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What Is “Stay-At-Home Girlfriend” TikTok Trend, And What Is The Debate Behind It?

Last month, a lifestyle influencer, Kendal Kay, shared a video on TikTok where she was seen doing her usual morning rituals. However, the 26-year-old called herself a “stay-at-home girlfriend” who does everything for her boyfriend, from making his latte to fetching him water, while he goes out to handle his multi-million dollar PR company.

What started as a video soon became a trend with women posting videos with similar captions across the country. However, this so-called “stay-at-home girlfriend” TikTok trend has received a lot of negative comments, and in no time, the viral trend was termed “anti-feminist” by many. Read on to know what exactly is this trend.

What Is the “Stay-At-Home-Girlfriend TikTok Trend?

TikTok’s “Stay-At-Home Girlfriend” trend means exactly the way it sounds. On August 17, 2022, a Puerto-Rico-based lifestyle influence named Kendal Kay posted a vlog video, which received 8.4 million views along with 13,500 comments (at the time of writing). The 24-year-old American influencer and model posted a video of herself doing daily chores for her multi-millionaire boyfriend, Luke Lintz. She called herself a “stay-at-home girlfriend” in the caption.

In her video, Kendal was seen doing basic chores for her boyfriend – from making his latte, and fetching water, to making smoothie bowls. As for her boyfriend, Luke, who owns a multi-million dollar PR company, stated that he has always believed in a “traditional relationship”. Her one-minute video included chores like:

  • Filling water bottles
  • Making a green juice for herself from a beauty supplement brand.
  • Making latte for her 22-year-old boyfriend.
  • Cleaning the bedroom and making the bed
  • 20-minute skincare routine and ice-roller facial massage
  • Taking a walk on the beach to get coffee and a workout session with Lintz
  • Five-minute journaling
  • Making smoothie bowls and a matcha latte with supplements for her boyfriend
  • Planning the rest of the day in her planner.

After this video, many women across the country started sharing such videos with similar captions. Before this, a TikToker named Rose Davis also posted a video of her boyfriend, whom she referred to as Harry, and revealed that he encouraged her to stay at home and “enjoy her life” without the trouble of working. He even agreed to pay her fancy bills. Harry is a financial adviser and an investor who runs a real estate company.

The term “Stay-At-Home Girlfriend” refers to describe a woman, in a live-in relationship with her partner, who provides for her financial needs. While some people are jealous of these women, most have termed their life as “useless”, “dull”, “unfulfilling and “mundane”.

What Do People Think?

While Kay’s video gained a massive following, many criticised her by stating that the “concept reinforces traditional gender roles”. Some even called it “anti-feminist”. Some online users even wrote: “Morning routine as an unemployed person who does everything for Luke.”

Man people who have seen Kay’s video feel that women should never rely on their partner’s income unless they are married, because it may lead to potential financial instability in case they separate. A divorce lawyer mentioned, “the lifestyle makes women vulnerable”. They would have no job experience or career in case a breakup happens.

Laura Henshaw, Aussie influencer and cofounder of Keep It Cleaner revealed that this trend wherein one partner with no children stays at home and looks after their partner, may look glamorous, but is “very dangerous…because it means that the person who stays home is very likely to have zero financial independence.”

Supporters View It Differently…

Kay has a different view on the “stay-at-home girlfriend” concept. She stated that this life has not been limiting or financially restraining her. It has been liberating and she can work flexibly as a content creator while taking care of his boyfriend.

Regarding people’s instant reaction to these videos, Kay stated: “I think it makes sense with being married to someone, as you choose to split responsibilities in certain ways, but when it’s just a partnership, and both parties are young, I think there are more questions. Like what happens when they break up?”

Like her, many stay-at-home girlfriends believe that the concept is not about rejecting feminism, but about rethinking it. Kay, for instance, mentioned that the lifestyle depicts a ‘societal movement separated from the “idolization of girl bossing.”

She also mentioned that people have a very wrong opinion about the “stay-at-home-girlfriend” concept as they think that she only relaxes and does nothing. “I think people have this stereotypical view and assumption about what my daily life is like. They think that I literally just do nonsense all day,” Kay said. But again, she said that she has a life and that was just one video out of the many things she does.

Another TikTok influencer, Zoe Rae, who is also a “stay-at-home girlfriend” stated that she receives many negative comments which are usually old-fashioned ideas about what staying at home really means. The Johannesburg-based influencer added that she runs a small event company and spends her day replying to emails, while also looking after the home.

She suggested: “I think people’s mindsets are very black and white. They either think women are mooching off their boyfriends or working full time and having 95 side hustles. I think I operate in a grey area where I am a stay-at-home girlfriend, but I still have my own business.” So yea, these “stay-at-home girlfriends” think that they are truly revamping feminism with this trend.

From My Personal Experience…

Now, if you personally ask me, I stand very much against such a lifestyle. While being a “stay-at-home girlfriend” has some pros, there are more cons to it. Speaking from personal experience, my then-boyfriend (now my fiancé) asked me to move to his place because why not, we both wanted to try living together before the big day. For me, it meant leaving my criminal firm and shifting into a whole new city. However, I took the call.

Even though I kept working as a freelancer and could earn fairly well, during heated arguments, he made me feel burdened by proving his authority. Not only this, but he even made me question if I was contributing anything. Well, in my case, life wasn’t lavish like these “stay-at-home girlfriends” because I didn’t choose it to be.

When I checked our accounts, it came out that I was already contributing 100% of my earnings. Despite that, I was told once that “I am being raised”. Well, that hit me hard, and I realised that leaving my career and becoming a “stay-at-home girlfriend” was the biggest mistake I could ever make. And, well, I am starting back from the start.

I am Mallika Singh, a lawyer and writer by profession. Writing gives me a sense of freedom and independence. I am a keen observer and an ardent reader. When not at work, you can find me at the stable. Horse riding is another passion that keeps me going.


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