For me, it definitely hasn’t included much dating - which in my head makes me feel like I am not living the hot girl summer. Summer of 2020 I was so ready to date, have fun and do exactly what I wanted, but that didn’t exactly happen. I did have fun though, and I am being more me every day, so I think that still fits the definition.
The idea is to be able to act how you want without shame, which of course we should be able to do all year round, not just summer. However, it's not that simple. I can see that the pressure can still build, especially if you are finding it difficult to not give a damn about what anybody says, because THAT IS HARD! It takes a lot of practice to even slightly reduce the amount you care about what somebody's saying - and you definitely can’t just flip a switch when it gets to summer and that's that.
I have had to force myself to do things including asking people out, and then sit in the shame and embarrassment I shouldn’t have to feel as I wait for a reply. I can barely dance however I want, because I can still feel everyone's eyes on me. But I think it gets easier the more you do it. Once you start to truly embrace being yourself and not worrying about what other people think, even with what clothes you wear, or how you do your hair, you start to feel a lot more free. Even if it does happen a step at a time, and by the time you have even slightly started to notice a difference, the summer is over.
Lets stop putting pressure on ourselves, society does enough of that as it is. Put on 'About Damn Time' by Lizzo and do whatever makes you happy.