TikTok is slowly but surely, re-writing the way we see the world. Since the app blew up, we’ve seen viral dance routines, home-cleaning hacks, talking pets and the rise of various theories and phenomena. Today, let’s look at the emerging “Boyfriend Air” theory and what it means…
So, what is “boyfriend air”?
Simply put, the theory says that the more time you spend with your boyfriend, the uglier you become. Yikes!
According to tiktokers, spending time with their SO causes a chain of events which leads to…ugliness. We see lots of examples of ways this might happen, starting with the sudden disappearance of make-up, skincare, and accessories. They get lost in your significant other’s room, in their car, or hidden away in a random drawer.
Another prominent symptom is the messy hair look. It’s so hard to have nice hair when you’re just watching Netflix or snuggling, and also, who cares about having nice hair when you’ll probably end up in a play fight or falling asleep anyway?
The more time you spend with them, the more you neglect the skincare routine. You stop cleansing as regularly as you would; maybe you skip a few steps in the routine or forget to put on your trusty night-time mask. Do you know what this leads to? Breakouts. Lots of new, red breakouts.
The ”boyfriend air” hashtag has over 14 million views on TikTok, with various girlfriends making their videos on how it must be a scientific phenomenon.
Perhaps “boyfriend air” is actually just us caring less about how we look because we know we have someone who appreciates us without the glam. Personally, I see this as a positive.
So, why does boyfriend air exist?
This theory exists because we live in a world where looking perfect is desirable. We always dress up to be the best versions of ourselves, particularly when we’re seeing our SOs, right?
When we spend extra time with our partners, we sometimes forget to do all the usual things we fit into our routine. Plus, if you’re anything like me, you will forget 60% of the items in your makeup bag when you stay at your boyfriend’s house.
More than that, using a new shower and sleeping in a new bed can be stressful on the skin and hair! The pressure might be different, or the shampoo you use for your specific type of hair can’t quite be matched by your boyfriend’s five-in-one shampoo, conditioner and shower gel (why do they all have this!?).
So, boyfriend air exists as a way for us to pinpoint the reasons why we don’t look as perfect as we would like to. We don’t have that glowy skin look (because we probably forgot our toner this morning), our hair is messy (because we cuddle all day), and our hair is greasy (because we forgot the dry shampoo!).
Boyfriend air exists because we have what Tiktokers are calling the boyfriend effect.
What is the boyfriend effect?
You’ll see lots of before and after videos to explain this properly on Tiktok, but to put it simply, this effect is the changing of appearance after having spent lots of time with a person. Most of the time, this change is seen to be negative, with a gradual decline in appearance the longer we have a boyfriend.
Let me be blunt; the before photos show our perfect, single selves. They will have flawless skin, Youtube video-advised makeup routines, recently treated hair, and the best clothes in our wardrobes. Why would we not put our best foot forwards in a selfie?
The after pictures will be the same, just as beautiful a person with a messy bun, little to no makeup and sweatpants (probably your boyfriend’s hoodie to match).
This effect often suggests that we are taking less care of ourselves and are becoming less attractive.
However, I would like to put forward an alternative suggestion. The boyfriend effect is actually the effect of becoming comfortable enough with a person that you are happy to look like your natural self when you’re with them. It means we have increased self-esteem with our specific person and know they will not care about messy hair or sweatpants.
More than this, it means we no longer care about impressing anyone else. We stop posting those perfectly created selfies, or making sure we look glam before we leave the house because who do we need to impress? Be fully glam for you, not for others.
How to fix boyfriend air?
Well, if you agree with me and think “boyfriend air” is actually a positive increase in self-esteem and confidence, then do nothing! Live your best life and be comfortable with who you are and how you look.
But, if you still believe boyfriend air is an effect which is causing you to look and feel uglier, listen up. Here are some tips to help avoid feeling this way:
- Make a checklist of all the beauty and skincare supplies you need before you go for a sleepover. Here’s the link to the perfect travel case for your makeup and skincare:
- Shower right before you leave, minimising the requirement to shower at your boyfriend’s house if you can avoid it!
- Eat well! Don’t get sucked into the takeaway every night aspect of being with your boyfriend – it will affect your skin.
- Brush your hair before bed and when you wake up. Invest in a tangle teaser for those more stubborn knots like this one:
- Convince your boyfriend to start a skincare routine. That way, you can both do your routines at the same time! This prevents you from feeling like you’re wasting your time together with mundane things. What about gifting him a start-up skincare routine? We love this one:
Finally, I genuinely believe that we all look beautiful all the time. I think makeup can sometimes accentuate our features – but it works with what we already have! We are all attractive in our own way, and our boyfriends obviously agree!
Is the boyfriend effect really just us becoming the best versions of ourselves with someone else? If so, I’m not mad about it.
Some TikTok videos covering boyfriend air: