Some days, the idea of marrying a wealthy man and living a life of luxury may cross your mind. In our capitalist-driven society, such thoughts can be enticing. However, this age-old tradition comes with a twist—it doesn’t necessarily make your life easier.
Hypergamy, the practice of women marrying into wealthier families or social classes to elevate their status in the eyes of society, may seem like an outdated concept. Yet, it continues to find its place in the modern world. Take, for instance, the popular show Bridgerton, where the entire plot revolves around securing a desirable husband to improve the family’s social standing. Whether we realize it or not, we consume and internalize this practice, often unknowingly perpetuating deep-rooted misogyny and capitalism.
Recently, I discovered a series of TikTok videos, that fall under the category of female dating coaches or femininity coaches, in internet terms. These videos share techniques on “how to attract rich men” and gain what they refer to as the “princess treatment”. To me, it appears as a countermovement and a significant repercussion of the so-called Sigma Men videos. These videos on dating and relationship coaching offer advice for achieving a particular goal – getting a rich husband or marrying a millionaire. The main problem with these videos, whether sigma male or feminine energy, is their target audience. The most vulnerable teenagers blindly follow these videos, hoping to improve their lives.
The reason why hypergamy has resurfaced is due to soaring inflammation and the escalating cost of living. The prevailing mindset is that it is easier to work at home and provide services to a rich man than to go out in the world and work. However, it is important to remember that nothing comes for free in this world. When women marry affluent men to seek care, protection, and support, it often entails a burdensome obligation. This obligation includes taking care of their families and making personal sacrifices. These women may find themselves compelled to overlook certain red flags because, in the end, they may become financially dependent on their partners for survival.
Capitalism in disguise is exerting excruciating pressure on women to perform household tasks under the guise of fulfilling their duties. The expectation for women to provide domestic services while men engage in external work has created an unstable dynamic. The work conducted outside the home is labeled as production, while the housework is referred to as reproduction, resulting in a complex array of dilemmas. The women who provide services within the household are not compensated, effectively giving away free labor to society. Consequently, this comfortable devaluation of their worth allows for the extraction of various contributions from them, all justified under the guise of preserving the authentic or traditional role of women.
Women are put under a lot of pressure to be desirable in society, something we have already seen in the Bridgerton series. They are expected to look and dress well and be obedient. The Instagram/TikTok videos are a modern-day substitute for policing schools that used to teach women Victorian etiquettes and morality. How these videos work is that they focus on restoring your energy i.e. divine feminine energy through the way you dress up and look to attract rich men. It speaks volumes about the kind of things you have to do for yourself to be worth a man’s money: “You need to get your hair and makeup done and stay in shape. You need to be looking perfect all the time. You need to get in touch with your divine feminine energy.” The whole basis for these videos is crushing yourself and building a new persona only to make yourself more desirable in the eyes of men.
The reality is that these creators use solid examples and convincing stories to attract their audience into buying their new book or course. These courses are paid and serve as an income to the creators. The sugar coating of capitalism seems to be melting away. These videos prey on the needs of many young women, deceptively extracting money while promising to fulfill their wants.
The worst message they seem to be conveying is encouraging women to stay with men who betray them. They brush red flags under the carpet and label it as “emotional stability”. This is extremely disturbing since many women in Indian households have to go through this behavior. It not only glorifies abuse but also underplays the situation of millions who are stuck in toxic relationships. It’s truly about the option to leave or stay. A lot of women are unable to leave such situations because of financial dependency.
With men and money comes a power dynamic that is subtly excluded from the narrative of these videos.The situation becomes serious as with money you also get an obligatory need to provide or compensate for the services given to you. However, these creators encourage women to stay despite worsening conditions for them. This idea is not only flawed but the main reason why so many South Asian and African women despise hypergamy. It’s been previously witnessed in our culture and the young women have seen and known the flaws of the system too well to proceed with it.
However, these videos promote toxic behavior, especially for young girls who are still navigating the complexities of life.They face uncertain pressures that lead them to prioritize pleasing others rather than themselves. This fuels the pressure to present themselves in the best way possible and mold themselves to situations.It appears as though this is their sole means of escaping their current circumstances and elevating their value in the eyes of society.
A good relationship is based on mutual understanding and good communication. Genuine relations, based on respecting individuality, are better in the long term. It offers space for self-growth and discovery. This way you are not sticking to a persona you have created for others to like you. It gives more space for you to move on and change with time. Personal growth and empowerment are far better tools to be taught to young girls. Women should be taught to be better for themselves. We should learn and teach to be confident in who we are. We are so much more than baits for rich men. Together we can work on reclaiming our identity than spend time on some fake feminine energy.
The time has come for us to grant women complete freedom to make their own choices. We often find ourselves offering justifications about what is superior and what is not. It is crucial that we actively work towards eliminating misogyny and capitalism by increasing awareness. Through the provision of ample knowledge and empowering genuine choices, we can steer away from blinding young girls with material possessions and the allure of a wealthy lifestyle. TikTok and content creators should reflect on the content they share and consider its potential impact on the future world.
Samina, the Editor-in-Chief of Inertia Teens Magazine, is renowned for her captivating spoken word performances. With her unique perspective on mundane topics and expressive delivery, she brings energy and life to every room. Passionate about mental health, Samina channels her love for art into bridging the gap for teenagers. Through various mediums such as podcasts, she educates and advocates for mental well-being. Embracing her diverse cultural background, she is driven to make a positive impact.
“What makes me a black sheep is that I have never truly belonged to any one place, both physically and metaphorically. I have always existed on the outskirts of the societal boxes that have been constructed. Through my art, I strive to create a space for those who, like me, have never felt a sense of belonging within specific places, faiths, identities, or emotions.”