Brow Beat

Follow Friday: @#!$ Girls Say

Confession time: I like to eavesdrop on teenagers. Walking out for a coffee in the afternoon in Manhattan, I find them huddled on street corners, texting in small circles of three, swinging bookbags at each other, yelling. The boys are typically mute, unless they have sci-fi inclinations. The girls, though, often have a way with language: “I’m so going to kill you if you do that.” F. Scott Fitzgerald would have written that down in his notebook.

This hobby explains my affection for @shitgirlssay, an anonymous, satirical Twitter account whose avatar is the Afghan girl from that famous cover of National Geographic. (The avatar is a cruel joke that doesn’t quite land, for the girl in that picture would never say these tweets.) A few highlights: “Can I put this in your pocket?” “I just realized I haven’t eaten today.” “I’m not even joking right now.” Whoever is behind @shitgirlssay has a rigorous aesthetic: The lines must be deadpan, timeless, and just gendered enough to be funny. “I keep thinking today’s Tuesday.” “Smell this candle.” “You should come!”

The hits go on and on. How long can the anonymous girl (or girls) keep it up? I’m not sure, but let me ask you: “Was I super annoying last night?”