Monday, July 22, 2024

The Rodent Boyfriend TikTok Trend Needs to End

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A rodent is a type of animal often found scurrying through a train station or the back crevice of a kitchen. They’re little scavengers that care more about finding a piece of cheese than remembering an anniversary or understanding the significance of leaving the toilet seat down. So can someone please explain to me why and how the term “rodent boyfriend” has become a thing?

As most viral sensations do these days, the term rodent boyfriend started on TikTok. People began by comparing their partners to the furry foragers, while others explained that their quintessential aesthetic “type” in men apparently resembles a rodent. Thus began the trend.

Unfortunately for Sabrina Carpenter, her beau Barry Keoghan seems to be trend’s leading definition of what a rodent boyfriend looks like: sharp, pointy features and an unconventional attractiveness that simply cannot be explained. Some other notable celebrities who have been called out for their rodent boyfriend-likeness includes Timothée Chalamet, Jeremy Allen White, and “Challengers” costars Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist.

Now, I love a good viral dating term here and there, but the rodent boyfriend trend is simply something I can’t get behind. The main reason is because the term insinuates that if your type doesn’t fall under traditional or “normal” beauty standards, you have to use a label like “rodent boyfriend” to qualify that attraction or justify why you like someone.

Not only does the term rodent boyfriend reduce unconventionally attractive people to a silly comparison to an animal, but it also ignores what really matters in a relationship — things like trust, communication, loyalty, shared values, etc. And not to be super earnest, but it’s also just really mean to compare someone to a pest.

Personally, I think it’s OK to own the fact that you either care more about personality than looks, or that your type may differ from someone else’s. At the end of the day, who you find attractive doesn’t need to be justified or validated by a social media trend, and you can like who you like without having to categorize accordingly and explain why you do.

Just own it as your type, period.

Most importantly, the rodent boyfriend label makes it seem like there’s one ideal standard of attractiveness, and anything else is a deviation from that. It sets unrealistic standards, which undervalue the beauty of people who have more distinct, unique characteristics and features.

At the end of the day, I think it’s a little much to call your type a rodent boyfriend. Just own it as your type, period. Because if we’re being honest here, the celebrities being compared to rodents the most are dating women like Sabrina Carpenter and Kylie Jenner. Enough said?

Taylor Andrews is a Balance editor at PS who specializes in topics relating to sex, relationships, dating, sexual health, mental health, and more.

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