Where does white girl come from?
As a derogatory term for young Caucasian females, evidence for white girl dates to at least the 1960s. The term spread in the 1970–80s, with the record suggesting it was used by urban black females as a generic identifier for any white girl. Author Susan Gregory, for instance, titled her 1970 memoir—“a record of a suburban white girl’s senior year in an inner-city high school on Chicago’s West Side”—Hey, White Girl!
White girl evolved in the 1980–90s with the rise of Valley Girl culture. It stereotyped white girls not only for their skin color, but for class and privilege, especially mocking their uptalk and use of like as indications of their airheadedness. The term sometimes additionally suggested sexual promiscuity. In the 2000s, white girl came to criticize trends associated with young, well-to-do white females such as yoga pants, Ugg boots, fancy Starbucks drinks like Pumpkin Spice Lattes, taking selfies, and even infinity-symbol tattoos.
Outside of its racial stereotyping, white girl has been used as a slang for cocaine or heroin since the 1970s. In 2006, Bay-Area based rapper E-40 released the popular song “White Gurl” and the following year hip-hop group U.S.D.A. released a Billboard-charting single “White Girl.” Both tracks dealt with white girl as drug slang.
Who uses white girl?
The term white girl widely carries sexist, classist, and racist connotations. Sometimes, associating with a white girl can be considered taboo, and white girls are sometimes called Becky. Some African-American pundits have asserted that dating a white girl makes an African-American man “less black.”
The 2004 film White Chicks parodies many aspects of the white girl persona. The HBO series Girls has also received criticism and acclaim for its portrayal of the white female experience.
In some instances, white women use the white girl in joking self-deprecation or self-aware reflection on their privilege. On her 1995 song “No Avalon,” singer Alanis Morissette begins: “I'm just a white girl / From a small, safe town / What could I possibly know about destruction?”
White girl, of course, can sometimes simply identify someone as a young, Caucasian female.
Ghetto Red Hot
A worker at Starbucks now knows my order and my class schedule. I have reached a whole new level of white girl
@noraradko, February, 2018
Now let me introduce the world to my girl She white, she bright, she shine like a pearl And I ain't talking 'bout Lindsay Lohan I'm talkin 'bout that sniff that blow man
Juelz Santana, featured on E-40’s “White Gurl” (song), Marc, 2006
Ithaca High School planned to put on a production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” this semester, but the musical was derailed after students protested the casting of a white girl as a Roman gypsy.
Aaron Colen, The Blaze, February, 2018