My Problem With the Retired Hot Cheeto Girl Trend


It’s no secret that many known and loved mainstream trends derive from Black and Brown communities. It is also not a secret that these trends usually gain popularity once non-people of color find them attractive. The media will criticize things for being ghetto and ratchet when people of color are doing it. However, when white people find the trend intriguing, the people who once criticized it for being ghetto will start doing it. Not only that, but they will credit white people for it and discredit people of color, like Hailey Bieber’s brownie glazed lips. Yet, once the trend seems unattractive, people will go back to calling it distasteful and embarrassing and associating it with people of color, like the infamous Hot Cheeto Girl trend.

What is a Hot Cheeto Girl? 

According to the Urban Dictionary a Hot Cheeto Girl is, “typically a Black or Hispanic girl who sits in the back of the class always seen eating hot cheetos or takis. She always has long acrylic nails and big hoops in her ears. She doesn’t care about school.” Hot Cheeto Girls, to me, are a racist and cruel way of mocking Black and Latina girls. From the heavy use of AAVE to their mannerisms, accents, and clothes, Hot Cheeto Girls are just an exaggerated caricature of Black and Latina women. Although Hot Cheeto Girls can be white, the people who are made fun of and ridiculed the most are Black and Latina women.  

Where did the trend come from?    

Hot Cheeto Girls have been around since 2016; during this time they were more normalized and common to see. However, the term Hot Cheeto Girls arose in 2019-2020 when they became a meme on TikTok. This is when people started to integrate racial stigmas, against Black and Latina women, with the Hot Cheeto Girl trend. 

I remember during the pandemic when people created a meme out of Hot Cheeto Girl. The memes were relatable and funny, but gradually over time, people started incorporating racial stigmas. At this point, the Hot Cheeto Girls trend was just an underlying racist joke to people. It’s not so shocking to me that the narrative was spun, even though the people who participated in the trend were also white people.

I vividly remember seeing Hot Cheeto Girls during middle school. They would always be over the top and do too much. However, I have a confession: as a Black girl, I secretly always wanted to be like them. They could act as ghetto and as ratchet as they wanted, and at the end of the day, they were still white. I could be as “proper” and white as I could be, and at the end of the day, I’d still be that one Black girl. 

What’s The Retired Hot Cheeto Girl Trend?

The Retired Hot Cheeto Girl trend is a trend that has been gaining popularity on TikTok where typically white girls show their before and after of being a Hot Cheeto Girl. You may ask, what’s wrong with this? Isn’t this what you wanted? They stopped doing it so it’s okay now, right? No. It just shows us that white women can wake up one day and say “Hey, I no longer want to act as a caricature of Black and Latina women; let me go back to acting as a basic white girl”. People of color can’t do that. 

I’m tired of people saying it’s just a joke and I should get over it. They don’t understand what it’s like to be Black or Latina. I am sick of white people appropriating from other cultures when convenient one day and choosing to embrace their whiteness another. Don’t tell me that I’m another angry Black woman just because you don’t want to hear what I have to say. The retired Hot Cheeto Girl trend is a disguise for no longer dressing up as a stereotype. Black and Latina women will always be the blueprint. The least you can do is acknowledge us.