Hot Girl Walks honor Women’s History Month

Tennis shoes illustration

Hailey Benders | Marlin Chronicle

Going for a stroll through the Trails at Wesleyan Woods or around Rogers Track is not unmarked territory for most Marlins, but labeling these daily outings as “Hot Girl Walks” may be. This somewhat new terminology was directly introduced to Marlin Nation on Friday, March 1 with the start of Off the Hook’s new Hot Girl Walk series.

The Hot Girl Walk was coined by TikToker Mia Lind in 2020 during the height of COVID-19. According to the Hot Girl Walk website, Lind was inspired by the four-mile outdoor walks she took daily during this time. On these walks, she concentrated on three things: “Gratitude, Goals, and Confidence.” 

Now reaching millions of people, according to the website, the Hot Girl Walk encourages individuals to focus on three things while taking a four-mile walk: “1) What you’re grateful for 2) Your goals and how you’re going to achieve them 3) How HOT you are!”

“I think this is one of the most positive fitness trends that has come out of social media,” senior Psychology major Maddy Gonsalves said. “It’s promoting the idea of exercising to boost self-esteem and wellness, rather than changing the way you look.”

Coupled with exercise in the form of walking, values such as gratitude and goal-setting have major benefits on the mental and physical well-being of participants. 

“It’s not going to be an instant cure-all to any mental health issue you have, but it can just help you to be more aware of what you do have and help with things like mindfulness,” Professor and Chair of Psychology Taryn Myers said. 

The community support formed by trends like the Hot Girl Walk also has proven benefits on the well-being of participants.

“I’m on Instagram Reels, and one of the things I’ve been seeing lately is there’s a study that came out that showed that when women in particular gather, not only does it help with their mental health quite a bit, but the more frequently they gather and the better quality of that gathering, they actually live longer,” Myers said. “It can help with stress, which we know is related not only to mental health, but physical health like cardiovascular things.”

Off the Hook’s new series hopes to encompass each of these values and provide a supportive community to encourage participants to reach their goals.

“It’s kind of like, feel good about yourself, get out, get moving, connect with others,” director of Student Engagement Jen Cohen said. “It’s also an engagement opportunity.”

The Hot Girl Walk series will run throughout the month of March, with events taking place on every Friday. The series is meant to be an empowerment movement to honor women during Women’s History Month. Despite its name and purpose, however, everyone is welcome.

“We’re just kind of capitalizing on the name,” Cohen said. “We want to make it clear that even though it has this title, it’s really open to everyone. Whether you come for the actual walk itself, come for the activity or vice versa, it’s kind of all-encompassing.”

Following a weather-permitting outdoor walk around campus, an activity will be held as well. On March 1, the first of these took place in the Jane P. Batten Student Center near the Harbor Grill. The activity included a scrapbooking and vision board making workshop, encompassing one of the main purposes of the original Hot Girl Walk: goal-setting.

“It’s really going to be everyone’s individual journey. We’re really trying to provide a variety of different engagement opportunities,” Cohen said. “Not everything is going to pique everyone’s interest, but it also gives you a chance to find people with some common interests. It’s just meant to be fun and engaging, and it lets you get out and move a little bit.”

If you missed the first walk and activity on March 1, there are three more opportunities to become engaged with the series. These will take place on March 5, with a Fin Zone walk to support Women’s Lacrosse, March 13, with a sunset walk and sandpit volleyball game and March 28, with a walk and Women’s History Month trivia event to end the series.

By Carey Seay