Women Are Embracing Their "Snail Girl" Eras: "My Inner Girl Boss Is Dead"


Oct. 11 2023, Published 3:07 p.m. ET

The Gist:

  • In the “girl boss” era, women strived to break down barriers and succeed in business above anything else.
  • The "snail girl" era promotes slowing down and prioritizes health and happiness over success.
  • Women adopting the “snail girl” lifestyle are trending on social media.
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On TikTok and other social media channels, there are numerous videos of women professing they are entering the “snail girl” era of their lives. What does it mean to be in one's snail girl era?

In short, a snail girl is the complete opposite of a “girl boss,” a term made popular by the 2014 book by entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso. According to Dictionary.com, a girl boss is “a woman, especially a young woman, who is ambitious and successful in her career.” Let’s look at why women are pushing aside the girl boss labels to opt for a less stressful snail girl era.

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A woman enjoying herself at the beach.
Source: Getty Images

Snail girl era is all about slowing down and embracing self care.

The term “snail girl era” was first coined by Australian businesswoman Sienna Ludbey, who started the Hello Sisi brand of decorative bags. In July 2023, Ludbey wrote an article for Australia’s Fashion Journal titled “'Snail girl era:' Why I’m slowing down and choosing to be happy rather than busy.”

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In the article, Ludbey, who admits to being a former girl boss, said she is trading her girl boss ways in for a slower pace of life. “My inner girl boss is dead, and my ‘snail girl’ era has begun,” she wrote.

A snail girl is still ambitious but “follows the path at her own pace,” Lundby wrote. A snail girl doesn’t compromise her physical and mental health and happiness to succeed.

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"A snail girl takes her time and creates to create,” Lundby wrote. “The speed at which everything is put out into the world is just getting faster, but she doesn't care. She's running her own race, and maybe that race isn't going anywhere but home and back to bed."

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The snail girl era concept is really catching on with Gen Z women. In an interview with Insider, Michelle King, former director of diversity and inclusion at Netflix, said, “The snail girl trend is another example of employees wanting to push back on hustle culture or toxic workplace cultures that encourage working long hours, always being on and putting up with poor managers.”

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Women on TikTok are sharing their snail girl era journeys with followers.

The snail girl era lifestyle of prioritizing happiness and self-care is a trend taking over social media channels like TikTok and Instagram. Numerous videos of women proclaiming to be entering their “snail girl era” show them chilling out at the beach, reading a book, or watching the morning sunrise.

“Girl boss is out, and snail girl is in! Time to take your OTI, take your sick days, use all your breaks you can get, and give yourself the work-life balance that your boss isn't going to give you,” said Amber Lord of @lifeandworkbutbetter on TikTok.

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A similar trend on TikTok is that of “lazy girl jobs,” which encourages women to ditch stressful careers and opt for less stressful, lower-effort jobs that provide more time to enjoy life, Insider reports. Gabrielle Judge is a Gen Z TikTok creator who calls herself the “Anti Work Girl Boss.” She uses her TikTok page to coach others on how to find “lazy girl jobs.”

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