Explaining The Pop Culture Term: Material Girl

Material Girl Pop Culture term

Our generation has the attention span of a…wait, is that a new reel? So, it’s no surprise that we spend a sizeable chunk of our day gawking at strangers through apps that mint billions by scavenging through our personal data. But what keeps me hooked despite the downside, is the rampant churning of ‘internet trends’ which range from lip-syncing to CEO Entrepreneur and folks squatting to Queen B’s Gimme Some. And then rose the mother of all trends (in my humble opinion) – the one and only, material gworl.

Credits: YouTube Saucy Santana

Material girl by Saucy Santana is a 2020 track that climbed the ranks all thanks to its meme-centric explosion on Instagram reels and TikToks in late 2021 and 2022. The edits are wonderfully attuned to this generation’s sensibilities- offering a self-deprecating take on how our ‘broke asses’ keep grinding to pay for our not-so-needed luxuries. Be it that Valentino perfume or the overpriced razor-sharp decal fused acrylics, a girl’s gotta do what she gotta do. The humour attached to these memes has a strictly bound niche and hence, follow my advice and don’t show it to your mom. She’ll give you a look that screams regret concerning the eve of your birth. Trust me.

Who Is A Material Girl?

Image via Pinterest

A material girl needs her bills paid. But, she also needs to splurge. Think Paris Hilton’s infamous snap in a t-shirt saying ‘STOP BEING POOR’. You get the memo, right? In this hyper-capitalist world, it’s considered borderline rebellious to splurge on oneself and the very act of being a material girl can be described as a stretched out variation of self-love. Yes, I need my rent and water bill sorted. But, I also want to blow up half of my paycheck on weekends. Choosing between the two is dagger to our hearts and sometimes you just want to let loose, right?

The OG Material Girl Madonna

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80s babies know. Madonna was the first to come out with her song Material Girl in 1984 (certified bop btw). The music video for the same is a nod to Marilyn Monroe’s performance to ‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friends’ in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953). Marilyn’s character Lorelei Lee can be termed as what we now call a ‘gold digger.’ Her obvious scouring for rich men sets forth her desire to be financially babied. Now if we connect the dots, the trail spans from Saucy Santana to Madonna in the 80s and finally to Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s. Impressive way to repeat history, huh?

Correlation With Sugar Daddy Culture

If you inhabit the space under a ginormous rock, locked away from the chatter of the know-it-all pop culture tropes, chances are you that you have zero idea as to who a sugar baby/daddy is. For starters, sugar babies are at the receiving spectrum of material showerings whereas the sugar daddies/mamas are the ones to splurge and spoil their…. baby… I guess!?! It’s a transactional relationship wherein the sugar baby is expected to provide *sugar* in exchange for money, jewellery, vacations, et cetera. Now the *sugar* can be interpreted in innumerable ways depending on what the agreement between both parties entailed.

Don’t let the esoteric nature of the idea startle you. Sugar dating is a booming business and has apps and websites specially designed to cater this need in the market. The more you know, the better.

Let this article serve you some weekday motivation so you’ll can in the wise words of Kim Kardashian *get on your asses and f—ing work* and be your own sugar daddies. And if not, the world is your oyster and you’re free to choose your battles.

- Digital Fashion Writer


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