A new trend is slowly dividing TikTok. Stay-at-home girlfriends are showing off their lifestyles, daily routines and allowances to the world.
While many may be familiar with the idea of a stay-at-home mom or wife, the idea of existing in this realm as a girlfriend is relatively new and causing waves of concern and curiosity across social media. With over 22.4M views on TikTok, this trend is one that both Millennials and Gen-Zers are discovering and taking a stance on.
What is a Stay-At-Home Girlfriend?
Stay-at-home girlfriends are young women who choose to opt out of the workforce to stay at home. The idea is that these girlfriends do not hold full-time jobs, engage in strenuous work or build a routine around a career. Potentially an extension of the ‘soft life’ trend, this lifestyle glorifies a traditional life that is the opposite of the ‘boss’ era of the early 2000s.
In many of the videos posted online, these girlfriends are seen receiving an allowance and gifts, while living in luxury. Several of the girlfriends are influencers and use social media as a form of work and income.
A Day in the Life
Trullyzoe on TikTok now shares her life as a stay-at-home fiancé with regular vlogs. She details the day-to-day details of what her life entails.
As part of the discourse, many have found the decision to become a stay-at-home girlfriend extremely backward. One of the many issues with this trend is the display of harmful stereotypes. This trend appears to encourage repressive ideas that are glaringly anti-feminist. According to the videos posted to TikTok, the majority of a stay-at-home girlfriends’ tasks include home and self-maintenance.
One of the biggest criticisms of being a stay-at-home girlfriend is the risk and lack of financial protection. TikToker @bukola.dev shares a video stating that “being a stay-at-home girlfriend may seem like a glamorous lifestyle, but I feel that it has a lot of hidden costs.”
She explains that there’s no legal protection and argues that they are contributing to the success of your boyfriend. The contributions will not guarantee any financial benefit in a future. If the couple breaks up or can no longer access the funds to maintain the lifestyle, then the stay-at-home girlfriend will be financially at risk.
Financial Abuse and Controversial Contradictions
On TikTok, The Princess of Finance and Bella talk about financial abuse and financial dependence. This often shows up in stay-at-home girlfriends and wife lifestyles. The idea of depending entirely on a partner invites unhealthy patterns of dependency.
The portrayal of this lifestyle seems to make light of the labor it takes to maintain a household. There is focus on how this space is overwhelmingly welcoming for white heterosexual women and how this is not a space Black and minority women can comfortably exist in.
In response to a video examining the trend, AllOfMeBea writes about Black women being called gold diggers because they want to stay home and raise their children. This contradiction is another reason why some are unsure about how inclusive and realistic this lifestyle is.