Dating these days is a whole new ballgame. With social media and apps like Bumble and Tinder coming onto the scene, it can be hard to get someone’s attention, let alone keep it. According to the US Census Bureau, nearly 47 percent of the population is currently single, which is pretty hefty competition.

This is why many resort to peacocking, the boisterous act of showing off to impress someone. However, while the term is usually associated with men, the female version of peacocking is certainly relevant, too. Here’s everything there is to know on female peacocking, and how to determine if you’ve been a culprit yourself.

What Is Peacocking?

Peacocking is defined as the act of showing off to impress someone you’re interested in romantically. The term derives from a peacock bird’s mating practice, utilizing its bright and colorful feathers to stand out and impress a female amongst the rest of her suitors. While humans certainly don’t have colorful feathers to display, their performances can take other forms, from showing off their sculpted bodies to flashing a luxurious lifestyle. 

The act of peacocking is ultimately a grand gesture of supposed worth, displaying the best of what you can offer in hopes of being chosen or valued by a potential mate.

What Is the Female Version of Peacocking?

While peacocking as a girl may look a little different, the fundamentals are all the same: doing something flashy to obtain someone’s attention. Men tend to be more outward and obvious, like driving loud cars or flexing massive muscles. The female version of peacocking, however, tends to be a bit more understated. While over-the-top makeup looks and risqué gym looks could be considered peacocking, there’s even more to it.

Instagram thirst traps could be a form of female peacocking, posing seductively in your stories to capture the attention of potential suitors. Curating your social media profile with vague memes or soft launching a mysterious suitor to stir allure and jealousy is also a way of masterminding someone’s attention, without being too overt.

Is Peacocking Bad?

Peacocking has the potential to become abrasive. For example, you may be the type who wants to remain invisible at the gym, getting in your squats and getting out. However, if a sea of men or women around you are peacocking with their pumps and flexing, it can feel distracting, intrusive, and, frankly, annoying.

It’s important not to vilify a person who resorts to peacocking to find love. They may have been raised within societal programming that has equated their value to the external. It’s a journey to learn how to self-resource value and how to let love choose you rather than perform for it, and it’s one you can’t force anyone to embark on.

It’s also worth noting that there’s nothing wrong with posting thirst traps, donning bold make-up looks, or weaponizing your fashion. It’s simply important to check in with yourself and determine whether or not you’re doing it for yourself or for some external motivation.  

Get Your Peacock On, Sis

The human ego is fragile, and acting ostentatiously to be memorable isn’t inherently a bad thing. If you see yourself in any of the behaviors we discussed, take a moment to laugh at yourself and reflect on how it makes you feel. If you want to dig deeper and make a shift, go for it. But if you find nothing wrong with a little peacocking, life is your party.