The Making Of An It Girl And What’s So ‘IT’ About Her

It Girl

A lot has been said about the It girl phenomenon. She’s got something that can’t be explained. She’s beautiful, yes, but being beautiful is at the bottom of the list of things that make her an It girl. A midas’ touch. In TV’s favourite Mad Man Donald Draper’s words, “Men want her and women want to be like her.” But who is she?

She is the ‘IT’ girl. The girl who has everything. She is witty, successful, an expert in her field, charismatic yet mysterious. If she’s a model, she’s on the cover of every magazine, the showstopper of every runway and the muse of every designer. If she’s an actress, she’s in every blockbuster movie, she’s getting all the awards and gracing every red carpet in the most glamorous of outfits. An ‘IT’ girl can make chipped nail paint look sexy. You get the vibe.

Throughout the history of fashion and aesthetics, people have always ran towards the latest thing in the market. What better way to market that new thing than having it used by the girl of the moment. If ‘IT’ girls are a marketing gimmick, then it would be a largely successful one. But how do ‘IT’ girls come to be? Are they a mere product of successful marketing? Or is there something more? And is it ideal to aspire to become like these ladies?

The History Of ‘IT’

Elinor Glyn, a British author and playwright of the twentieth century, pioneered risqué directed at female readers, a controversial concept at the time. In her novel, The Man and the Moment (1914), she coined the use of the word ‘IT’ to mean a characteristic that “draws all others with magnetic force. With ‘IT’ you win all men if you are a woman–and all women if you are a man. ‘IT’ can be a quality of the mind as well as a physical attraction.” The term got popular when the movie ‘IT’ released in 1927, starring Clara Bow in the lead role, pushing the concept further in mainstream media.

She’s The Moment

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn’s fame skyrocketed after her appearance in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Her character’s carefree yet calculated style is enduring, something that’s still sought after today. She was the most graceful woman in any room she entered. It was this aura of elegance that she carried with herself that made her an ‘IT’ girl.  Her contemporary, Marilyn Monroe was her exact opposite. She was the blonde bombshell of the industry. Her interviews were always the talk of the town and she redefined beauty standards for the women of her generation. She made being ‘curvy’ a new trend which would have been a relief in the time that women were pestered to be as skinny as they could be.

Marilyn Monroe

Can two IT girls co-exist? Yes. Actually, it is a must, that there be at the very least, three-four ‘It’ girls always present. The catch however is, they must only be alike in the ways that all ‘It’ girls are. Marilyn and Audrey are two sides of the same coin. One was seen as the epitome of grace while the other was praised as the sexiest woman alive of that time. The two inspire characters based on them even now. Blair Waldorf from the show, Gossip Girl, tried so hard to be like Audrey Hepburn during the entire course of the show, while Serena was the natural ‘IT’ girl in the show. Remember, you cannot force being an ‘IT’ girl, it is something you’re born with, or again a talented marketing team will do that for you.

The IT Factor

Cindy Crawford

Another quality that an It girl has is confidence. When you know you are the talk of the town, you have to present an image that goes with your fame. After all, an ‘IT’ girl is famous for being famous. There is a certain strength and power that an It girl exudes. A ‘don’t mess with me’ attitude that comes quite naturally to her.

Naomi Campbell

Young Cindy Crawford or Naomi Campbell are the most perfect example of this. Their walk on the runway was just as powerful as the charisma they had off the runway. At the frontier of ‘IT’ girls of the modelling world today are Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Bella Hadid.

Bollywood’s String of IT Girls

Madhuri Dixit

Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit defined a whole generation’s beauty ideals and had a persona that made them irresistible. Madhuri’s subtle charm and powerful dance moves put her at the top of her game quite early. She was even compared to one of the most talented actresses of all time, Madhubala.


Sridevi, on the other hand, had that playful innocence, that made her a favourite amongst Indian audience. Every movie she did was a super hit. Her departure from the film industry after she got pregnant was seen as one of the biggest loss the Indian film industry had seen in a long time.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Take, for example, the fact that almost all of us have that one friend named Sanjana (I know I do). This abundance of ‘Sanjanas’ may be linked to Aishwarya Rai’s Pepsi ad in the 90s. Several media reports indicate that there were more than twice as many ‘Sanjanas’ born in 1993 as in the preceding three years. The reports also stated that almost 50 girls were named Sanjana in 1993 after the ad was aired. No one can deny Aishwarya’s status as an IT girl in the nineties. She was crowned Miss World in the year 1994 and didn’t look back since then.

Katrina Kaif

Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone were probably on the mood board of every teenage girl in the 2000s. Their style resonated with a lot of what the girls were wearing back then and their characters also struck a chord with the audience.

Deepika Padukone


I remember how it was in my school, where we would discuss in recess who of the two was better. That was us being teenagers, but the truth is, an ‘IT’ girl is always a girl’s girl. She doesn’t partake in the pick me girl discourse and this is just one of the things that make her so likeable.

A New Generation Of IT Girls

Jennie Kim

If there’s one thing Jennie from Black Pink and 90s supermodel Kate Moss have in common, it is that laid back yet mysterious image that has been carefully cultivated over the years through their fashion choices. Kate Moss was one of the most popular super models to ever exist. (She wasn’t called heroin chic for nothing.) Jennie, on the other hand, has that quiet, mysterious vibe that she will only break when she wants to. Her campaigns as Chanel’s global ambassador fit in well with the image she has curated over the years.

Olivia Rodrigo

If you’ve not been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Olivia Rodrigo. She is the girl of the moment. Her style is loved by her fans and her music is enjoyed by Gen-Z and millennials alike. Her song, Drivers License charted first on many lists, becoming one of the most streamed song of 2020. Olivia has all the qualities of an It girl. She is talented, confident yet aloof, and always there in the right place at the right time.


Zendaya, who quickly established her status as a top celebrity with movies like Dune, Spiderman Homecoming, etc. Her red carpet appearances always go viral with a latest one being her announced as Louis Vuitton’s brand ambassador. The actress exudes confidence with everything she does and her achievements speak for themselves. Zendaya is the embodiment of the original ‘It’ girl.

Also read, Barbie And Birkenstock: The Clever Integration Of Products In Pop Culture And Its Impact On Brand Value

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