The ‘hot girl summer’ meme, explained

Megan Thee Stallion celebrates her new album in Houston.
(Bob Levey / Getty Images)

There’s no denying that the summer of 2019 is a “hot girl summer.”

All over the internet people are posting about having, or not having, a “hot girl summer.”

The hashtag #hotgirlsummer has been used more than 100,000 times on Instagram, but that doesn’t even began to scratch the surface of how prevalent the phrase is.

So how does someone go about having a “hot girl summer” exactly? And should you be concerned if you’re not having one yet?

The origin of ‘hot girl summer” can be traced back to when 24-year-old Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion (real name Megan Pete) released her album “Fever” in May. The album’s cover art includes the line “She’s thee hot girl and she’s bringing thee heat.” Additionally, the rapper’s Twitter name is “Hot Girl Meg.”

As the original “hot girl,” the rapper has taken to repeatedly explaining the term. On Wednesday morning she shed some more light on what exactly it means to be a “Hot Girl.”

“Being a Hot Girl is about being unapologetically YOU, having fun, being confident, living YOUR truth, being the life of the party etc,” tweeted the “Money Good” artist.

Despite including the word “girl,” the term is meant to be nongendered.

In an interview with the Root, Megan Thee Stallion addressed this seemingly gendered nature. “[Hot girl summer] is basically just about women — and men — just being unapologetically them, just having a good-ass time.”


The range of what can be considered having a hot girl summer is wide. Posting a glamorous picture of yourself in your best bathing suit? That’s living out hot girl summer. Staying in on a Friday night and blissfully watching a nature documentary while scarfing down a pint of ice cream? That also counts as having a hot girl summer. Tom Hanks making a knot at the front of his shirt while giving a giant smile? Big time hot girl summer energy.

The key thing to understand about the term is that it is really more of a mantra, a mindset, a lifestyle or even a movement. It’s about treating yourself by fully being yourself.

Many of the original “hot girl summer” tweets centered around people proudly showing off their bodies and clothing, but then people started using the term as a means for self-deprecating humor.

Celebrities are also all in on celebrating hot girl summer.

On Thursday, Miley Cyrus posted a video on Twitter of herself in front of a mirror dancing and twerking along to a Megan Thee Stallion song. The post simply reads “#HotGirlSummer” and has been viewed close to 2 million times.

Jada Pinkett Smith also got in on the trend when she posted a photo of herself in a bikini on Twitter with the caption “I’ll take that joyful hot girl summer thank you.”


As with almost all viral internet movements, nothing is pure, and now major corporations have tried cashing in on “hot girl summer.”

After a Twitter user commented that fast-food chain Wendy’s lemonade was “amazing,” the company tweeted out saying that the lemonade is “The Official Drink of Hot Girl Summer.”

Megan Thee Stallion responded to Wendy’s claim saying, “Wendy a hot girl y’all lol.”

Language-learning app and website Duolingo tweeted out a series of photos with a plush version of its green owl mascot in different parts of the world with the caption “Duo’s Hot Girl Summer,” proving that experiencing other cultures is one way to have a hot girl summer.

Clothing company Forever 21 sent out an email to customers with the subject line “Feelin’ Hot Girl SUMMAH!” Makeup and cosmetics company Maybelline tweeted “Summer 19 in three words: hot girl summer. PERIODT!”

The use of “hot girl summer” as a marketing tool has led fans of Megan Thee Stallion, known as “hotties,” to ask her to trademark her now-viral phrase. Megan has heard those requests and confirmed on Twitter that she is in the process of getting a trademark.

To continue basking in this hot girl summer, Megan Thee Stallion has hinted on Twitter about releasing new music.

“I feel like it’s only right I drop a hot girl summer song before the summer is over,” wrote the rapper, proving that this hot girl summer is far from over.