'Rat Girl Summer' Is A Mindset We Should Carry Year-Round

Get ready to scurry and gnaw some snacks.

young women eating pizza enjoying rat girl summer Koolshooters / Pexels

In June 2023, writer Lola Kolade posted a video of herself on TikTok that ushered in a new movement for women around the world. In three words, Kolade offered an opportunity to shed any past identities that focused on superficial paths for fulfillment for the full embrace of our most rodent-like qualities.

The meaning behind ‘Rat Girl Summer’ is rooted in a mindset we should carry year-round.

In an ingenious TikTok post, Kolade filmed herself walking around outside as she declared, “We’re having a Rat Girl Summer.”


She went on to explain the various tenants that made up a Rat Girl summer, stating, “We’re scurrying around the streets. We’re nibbling on our little snacks and generally finding ourselves in places we have no business being in.”

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“Embrace the rodent energy,” she exclaimed. 



Kolade’s initial Rat Girl summer post garnered over 4 million views, showing just how deeply her message resonated with people wanting to break free from the more restrictive aspects embedded in the capitalist-rooted American hustle culture. 


In a follow-up TikTok, Kolade listed rules for Rat Girl Summer, focusing on a full embodiment of self-love and body positivity.

There are three rules for having a rat girl summer: 

She announced that the first rule was, “You have to go outside — let me say that again — You have to go outside.”



“You cannot scurry in bed,” she continued. “You cannot scurry on your couch. You need to leave your home. You have two allotted days for decaying. Do all your scrolling. Do all your binge-watching. Do all your rotting in bed on those two days.”


The second rule for Rat Girl Summer was geared towards “nibbling on our little snacks — that means that we’re eating and enjoying eating. Starving yourself for summer is out. Eating nourishing meals so you can make mischief and cause mayhem is in.”

“That means, we’re eating pasta salad and potato salad at picnics and barbecues. We’re having sandwiches at the beach. We’re eating ice cream after dinner. We’re eating and having fun,” she explained. 

The third Rat Girl Summer rule focused on full acceptance of all our most joyful urges. 

Kolade described this particular rat rule as “Killing the cringe,” saying, “The part of you that feels embarrassed when you wanna do certain things — kill it immediately and bury the body. That’s over. Whatever your drive, your whimsy, tells you that you wanna do, follow that urge.”


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Her fourth Rat Girl Summer rule was one aimed at soothing our busy minds: “No overthinking.”

“You think a rat thinks twice before stealing a slice of pizza and scurrying across the subway platform?” Kolade asked. “No. We’re going with our gut. We’re going with our intuition... when you move with your gut, you usually make the right decision anyway, and if you don’t, it makes for a better story. And with that, go forth, and scurry with my blessing.”

Kolade committed to supporting other Rat Girls on their endeavor to be their best sharp-toothed, long-tailed selves, sharing another TikTok in which she announced “Affirmations for Rat Girl Summer.”


“Being alive is good, actually,” came the first affirmation. “I like it here.”



“I only have to use my brain sometimes, and I get to choose when,” she continued. “This is my reality. You only exist if I say you do. Being a silly billy is my birthright. Embarrassment is fake and I am real.”

Kolade even guided her online Rat Girl community to scamper together and gnaw snacks in real life, by organizing an official Rat Girl Summer party at a Brooklyn bar.


The rat celebration was backed by the dating app Feeld. All money raised through ticket sales benefited the National Birth Equity Collective, an organization supporting BIPOC maternal health care. 



The rodent soiree was a chance for Rat Girls to connect and is an example of community care in action. 

As Kolade told The Washington Post, Rat Girl Summer sidles up to the concept of “Hot Girl Summer,” yet rejects any outright pressure to conform to normative beauty standards, as “the word ‘hot’ triggers people to focus on their appearance in a way that Rat Girl Summer discourages.”

The ideals that Rat Girl Summer centers around shift any expectations we might hold that we need to be living for anyone else. We should instead celebrate what makes us truly joyful and fully realized.


We don’t have to care what the world thinks. We can revel in the beautiful glory of our mussed fur and pointy teeth, as we frolic through a world where we celebrate ourselves. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social movements, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.