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Who are Retired Hot Cheeto Girls and why are they problematic

The latest phenomenon of cultural appropriation on TikTok

Who are Retired Hot Cheeto Girls and why are they problematic The latest phenomenon of cultural appropriation on TikTok

Have you ever heard of Hot Cheeto Girls? According to Urban Dictionary and TikTok, where the hashtag has reached 400 thousand views, her identikit matches a girl with heavy make-up, overlining lips, false eyelashes, extra-long nails, a pronounced accent, and a fondness for Hot Cheetos chips. She is "that bitch that everyone has in their class," the one who wears huge hoop earrings, Thrasher sweatshirts and Vans, smacks bubble gum all the time, laughs annoyingly, screams all the time, has a quarrelsome attitude and probably a nicotine addiction and a drug-dealing boyfriend. In short, yet another social female caricature based on racist and classist stereotypes of black and Latina women.  

@x.alessandra.x day 7: hot cheeto girl #hotcheetogirl #series #aesthetics #fypシ Latina - Larray
@mialaniaurora #hotcheetogirl original sound - Tik Toker
@caseycostes here’s my impression of all of the wanna be ghetto girls from my old high school #hotcheetogirl hi follow me im cool ig - chayse

The first to popularize them was Latino TikToker Adam Ray with his Rose, a caricature of the women in his family. Once it went viral, what was only meant to be an ironic celebration of its origins turned into full-blown cultural appropriation. Many of the people who have embraced the stereotypical Hot Cheeto Girl aesthetic are white, and for them false eyelashes, killer nails, braids, and hoop rings are just yet another fashion statement to try. Going back is easy. So much so that in the last period there has been a proliferation of "Retired Hot Cheeto Girl" videos, in which the creators present their new "clean" and decidedly "whiter" version to the world, reminiscing with a gallery of images about the good old days when they played with the black and Latina aesthetic. 

@user777asf #greenscreenvideo #greenscreen original sound - cia
@calliegreenn just a trend.. if you knew me in middle school im GENUINELY sorry #greenscreen #greenscreenvideo original sound - cia
@user0206faith #greenscreen #greenscreenvideo original sound - cia

"Are you really a Retired Hot Cheeto Girl or are you simply a basic white girl who one day decided to wake up and turn into a caricature of black and Latina girls?" asks TikToker @reallifegal, unveiling a race for cultural appropriation that in the past has also featured celebrities such as Gwen Stefani, Miley Cyrus, and the Kardashian-Jenner clan. For a time each of them drew on the aesthetics of black and Latina women, shaping their looks on it even resorting to plastic surgery to augment the b-side, gathering hair in pigtails and exaggerating with contouring and make-up. The best example is Kim Kardashian, her signature look built on a phenotypically black beauty of full lips and exaggerated curves. And so is the way she dresses, wears makeup and poses. A mood she and her sisters now seem to be tired of. Like the Retired Hot Cheeto Girls they too seem to have momentarily retired that mood, implementing a kind of "whitening": they dyed their hair platinum blonde and removed their Brazilian Butt Lift. For them it was as easy as changing a dress. This was also noted by Dazed who, framing the phenomenon perfectly, wrote: "When white people get bored of playing with otherness, when they've squeezed as much capital out of it as they can, have used it to cultivate their bad girl images and have rebelled against their mum and dad enough, they return to whiteness. They do this because it's easy and simple and because they can." Is this the end of an era? Will we ever stop plundering other cultures to follow the latest fashion?