Rather, it is one of the most popular online trends of the summer. The phrase was coined by American TikTok app user Olivia Maher. “Here’s my supper,” she says to the camera, showing a piece of bread, some cheese, some grapes and a glass of wine. “I call it a girl dinner,” she continues. Posted in May, the video quickly went viral, inspiring thousands of young women to film their sketchy meal. On TikTok, the hashtag

Basically anything and everything. The girl dinner is a meal that involves a bare minimum of preparation and cooking. Even better if eaten straight from the box or bag.

“It’s a meal that requires little energy and consists of everything a person wants to eat,” summarizes Olivia Maher in an interview with La Presse. His video was born out of a completely banal experience. “My boyfriend was gone for the evening. I was eating right off the kitchen counter and thinking I mustn’t be the only one doing this! says the 28-year-old content creator.

Certainly. The trend does not invent eating what is lying around in the fridge because you are too lazy to cook. But precisely. Why are young women suddenly claiming it? “People, and women in particular, have been told all their lives what to eat and especially what not to eat,” observes Olivia Maher. Online, they are constantly reminded that they must eat a balanced diet, avoid processed foods, cook as much as possible, watch their figure… The rhythm is difficult to follow. And this is what the trend denounces. It is difficult to cook every night according to the recommendations of Canada’s Food Guide. “There are women who see it as a way to reclaim their desires. What is important is the feeling of excitement to eat what you want, and not necessarily what you feel you need, ”said Béatrice Gaudet, professor of literature at Cégep de Saint-Laurent.

If desired! For some, the trend is a criticism of the unequal division of domestic tasks between women and men, in particular the mental load related to meals. On the contrary, the girl dinner is a meal for the pleasure of one person. Moreover, the trend is mostly embraced by young single women. “They don’t cook for their husbands or children,” notes Gaudet, who has done her master’s in cultural studies. “It’s a rejection of social norms related to food,” believes Bernard Lavallée, nutritionist and author. According to him, the popularity of the hashtag is telling.

Because we should not feel guilty for eating what tempts us once in a while. “There is no danger!” exclaims Mr. Lavallée.

As with any online trend, some have taken the joke to extremes. For example: eat only pickles or drink Diet Coke for dinner. As a result, nutritionists have criticized the trend for encouraging eating disorders. It’s true, some servings sometimes feel more like a snack than a meal. But Bernard Lavallée cautions against jumping to conclusions. It is not known what the person ate a few hours before or after they filmed the video. “Yeah, I think there’s that risk in people who are vulnerable, but I think it’s true with anything. There are always extremes,” he said. “I can see where people are coming from. But it’s not that. It’s just to say that you’re not a failure because you didn’t cook your meal,” concludes Olivia Maher.