I wondered where It came from as I drove home from an event on Thursday night. I attended an event called the “It Girls of Instagram” and the name alone had me curious. My initial thoughts applauded the smooth marketing tactics surrounding the event. Impressed by Neiman Marcus for creating an event that integrated local influencers (the It Girls) and Instagram (the It social media platform of the moment). Thus, conforming devout followers to shop, drink, and eat like their favorite It Girl.
Add makeovers, giveaways, and cocktails and you have yourself a bona fide event.
The it-list of local women came to no surprise to me. I’ve met most of them briefly. Chatted over cups of coffee. Wrote about them in local publications. They’re all kind women with striking Instagram feeds. A few of them seemed genuinely surprised to be chosen—I liked them.
As I stood there, I quickly regretted my choice of red lipstick. It glared among the sea of neutral lip colors—and my mind began to ask questions. Do the other women attending this event wish they were an It Girl? And what makes an It Girl "It"? I thought about this at length as I sweat through my checkered blouse.
When I got home, I poured myself the glass of chardonnay I was denied at the event because they “ran out” and we’re “trying to find some”. Which I gleamed as some poor schmuck running to Whole Foods across the street to buy some, and if they’re anything like me—the sample cheese probably distracted them.
I started to Google “It Girl” to learn about its origin because figuring out where phrases/words come from brings me undesirable pleasure. Like finding a dollar bill in my back pocket. My search lead me to the earliest use of the term “It” in which the context may be traced back to a short story from 1904.
Richard Kipling wrote, “It isn’t beauty, so to speak, nor good talk necessarily. It’s just 'It'."
I kind of love the ambiguity of it all. A far cry from today, where an it-factor can be calculated by the amount of followers you have on your social media accounts or likes you receive per post.
To me an It Girl is an elusive woman that people can’t seem to define. She might have a large following. She might be the best-kept secret. Either way, she has It because she knows she has it. No matter what color lipstick she wears.