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'Lazy girl jobs': The backlash and what's next for its creator

A woman works from home and uses her cell phone. (Getty Images)
A woman works from home and uses her cell phone. (Getty Images)

Read the next few lines as if we were in an infomercial—No need to read out loud:

Are you burnt out at work? Sick of going above and beyond without recognition? Are you ready to wear comfortable clothes at home instead of forcing yourself into business casual and an office-appropriate heel every day? Maybe a lazy girl job is right for you. 

Influencer Gabrielle Judge has been credited with coining the term ‘lazy girl job’:, It’s a flexible job, usually remote, that helps workers get closer to that elusive concept of ‘work-life balance.’

The term went viral on TikTok, but there’s been backlash too.

For example,  a lazy girl job isn’t exactly possible for tipped workers. When managers or coworkers weaponize the word lazy against Black women and other women of color, the term can obscure racism. Fat people have also been stereotyped as lazy.

And Vivi Smilgus wrote in aBoston Globe op-ed that the term represents “colossal branding error.”

“Setting a boundary between your work and the rest of your life is far from lazy,” Smilgus writes, “unless you live in a work-obsessed society entrenched in decadent capitalism.” 

Judge says she’s heard the critiques and is open to using another term instead of lazy if one arises.

Do you have thoughts on the lazy girl job? Email us here, and share your thoughts. We may use them on an upcoming broadcast. 

Interview highlights with Gabrielle Judge

What exactly is a lazy girl job?

“[It’s] something that empowers work-life balance…  I can’t make super, super specific requirements on [specific professions] just because work-life balance means something so differently to each person. So really, I’m just here to foster that realization within the employee.

“The main goal is liberation in women when it comes to work-life balance because there’s no one that tells us to do less. We’re expected to work like we don’t have kids and have kids like we don’t work. So there’s a lot of stress.”

On whether she thought there would be a backlash to the word ‘lazy’ 

“No, not necessarily. Yes, those perspectives can exist, right? People could easily transition into the mindset that women are lazy for whatever reason.

“But that’s not necessarily what I’m talking about here. It’s much more talking about work-life balance as a whole. So it’s not necessarily gender specific. It looks like it is because of the term, but there are tons of allies of different genders within the community today. If you look at how TikTok trends work, it’s a little bit different than what we’ve had in the past.

“[There’s a huge] romanticization of the word girl. So there’s girl math, girl dinner. And so what I was doing was creating something very topical around the idea of careers and the future of work as a whole.”

Gabrielle Healy produced and edited this interview for broadcast with Catherine Welch. Healy also adapted it for the web.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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