genz#meme#joke#genx#boomers#secondwavefeminism#foryoupage#fyp#foryou

♬ original sound – Jessey Cakey

The discourse regarding girl math is still ongoing. No matter what side of the girl math equation you are on, the trend has cemented itself and isn’t going away anytime soon.

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