Mysterious Girl Walks
Dissecting the new concept of walking for ‘mystery.'
By Hannah Eaton
Graphic by Lila Berger
There is a woman walking along the sidewalk wearing a long coat, headphones over her ears. She stares straight ahead and there’s something about the way she looks, like she knows something you don’t.
You can’t help but wonder — Where is she going? What is she listening to? What is she thinking?
This is the idea behind “mysterious girl walks,” a term that has recently been tossed around the internet, especially on TikTok. On college campuses like Boston University, it's not hard to find ardent subscribers to this phenomenon around every quaint street corner.
Why So Mysterious?
Mysterious behavior and women are not a new concept.
Look back at any millennial Pinterest board and you’ll find dozens of pictures of women walking alone through a city or forest, usually a conventionally attractive white woman with long hair.
Looking back further at the femme fatale, a popular trope from the classic cinema where a deadly but (conventionally) beautiful woman tricks a man into helping her, usually financially and tending to involve murder.
Mysterious girl walks reframes the classic mysterious woman into one of empowerment, rather than stereotypes and transparent misogyny.
The Importance of Being Mysterious
Being mysterious is a state of mind, one that has flourished in the modern day with Generation Z.
Jenny Seminack (COM ‘25) is one of those who think of themselves as a “mysterious walker.”
“My favorite activity to do in my free time is to walk around and look at buildings,” she said. “I like to pretend I’m in a movie. It heals my soul.”
Mysterious girl walks have some connection to another popular Gen-Z term, “hot girl walks,” which prompted actual walking events in Texas. However, while “hot girl walks” can be a group activity, mysterious girl walks are singularly a solitary action.
Mysterious girl walks are not primarily a means of seeming attractive or alluring to the viewer, though that is no obstacle. It’s about being comfortable in one’s skin. It’s less about how you look and more about how you feel and interact with your environment.
Katie Howlett (CAS ‘25) said the best mysterious girl walks are those where you “explore something new.”
“Sometimes I’ll just leave my apartment and start walking somewhere I’ve never been before,” she said. “It’s helped me discover all the different corners of Boston.”
One of Howlett’s favorite places to go on mysterious walks is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Seminack enjoys walking through Back Bay, especially along Marlborough Avenue. Seminack says it is “pure bliss.”
Another favorite within Boston includes Beacon Hill. With its narrow cobblestone streets and brownstone apartments lining each side, there is no better place to get lost.