You’ve probably heard or read the term soft boy somewhere online. Also spelled softboy or softboi, the term is used to describe a specific type of man. Here’s exactly what it means and a few examples of typical soft boys.
Urban Dictionary has more than one definition for the word soft boy but all of them seem to agree on a few points. Although the term is used to describe boys, soft boys have features and behaviours that most would qualify as almost feminine. They also have a sensitive side that differentiates them from the previously used term fuckboy.
“Similar to a fuckboy but without the cocky attitude. The softboy will butter a girl up by appealing to her emotions and showing a ‘sensitive’ side long enough for her to sleep with him, whether or not he actually cares about her or not. Then, like the fuckboy, he can’t and won’t commit. Differs from the fuckboy because he goes for the heart and emotions rather than just the body,” says one of Urban Dictionary’s definitions.
@beam_me_up_softboi is the Instagram account that shares with its followers screenshots of conversations with typical soft boys trying to impress girls with their indie music knowledge and their fake philosophy of life.
As much as this can be true for some, not all soft boys are manipulative liars. Soft boys can also be recognised by their soft and gentle attitude.
Many believe that soft boys come as a package, meaning that yes, they are nice and easily likeable, but they also have a very precise aesthetic that makes them recognisable from afar. From wearing pastel tracksuits and having soft, natural hair, soft boys are, well, soft inside and out.
Many agree that soft boys are a watered-down version of K-pop and its boyfriend aesthetic which then influenced western culture. In K-pop, the boyfriend look describes an outfit made of pastel tones, muted colours and having a classic hairstyle.
This style is named the boyfriend aesthetic as it is an outfit that a man could wear to meet his partner’s parents in.
As mentioned in The Guardian’s What is a softboi? You might be dating one – and you don’t even know it, Timothée Chalamet is probably the perfect and most used celebrity example of a soft boy. His explicit embrace of femininity and rejection of traditional masculinity has struck a nerve with audiences of all ages who have marvelled at him (for good reasons).
Very similar to Chalamet is Harry Styles, who recently also showed a different approach to masculinity by wearing nail varnish, pearl necklaces and more feminine apparel.
Less famous but also coming under the soft boy umbrella are actors Cole Sprouse from the series Riverdale and Noah Centineo who starred in rom-coms such as The Perfect Date and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
Whether you decide to use the term or not, soft boys have inundated social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok and are here to stay. And, to be honest, with toxic masculinity finally being challenged, it’s the perfect time for us to accept soft boys as a gentler, kinder sort of man.
Many of you must have heard the term egirl (sometimes also spelled e girl or e-girl) along with its male counterpart eboy. But what does it mean and where exactly does it come from? Here’s a simple definition and a bit more context for those of you wondering.
According to Urban Dictionary, an egirl is “a species of emo usually found on TikTok that commonly spends time on Tumblr. They can be found wearing pink eyeshadow with a large wing, little hearts under the eyes and a blushed nose and normally wearing some type of shirt from urban outfitters over a long sleeve striped shirt. Commonly found doing the Me! Me! Me! dance but has probably never seen it before.”
As precise as this definition might be, it can also confuse more than it illuminates on the term. In simple words, egirl is a term now used to describe a specific look that certain girls can have on platforms such as TikTok, VSCO or even online gaming platforms.
The most common and recent definition of egirl is used for the young girls on the app TikTok but there are also previous definitions for the word. Here, we’ll have a look at the three most common types of egirl.
If you haven’t been on TikTok, the app that centres exclusively around enhanced micro-video content, things like egirl, VSCO girls, modern witches or TikTok ‘collab houses’ probably make no sense to you. But recently, TikTok became the number one app for gen Zers and even millennials.
Egirls gained popularity on the platform and are recognised as cute, fun and almost manga-like girls. The egirl films herself in her bedroom while she applies too much pink blush on her cheeks. Her hair is usually dyed in non-natural colours such as pink or blue (she might remind some people of the previously common emo girl).
E girls are TikTok girls who stand out from the crowd because of their unusual sense of fashion and makeup. From wearing too much blush and thick black eyeliner finishing with wings to drawing little hearts, crosses, or dots under their eyes, egirls usually look very childish in their short dresses with ruffles and bow in their hair. Many compare egirls to manga characters.
One of TikTok’s most famous egirls is Belle Delphine, who sold her used bathwater for $30 a pop to her online followers—the water sold out, by the way. She defined herself as a “weird elf kitty girl,” which is a good way of defining the TikTok egirl in general.
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The emo egirl is a similar version to the TikTok egirl, only she tends to wear more black and striped t-shirts underneath another small t-shirt. She also wears chokers, dark makeup and hair styles. The emo egirl might be part of TikTok’s witch community.
The gamer egirl is simply the egirl version of the gamer girl, which is used to distinct female gamers from the traditional male gamer demographic, but not without controversy. Often called ‘fake gamer girls’ or ‘gamer gurls’, these women are accused of feigning interest in video games to attract male gamers.
Egirls can also be a mix of the TikTok egirl, the emo egirl and the gamer egirl.
More recently, the term egirl has also been altered into something negative. It can often be used as an insult to describe attractive women on apps like TikTok or online game streaming platforms like Twitch. Some people use the term as another way of describing girls as ‘thot’ or ‘internet slut’.
As stated above, eboys are the male counterpart of girls. On Urban Dictionary, the term eboy has for definition, “A boy that probably skates, has his nails painted with rings, wears beanies, maybe has a cute egirl girlfriend, always wearing vans and long sleeves or hoodies under tshirts, their hair is sometimes parted down the middle. They basically only exist on the internet unfortunately but we can still appreciate them on Instagram.”
According to some internet users, the term eboy comes from the shortened term ‘electronic boy’. Just like egirls, eboys are part of the youth subculture that emerged in the late 2010s and is almost exclusively seen on social media, notably popularised by TikTok. Their look is inspired by skater culture, 1990s to 2000s fashion, anime, K-pop, hip hop, and rave. Along the same lines are soft boys and VSCO girls.