What Does 'Lucky Girl Syndrome' Mean To Black Women?
If you’ve found yourself getting lost in a routine TikTok scroll recently, chances are it wasn’t long before you found yourself on the side of the app where manifestations and delusional mindsets flourish. From mantras to bring forth financial gain to affirmations that promise to have your greatest desires fall into your lap, Gen Z’s latest spin on the Law of Attraction has taken on a new form known as “Lucky Girl Syndrome.”
The term ‘Lucky Girl Syndrome’ was first popularized by creator Laura Galebe, who in a viral video, shared how one simple mindset shift allowed most things to work out effortlessly in her favor. "I just always expect great things to happen to me, and so they do," Galebe explained. As she continued in her video, repeatedly saying, “good things happen to me unexpectedly” for as long as she can remember, was the key to unlocking a life where opportunities were unceasing.
But what exactly is ‘Lucky Girl Syndrome’ and can you truly just think your way into getting everything your heart desires?
According to wellness and life coach Faith Hunter, Lucky Girl Syndrome is essentially the mental, emotional, and spiritual state of ultimate gratitude.
“Lucky Girl Syndrome is all about having a positive mindset, but more than just thinking positive, it’s also feeling it,” Hunter says. “It’s feeling that sensation in your heart and then intentionally moving through your day with that feeling of, ‘I am a blessed person’ and being open to seeing all the different ways the universe can bless you.”
Over the years, the theory behind the Law of Attraction has offered varying interpretations based on which generation is perceiving it. Whether you were raised with the influence of the prosperity gospel or found your way to the popular self-help book, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, the Law of Attraction/Assumption has a way of evolving from generation to generation.
So when it comes to the Law of Attraction, Lucky Girl Syndrome is to Gen Z as vision boards are to millennials.
“It is definitely the Law of Attraction because it's all about positive thinking,” Hunter explains. “If you're thinking negatively, in most cases, it's going to continue to ripple and happen to you. The same thing goes for thinking positively — the universe will naturally start to deliver opportunities and allow you to see creative ways that things can come into your life.”
Since growing in its popularity, Lucky Girl Syndrome has become as catchy as it is contagious. Women from all sides of TikTok attribute their positive thinking to receiving job offers, brand deals, free food, random heaps of money, and even love. However, when you take a closer look at the faces that make up the trend’s TikTok hashtag with nearly 600 million views, you may notice the faces of Black women missing from the feed.
“When I found out what Lucky Girl Syndrome was, I was very confused, to be honest,” says Diamon Hawkins, a creative futurist and the founder/CEO of Pothos Beauty, who was raised on the notion that if you ask, you shall receive.
“There's this whole delusional mindset right now, so I'm very cautious of how we use literary terms and practices and how the world does that differently now,” she says. When the trend began to surface on her For You page, it initially took the 29-year-old a week to delve into the research behind what it actually meant, only to find that it was a similar mindset to what she grew up with. “I was like, oh, this is just a Law of Assumption and that is how I live my life. That is how I've been raised,” she recalls. “If you believe it and if you can see it, then you can do it. I live my life through that lens.”
Having grown up in the inner city of Bridgeport, Connecticut, Hawkins’ parents instilled in her the practice of not only speaking things into existence but putting the action behind her words. What some could argue is the very thing this latest take on the Law of Attraction via the Lucky Girl Syndrome fails to mention: privilege.
When trends like Lucky Girl Syndrome and “Being Delusional” ignore the systematic and structural inequalities that exist in communities of color and people who don’t come from wealth or means, it can lead to the perpetuation of toxic positivity. What starts off as an innocent trend can easily turn exclusionary when you don’t consider the mental hurdles it takes to overcome one’s daily circumstances. Life doesn’t always deal us a fair card, and to conflate luck with inherited privilege is dismissive. And sometimes, it takes a lot more than simply “thinking” your way out of adversity.
That’s why when it comes down to the trends that we consume via social media, it’s important to have people who look like us sharing their experiences. “I'm really excited to see this trend come to the mainstream. But I would honestly say, I've lived my life in the perspective of manifesting before I even knew the word manifestation.”
For Hawkins, Lucky Girl Syndrome coupled with the support of her communities was vital to helping her get out of a recent depression from balancing the loneliness of being an entrepreneur. “I was in a mental space of lack. Negativity is a parasite to my own mind. And once I started applying Lucky Girl Syndrome or Law of Assumption back into my life things have changed,” she says.
Her revenue streams have increased, career opportunities have come into her life, and she’s seen an overall improvement in her mental and physical health.
“Productivity is a medicine. I had to get back to the mindset of, ‘it will work out for me.’”
When starting on your path to positive thinking through Lucky Girl Syndrome, Faith Hunter says that starting with small doses of gratitude is the best approach. “In order for that mind shift to happen, you have to start small. The easiest and smallest step to take is to wake up every morning and feel a sense of gratitude. Say, ‘I am grateful that I awoke this morning. I am grateful that I have my body. I am grateful for the breath that I am breathing. I am grateful for the roof over my head,” she shares.
“What then begins to happen is that once you start to recognize and acknowledge those simple, basic things, over time you're going to think yourself into greater things.”
While reading the book, The Mastery of Self, Hawkins was drawn to a quote that read, “Negative thoughts are parasites. You need to be an ally to your brain.” This note, in turn, became a reminder that in order to truly embrace a positive inner voice that brings good into your life, you must first be a friend to yourself at every stage of your life.
“If you are someone who is hesitant about the Law of Assumption or Lucky Girl Syndrome, speak to yourself the same way you would speak to your younger self. Meet her in the middle. Pour into her. And tell her, ‘it's going to work out for us.'”
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images
Aley Arion is a writer and digital storyteller from the South, currently living in sunny Los Angeles. Her site, yagirlaley.com, serves as a digital diary to document personal essays, cultural commentary, and her insights into the Black Millennial experience. Follow her at @yagirlaley on all platforms!
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
Welcome to Black Girl Whole, your space to find the wellness routine that aligns with you! This brand-new marketplace by xoNecole is a safe space for Black women to activate their healing, find the inspiration to rest, and receive reassurance that we are one small act away from finding our happiness.
Want to discover where you are on your wellness journey? You don't have to look far. In partnership with European Wax Center, we're bringing you a customized wellness quiz to help you up your wellness game. Answer our short series of questions to figure out which type of wellness lover you are, what you need to bring more balance into your life, and then go deeper by shopping products geared towards clearing your mind, healing your body, and soothing your spirit.
Ready to get whole? Take our quiz now!
32-year-old social media influencer and mother of five, Ariel B, did not set out to tell her story; but it was her truth that set her free. Her truth is also the inspiration for her new podcast "This Too Shall Pass," produced by Idea To Launch Productions. The podcast delves into Ariel's life and journey as a single parent and a domestic violence survivor. But it also serves as a window into her past traumas that have fostered her resilience.
In an exclusive interview with xoNecole, Ariel B. reveals that her online following grew after she decided to share the realistic, non-curated parts of her life on social media at the advice of her therapist. "Growing up, I was taught to hide things that made you seem less than," she says. "I didn't mind speaking at the shelter for women and children. I didn't mind speaking in my domestic violence group with other women, but I was ashamed to talk about it with people that I felt had a perfect life. So [my therapist] said 'No, you need to get used to telling your story. If you don't like it or you feel some kind of way, just delete it.' I started first on Instagram, and that was probably the first time I dipped my toe in the social media world of telling the truth."
Ariel's followers became inspired by her honest and raw day-in-the-life perspective: the days when she would be over her budget, her kids' rooms wouldn't be the tidiest, or when she'd be running late for pick-ups and drop-offs. Her relatability made single mothers everywhere feel seen, but there's much more to life Ariel's story that she's found the bravery to open up about.
The Florida native had her first child when she was 16 years old. Growing up in a middle-class suburban family, she says she felt judged by family and peers for having children out of wedlock. "I already had two kids before I got married," she says. "And when I got married, I think that was my parents' sigh of relief. Like, oh my gosh, she's finally married. She's not a single mother of two. She should be safe. It was a disaster."
Ariel says marriage was great in the beginning. Her ex-husband presented himself as loving and was a proud stepfather to her two children. After welcoming two more children with her ex-husband, she says that's when the problems started. "We were arguing all the time. The finances were bad. And then it got to the point where he was consuming a lot of alcohol all the time," she says. "And when the alcohol got bad, it got physical. I was embarrassed. I just invited all of my family to this wedding and everyone's so happy that I'm married, but I'm miserable."
Ariel eventually filed for divorce, and was then forced to get a restraining order after her ex proceeded to stalk her. Though these frightening moments are behind her, she's working every day to address the residual trauma. "It was a lot of trauma to get where we are, and a lot to finally feel safe," she says. "But I just wanted to do whatever I had to do so my children wouldn't have to heal from a choice that I made."
It's clear that Ariel's adorable children, ranging from ages three to fifteen, are her biggest inspiration. She often posts videos of herself teaching them important life lessons like how to create a budget and maintain good credit. It's these important life skills that many of her followers said they wished they had learned growing up. For Ariel, her greatest goal is to fill up their self-love tank. "The world is going to knock you down enough when you get older," she says. "So if I can push them out there at a hundred percent if the world can only knock them down to 80, I'd be happy with that. But if they only go out there at 80 and the world can get them down to 60 or less than half of who they are, that's a problem for me."
When it comes to her new podcast, Ariel isn't afraid of the judgments that may come, both from loved ones and strangers. "When you tell the truth, there's nothing to hide from," she says. "I am a single mother of five. I do have more than one child's father. We are on a budget. And when I was able to just be honest, I think I wasn't shameful anymore. I didn't have to pretend and I was able to tell my truth out loud."
"This Too Shall Pass" is out now!