The recent popularization of the term “SWUG,” or “Senior Washed-Up Girl,” may have defined senior year for some at college. In publishing our own version, the writer sought to use the term SWUG ironically, not to define her image as “washed-up.” Upon reflection, we realized some may have taken the phrase more literally. The use of the phrase “washed-up” could make SWUG seem like an insult to women who choose not to focus on conforming to social and gender norms.
It seems as though there is nothing a woman can wear without being shamed. If she wears a short skirt and heels, then people call her a slut — but if she wears sweatpants and a hoodie, then she’s “washed-up.” Meanwhile, a man can dress however he wants without facing the same judgement.
Many women who define themselves as SWUGs do so with a sense of pride; they’ll laugh at this phase post-college. While the SWUG life is about not caring what others think, the term creates a negative perception of women. People should consider what it actually means to be “washed-up” and be careful about self-identifying as a SWUG because it can create stereotypes about all females in their last year of college.