What is cheugy? The term describes the ‘Millennial girlboss’ aesthetic

The so-called Millennial girlboss aesthetic finally has a name: cheugy.

According to Urban Dictionary, it is the “opposite of trendy” — cheugy describes a style that was “popular in middle school or high school,” but is no longer cool.

A TikTok user who goes by the name Hal took it a step further. She said things that give off “I got married at 20 vibes” or are teased for having “Millennial or girlboss energy” are cheugy.


Things that give off, “I have no plans on a Friday night” vibes: this TikTok.

♬ Cloud 9 – Beach Bunny

Some examples she gave include T-shirts with phrases such as “yes way rosé” on them, Herbal Essences shampoo and wooden signs you might find at Hobby Lobby. Think “girlboss” mugs and Rae Dunn pottery.

She directed users the @cheuglife Instagram account, which seems to be the definitive source for all things cheugy at the moment.

“A word you never knew you needed,” Hal said.

She clarified that the term isn’t inherently classist because expensive things like Gucci belts can be cheugy. She also said there’s nothing wrong with being cheugy — people can like what they like.


Expand 👏 your 👏 vocabulary 👏 to 👏 include 👏 made 👏 up 👏 words 👏#greenscreen #cheugy #cheug

♬ original sound – Hal

“We all have a little bit of cheug in us,” Hal admitted.

Writer Harrison Branham said on her blog that “cheugy aesthetics and habits are frequently displayed in sororities, fraternities and social media influencer marketing, where men and women, while beautiful, blend in to a point of sameness in their appearance and actions.”

Critics found her definition to be a bit cruel.

“I’m not sure why this woman is sharing this made-up word that has an obvious negative connotation and is going to be used to bring other women down,” one TikTok user said.

“I understand it’s not a ‘bad’ thing, but it doesn’t sound like a positive way to describe someone,” another wrote.

Although some would consider “cheugy” to be similar to the negative word “basic” in terms of style, it seems to have a slightly different meaning. Basic implies that people are ignorant toward new trends so they fall into old ones, but cheugy implies that they simply choose to conform to older styles. That’s just their taste.

Cheugy, like all the out-of-date trends it describes, will surely evolve over time.

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If you enjoyed this story, read more about the aesthetics you find on TikTok.

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