What is "cheugy" and how is the term impacting us?

If you've been on TikTok at all over the past few months, there is a good chance that you've seen the word cheugy at least once. If you haven't (or still aren't entirely sure what it means), we'll give you the definition.

What does cheugy mean?

The term was named in 2013 but has since gained popularity among the Gen Z and Millennial population through TikTok. Simply, it means out of date, out of style and trying too hard. It's used similarly to the word "basic." Since gaining popularity, it has become something looked down upon because most videos imply that it is the last thing you want to be. 

The trend focuses on judging styles generally associated with women and girls. This degradation and judgment of girls' style is not something new. After people argued against the term basic, the term cheugy basically replaced it. It's clear that no matter what, a new stereotype or categorization will emerge. 

Is it bad to be cheugy?

It can definitely not feel great when you get called something that may be considered negative. It can especially hurt if you care about how your looks are perceived. To avoid the feeling they get when called cheugy, people may start changing their hair, makeup and clothes.

And all of this has its effects on mass consumption, too. The more trends that go out of style or become "cheugy," the more clothes people will feel like they need to buy. Mass consumption is when a large percentage of people consume and purchase the same products. Fashion waste then increases because not everyone can afford to purchase high-end pieces that will only be on trend for a few weeks or months. 

The issue with the term has to do with when people start to go out of their way to avoid being negatively judged. Being called cheugy doesn't need to have a harmful impact. However, the second anyone starts to care about how their looks are perceived and change themselves based on other's thoughts, it does. 

Most people just use the word to describe things that give off a certain indescribable "vibe" to them. This gives even more reason to just not care what people say!

Social media should help encourage everyone to express themselves however they want. By coining terms like cheugy or basic as negative descriptors, social media creates a judgemental atmosphere that doesn't help people want to show who they really are. 

It just goes to show that for the endless positivity that social media contains, there is negativity too. Nevertheless, it is how viewers let the positives and negatives impact their expression, opinions and choices that decide how much they let social media platforms control their lives. 

So what if you're a little cheugy?

The fact remains that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being cheugy or liking cheugy things. Even if it might hurt a little to be called that, the key thing to remember is that what you like shouldn't be determined by what's in and out of trend.

If you enjoy something, it shouldn't matter what someone you don't know in a 15-second video on a tiny screen says. Remember that no one can take away your creativity or personal expression. As cliche as it may sound, who cares what you wear or like? Just be yourself!

What do you think about the term cheugy? Tell us on Twitter @girlslifemag!

All GIFs via GIPHY | Slider image @fashioninginspo


by Miriam Riley | 9/6/2021