Decoding the ‘Girls’ Math’ Phenomenon: Unveiling the Economics of Humor and Consumer Psychology

  In an online store, if there is a store selling a pack of biscuits for 10 yuan, but the shipping fee is 5 yuan, and there is also a store selling a pack of biscuits for 15 yuan, but the shipping is free, which one will you buy?
  If you bought 15 yuan of biscuits and still feel that you have made a profit, then congratulations, you have become proficient in the “girls’ math” that is currently popular abroad.
  ”Girl Math” has recently become popular on the TikTok platform. Videos with the hashtag #girl math have received 1 billion views. In the video, some young girls explain their math skills in a humorous way. Inner calculations when it comes to money.
  In August this year, 24-year-old American girl Daniela Soto posted a video on TikTok to share her experience in “girl math”. Like “If something is on sale and I don’t buy it, I’m losing money,” or “Everything in my Vemo or Apple Wallet is free.” She wanted the jokes in the video to show that “women are also capable of making fun of themselves and canceling society’s expectations and gender norms.”
  Some people criticize “Girls Math” for reinforcing stereotypes about women, but it does not provide a respite for young people who are under economic pressure.
“Girls Math” Equations

  No one knows exactly when “girls’ math” became popular. Some media believe it originated from a New Zealand radio show where three hosts discussed a listener who spent $5,600 to attend four Taylor Swift concerts in Australia, concluding that the expense was completely reasonable.
  However, the media noticed that these three hosts were actually men. However, when “Girls Math” became popular, it evolved into a version adapted by women and for women.
  There are also “fashion mathematics” published in fashion magazines dating back to the late 20th century and early 21st century. Magazines like “Cosmopolitan” and “What Not to Wear” will tell you: Buying an $800 designer bag is equivalent to spending $1 a day as long as you use it every day.
  ”Girls Mathematics” is not a ready-made mathematical principle, but a piece of experience accumulated bit by bit through videos or posts uploaded by girls. From the conclusion, these experiences may be absurd, but after listening to the explanation, we have to admit that there is some truth, and some of them may be the inner drama we all have when buying things.
  As long as the purchase price is lower than the original price, the money saved can be used to buy other things, that is, you are making money. For example, not buying a product on sale is equivalent to a waste of money; if you buy one piece of clothing, you can think of it as saving money to buy upper and lower body clothes separately, and you are also making money.

  As long as the purchase price is lower than the original price, the money saved can be used to buy other things, that is, you are making money.
  If you spend less money than you originally made, you will make money. If you don’t spend a penny, you will make double the money. If you buy a product and later return it, the money refunded by the merchant is what you earn. In the same way, if the original plan to go out is cancelled, all the money originally spent outside will be considered earned.
  A more advanced algorithm is that not buying a drink is equivalent to making money. This must be understood with reference to high-priced products. For example, if you want to spend $2,000 on a handbag, and you take this handbag out every day, over a year, it will be equivalent to spending about $5 on this bag every day. If you don’t buy a drink or drink coffee every day for a year, then this handbag will be a free gift.
  5 US dollars is a critical value for some American girls. If the price of an item is less than $5, it’s almost free. If it’s more than $5, you just need to think about how many days you will use it.
  Sometimes, “girl math” doesn’t require calculations at all. The payment method also determines whether a purchase makes money or wastes money. The money stored in electronic wallets such as Apple Wallet is just a number, which may not mean anything. Spending the money in it to buy things is equal to free. However, cash does not look more like real money. Because no matter how much cash you spend, the money in your bank account will not decrease, so doesn’t that mean it’s free?
  In addition to “Girls Math”, there are also many activities labeled “female” popular on TikTok.
  These include the “hot girl walk,” which refers to girls taking daily hikes to escape the boredom of modern life; and the “lazy girl job,” which refers to an ideal job that requires nine After a tiring day, some girls would throw together a dinner out of snacks. Most of these videos are meant to be a joke, mocking oneself for struggling to cope with busy work and the temptation to consume.
  The popularity of “Girls Math” on social media has led to questions from commentators, who criticized the problems that may be hidden behind “Girls Math”.
  Some people think that “girl math” reflects an immature view of money. An article published in Forbes magazine noted that this trend “leads girls to justify their shopping and spending habits without logic” and just “make up excuses for frivolous purchases.” The author of the article lamented that the world is declining and that under this trend of social media, “society has regressed by almost 50 years.” “Business Insider” magazine quoted financial experts as saying that “girl math” is toxic and will stagnate the growth of women’s wealth.

  Society tends to devalue some legitimate purchases made by women simply because the things they buy are “girly.”

  The article published in the British women’s magazine “Glamour” does not agree with such accusations, but it does not intend to defend the popularity of “girls’ math”. Author Laura Hampson calls “girl math” a “guilt-increasing tool.” Society tends to devalue some legitimate purchases made by women simply because the things they buy are “girly.”
  A nice purse or top are considered unnecessary and superficial. Women will inevitably feel guilty buying such items, even if they use their designer bag or cashmere sweater every day, and even if the price is within their budget. When a woman buys high-end trousers or a dress for an interview, it is seen as a “splurge”, while when a man spends money on a suit for the same purpose, it is seen as an “investment.”
  Commenters with similar views agree that the stereotype of women as spendthrifts is harmful. But Annabelle Cullen, a writer for The Michigan Post, believes that “girl math” has more than just a “dark side” that reinforces stereotypes. Because the “girls’ math” trend isn’t about serious preaching in nature. Instead, girls are showing that they understand what makes them happy in a way that no conventional economics can.
  Behavioral economics recognizes that people do not always make the most rational financial choices. No one is perfect, but having fun won’t ruin your life. Most financial “mistakes” or risks are offset in the long run, which is precisely the premise behind Girl Math—women consider short- and long-term gratification and weigh it against financial costs and benefits.
  In the video sharing trend, girls are showing that they buy things they want, not just needs, and that they have the ability to use rational thinking and budgeting skills to spend.
  For a long time, society has had the stereotype that women are not good at managing money. Regardless of the long-term goals of financial management, the first thing “Girls Math” has to deal with is probably the severe economic environment. Young people have found a mechanism to cope with the pressure of living costs. It can be said that there is an invisible anxiety behind every joke.
  Behind the “girl math” joke are overworked and underpaid people under the current capitalist system who need to find happiness in small purchases or transactions. Although these happiness are short-lived, they can help people ignite hope and remind people to “put themselves first and invest not only in houses and pensions, but also in personal happiness.”
  In this sense, “Girls Mathematics” is not just for young girls, but also for each of us.

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