Ladies, it’s time for some real talk. Today is National Girlfriend Day, an annual event that rolls around every August 1.
Romantic partners will come and go. Jobs are won and lost. But no matter what happens, your girls will be there in a crunch. It’s a time to honor your “ride or die” crew of homegirls! So, why do we love our girlfriends so much? Because they’re like sisters but without any of the growing-up baggage. Plus, when times are tough, your girls will let you vent and when you’re done; they will offer up the support you need to get through.
Spa days, weekend retreats, pajama parties complete with wine and nachos are even better when your girlfriends join in the fun. This year on National Girlfriend Day, spend some delicious time gossiping about lovers past, present and future. Discuss your hopes and dreams in a really safe space, the circle of sisterhood.
History of National Girlfriend Day
It’s not known for certain who created National Girlfriend Day on August 1 but the strongest claim seems to stem from Mistress Susan who runs a luxury website. She says that she created and celebrated the date in 2004 as a chance for gal pals to express gratitude to each other.
The history of female friendships and gal pals is of course much longer than the day itself. Girls have been friends for so long that there is no way we can trace back to the first-ever female friends, so instead, we’ll mention some of the more notable gal pals from recent times.
The Edinburgh Seven were a group of female friends who fought to become the first women to go to medical school in the UK in the 1860s. Despite studying medicine at Edinburgh University they were barred from graduating and becoming doctors. Their determination put women’s rights on the national agenda and led to laws in 1876 that allowed women to study medicine at university. The Edinburgh Seven had paved for the way for the female doctors of the future.
Around the same time as this, Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were forming a friendship that would become revolutionary. The two were the founders of the women’s rights movement in the United States and were the trailblazers that pushed for white women’s suffrage. The two initially met in 1851 and it was in 1869 that they formed the National Woman Suffrage Association.
On a more sporty note, we raise a special mention for The Rockford Peaches, the founding members of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s. Their achievements were a huge stride forward for female athletes in the U.S.
One of our favorite stories of female friendship involves Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe, with Fitzgerald attributing her big break to Monroe? The singer tried to book a gig at the Mocambo in Hollywood in 1955 but the manager turned her away because she didn’t have enough “sex appeal.” Monroe called the manager and said that she would sit front row every night if Fitzgerald got the job, which would pull in the press and crowds that the manager craved. Fitzgerald would say later. “After that I never had to play a small jazz club again.”
More recently Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert showed that even the fiercest of rivals can be best friends. The two did battle in an incredible 61 tennis tournament finals during the 1970s and 1980s but were still the best of friends off the court and would often travel to tournaments together and hang out between matches.
Gal pals are always there for each other and have a history of fighting against the tide to achieve great things together. Make sure you take some time out on National Girlfriend Day to let your girlfriends know how much you appreciate them.
National Girlfriend Day timeline
As one of Jane Austen's closest companions, Anne Sharp offers valuable critiques for Austen's stories.
Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton become friends; 18 years later they form the National Woman Suffrage Association.
The Edinburgh Seven battle against sexism until they eventually help bring in laws that allow women to study medicine.
Visually and hearing impaired, Helen Keller forms a unique bond with her teacher Ann Sullivan.
Marilyn Monroe helps Ella Fitzgerald book a gig at the Mocambo in Hollywood — an act, Ella says, that changed her career.
MTV’s TV show “Daria” brings together outcasts Daria and Jane who become best friends.
Mistress Susan creates National Girlfriend Day as a way for gal pals to express gratitude to each other.
Susan, Lynette, Bree, and Gabrielle support each other in the television show “Desperate Housewives.”
National Girlfriend Day Traditions
As this day is all about hanging out with your girlfriends the main tradition is to spend some quality time with your friends. People tend to spend National Girlfriend Day having fun with their girlfriends in and doing activities that they have previously bonded on together.
So, whether it is watching a movie, spending the night partying, going shopping, or eating out at a nice restaurant, the traditions of National Girlfriend Day are really the traditions that built that friendship in the first place.
National Girlfriend Day By Numbers
6 – The number of best friends the average woman has in her lifetime.
16 years – The lifespan of the average female friendship
1 in 10 – Women admit to having more fun with their bff than with their partner.
47% – Women wish they could spend more time with their best friend.
1 in 4 – Women think their best friend knows them better than their partner.
67% – More time women spend improving romantic relationships compared to friendships.
23 years – the average friendship length for women over 55.
9 – The number of close friends the average American has
2% – The number of people who claim to have no close friends.
73% – The number of Americans satisfied with their friendships
National Girlfriend Day FAQs
What is National Boyfriend Day?
National Boyfriend Day falls on October 3 every year. It’s a day to let your boyfriend know how much he means to you. National Boyfriend Day reminds everyone with a boyfriend to take special notice of that special someone and how they make your life better.
Is National Girlfriends Day a real holiday?
There’s a National Girlfriends Day celebrated every year on August 1. It’s not a holiday in the sense that you get the day off from work, though that would be nice. But National Girlfriends Day is a bonding occasion for women and girls to spend time doing fun together and showing appreciation for their friendship.
This day was launched as a promotional tool for a book by Kathleen Laing and Elizabeth Butterfield, “Girlfriends Getaway,” which was published in 2002.
Is today National Kissing Day?
No. National Kissing Day, which is also known as World Kiss Day or International Kissing, takes place annually on July 6. Some sources indicate that this day started in the 19th century in England. Kissing is recognized all over the world as a way of showing love and affection. In France, you can greet someone by kissing them on either cheek! Not only is it a pleasurable activity, you can actually reduce stress and burn calories by kissing.
National Girlfriend Day Activities
Organize a paint night with your girls
Painting and drinking? Sign me up! Going to a paint nite is a sweet idea for a night out with your girls—you even get a souvenir to remember it. For those who are not so artistically-inclined, the staff gives easy-to-understand instructions for the painting of the night. If yours still comes out bad.... just blame the alcohol.
Instagram or it didn't happen
Nothing says "I love you" than a selfie with the favorite females in your life. Why can't #WCW be every day?
Everyone loves a spa day
Invite the girls over for a spa night! Make your own pedicures, facials, the works. Your girlfriends will thank you for the pamper-filled day.
Take the National Girlfriend Day Quiz
5 Female Buddy Movies You Need To Watch
Thelma and Louise
This 1991 classic was a smash at the box office and won huge critical acclaim
This 2001 flick stars Scarlett Johansson and Thora Birch as a couple of teenage outsiders who battle through a rift in their friendship.
This 2018 movie follows an all-female crew as they attempt a heist at the Met Gala.
Starring Regina Hall, Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett-Smith, this 2017 movie follows a group of girl’s on a trip to New Orleans.
This 2011 movie is a modern classic and a great one to watch with your gal pals.
Why We Love National Girlfriend Day
They're with us through the best and worst of times
We might be living the high life or getting pounded by life's lemons but no matter what, they're always there to offer perspective, celebrate our strengths, and provide unconditional love.
They make the best dessert buddies
Whether you just want to indulge in a sweet treat or you're going through a tough breakup, there's no better person to eat ice cream straight out of the carton with.
They know how to party
Few people can top a night out with your girls. Since they know you better than anyone else, they know exactly what you need to have a good time. Whether that be dancing, eating a nice dinner, or just posting up on the couch, you can always count on them to paint the town red!
National Girlfriend Day dates
National Girlfriend Day Featured Video
Celebrate National Girlfriend's Day!