Cat Does It Mean Slang

The term “it girl” is a slang expression used to describe a young woman who possesses an alluring, magnetic charm and is extremely popular or “in fashion” during a particular time period. The phrase originated in British upper class society around the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The “it” in “it girl” refers to the quality of being “in style” or “in vogue.” It implies the woman has an indefinable charisma that captures the fascination of her peers. She embodies the spirit of the times and trends of her generation through her stylish persona.

The first reference to “it” as a slang term meaning sex appeal or magnetism is attributed to English author and luminist Rudyard Kipling in his 1904 short story “Mrs. Bathurst.” Kipling wrote, “It isn’t beauty, so to speak, nor good talk necessarily. It’s just ‘It’.”

Popularity and Usage

The slang term “cat” has become increasingly popular among teenagers and young adults in recent years. According to a 2023 survey by Preply, nearly 3 in 5 parents say they have searched for a slang term online after hearing their teenager use it (source). This suggests “cat” and other slang terms are widely used by youth today.

In particular, “cat” seems prevalent in youth and internet culture. A 2023 report found it was among the most used slang terms that year, along with “sus,” “bet,” and “yeet” (source). The term frequently appears on social media platforms favored by younger demographics, indicating its growing commonality in casual speech.

Though originally derived from hip hop culture, “cat” has crossed over into the mainstream youth lexicon. Its popularity among teens and young adults signifies it is now a widely recognized slang term in contemporary youth culture.

Meaning and Connotations

Calling someone “it” in slang terms is generally meant to convey that the person embodies a captivating, magnetic quality that makes them stand out in a positive way. They have an allure or “je ne sais quoi” that catches people’s attention and interest (https://www.dictionary.com/browse/it).

The term is often used aspirationaly, to compliment someone who has an effortless charisma. It implies the person is stylish, attractive, and commands the room. They have that hard to define “it factor” that sets them apart from others. Being described as “it” suggests the person is the embodiment of what’s in vogue and popular at the moment.

So while calling someone “it” reduces them to a thing rather than a person, the connotations are overwhelmingly positive. It indicates admiration, even envy, of someone who just seems to “have it all” and knows how to work it. The term conveys that the person is the trendsetter others watch and emulate.

Gender Aspects

The term “cat” when used in slang can have gendered connotations. Some view it as primarily associated with women and girls, while others see it as more gender neutral. According to a Reddit thread, some transgender men feel uncomfortable being called “girl” in a slang way, as it emphasizes femininity they may not identify with (source). However, others argue the word has evolved into a gender inclusive term used for encouragement regardless of gender identity (source). Some linguistic experts note that while “girl” originated as a female term, slang usage has made it increasingly ambiguous. Overall, perspectives differ on whether “cat” in slang remains primarily associated with girls and women or has become a more flexible, gender-neutral expression.

Cultural Influences

The concept of the “It girl” has been prevalent in popular culture and media over the decades. In films and television shows, the “It girl” is often portrayed as the most popular girl in school, the girl all the guys want, and the girl all the other girls envy.

One example is Cher Horowitz, played by Alicia Silverstone, in the 1995 teen comedy film Clueless. Cher is wealthy, beautiful, and admired by her peers. She exemplifies the qualities of an “It girl” in how she dresses, acts, and carries herself. Clueless helped define the “It girl” image for a generation of young women in the 1990s.

Similarly, the character of Serena van der Woodsen, played by Blake Lively, on the TV series Gossip Girl (2007-2012), embodied the “It girl” lifestyle of being rich, fashionable, and envied. As the most popular girl at the elite Constance Billard School for Girls, Serena van der Woodsen was aspirational for many young viewers.

Overall, the prevalence of “It girls” in films and shows aimed at younger audiences demonstrates the cultural impact and influence of the “It girl” archetype in popular media.

Notable ‘It Girls’

The term “it girl” rose to prominence in the early 20th century, originally referring to American actress Clara Bow. Her charismatic, free-spirited persona epitomized the flapper girl of the 1920s. As this article notes, other early it girls included 1920s socialite Evelyn Nesbit and writer Elinor Glyn who coined the phrase “it” to denote a magnetic, charming quality.

In subsequent decades, actresses and models embodying cultural ideals of beauty, fashion, and persona were dubbed “it girls.” They included 1950s actress Grace Kelly, 1960s model Twiggy, and 1990s actress Winona Ryder. As this article shows, musicians and heiresses like Madonna and Paris Hilton later achieved it girl status.

Contemporary it girls tend to include young celebrities like models Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, singers like Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez, and actors such as Zendaya and Millie Bobby Brown. Their popularity on social media contributes to their image as relatable yet aspirational it girls.

Criticism and Controversies

The term “it girl” has received criticism from some feminists and writers who argue it can be demeaning and reductive. Anne Helen Petersen writes in BuzzFeed News that “‘It girl’ was a label that implied frivolity, scandal, and impermanence” (source). She argues the label reduces women to objects of fascination and trivializes their talents and accomplishments.

Similarly, The Cut argues “‘It girl’ can be reductive, demeaning, and, insofar as it has no real male equivalent, sexist” (source). The term focuses heavily on a woman’s style, beauty, and social life rather than her skills and achievements. Some see “it girl” as reinforcing gender stereotypes and imbalances.

The impermanent nature of “it girl” status is also controversial, as women are celebrated intensely for a short period before being replaced by a new “it girl.” On Reddit, some argue “most ‘it girls’ are not even it girls since that label implies a short period of high popularity” (source). The term implies women have a limited window of relevance.

Variations and Related Terms

Although “it girl” is the most common version of this slang phrase, there are some variations to be aware of:

It boy – The male equivalent of “it girl,” referring to a young man with a special allure, talent, or cultural sway. “It boy” came into usage after “it girl” and is often applied to up-and-coming male actors, musicians, or models.

It couple – A high-profile or celebrity couple with an aura of glamour and cachet. For example, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were considered an “it couple” at the height of their fame.

It factor – The hard-to-define star quality or magnetism that makes someone an “it girl” or “it boy.” The “it factor” implies someone has that extra special something that captivates public attention.

While “it girl” remains the core term, these variations help capture how the “it” label can apply to men and couples as well as individual women.

Usage Tips and Warnings

The term “It girl” has the potential to come across as objectifying or demeaning if used carelessly. Here are some tips for using it properly and avoiding offense:

First, be aware of context and connotation. In casual conversation among friends, “It girl” may be fine as a lighthearted compliment. But in formal or professional settings, it could sound belittling. Consider alternatives like “trendsetter,” “rising star,” or simply using the person’s name.

Avoid reducing a woman down to just her looks or popularity. Focus instead on her skills, talents, intelligence and accomplishments. Saying “She’s more than just an It girl” shows respect for her as a whole person.

Be mindful of age. Referring to a minor as an “It girl” can come across as overly sexualized. The term may be better suited for autonomous adult women who consciously cultivate an influential public image.

In general, ask yourself if calling someone an “It girl” might make them uncomfortable or undermine their preferred self-representation. And as with any slang, be prepared to stop using the term if asked.

When used carefully, “It girl” can highlight someone’s cultural impact in a playful way. But it’s always wise to think twice before applying a label to someone else.

Conclusion

In summary, the phrase “cat does it mean slang” is an interesting modern colloquialism referring to someone who has the undefined “it” quality, typically a mix of charisma, beauty, confidence, and style. While the term has been embraced in popular culture, especially for fashionable young women, it has also faced backlash for promoting restrictive beauty standards and superficial values.

Looking at the history and evolution of “cat does it mean slang” provides insights into changing societal attitudes and gender roles. The origins of placing certain individuals on a pedestal can be traced back centuries to the concept of the muse. However, the focus on girls and women as “It Girls” represents a more modern obsession with female celebrity and attraction. As we move forward, the phrase may fall out of fashion or take on new nuanced meanings.

In closing, language is fluid, and slang terms come and go. But for now, being a “cat does it mean slang” represents a powerful societal status, though also a double-edged sword. The term embodies elements of glamor, magnetism and allure, but also raises important discussions around empowerment versus objectification in popular culture.

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