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TikTok’s Vanilla Wife Trend is Unbelievably Cringey

TikTok just outdid itself in terms of cringe levels. If you haven’t heard about the Vanilla Wife trend, brace yourself for some second hand embarassment.

What is the Vanilla Wife Trend on TikTok? 

Simply put, the Vanilla Wife trend consists of women roasting their exes’ wives – or hypothetical future wives – by calling them lame in bed.

People are sharing captions like “I won’t be the one you marry, I’ll be the one running through your mind while you’re f*ckin your vanilla wife” and “I may not be the woman you marry but I’ll be the one you think about while you’re having silent dinner with your boring wife before she lays flat on her back like a starfish for the entire two minutes before you go to sleep facing opposite directions.” 

Why the Vanilla Wife Trend is Problematic 

There are so many things wrong with this trend. First, there’s the fact that there is a reason people break up. Thinking that your ex is still obsessed with you veers into problematic territory. Sure, your ex may end up feeling tormented over you once he marries someone else. But, more often than not, the very fact that he has a wife is a clear indication that he’s moved on with his life – and so should you. 

Additionally, sex positivity was never meant to turn into a vehicle for shaming. Being kinkier doesn’t make anyone superior – it’s just a matter of personal preferences. Preferences that probably concern the people having sex with each other more than the general TikTok population. 

Perhaps the most toxic aspect of the trend is the paradigm in which it places women and sex. The women sharing these TikTok videos may be proud of their sexuality. But thinking of your sexuality in relation to whether a man chooses you sort of defeats the purpose of owning your desires and preferences as a woman – not just what your level of adventurousness in the bedroom can do for a man. 

“Where these girls believe they’re validating themselves for being kinky, which is actually a beautiful sexual self-discovery, they’re falling right into the hands of misogyny,” wrote Gigi Phong in Hypebae. “Your sexuality should not be a ploy to attract men. You also shouldn’t shame women for what they enjoy sexually, especially in a world that doesn’t encourage sexual exploration for women in any capacity.” 

Publicly putting another woman down because she chose to date your ex is not the vibe either. It’s a big fail as far as empowerment, even if empowerment is maybe the misguided intention behind the trend. If anything, it reads as insecure.  

The Response

Thankfully, the Vanilla Wife trend has also spurred critical commentary on TikTok to counter the toxic vibes. Like TikToker Courtney Alvarado’s video, where she blasted the trend for “insinuating that a woman’s worth in her marriage is based on what she will do/won’t do in bed.”

Let’s hope that the trend disappears as fast as it appeared. 

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