Generation Z’s new beauty ideal: the ‘hot rat boy’

YoI don’t know if you’ve heard it yet, but the golden retriever boyfriend is out and has been replaced by the hot rat boyHappy, excited, attentive, and loyal guys looking for love better keep playing ball games on the beach this summer, if TikTok is to be believed, because the ‘that guys‘(the most popular guys) of the season are men who look like vermin, in a sexy way.

The popularity of actors such as Jeremy Allen White (Bear), Josh O’Connor (The crown and Challengers) and Barry Keoghan (salty burn and The Banshees of Inisherin) has changed the ideal of male beauty in recent months. These actors look, with a little imagination, like rodents. They are “extraordinarily attractive” and radiate a certain stubborn imperturbability. Like they don’t care at all what other people think of them, because they’ll do their thing anyway, a bit like, well, rats.

He hot rat boyalso called the rodent groom mentioned online, stands in stark contrast to the human golden retriever who has been seen as the ideal lover by romantic and queer Gen Z girls for the past year. This happened after singer Taylor Swift announced in September that she was in a relationship with football player Travis Kelce, an all-American boyfriend (apparently I don’t know the best man personally) who isn’t afraid to express his enthusiasm and feelings. tastes. for uncomplicated fun, as well as a cute golden retriever.

Although I do not understand the rise of rodent groom quite funny: “Tell that new friend of yours he’s like a scary field mouse!” “Yeah right? Wonderful, don’t you think?” – and sincerely wishing all the unconventional and handsome men their time on the pedestal, I wonder why Generation Z feels the need to so strictly categorize people based on their appearance. And also why they are so rigorous when it comes to deciding which ‘species’ can be considered desirable or not at this time. Actually, my hope for this generation was that it would definitively put an end to the notion of an ideal of beauty.

A few years ago it seemed for a moment that diversity would become the norm in fashion and media. Women of all sizes walked the runways and on television we slowly saw more people of color in leading roles. Furthermore, social media had offered a platform to people of all strata and styles, which was a fantastic example for teenagers around the world, who until then had mainly fashion magazines and Hollywood movies with white people, in their mostly thin, with which to compare themselves.

But recently, young people have become much more strict about who is beautiful and who is not. For example, more than a year ago, young people on TikTok began classifying girls into four categories of attractiveness: pretty bunny (bunny snap), pretty cat (cat click), dear pretty (bambiknap) and pretty fox (fox snap). Anyone who didn’t look even a bit like one of these animals wasn’t handsome either.

Of course, it wasn’t surprising that young women online responded by also dividing men into different groups of “beautiful” animals. But that doesn’t change the fact that this whole practice is somewhat strange and potentially disturbing. Because let’s face it, what’s really attractive about a rodent? Those animated by the internet are looking for one rodent boyfriend It probably falls more on an idea than on the actual person.

Young and you want something: Jessica Kuitenbrouwer writes about the lives of millennials and Generation Z.You can find previous columns.here.

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